BOZEMAN — A short documentary about buffalo restoration on Montana tribal lands has been released as part of a grant collaboration between Fort Peck Community College and Montana State University.

In 2012, a small herd of buffalo from Yellowstone National Park were transferred to the Fort Peck Reservation in northeastern Montana, marking the first time genetically pure buffalo had roamed that region in over 100 years. The approximately 45-minute documentary describes how the transfer took place — from the near extinction of the buffalo to the agreements that brought them to the Fort Peck Reservation. It also highlights how Fort Peck is honoring and upholding the Buffalo Treaty, an agreement between various tribes seeking to celebrate their deep-seated relation to the buffalo and restore herds to the lands they used to roam.

The film, called “Honoring the Buffalo Treaty at Fort Peck,” is one outcome of a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, “Collaborative Research and Strategic Planning for Fort Peck Inter-Tribal Buffalo Treaty Implementation,” that Fort Peck Community College and MSU recently completed. Roxann Smith, director of the Chanté Project at Fort Peck Community College, was the principal investigator. MSU collaborators were Brianna Routh, assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Development and food and family specialist with MSU ExtensionMichelle Grocke, assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Development and health and wellness specialist with MSU Extension; and Elizabeth Bird, project development and grants specialist in the College of Education, Health and Human Development.

The documentary was crafted from original interviews and other materials by SmokeSignal Studios and colleagues on the Fort Peck reservation, and it was co-funded by the USDA grant and the Fort Peck Community College Chanté Project. It is available HERE .

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