"Michael Burak, NCC's program director for southwestern Saskatchewan, told The Weather Network in a recent interview that many First Nations communities are attempting to rebuild cultural and spiritual connections the Indigenous have with bison, which also helps increase food sovereignty."
"We've been striving to better our engagement with Indigenous Peoples and nations. So, for us in Saskatchewan, we're very fortunate to have our bison herd because it is a very special connection that we can build with Indigenous nations," said Burak.
"For us, reconciliation looks a lot like this type of a project [that is] directly related to the bison herd, but also just making our lands more accessible to Indigenous Peoples and to the nations that are out there."
BISON ARE ICONIC SYMBOL
According to NCC, Bison are an iconic symbol of the grasslands, with populations that were in the tens of millions, then becoming a staple part of the lives of Indigenous Peoples. The animal was driven to near extinction, culminating in the 1880s due to overhunting. This resulted in economic, spiritual and cultural distress for the Indigenous on the Prairies.