Bison loss and the impact on indigenous communities today : The Indicator from Planet Money For over 10,000 years, many peoples in what's now known as North America relied on bison. Thirty million of these creatures stretched from modern Canada all the way down to Mexico.

But in the late 1800s hide-hunters and the U.S. military annihilated the bison, bringing them to the brink of extinction. And that had consequences for the people who relied on the bison. Consequences that we still see today.

Today, we hear from an economist who revealed the shocking numbers telling this story, and one member of the Blackfeet Nation who is trying to bring back the bison.

For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org.

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The echo of the bison

The echo of the bison

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Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images
An American Bison, also called Buffalo, grazes in the Yellowstone National Park July 09, 2020. (Photo by Eric BARADAT / AFP) (Photo by ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images)
Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

For over 10,000 years, many peoples in what's now known as North America relied on bison. Thirty million of these creatures stretched from modern Canada all the way down to Mexico.

But in the late 1800s hide-hunters and the U.S. military annihilated the bison, bringing them to the brink of extinction. And that had consequences for the people who relied on the bison. Consequences that we still see today.

Today, we hear from an economist who revealed the shocking numbers telling this story, and one member of the Blackfeet Nation who is trying to bring back the bison.

For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org.

Music by Drop Electric. Find us: TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Newsletter.