Bison return to Texas Indigenous lands, reconnecting tribes to their roots

Indigenous ranchers in Texas are receiving help from nonprofits to rebuild bison herds in the state. One family in Sulphur Springs that received five bison last month invited Texas tribal members to see the herd in person.

By Alejandra Martinez, Texas TribuneNovember 15, 2023 9:15 am, , ,

From the Texas Tribune:

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A herd of bison graze at the GP Ranch in Sulphur Springs. Five bison were gifted to Pogue as part of an effort to revitalize bison populations and provide resources for Native American ranchers and producers.

Bison nearly died out

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Rev. Eric Thlocco and Deacon Wendell Reschke of Tokvbvche Methodist Church in Oklahoma watch the bison at GP Ranch in Sulphur Springs.

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Pastor Paul Fixico, member of Tokvbvche Methodist Church and affiliated with the Muscogee (Creek) Tribe of Oklahoma, prays during a blessing ceremony for the bison gifted to Theda Pogue.

Bison preservation

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eft: An attendee carries a meal with bison meat and sides. Center: Theda Pogue and her husband Chris Pogue. "This herd is for us to share with our younger generations who will know what our ancestors have gone through," Theda Pogue said. Right: Pogue wears a silver necklace with a buffalo pendant at the ceremony.

Passing down the bison’s cultural legacy

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Andrea Poncho, affiliated with the Alabama–Coushatta Tribe of Texas, shows her sons Waylon and Gunnar a table displaying the various ways bison can be utilized.