A herd of Buffalo appear out of nowhere during Lakota Sioux peaceful protest of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline project. The project crosses sacred land and could potentially threaten their clean water source.
When first learning the history of this area, it’s natural to focus on the big events as being those that tell the story of the past. The bloody conquest and banishment of indigenous people who had roamed these plains for centuries. The first ranches, some so vast that their founders, who might have been common men in other places, became, in this place, a new kind of king. The settlers rolling in, with circumstances more humble but dreams that were just as big, building towns only to move them again and again in pursuit of the location they hoped would guarantee the prosperity they sought. The arrival of the railroads with their endless miles of track that would change a land that had been unchanged since time immemorial. Lines appearing on maps that proclaimed counties. Counties, once proclaimed, that demanded governance. These are the events that, for most of us, tell the tale of the taming of the Great Plains of the West.