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Apart from reckless humans, the buffaloes also suffered from escaping forest fires. As Dr. James observes, "not many years ago there were many of these animals along the valley of North Saskatchewan" (6). Also, those who hadn't died in the fire, passed away from the disease that would later overcome them. After people began to notice the "great scarcity" (6) of buffalo, it was probably when the First Nations had most likely started to realize the logic and reality of their beliefs. This also would've led to stress within tribes of what happens next once there are no more buffalo left.
"Buffalo lying dead in numbers" (6)
Around 1874, more and more buffalo began to be slaughtered for the mere satisfaction of knowing that one has taken the life of an animal twice the size of themselves. The First Nations suffered greatly from the endangerment of these animals because they relied on it to survive, and they believed in folk tales about the immortality their species had. The Europeans took the buffalo for granted and would later come to notice that "where they were once numerous, they have disappeared altogether." (8).
Vast plains of west of the Missouri River are covered with decaying bones of thousands of slain buffalo. (8)
Instead of stopping the hunters they ought to give them a hearty, unanimous vote of thanks"........"present to each one a modeal of bronze with a dead buffalo on one side and a discouraged Indian on the other" (11)
General Sheridan believed that the First Nations needed to be "taken down" and by doing that the Army men must get rid of all of the buffalo. However, this was not what William B. Hazen had thought. He believed that "the theory that the buffalo should be killed to deprive the Indians of foods is a fallacy" (11). Sheridan's opinions were biased, and he was ignorant to think that he has the power to make the Natives lose their confidence and leadership in the community. The ironic thing is that both men worked along side each other in the US Army.
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