The story of the devastation of bison herds in the late 19th century is a familiar one. But in his book, “Buffalo Nation: American Indian Efforts to Restore the Bison,” Ken Zontek tells a more hopeful story.
His book is an account of Native American efforts to repopulate the plains with a healthy, viable bison population. He writes about breeding operations beginning in the 1870s and current efforts by the InterTribal Buffalo Council, an organization with members from 56 tribes in 19 states.Ken Zontek teaches history at Yakima Valley Community College in Washington and serves as adjunct professor at Heritage University on the Yakama Reservation. He came to Rapid City for a presentation at the Dahl Arts Center in connection with the Dahl’s Pte Oyate (Buffalo Nation) exhibit exploring the relationship between the Lakota people and buffalo.