As if to weigh in on the controversial construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a herd of wild buffalo appeared today at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, as protestors there came under the truncheon of police and National Guard (video can be seen here).
The moving display, in what could be interpreted as a show of solidarity between the Sioux and their sacred animal, is a reminder of how much both have lost in the era of European colonization. Each have been variably pushed to the brink of extinction and marginalized in American society and ecology; the mysticism of the lands they once thrived on, erased by an irreverent alien culture. In an era facing environmental collapse, meeting those who have acted as stewards of the land for over 400 generations would be a good idea, save for the riot gear and armored vehicles. Even the buffalo know.