Buffalo are vital to the well-being of Indigenous people and the land itself. Learn More

The return of

The Buffalo

(Boy-zhan Bi-den)

The Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative is

Restoring our Connection with the Buffalo

Wyoming Buffalo Restoration

Healing the Land, Healing Ourselves

Millions of Buffalo once roamed the Great Plains of America. They were integral to the ecosystem of prairies and the Native peoples who long called them home.

Buffalo provided food, clothing, and shelter, and were essential in the spiritual ceremonies of Tribes. Nearly every part of the animal was used, including horns, meat, and tail hairs.

As we work to restore the Buffalo, a process of renewal and healing begins that balances human, animal, and environmental health.

Buffalo Territory

Before 1800, it is estimated that 60 million Buffalo roamed the plains of North America. By 1900, there were fewer than two dozen left in Yellowstone.

buffalo petroglyph
“The Buffalo was part of us, his flesh and blood being absorbed by us until it became our own flesh and blood. Our clothing, our tipis, everything we needed for life came from the buffalo’s body. It was hard to say where the animals ended and the human began.”
– John (Fire) Lame Deer, Lame Deer Seeker of Visions
Photo of Jason Baldes by Kelly Gorham

Meet Jason Baldes

Founder of Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative

“The Buffalo have helped me, personally. I know that as the Buffalo heal and are restored to this land, our people will also be healed and restored. Because, we have a connection with them. We are people of the Buffalo.”


The Story of the Buffalo

News & Stories

New Press: Rebuilding relationships with bison
New Press: Rebuilding relationships with bison

April 15, 2023 We were recently invited to join the Tribal Talks discussion at Teton County Library. Thank you to Jackson Hole News & Guide for writing a story before the gathering. Explore the historical relationships between people and buffalo with Jason Baldes...

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Denver Donates 30 Bison to Tribal Nations
Denver Donates 30 Bison to Tribal Nations

March 20, 2023 On March 15, 2023, 29 Buffalo were transported from Genesee to the Wind River Indian Reservation. This year’s transfer includes 17 bison to the Northern Arapaho Tribe and 12 to the Eastern Shoshone Tribe. This momentous occasion has created a buzz...

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Reaching Our Goal

We are restoring the Wind River Indian Reservation with conservation Buffalo, free of cattle genetics and protected under Tribal law. Our goal is to have 1,000 or more.

Buffalo Hooves



Buffalo Head



Mama + Baby Buffalo



Buffalo mom and calf


Learn About Buffalo and Land Restoration


Visit the Buffalo Herd


Connect with Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative


Give to Buffalo