The bison is one of the iconic symbols of the American West, but in actuality their native ranges stretched from what is now northern Mexico to near the Arctic Circle in the upper reaches of the plains in what is now Canada. It is believed at it’s peak the bison populations numbered as many as thirty million roaming the plains. By 1889 that number had dropped below a thousand.
But before there was the United States, Canada, and Mexico, this majestic creature was at the core of society for the first peoples of the Americas. For the plains people like the Sioux, the Crow, the Comanche, and the Arapaho it was a sacred animal that provided all the necessities of life. It’s flesh provided food, it’s hide provided shelter and clothing and even it’s dung provided fuel for warmth in the brutally cold winters on the plains. This one animal literally provided everything they needed to survive.
Mt. Carmel Junction, UT September 2015