Environment | National

Tribes use reservations to restore rare and endangered species

Bison on the Fort Peck Reservation in Montnaa. Photo Courtesy Jonathan Proctor / Defenders of Wildlife

Tribes in Montana and South Dakota are keeping rare and endangered species alive thanks to their preservation efforts.

The Fort Belknap Indian Community in Montana reintroduced the black-footed ferret last year. The tribe also also accepted bison from Yellowstone National Park.

“Part of our connection with the land is to put animals back,” President Mark Azure told The New York Times. “And as Indian people, we can use Indian country.”

The Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota brought the swift fox back to the reservation in 2009. The animal's return prompted a warrior society to reconvene for the first time in many years.

“I have never been that traditional,” Robert Goodman, 33, who works for the tribe's parks and recreation department, told the Times of a ceremony involving the fox and the warrior society. “But that was spiritual to me."

Get the Story:
Moving Back Home Together (The New York Times 8/26)

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