Environment |

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe Organization
Has The Ambition To Create
North America's Largest Herd

A story as old as the thoughts themselves. In the story of the creation of Lakota, the creatures emerged from the Wind Cave in the Black Hills of South Dakota - some in human form and others in buffalo form. There is no difference between humans and buffaloes in this worldview.

"We are Lakota people, which means we are buffalo people," said Wizipan Little Elk, general manager of the Rosebud Economic Development Corporation (REDCO), an economic group of the Rosebud Sioux tribe. "They always take care of us and we have to take care of them." And the Rosebud Sioux tribe will do just that with a commitment of 28,000 acres of native grassland to create a new herd of bison. The Wolakota Buffalo Range, with a capacity to support 1,500 animals, will become the largest indigenous cattle in North America owned and managed by a bison herd. 
The project is being developed through a partnership between REDCO and WWF with the support of Tribal Land Enterprise, Rosebud Sioux Tribes Corporation Management Corporation, and the US Department of the Interior. Over the next five years, the Department of the Interior will send hundreds of bison to the newly created area from federally administered herds. The historic project will increase the total number of Native American bison by an impressive 7% nationally. 

"We see it as a point of pride," said Wizipan Little Elk. "That we can have the largest native managed and owned by a herd of buffalo." We can show that socially responsible and socially responsible businesses with multiple foundations can work and that it creates more positive effects locally and globally. "Over the past five years, WWF has invested more than $2.2 million in bison restoration efforts with indigenous communities in the Northern Great Plains. This new opportunity, which aligns strongly with Lakota foundational values and beliefs, will offer a model for cultural and ecological restoration efforts by Native American nations across the US. 

This announcement matters for several reasons: it represents a homecoming for this iconic species, and it’s also a reunion with the communities who lived with them for centuries in a symbiotic relationship,” said Carter Roberts, president, and CEO of WWF. "We are honored to be partners in this effort with the Rosebud Economic Development Corporation and the U.S. Department of the Interior, and we look forward to seeing the bison return to the Rosebud Reservation later this year.” 

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