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Day 1 - June 23


Day 1 - Thursday, June 23, 2022


Please click on the image above to access a .pdf of the program book.
    7:00 am - Registration, Check-in & Breakfast
    7:45 am - Welcome/Land Acknowledgement
Russel Reid Auditorium
    Dr. Douglas Jensen, President, Bismarck State College
Dr. Bill Peterson, Director, SHSND
Russ McDonald, President, United Tribes Technical College
    8:00 am - 8:45 am 
Bison: From Whence They Came
 Jon Eagle Sr.
Russel Reid Auditorium
    Jon Eagle Sr. is a Standing Rock Elder and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Standing Rock Sioux
    8:45 am - 
Why Does the Buffalo Matter?
Dr. Dan Flores
Russel Reid Auditorium
    From his book American Serengeti: “[T]his single animal’s end-game exemplifies the whole declensionist story of the relationship between Americans and nature over the past five centuries.”
    9:30 am - Break
    10:00 am - 
Bison: A Journey through Deep Time
Dr. Chris Widga Russel Reid Auditorium
    Bison are the iconic North American large mammal. But how did they get here? What is their story? The arrival of bison had profound and long-lasting impacts on North American landscapes. In the beginning, fossils and DNA evidence suggest that bison split into multiple, diverse groups, and were quickly integrated into a mammal community of other large herbivores like mammoths, horses, and camels. This community of megaherbivores had an out-sized impact on their environments, adapted to a wide range of ecosystems across the continent, and successfully responded to (sometimes drastic) changes in Ice Age climates. All this changed at the end of the Pleistocene when other megafauna went extinct, leaving bison as the largest terrestrial mammal in North America. In this presentation, we will explore the journey of North American bison--from their first entry into North America to the last millennium--through the lens of the fossil record and new methods that have been developed to better understand their ecology and behavior. The lessons we have learned from this record provide a deep time context for modern bison, their population history, and current management issues.
    10:45 am - 
Cultural and Historical Significance of the American Bison
Dakota Goodhouse
Russel Reid Auditorium
From his article “Remembering the Cannon Ball River” in On Second Thought, “The Lakota people keep their collective memory alive in pictographic records called winter counts. One such winter count, the Brown Hat Winter Count, reaches back to what ethnologists and historians might call ‘myth-history,’ to circa 901 CE. This history reaches back hundreds of years and recalls the arrival of the horse in 1692, the first horse-stealing raid in 1706, intertribal conflict, contact with traders, smallpox, star falls, eclipses, comets, sun dances, white bison hunts, conflicts with soldiers, treaties, the arrival of settlers, the boarding school and reservation era, and human survival.” In his presentation, he will use this cultural, historical, and geographical knowledge to paint a tapestry that will include, among many topics, the emergence of bison, the significance of the bison to his and other tribes, the importance of White Buffalo Calf woman, buffalo jumps, and the Buffalo Society.  
    11:30 am - Lunch (included, Missouri River Event Center)
    12:00 - 12:30 pm - Fieldtrip Synopsis: Southwest North Dakota  Francie Berg Russel Reid
    From her Buffalo Trails in the Dakota Buttes, "The story of the buffalo--that powerful, resilient, magnificent creature--as an American story. In large part it is an Indian story. For thousands of years they flourished together, and as is fitting, Native Americans were in charge of the final hunts."
    12:30 - 12:45 pm - Day 3 Synopsis                                                      Erik Holland
    12:45 pm -
Destruction of the Bison
Dr. Andrew
C. Isenberg
Russel Reid
    From his book The Destruction of the Bison, “On its surface, the encounter between the Old and New Worlds that led to the destruction of the bison appears to be a simple matter: Indian and Euroamerican hunters pushed the species to the brink of extinction for commercial profit. In the nineteenth century, they slaughtered millions of bison and brought to market the animals’ hides, meat, tongues, and bones. Like other environmental catastrophes in the American West . . . the destruction of the bison was, in part, the result of the unsustainable exploitation of natural resources.”

    1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Return of the Bison: A Panel Discussion
  Russel Reid
    Panel discussion on the Department of Interior's Long-Term Initiative to Conserve the American Bison to tribal and federal lands and in the issues, positive and negative, of restoring bison to the West.
Moderated by Erik Holland, State Historical Society of ND
    Arnell D. Abold, an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Tribe, formerly held the position of Executive Director for the InterTribal Buffalo Council. She was the first Native woman to serve as Director of ITBC since its inception in 1992. 
Corissa Busse is the Western South Dakota Conservation Manager for The Nature Conservancy in MN, ND, SD.
Brendan Moynahan is Research Coordinator and Science Advisor to the National Park Service and Chairs the Department of Interior's Bison Working Group.
    3:00 pm - Break/Book Signing
    3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Bison and Healthy Indian Communities: A Panel Discussion
  Russel Reid Auditorium
    A panel discussion on the healthy benefits of the return of the bison to Indian communities.
Moderated by Dr. Larry Skogen
    Dr. Michael Lebeau, Sanford Health
Taylor Syvertson, Ending Hunger 2.0 Director, Great Plains Food Bank
Former Chairman Mike Faith, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
    5:30 pm - Reception - Heritage Center
    Catered by United Tribes Technical College
Galleries of the North Dakota State Museum will be open for participants to look closely at skeletons of both
  • Bison latifrons an extinct species of bison that ranged from Alaska to Mexico. It was the largest and heaviest bovid ever to thrive in North America for about 200,000 years, and became extinct some 20,000–30,000 years ago
  • Bison antiquus, an extinct species that lived in Late Pleistocene North America until around 10,000 years ago. A common large herbivore on the North American continent during the late Pleistocene, and is a direct ancestor of the living American bison 
    6:15 pm - 
Dance and Native Flute
  Northern Lights
    Kevin Locke
    7:00 pm - 
Documentary: Bring Them Home
  Russell Reid
    An intimate look at the only indigenous tribal-led buffalo drive in North America, Bring Them Home follows members of the Blackfeet Nation as they experience the power of the American bison while driving their herd through rough terrain and hostile weather to their winter pasture – a rare ritual of stewardship that brings hope for a modern-day cultural rebirth. This session will include an introduction and Q&A by filmmaker Daniel Glick.

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