Native Hunters, Prairies, and Bison
Christopher Roos, Professor of Anthropology at SMU, will present Native Hunters, Prairies, and Bison, a look at the methods indigenous people used to manage prairies and bison herds. He will discuss the role of fire in the evolution of global grasslands and methods that Indigenous hunters use controlled wildfires in grasslands to improve their hunting. These strategies improve biodiversity in the process and may mediate fire-climate relationships as well. In northern Montana, Blackfeet hunters used fire to manipulate the grazing behavior of bison herds for centuries, making them ecosystem engineers of northwestern Great Plains prairies.