"About ten years ago, I spoke to members of the Society for Ecological Restoration. I told them that traditional Indian knowledge says that beings never become extinct. They go away, but they have the power to come back. I predicted that, in their restorations, if they were preparing the area right, plants they thought were extinct would begin coming back unaided after four or five years. Plants would come back first, and then animals and then birds.
"Of course, my audience thought I was crazy. But later, when I went to get a cup of coffee, several people followed me. They said, "You're right. We're seven years into a swamp restoration in Wisconsin, and all the original plants are coming back."
"This is not as extraordinary as it might sound. The elders tell us that the buffalo used to go back and forth between two worlds. In the summertime, people would find themselves in the middle of a big herd for weeks. But in the wintertime, there would be only a few buffalo down in the river bottoms, or up in the grasslands. Where were the huge herds? According to the Sioux, they were underground. There were about ten places where they went in or came back out.
"When I first heard that, I didn't believe it. Then I talked to some of the elders, who said, "Of Course," and showed me the buttes where the buffalo used to come out in the springtime. I thought, this is insane, so I scoured the literature, but I couldn't find any accounts of big buffalo herds in the wintertime. Then, come June, the damn plains were so covered with buffalo. In the fall, they started disappearing again.
"I'm still working on this one. But that's what life is all about. You take disparate facts, bring them together, and say, "Now, what's the real question?" And so often you're amazed to find that the matter is much deeper than you ever imagined. But the point is to ask the questions, and keep asking them."--Vine Deloria Jr. in an interview with Derrick Jensen back in July of 2000.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Saving The Buffalo
If anyone is interested in the fight to save the last remaining wild buffalo this interview is worth listening to. This interview also inspired me to go back and look up this quote about the buffalo and extinction: