If the Buffalo is the National Mammal, is Biological Warfare the National Military Strategy?

A terrific response to the Tatonka Story this week

Memories of the People

buffalo4In an all-too-common example of revisionist history, NPR’s story of the bison becoming the “National Mammal” recounted the near-extinction of the species during American expansion while completely failing to mention that the buffalo slaughter was a deliberate military strategy in the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans from the Plains.  In fact, NPR even listed subsistence hunting by Indians as a contributing factor in the demise of the buffalo.

In 1868, General Sherman wrote to General Sheridan, “As long as Buffalo are up on the Republican [River] the Indians will go there. I think it would be wise to invite all the sportsmen of England and America there this fall for a Grand Buffalo hunt, and make one grand sweep of them all.”

A year later, the Army Navy Journal reported, “General Sherman remarked, in conversation the other day, that the quickest way to compel the Indians to settle down to civilized life was to send…

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About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. She is enrolled with the Osage tribe.
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One Response to If the Buffalo is the National Mammal, is Biological Warfare the National Military Strategy?

  1. Patricia Squire says:

    Some myths just continue, but shame on NPR.

    Like

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