March 16th 2018
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Talon Brings Buffalo
Stephens Creek Trap, Yellowstone National Park
March 16th 2018
Hours before dawn on Friday March 16th, two members of the Wild Buffalo Defense collective arrived at the gate of Yellowstone National Park’s Stephens Creek Buffalo capture facility. They blocked the gate with three 55 gallon drums filled with concrete, locking their arms inside the barrels. The three 1000 pound drums blocked access to the facility, preventing livestock trucks from taking the wild buffalo to slaughter. This action came in the wake of a similar event last week at the Stephens Creek Trap, where two buffalo protectors locked themselves to the hydraulic squeeze shoot using a metal pipe.
Wolf, the first individual locking down, described why he was taking the action: “My father is from Michaocan, Mexico, so I have both native and colonizer blood. Since I wasn’t raised in a native setting, this is my way to give back to the native community. I’m from Illinois — it’s called the Prairie State, and there’s less than one one-hundredth of the prairie left. It’s all strip malls and corn fields…I don’t like seeing just concrete and steel. Seeing how peaceful the buffalo are and how strong they are, they go through enough hardship in their lives in the forest and the plains and then with what Yellowstone National Park is doing to them they still carry on. They inspire me to keep going.”
Coyote, the other individual blocking the gate, said: “I’m doing this to get a better understanding of what is really going on and to protect the buffalo and the lands that they roam. I feel like I have been lost inside…but now that I’m here I feel more combined with myself, with others, and with knowledge and understanding. Whenever I’m with the buffalo I feel like my heart runs with them. When I’m with them they already know the questions, they already know the answers, and I don’t have to respond because they already know. I think it’s a good thing for people to learn. There’s not a day in this world where you’re not able to learn something. What we’re doing is something we love to do and we only live once so we should do what we love to do and if anybody wants to come out and join and learn this experience then they should.”
The barrels were painted with two phrases, “Protect the Sacred” and “Honor the Treaties.” The words highlight the fact that Buffalo are sacred creatures to the Plains Indians. Blackfeet and Lakota prophecies say that when the wild buffalo return, the people and the earth will be healed. Yellowstone National Park currently captures and slaughters about 25% of the herd every year. If this mismanagement of the population continues, these prophecies will… [press release ends].