Iowa Nation visits Stillwater Public Library to share the story of the Bison on Oct. 22

(STILLWATER, OKLA. / Oct. 7, 2013) –– Children and adults are invited to listen, feel and see the past, present and future of the magnificent bison at the Stillwater Public Library on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 6:30 p.m.  Through stories and pictures, Sandy Tharp, Iowa Tribe Library Director, will present “The Iowa Tribe Traveling Education Bison Program,” which explains the story of the bison’s history and near extinction.

“At one point, the buffalo almost became extinct,” said Tharp. “But people came together to rebuild the herds.  Groups like the Iowa Tribe are using DNA testing and other methods to build strong, healthy herds.”bison half

The Iowa’s herd, which currently includes about 65 buffalo, is part of a Bison and Cattle Program which was developed to restore the tribe’s spiritual values, cultural beliefs and practices and to strengthen ecological restoration, agricultural and economic development and educational development.

In a format, entertaining to both children and adults, Tharp will discuss the current and future status of the Iowa tribe’s buffalo program, describe how Native people use bison and share amazing trivia about buffalo.

“Children will especially be enthralled by some of the ‘yuckier’ facts about Bison,” said Elizabeth Murray, children’s librarian.  “For instance, buffalo dung was once used for baby powder.  This program is a fascinating and valuable learning experience and a unique opportunity to better understand the culture of one of our local tribes.”

The program is free and open to all ages.  Families are especially encouraged to attend. 

Parents and children who want a head start on learning about bison and Native American culture may want to checkout the following material at the library:

  • “The Buffalo are Back” by Jean Craighead George. Follow bison from the Plains Indians to the cowboys, Teddy Roosevelt to the Dust Bowl, and from the brink of extinction to the majestic herds that now roam the national parks.
  • “The Buffalo and the Indians: a shared destiny” by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent.  Using social history and science, an award-winning nonfiction team traces the history of the buffalo and Native tribes from its beginnings in prehistory to the present.
  • “Buffalo: with selections from Native American song-poems” by Beverly Brodsky.  This moving book uses illustrations and poems to explain the buffalo’s role in Native American history.
  • “The Buffalo Train Ride” by Desiree Webber. An Oklahoma author shares the story of efforts to establish a wildlife preserve, when fifteen buffalo were transported to Oklahoma Territory by the New York Zoological Society.

For more information, contact the library’s Help Desk at 405-372-3633 or email  Library programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Library and KOSU.bison half