The Blackfeet people have utilized the Badger-Two Medicine for over 10,000 years – 165,588 acres that provide strength, subsistence, and cultural identity to more than 17,000 tribal members. Now, the area’s integrity has been compromised due to illegally granted oil and gas leases that now threaten the Blackfeet peoples’ history and their sacred cultural values.
For thousands and thousands and thousands of years, bison nurtured the Great Plains of North America and Native American culture. Immense herds grazed and enriched the grasslands and mountain foothills of the continent. As bio-engineers on this landscape, bison shaped plant communities, transported and recycled nutrients, created habitat variability that benefited grassland birds, insects, and small mammals, and provided abundant food resources for species such as grizzlies and wolves. Bison, more than any other species, linked Native people to the land. Following the great extermination of the 19th Century, bison have been absent from these cultures and landscapes. There is growing recognition that the loss of bison has led to the deterioration of the ecological health of the area and represented a profound cultural loss to Native peoples across North America.