Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

February 17, 2017

Montana Stop the Slaughter of Yellowstone Bison

Photo by Buffalo Field Campaign
The capture, transport  and slaughter of  the Yellowstone Bison is abhorrent to the traditional life ways of all indigenous peoples, and an abrogation of Tribal treaty subsistence hunting rights. -- Carol Dubay, Pablo Montana Flathead Nation

Repeal MCA 81-2-120                                                              

To:  All State of Montana legislators and Governor Bullock     From: Carol Dubay  -Pablo MT Flathead Nation
Feb. 17, 2017
Censored News                                                        

I urge the Montana legislature to repeal MCA 81-2-120, and instead enact a law to manage bison similar to the wild elk management model in Montana.
The capture, transport  and slaughter of  the Yellowstone Bison is abhorrent to the traditional life ways of all indigenous peoples, and an abrogation of Tribal treaty subsistence hunting rights. This is an unlawful, and unnecessary policy of destruction in violation of international law. Bison are not livestock, and should not be managed by the Montana Department of Livestock. Placing the Montana Department of Livestock in charge of wild, migratory bison is a continuation of the historic extirpation of the species, and a violation of the authority of the Hellgate Treaty of 1855 and the U.S. Constitution Article VI, as well as the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights of  1966, to which the United States is a signatory.

 The inter-agency Bison Management Plan is a collusion of  federal and state agencies, and cooperating Tribes which are not adequately protecting national and Tribal historic living natural trust resources in Yellowstone Park, or within the State of Montana.  All of Montana is Indian country. The State of Montana  and Yellowstone National Park were created after the international treaty known as the Hellgate Treaty of 1855 was signed by representatives of the Salish, Kootenai, and PendO'Reilles Tribes recognizing the  United States of America. This international law and other treaties with various Indians specifically stipulates the hunting, fishing and gathering rights of the indigenous peoples in all usual and customary places would be honored throughout the Treaty territory in perpetuity.

The State of Montana Department of Livestock continues a policy of catering to livestock industry intolerance of this native, keystone species.
  "The highly controversial Inter -agency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) and all related mismanagement schemes would not exist if it weren't for MCA 81-2-120. The new bison management plan essentially mirrors the IBMP and holds little  to no benefit for wild bison.

“These agencies need to evaluate an alternative that is culturally acceptable to the majority of American Indian tribes and is most beneficial for tribes with treaty rights in the Yellowstone ecosystem,” said James Holt, Nez Perce tribal member and board member  of Buffalo Field Campaign. “The alternatives that are currently being considered don't work for wild buffalo or American Indians.” 
 Additionally, the Inter-agency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) is the cattle industry approved plan called for in MCA 81-2-120. The IBMP would not exist were it not for MCA 81-2-120. In  other words, all of the intensive management actions made against wild buffalo--including hazing, capture, and slaughter--take place because of MCA 81-2-120. As implemented by the Department of Livestock, MCA 81-2-120 severely limits the abundance and distribution of wild buffalo to less than 0.3% of Montana's habitat. Wild bison remain  ecologically extinct in Montana and throughout the their historic range."

As an  elder member of the Confederated Salish-Kootenai & PendO'Reilles Tribes of the Flathead Nation, I Carol Dubay, call for common sense to preserve and sustain the bison for the sake of the chidren's trust for the future. A bill must be written to repeal and replace MCA 81-2-120.

Repeal  MCA 81-2-120
Proclamation of Carol Dubay : A Call to “All Who Can Hear" to Come Help and Honor the Sacred Bison

"I, Carol Dubay, elder member of the Confederated Salish-Kootenai & PendO'Reilles Tribes of the Flathead Nation invoke the inherent rights of the 1855 Hellgate Treaty to  hunt, fish & gather in all usual and customary treaty territories since time immemorial - for thousands of thousands of years.
I am speaking for the Bison mothers and fathers who are crying for the unnecessary wanton destruction of their families. There exists serious controversies regarding the proceeding of Yellowstone National Park Bison  slaughter, and proposed quarantine & ship & slaughter schemes. The trust obligations of the United States of America to careful, responsible management of the sacred bison must be made real in practice to protect the genetic integrity of the last wild bison.
The unwarranted quarantine policies and practices mandated by federal and state agencies, such as the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Montana Department of Livestock are direspectful ,  wrong and adverse to Indigenous peoples' traditions and Treaty rights. Specious science is being used to eliminate wild free roaming Bison, and eliminate their landscape and habitat.
The Federal and State, Tribal trust obligations to conserve and protect cultural trust properties for Tribal communities and Tribal peoples through the U.S. Constitution and the 1855 Hellgate Treaty and State of Montana  Constitution are not being honored by the irrational, non-traditional culling of the Yellowstone Bison.
The historic and traditional cultural properties and lifeways of the various Tribes that inhabited, used and occupied the territories and areas in and around Yellowstone Park in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho are not  being properly protected or respected by the State and Federal governments.

Tribal Peoples have to help lead the way back to a respectful relationship with the Bison and all of creation. Implementing Treaty rights is mandatory to ensure the future survival of our sacred bison and their traditional  grass land and mountain landscapes. I invoke the international rights of all of the children of mother earth for all future generations to enjoy and share communion with the sacred bison, and their prairie and mountain landscapes.    

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