ROCKY BOY, Mont. (NMB) – The Rocky Boy’s Reservation will be welcoming back buffalo next Tuesday.
Jason Belcourt is the Sustainability Coordinator for the Chippewa Cree Tribe and says this has been a long time in the making.
“What are we bringing back? We’re bringing back a cultural herd. Something that’s spirituality. And we hope it does good for our people.”
Belcourt says they are starting with reintroducing 11 buffalo, and they are going to be very cautious when it comes to considering expanding the herd.
“We want to keep what we got, just to get our feet wet and make sure we’re secure and happy with our ability to take care of the buffalo. We don’t want to run into a situation where we’re not handling the buffalo properly. So however long that takes. If it takes us a couple years to make sure that we know we have the resources to feed, water and take care of them, so be it. But if we find that we’re doing quite well, the buffalo are welcomed home, and the management plan kicks in, we could easily shoot up to 20 head, provided we have the resources to take care of them.”
The welcome back ceremony will begin at 9 AM on Tuesday one mile west of Box Elder. Guest speakers, including Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, are expected to address the attendees after 10 AM. The free community feed will start at noon, and the 11 buffalo will be released at 1 PM.
The public is welcome to this event.