McKosato: Indians, eagles and buffalo alive and well

"Growing up, I was led to believe that Native Americans or Indians, like the buffalo or bison and the bald eagle, were objects of America's past. That was the way we were portrayed in history books and that was the way I felt in the classroom.

The great buffalo herds of the Americas once stretched across the Great Plains and even grazed cultivated lands here in New Mexico. But by the time the tragic buffalo slaughters of the West were over in the mid- to late-1800s, there was only one herd left. Many claim the descendants still roam today in Yellowstone National Park.

Bald eagles had vanished from all but the most remote corners of the country just a generation ago, and they are the national symbol.

Native Americans, too, were on the brink of extermination up until just several decades ago. At one point, the Ioway of Oklahoma had just a few hundred tribal members left, and poverty was rampant. I remember when my mother and two of my uncles got some type of grant from the government and opened the lone tribal office on Main Street.

As a child I was led to believe that eagles, buffalo and Indians were things of the past. But the last time I visited my hometown I saw something I never thought I'd see there — all three of these Icons of America, the eagle, the buffalo, and the Native American are alive and well."

Get the Story:
Harlan McKosato: The buffalo, the eagle, and the Native American (The Santa Fe New Mexican 11/4)

Relevant Links:
Native America Calling -
Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma Eagle Rehabilitation Program -

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