- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

KENWOOD, Okla. (AP) - A herd of bison is on Cherokee Nation soil for the first time in 40 years.

A total of 38 female bison were unloaded from a trailer Thursday and onto 66 acres of tribal land in Delaware County following a 900-mile journey from the Badlands of South Dakota. A herd of 10 bulls will arrive next week, and up to 1,000 more acres of tribal land can be opened as the bison herd grows.

The Oklahoma-based tribe has spent nearly two years working with the InterTribal Buffalo Council to acquire bison.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker says bison represent something deeply spiritual to tribal ancestors. Cherokee people have a long, deep connection and history with bison as a source of food, tools and clothing and in traditional ceremonies.

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