The endless plains, the iconic Saskatchewan identity, once thrummed to the pulsing tempo of millions of bison hooves drumming the skin of the prairie landscape.
Environmental historians Dan Flores, a renowned researcher (really, almost a philosopher) on the Great Plains, has pondered the fate of the bison and the classic story of white destruction of this once seemingly-inexhaustible resource and staple for so many Plains First Nations people.
Flores’ original essay, “Bison Ecology and Bison Diplomacy: The Southern Plains from 1800 to 1850”, while first published in 1991 in The Journal of American History, continues to influence consideration of the role of bison on the Great Plains. Flores followed this article with a chapter in his 2001 book, The Natural West, which he termed “Bison Ecology and Bison Diplomacy Redux.”
He returns to the topic again this Thursday, May 12 2011 in Saskatoon, where he will offer a public presentation. If you’re near Saskatoon, it will undoubtedly be an entertaining and informative evening.