American Bison Society Meeting and Workshop 2016: The Cultural and Social dimension of Bison ecological restoration

Bison in the Rocky Mountains

The American Bison Society (ABS) established by the Director of the New York Zoological Society, William Hornaday with the support of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, Canadian Governor Earl Grey and many other notable characters had for the mission “preservation and increase of the American Bison.

In 2006, the Society was re-established by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and met again to continue the passion of these pioneers to save the wild bison from extinction. 110 years since ABS was established important progress has been made to restore wild bison to large landscape in Canada and USA using a variety of strategies and approaches. It is now time to reconvene and explore the successes and challenges for bison ecological restoration across North America.

For the first time in its history the ABS will meet in Canada, at The Banff Centre in Banff National Park. Bison enthusiasts, managers, producers, advocates, philanthropists, and artists are invited to share experiences and strategies to guide future progress toward the ecological restoration of wood and plains bison.

We have some great things planned, including:

·      60 speakers in two days,
·      Over dozen posters,

·      Two very special relationships stories for lunch;
·      The launch of the Last of the Buffalo: Return to the Wild book during the evening banquet with The Wardens providing music.

Download the detailed program here and find the complete agenda, speakers' bio, abstracts, maps and posters information.

You will also have the opportunity to take share in some truly unique opportunities with First Nations from Alberta, BC and Saskatchewan, and Tribes from Montana on the traditional importance of buffalo. A bison feast and a cultural evening including a premiere of a buffalo fashion show is organized for Wednesday evening while an inter-tribal community fusion will also happen that afternoon. The official Buffalo Treaty Ceremony is the next afternoon. And a Special REDx talk will be happening for the first time in Banff on Thursday Morning. Buy your tickets.


Join us September 26 to 29, 2016. Register now or sign up to volunteer below.

Posters session update

- thank you for sending your poster application. Applicants have been notified of their participation. See you in Banff.

September 26-29 2016

The Banff Centre, Banff National Park

Monday September 26

From 4 pm to 7 pm: ABS Registration in the Max Bell Building and hotel registration in the PDC building

5:30 to 7 pm - Welcome Reception in the Elder Tom Crane Bear Room, Max Bell Building

Tuesday September 27

Breakfast in Vista
Starting at 7 am
: Registration in the Max Bell Building lobby

8:00 am to 5 pm: ABS Meeting in Max Bell Auditorium

Themes for the day's plenaries:

  • Status of the American Bison Status of the American Bison
  • The Social Dimensions of Bison Restoration
  • Cultural dimensions of bison restoration
  • Public Narratives for bison restoration

Lunch key note speaker: Wes Olson (Kinnear 303)

5 pm to 6:30 pm: Posters presentation and cocktail

7 pm - ABS Banquet: Last of the Buffalo return to the Wild book launch with key note speaker Harvey Locke joined in music by The Wardens (Kinnear 101)
Ticket available for non ABS participant - $35 pp

Wednesday September 28

8:00 am to 5 pm - ABS Workshop Sessions in Max Bell Auditorium

Three Panel sessions

  • Politics and law in bison restoration
  • Science of human dimensions in bison conservation
  • Integrating culture perspectives into bison ecological restoration

Lunch : Elk Island National Park transfer to the Blackfeet Nation (Kinnear 101)

Followed by a panel on Voices for Conservation  A- Museum and Zoo; B-Film and TV
and Communicating Bison Restorations (initiative underway)

6:00 pm : Evening cultural program and dinner at the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum (15 minutes walk or short drive)

Thursday September 29

Field Trips (optional)
Please let us know on the registration form which one you will like to participate.

Option A: Sold-Out. Thank you

Banff National Park Bison Restoration project overview and discussion


Option B: Second anniversary Ceremony of The Buffalo Treaty

12 pm to 5 pm: Free of charge, lunch included, public event in Banff at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies


Option C: Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World heritage Site visit and Trans-border Buffalo herd management discussion lead by the Iinii Initiative

** Please note that the tour will visit traditional site after Head-Smashed-In instead of Waterton.
You need to provide your own transport, no return to Banff, lunch included in Head-Smashed-In and refreshment on site close to the border. Cost $70 per person

Other activities

Wednesday September 28

1 to 5 pm: Deep listening Community fusion session at the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum

Thursday September 29

8 to 10:15 am: Continental breakfast and tobacco ceremony for bison re-introduction at Minnewanaka Day Use area (free).
(Complimentary bus service leaves for Minnewanka at 8:00 a.m. from Banff Centre – in front of Professional Development Centre –
and from the Juniper Hotel at 8:15 a.m., with return shuttles after the ceremony.)

10 to 1:30 am: REDx talk at the Buffalo Nations Museum. Get your tickets online now. Place limited.

10 to noon: Willock and Sax Gallery opening with artist Dwayne Harty

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