Y2Y- The Kainai Iinnii Rematriation Project with Justin Bruised Head

Y2Y- The Kainai Iinnii Rematriation Project with Justin Bruised Head

09 Mar
  • [PAST] March 9th to April 9th, 2024
  • 7pm
  • 111 Bear St. Banff
  • Talk

The Kainai Iinnii Rematriation Project, Restoring the Plains Bison as an Ecological and Cultural Keystone with Justin Bruised Head

The Kainai Iinnii Rematriation Project (KIRP) is an eco-cultural restoration project that centers around the restoration of the land and culture of the Kainai (Blood) First Nation by re-introducing plains bison (Bison bison bison) back to native mixed-grass prairie pastures on the North End region of the Blood Reserve. Bison have been absent from these lands for ~155 years and First Nation-led environmental research is being undertaken to study and better understand how re-introducing plains bison can benefit mixed-grass prairie ecosystems. Bison are considered both an ecological and cultural keystone for the Blackfoot/Kainai. Bison were essential for our survival and ceremonial practices, and members of the KIRP herd will be harvested and utilized for meat distribution and ceremonial practices for tribal members once carrying capacity is reached. The Kainai Eco-cultural herd will provide many benefits to our people including healing from trauma, revitalizing public health, enhancing our local economy, educational opportunities, cultural revitalization, and environmental research, restoration, and protection. The herd is not utilized for harvest yet, but some of their parts, such as their winter fur and chips (dung) are being used for ceremonial practice, and their return to the land has already had a profound positive effect on the community and local ecosystem.
Justin Bruised Head (“Akkamootskoonaki”) works as The Kainai Iinnii Rematriation Project Coordinator at Blood Tribe Land Management. Justin was born and raised in a ranching and rodeo family in Southern Alberta and he is a member of the Blood Tribe First Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy in Treaty 7. Justin received his Post-Secondary Diploma in Renewable Resource Management in 2017, and Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Ecosystem Management in 2019 from the Lethbridge College. He thoroughly enjoys the outdoors and is an advocate for grassland conservation & restoration on the Blood Reserve.

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