Over $5K raised at Wind River ‘Buffalo Camp’ bison tour fundraiser on Indigenous Peoples’ Day

    (Kinnear, WY) – The Eastern Shoshone Buffalo Enclosure and Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative Headquarters, aka the Wind River “Buffalo Camp” located at 10929 US Highway 26, served as the location for a fundraiser event and tour of the grounds on Indigenous Peoples’ Day Monday evening, October 9, where just over $5,000 was raised.

    Put on by the Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative, the Wind River Native Advocacy Center, and the Sierra Club of Wyoming, the event was organized by Patti Baldes and Kaycee Prevedel Ott, with Initiative Founder Jason Baldes serving as MC for the evening.

    (To learn more about the Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative, click here; click here for information on the Wind River Native Advocacy Center, and here for more information on the Sierra Club of Wyoming.)


    The main mission of the Initiative is “Land rematriation, community revitalization, and youth education through restoration and conservation of Buffalo.”

    “Land rematriation is restoring keystone species and land ownership to Tribes. Much of what was brought here was patriarchal,” a quote from Jason reads on the Initiative website. “The culture of Buffalo has been matriarchal. Rematriation is giving back to Mother Earth, bringing back a holistic connection, and empowering the role of women.”

    Patti went on to tell County 10 that one of the reasons for the fundraiser tour was to raise money to purchase excess animals from Antelope Island, located near the Great Salt Lake in Utah

    “They are a State owned herd with good genetics, and have an auction in November,” Patti commented.


    “I felt the event was a great success,” she went on to add. “We raised close to $6000, which could get the herd 10 more relatives.”

    The herd currently sits at 90 bison, with the Initiative vision being “Thousands of buffalo on tens of thousands of acres, protected under Tribal law as wildlife.”

    Jason shared that the Initiative was set up to acquire land and resources for the bison (the group also assists with 73 bison from the Northern Arapaho on 1,000 acres), and stated that back in July the Tribes designated a nearby 17,000 acre range unit.


    “That 17,000 acre range unit is going to require 28 miles of fencing, which will cost about $1.8 million,” Jason continued. “Once we can build that fence in, we are going to have more habitat to continue to grow our population.”

    Jason Baldes addresses the crowd before the tour. h/t Vince Tropea, County 10

    Following Jason’s address, attendees of the event were treated to a caravan tour through the expansive (about 2,000 acres) and picturesque property of the Camp, and then got to view the bison from a very safe distance.

    Following the tour and bison viewing, members of the Baldes family and many other volunteers prepared a meal while local musicians Greg Scott, Christian Wallowing Bull and Fiadh performed for the crowd, with Wallowing Bull’s “Buffalo Song” encapsulating the mood for the entire evening (Note: the below recording is missing a portion of the of the first verse).


    If you missed your chance to go to the fundraiser but would still like to contribute to the Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative, you can still donate here.

    To hear more about land rematriation through buffalo restoration from the Baldeses, click here.


    Related Posts

    Have a news tip or an awesome photo to share?