National Bison Day is a holiday dedicated to an animal that can be seen in the wild and zoos, as well as on coins, sports team logos, and even on several national flags. Every year on the first Saturday of November, American Bison Day is celebrated, giving us an opportunity to reflect on the importance of the existence of bison, their impact on the environment, and their cultural heritage.
Bison are especially revered by indigenous peoples, as they have helped them to survive and spiritually inspire. Unfortunately, by the beginning of the 20th century, the number of bison had declined sharply due to hunting and human cruelty, leaving only 700 heads in private ownership, and only 23 in Yellowstone. In 1992, Native Americans created a group of enthusiasts who helped to revive bison populations, with educational programs and technical resources provided to 56 tribes. In 1997, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed.
- The first resolution dedicated to American Bison Day was passed by the US Senate in 2012, receiving support from indigenous peoples and the Wildlife Conservation Society.
- In 2015, Barack Obama signed into law a bill recognizing the bison as the national animal, in an effort to protect them from extinction.
- The difference between a bison and a buffalo is their home – bison live throughout the Americas, and buffaloes live in Africa.
- Today, around 500 thousand bison can be found in almost all US states.
- For centuries, indigenous peoples and bison lived peacefully in the neighborhood, but when the American peoples began to oppress, the bison also began to die out.
How to take part
To get involved in National Bison Day, there are several things you can do. Learn more about the habits of this animal – for example, if its tail hangs down, the bison is relaxed, but when the tail is pointing up, it means that the beast is preparing to attack. You could also visit a national park and see how bison live in natural conditions – one of these parks is located in Yellowstone. Finally, a creative way to commemorate the day is to make yourself a Bonfire Night T-shirt!
When is National Bison Day celebrated in 2023?
National Bison Day is observed on the first Saturday of November each year.