RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) The bison herd at Pe Sla is growing.
The Oglala Sioux Tribe announced Friday it was donating 20 buffalo to the sacred Indian site north of Hill City.
In 2012, four tribes raised $9 million to buy the roughly 2,000 acre site. Three other tribes joined the effort and now the total number grows to eight with the Oglala donation. The tribes hold that 1852 and 1868 treaties that granted the Black Hills to its Native inhabitants remain valid. They believe Pe Sla returning to Indian ownership is a step in the right direction. Elders involved with the project from the beginning welcomed Oglala participation.
"We're really thankful," said Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council Member Russel Eagle Bear. "And one of the things that we rely on is our relative the buffalo to project the resources of Pe Sla. We're not going to bring in our old car bodies and old trailer houses. We're going to bring in our relative the buffalo back in there to protect that place."
The Pe Sla buffalo herd now stands at about 25 animals and the hope is to grow it to around 100 in the coming years.