buffalo field campaign yellowstone bison slaughter Buffalo Field Campaign
West Yellowstone, Montana
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slaughter of Yellowstone's wild free roaming buffalo

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Yellowstone National Park Enlists Tribes to Slaughter Wild Buffalo



Yellowstone National Park has entered into agreements with the InterTribal Buffalo Council (ITBC) and the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) to consign captured wild, migratory buffalo to them for slaughter.  This incredibly disturbing change of events is something that Buffalo Field Campaign never thought possible.  Tribes have always been strong voices against the slaughter and maltreatment their relatives, the buffalo, and we have always stood strong with them to help rekindle, in whatever small way we can, this sacred relationship. 

"The federal agencies and Montana ... are completely ignorant and confused on how to save and manage our sacred Ee-Nee-Wah (Buffalo).  I am talking about the Yellowstone buffalo herd.  Even Indian Tribes blindly follow the state and federal policies, when they can come up with sacred policy that would completely protect Ee-Nee-Wah.  I belive the Tribes don't have enough courage and believe in themselves to stand up for our sacred beliefs in Ee-Nee-Wah."  ~ Jimmy St. Goddard, Blackfeet Nation Holy Paint Gatherer

These buffalo slaughter contracts between Yellowstone, ITBC and the CSKT expose another shady, back-room deal by the world's first national park; the supposed caretakers of America's last wild, migratory buffalo.  Through BFC's investigation, which is still ongoing, we discovered that Yellowstone officials have been actively soliciting tribes, encouraging them to enter into such incongruent and onious agreements, and being joyful upon signing.  Yellowstone National Park has become a more active and willing participant in the harassment and slaughter of America's last wild bison, and this latest arrangement was craftily devised by Yellowstone in order to shift the blame away from themselves. 

This winter, Yellowstone intends to capture wild buffalo from the Gardiner Basin and hand them over to tribal officials who will ship their relatives directly to slaughter facilities.  While the ITBC and the CSKT must realize the shameful part they have agreed to play in the war against wild buffalo, Yellowstone National Park is basically blackmailing tribes into believing that if tribes don't kill the buffalo, the Park Service will do it anyway.  It is the same with the so-called hunts.  It is a form of extortion, cultural manipulation, an idea being force fed to First Nations Buffalo Cultures that the only way Montana or the federal government will ever allow tribes and buffalo to be reunited is through domestication or death. 

Yellowstone National Park is a lead agency in the controversial Interagency Bison Management Plan, as are the ITBC and CSKT.  The IBMP has a livestock-industry driven goal of reducing America's last wild buffalo population down to a mere 3,000 animals.  Yellowstone wrongly deems that when the buffalo population is beyond 3,000, the remainder are classified as "surplus."  The current population estimate of America's last wild buffalo is 4,600, so by the Park's definition, 1,600 wild buffalo -- ecologically extinct native wildlife -- are "surplus" and slated for slaughter.

But, there are no "surplus" buffalo!  The herds that live in and round Yellowstone and southwestern Montana are America's last continuously wild, migrating buffalo.  Instead of continuously pushing for and supporting ways to kill wild buffalo, why isn't Yellowstone National Park instead taking a lead role in rejecting livestock models of management and restoring living bison through ecologically sound methods such as migration corridors?The American buffalo is an ecologically extinct animal, absent from fulfilling their natural, migratory role as the shapers of this continent.  Only politics would define wild buffalo as "surplus."  These buffalo are indeed endangered, even though they have not been recognized as such by the U.S. government.  The International Union for Conservation of Nature has red listed the American buffalo as "threatened with near extinction."   There are no surplus buffalo!

TAKE ACTION!  This is a very difficult issue to comprehend, but action must be taken for the buffalo.  Please contact National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis and urge him to stop Yellowstone from transferring captured wild buffalo to tribes for slaughter, and of course, to stop Yellowstone from capturing and slaughtering wild buffalo at all.  Remind Director Jarvis that the National Park Service has a mission, the "purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired."

If you live outside of the U.S. or have trouble sending a letter from our web site, you can send a letter to:

Jonathan Jarvis, Director
National Park Service
1849 C Street, NW Room 3112
Washington, DC 20240
(202) 208-3818 phone
(202) 208-7889 fax

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  • Updates from the Field Weekly Email Recipients
  • "I warn the tribes, and I warn you from my heart, that taking these buffalo and becoming part of the slaughter process and taking them back to your reservations is just a scapegoat so that the rest of these agencies can point the fingers at you.... beware that this is their hidden agenda."
    ~ Mike Mease, co-founder Buffalo Field Campaign

    "ITBC, they are participating in the slaughter.   InterTribal Buffalo Council.  I was just heart sick about that.  Politicians, you know, our tribal politicians, have decided to participate by taking the buffalo  from the capture facilities to the slaughter houses.  I just call it sick.  I don't know how they got talked into it, but they did."
    ~ Rosalie Little Thunder, Lakota Elder and co-founder of Buffalo Field Campaign

    "Ook-kee-Nahp-Peehs.  Today I want to tell all our friends and future allies of a better tomorrow.  The federal agencies and Montana and Wyoming state agencies are completely ignorant and confused on how to save and manage our sacred Ee-Nee-Wah (Buffalo).  I am talking about the Yellowstone buffalo herd.  Even Indian Tribes blindly follow the satee and federal policies, when they can come up with sacred policy that would completely protect Ee-Nee_Wah.  I belive the Tribes don't have enough courage and believe in themselves to stand up for our sacred beliefs in Ee-Nee-Wah.  I pray that some day our true leaders will stand up and let the True Medicine People set True Sacred Policy to protect Ee-Nee-Wah.  As the self-designated True Spiritual Leader of the Blackfoot Confederacy, I declare that all tribes stand up for the buffalo!  We are so in love with the white man's money, we forgot our ancient beliefs.  We talk about prostitution, well, us Indians have prostituted our Sacred Ways.  Let the True Indian People develop a policy for our Sacred Buffalo.  I feel ashamed when I see a bunch of white people protecting our buffalo when it should be us Indian Poeople, Indigenous Ones.  If our council doesn't fear me and fight me when I run for leadership, I can fix a lot of things for our Indian people, but I know some people are afraid of True Blackfeet Leadership.  I have found our True Sacred Ways, let me show the Indian and Indigenous People of the world our sacred knowledge so there will be no more suffering!  Ee-Suk-Yah!  Holy Paint Gatherer.  UNYAH!"
    ~ Blackfeet Holy Paint Gatherer, Jimmy St. Goddard

    Watch Wounded Buffalo Hearts, a brief video from BFC speaking to and about the tribes involved in the slaughter agreements with Yellowstone National Park.

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