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Denver City Council gives final, unanimous approval for bison donations

Posted at 11:23 PM, Apr 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 01:23:58-04

DENVER — Denver City Council unanimously gave final approval to donate 14 American Bison to tribal nations.

Thirteen of the bison will go to the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Oklahoma. One bison will go to the Tall Bull Memorial Council in Colorado.

“This is a unique opportunity to not only return the bison to tribes across the country and support their conservation efforts but to honor those who have cared for these ancestral lands before us. The land acknowledgment we adopted in 2020 asks us to work to dismantle legacies of oppression and inequity, and today we are doing that,” Councilwoman Pro Tem Jamie Torres said.

Mayor Michael Hancock and other city officials recognized the donation April 2 at Genesee Park. It's part of the City and County of Denver’s efforts to return the animals to their native homes on tribal land, while supporting conservation efforts.

Denver Parks and Recreation recently held its 36th annual Bison Auction at Genesee Park, where they auctioned young bison from its two herds in Genesee Park and Daniels Park. But it will no longer hold the auction and instead work with tribal partners to select tribes across the country that will accept the bison to build and enhance conservation herds on tribal lands.

The donation of surplus bison to American Indian tribes or American Indian non-profit organizations will continue through 2030.

“This is a historic action that will create an ongoing tradition and legacy between the City of Denver and American Indian Tribes across the country,” said Council President Stacie Gilmore. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to support this work and look forward to more significant ways that we can continue to build upon this humble first step.”