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Rocky Boy Secures Funding For Labor Cost To Bring Bison Back This Fall

Seal for Rocky Boy Tribe
Seal for Rocky Boy Tribe

The Rocky Boy Buffalo Project received approval for funding last week for labor costs to better manage incoming Yellowstone bison.

The Intertribal Buffalo Council awarded the Chippewa Cree Indians of Rocky Boy roughly twenty thousand dollars to help fund labor costs. The Rocky Boy Buffalo Project has already made plans with the American Prairie Reserve in Malta to bring a handful of bison to the reservation in September of this year.

Sustainability coordinator for the Rocky Boy Reservation Jason Belcourt works with the Rocky Boy Buffalo Project. He says the tribe wants to start slow with a herd of less than ten.

“We have a management plan that allows for 20 head, but we didn't want to just get right to that point. We reintroduced the Buffalo here, to build that relationship,” Belcourt says.

Belcourt said instead of hiring new employees to manage the bison they are planning to use the money to supplement the salaries of the tribe's fish and game employees, and have them take on the responsibilities of taking care of the bison.

Taylar Stagner is Yellowstone Public Radio's Report for America Indigenous Affairs reporter.

Taylar Stagner covers tribal affairs for Yellowstone Public Radio.