The Slave River is a Canadian river that flows from the confluence of the Rivière des Rochers and Peace River in northeastern Alberta and empties into Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories. The river's name is thought to derive from the name for the Slavey group of the Dene First Nations, Deh Gah Got'ine, in the Athabaskan language; the Chipewyan had displaced other native people from this region. The Slave River and the rapids around Fort Smith are some of the best whitewater kayaking in the world. There are four sets of rapids: Pelican, Rapids of the Drowned, Mountain Portage, Cassette; the rapids range from easy class I on the International Scale of River Difficulty to unrunnable killer class VI holes. Huge volume, massive waves, the home of the northern most river pelican colony in North America characterize this river; the pelicans nest on many of the islands at the aptly named Mountain Portage Rapids. These islands serve as a sanctuary to the birds and are closed to human traffic from April 15 to September 15.
It is important to respect these regulations as human intrusions into the pelican nesting area cause widespread nest abandonment. Boaters have been killed in the Slave River rapids; the earliest recorded fatalities occurred as a part of Cuthbert Grant's ill-fated expedition of 1786 at the Rapids of the Drowned. A more recent fatality occurred in the Land of a Thousand Holes; the Slave River originates in the Peace-Athabasca Delta, at the forks of Peace River and Rivière des Rochers, which drains the Athabasca River and Lake Athabasca. The Slave River flows north into the Northwest Territories and into the Great Slave Lake north of Fort Resolution. From there the water reaches the Arctic Ocean through the Mackenzie River; the river has a cumulative drainage area of 616,400 square kilometres. Prior to the extension of railway service to Hay River, Northwest Territories, a river port on Great Slave Lake, cargo shipment on the Slave River was an important transport route. Locally built wooden vessels were navigating the river into the late 19th century.
The rapids required a portage of 26 kilometres. Tractors were imported from Germany to assist in hauling goods around the rapids. Tugs and barges of the Northern Transportation Company's "Radium Line" were constructed in the south and disassembled; the parts were shipped by rail to Waterways, shipped by barge to the portage, portaged to the lower river for reassembly, where they could navigate most of the rest of the extensive Mackenzie River basin. Peace-Athabasca Delta Athabasca River Lake Athabasca Rivière des Rochers Chilloneys Creek Revillon Coupe Dempsey Creek Peace River Scow Channel Murdock Creek Darough Creek Powder Creek La Butte Creek Hornaday River Salt River Little Buffalo River List of rivers of Alberta List of rivers of the Northwest Territories "Great Slave River"; the New Student's Reference Work. 1914. "Great Slave River". New International Encyclopedia. 1905
Treaty 8 was an agreement signed on June 21, 1899, between Queen Victoria and various First Nations of the Lesser Slave Lake area. The Treaty was signed just south of Alberta. Treaty 8 is one of eleven numbered treaties made between the Government of First Nations; the Government of Canada had between 1871 and 1877 signed Treaties 1 to 7. Treaties 1 to 7 covered the southern portions of. At that time, the Government of Canada had not considered a Treaty with the First Nations in what would be the Treaty 8 territory necessary, as conditions in the north were not considered conducive to settlement. Along with Douglas Treaties, they were the last treaties signed between the Crown and the First Nations in British Columbia until Nisga'a Final Agreement. In the mid-1890s, the Klondike Gold Rush began to draw Europeans northward into the previous undisturbed territory; the increased contact and conflict between First Nations of the region and Europeans prompted the Government of Canada to enter into Treaty 8.
In September 1899, the Treaty and Half Breed Commissioners concluded the treaty process, with 2217 accepting the treaty, another 1234 people opting for scrip. The land covered by Treaty 8, 840,000 square kilometres, is larger than France and includes northern Alberta, northeastern British Columbia, northwestern Saskatchewan and a southernmost portion of the Northwest Territories. Adhesions to this agreement were signed that same year on July 1, 1899 at Peace River Landing, July 6 at Dunvegan, July 8 at Fort Vermilion, July 13 at Fort Chipewyan, July 17 at Smith's Landing, July 25 and 27 at Fond du Lac, August 4 at Fort McMurray, August 14 at Wabasca Lake. Further Adhesions were in 1900 on May 13 at Fort St. John, June 8 at Lesser Slave Lake, June 23 at Fort Vermilion and July 25 at Fort Resolution. Chief Keenooshayoo was one of the First Nations signatories to Treaty 8. First Nations that are considered signatories to Treaty 8 include Woodland Cree and Chipewyan. Other signatories included David Laird, Father Albert Lacombe, Rev. George Homes, Bishop Émile Grouard, J.
A. J. McKenna, J. H. Ross, W. G. White, James Walker, A. Arthur Cote, A. E. Snyder, H. B. Round, Harrison S. Young, J. F. Prud'Homme, C. Mair, H. A. Conroy, Pierre Deschambeault, J. H. Picard, Richard Secord, M. McCauley, Headman Moostoos, Headman Felix Giroux, Headman Wee Chee Way Sis, Headman Charles Neesotasis. Father Albert Lacombe, a trusted Catholic missionary, had been asked by Canadian officials to be present to help convince First Nations that it was in their interest to enter into a treaty, he was present on June 21, 1899 and assured the First Nations that their lives would remain, more or less, unchanged. He was present at some of the meetings at which adhesions were signed; the elements of Treaty 8 included provisions to maintain livelihood for the native populations in this 840,000 square kilometres region, such as entitlements to land, ongoing financial support, annual shipments of hunting supplies, hunting rights on ceded lands, unless those ceded lands were used for forestry, settlement or other purposes.
Gordon Benoit, a Mikisew Cree, filed a legal challenge against the income taxes in 1992 citing Treaty 8 rights still applied. His case was upheld in 2002 at the federal court level, but was subsequently overturned by the Federal Court of Appeal, in 2004 the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear a further appeal. Benoit had his employment outside of a reservation; this treaty still governs the region today. The original signatories of the treaty could not have predicted the energy resources under the soil and how they would change the promises of the treaty; as forests are clear cut and wetlands destroyed, the ability of the aboriginals in the area to live their traditional way of life has been diminished. The construction of roadways has opened areas to overfishing and hunting, further degrading the way of life promised in Treaty 8. In addition, sections of northeastern Alberta have been adversely affected by the pollution of air and water by oil sand extraction which has decreased the quality and value of fish and animals hunted by the local Indigenous Peoples.
List of treaties Numbered Treaties Status of First Nations treaties in British Columbia The Canadian Crown and First Nations, Inuit and Métis Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta Treaty 8 Tribal Association List of Treaty 8 First Nations in Saskatchewan Ray, Arthur J.. "Treaty 8: A British Columbian Anomaly". BC Studies. 0: 5–58. ISSN 0005-2949. Retrieved 13 October 2010
The Dane-zaa referred to as the Beaver tribe by Europeans, are an Athabaskan-speaking group of First Nations people. Their traditional territory is around British Columbia, Canada. Today, about 1,000 Dane-zaa reside in British Columbia and a hypothesized half of them speak the Dane-zaa language. 2,000 Dane-zaa live in Alberta. The name Dunne-za has been translated to "Those who live among the beaver." The spelling Dane-zaa is used for "the Real People." That spelling is used by the Dane-zaa Language Authority. Different tribes and First Nations use different spellings. For example, the Doig River First Nation and Halfway River First Nation use Dane-Zaa. Prophet River First Nation uses Dunne Tsaa. Where other spellings are used in citations, such as Dunne-Za, they are kept intact and are synonymous with Dane-zaa; the historic usual English term Beaver is a translation of the name used by several of their neighboring tribes. The Dakelh called them Tsattine / Tsat'en and the Plains Cree called them Amiskiwiyiniw, both meaning "Those who live among the beaver" or "Beaver People."
In French, they are known as the Gens de Castor, meaning "People of the Beaver". Prior to the 19th century, the Dane-zaa inhabited lands further east, near the Athabaska and Clearwater Rivers, north to Lake Athabaska, as well as territory north of the upper Peace River. Archaeological evidence at Charlie Lake Cave establishes that the area of Charlie Lake north of Fort St John has been continuously occupied for 10,500 years by varying cultures of indigenous peoples. In the late 18th century, European-Canadians opened the Peace River area to fur trading. Scot-Canadian explorer Alexander Mackenzie established Rocky Mountain Fort at the mouth of the Moberly River in 1794. According to Dane-zaa oral history, the Peace River is named for the settling of a conflict between the Dane-zaa and the Cree; the Cree traditionally lived east of the Upper Peace River region. Due to their trade with settlers, they had guns and they pushed the Dane-zaa northwest in the late 18th century. A peace treaty, negotiated in the late 1700s or early 1800s, stated that the Cree would live south of the Peace River, the Dane-zaa north.
The Peace River and after its new name, marked a boundary zone, where groups met for trade and settling of disputes. A post journal of 1799–1800 mentions people trading at the post who can be identified as the ancestors of members of the former Fort St John Band, now the Doig River and Blueberry River First Nations. Doing oral history confirms that the ancestors of present Dane-zaa families were in the upper Peace River area prior to first contact by Alexander Mackenzie in 1793. Traders provisioned their expeditions with bison meat and grease provided by the Dane-zaa in their hunting on the rich prairies of the upper Peace River area. By the time the Hudson's Bay Company took over the North West Company in 1823, bison were scarce. Traditionally, Dane-zaa have followed the teachings and songs of Dreamers, who first predicted the coming of the Europeans; the last Dreamer, Charlie Yahey, died in 1976. The Dane-zaa of Fort St John took an adhesion to Treaty 8 in 1900. Today they continue to have a strong economic presence in the North Peace area.
In collaboration with the elders of the Doig River First Nation and Jillian Ridington wrote Where Happiness Dwells: A History of the Dane-zaa First Nations, published by UBC Press in 2013. It features the oral history of the Dane-zaa from pre-history to the present day. Treaty 8 Tribal Association members: Doig River First Nation Blueberry River First Nations Halfway River First Nation Prophet River First Nation Saulteau First Nations West Moberly First Nations North Peace Tribal Council members: Beaver First Nation has two reserves are both near Fort Vermilion, Alberta in the Peace Country of
Great grey owl
The great grey owl or great gray owl is a large owl, documented as the world's largest species of owl by length. It is distributed across the Northern Hemisphere, it is the only species in the genus Strix found in both Eastern and Western Hemispheres. In some areas it is called Phantom of the North, cinereous owl, spectral owl, Lapland owl, spruce owl, bearded owl, sooty owl. Adults have a large rounded head with yellow eyes with darker circles around them; the underparts are light with dark streaks. This owl has the largest facial disc of any raptor. There is "bow tie" just below the beak; the long tail tapers to a rounded end. In terms of length, the great grey owl is believed to exceed the Eurasian eagle-owl and the Blakiston's fish owl as the world's largest owl; the great grey is outweighed by those two species as well as several others, including most of the genus Bubo. Much of its size is deceptive, since this species' fluffy feathers, large head and the longest tail of any extant owl obscure a body lighter than that of most other large owls.
The length ranges from 61 to 84 cm, averaging 67 cm for males. The wingspan can exceed 152 cm; the adult weight ranges from 580 to 1,900 g, averaging 1,000 g for males. The males are smaller than females, as with most owl species; the call of the adult is a series of deep, rhythmic whoos, given in correlation to their territories or in interactions with their offspring. At other times, adults are silent; the young may shriek or hiss. Tame owls may produce higher-pitched hoots. There are two recognized subspecies of the great grey owl spread across North Eurasia. S. n. nebulosa: North America from central Alaska eastward across Canada to south-western Quebec, south to northern California, northern Idaho, western Montana and north-eastern Minnesota. S. n. lapponica: Northern Eurasia, from Fennoscandia through Siberia to Sakhalin and Kamchatka Krai to Lithuania, Lake Baikal, Mongolia and north-eastern China. In northern areas their breeding habitat is the dense coniferous forests of the taiga, near open areas, such as meadows or bogs.
In Oregon and California this owl has been found nesting in mixed oak woodlands. Once believed to require a cold climate, it is now known that this bird survives in a few areas where summer temperatures exceed 100 °F, they breed in North America from as far east as Quebec to the Pacific coast and Alaska, from Finland and Estonia across northern Asia. They are permanent residents, although northerly populations may move south and southeast when food is scarce. In Europe they are found breeding in Norway and Sweden and more numerously through Finland and Russia. Though the species occurs in Europe, the first great grey owl recognized by science was found in Canada in the late 18th century. There are sedentary populations in the Pacific states of California and Washington; the great grey owl in this region is found in disjunct areas of appropriate habitat. In winter these birds do not move far but may go downslope to escape deep snow as they must capture their prey on the ground. In Oregon, the great grey owl breeding range is scattered from the Siskiyou Mountains in the southwest to the Blue Mountains in the northeast.
Two bird festivals each May feature field trips to try to see the species: the Ladd Marsh Festival in La Grande, OR and the Mountain Bird Festival in Ashland, OR. A 2015 study in California estimated; the species is listed as Endangered under the California Endangered Species Act. The California range for the species includes a small extension of the Oregon population, north of Alturas. In addition breeding has been confirmed in the Tahoe National Forest east of Nevada City. In Yosemite is where the first nest south of Canada was found in 1914. A study of the Yosemite owls shows that this population has been genetically isolated from populations in Oregon and farther north for over 25,000 years. Biologists working on that study suggest that the Yosemite population should be considered a separate sub-species. Nearby populations at lower elevations were not tested. In Washington state, great grey owls are found in the southeast where mountains extend up from Oregon and in the Colville National Forest.
Only a handful of great gray owl nests have been found in Washington state. Farther east in the western United States, great grey owls breed in Idaho and Wyoming, as far south as the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. In northeastern North America, the owls are found year-round in southern Quebec and Ontario, but individuals will sometimes move further south in winter into New York and New England in pursuit of more abundant prey. Great grey owls are sighted as far south as Pennsylvania and Long Island, New York. In winter 2017, the birds were recorded in northern New York in Robert Moses State Park and central Maine. Great grey owls do not build nests, so they use nests used by a large bird, such as a raptor, they will nest in broken-topped trees and cavities in large trees. In southwestern and northeastern Oregon, the great grey owl has been using man-made platforms for nest sites since the 1
Peace River Country
The Peace River Country is an aspen parkland region centring on the Peace River in Canada. It extends from northwestern Alberta to the Rocky Mountains in northeastern British Columbia, where a certain portion of the region is referred to as the Peace River Block; the Peace River Country includes the incorporated communities of Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Tumbler Ridge and Chetwynd in British Columbia. Major communities in the Alberta portion of the Peace Country include Grande Prairie, Peace River, High Level and Fairview, it has no fixed boundaries but covers some 260,000 to 390,000 km². In British Columbia, the area extends from Monkman Provincial Park and Tumbler Ridge in the south, to Hudson's Hope and the Williston Lake in the west, to Fort St. John and Charlie Lake in the north; the term is used in a broader sense to mean the whole of the Northeastern Interior past the Rockies, including Fort Nelson and other parts of the Liard drainage, before W. A. C. Bennett Dam included the upper Peace River through its canyon between Finlay Forks and Hudson's Hope.
In Alberta, the region stretches from Grande Prairie and Valleyview in the south, to High Prairie and Lesser Slave Lake in the east, to Fort Vermilion, High Level and Rainbow Lake in the north. The first European to explore the area was Sir Alexander MacKenzie, who travelled down the Peace in 1789 and reached the Mackenzie River and the Arctic Ocean. In 1793 he used the same route to reach the Pacific Ocean. Subsequently, the region saw a surge in the fur trade, with forts built along the river from Fort Vermilion to Hudson's Hope. At the beginning of the 20th century, the farming potential of the area was advertised by the federal government, but settlement was scarce because of difficult travel conditions through the muskeg. With the arrival of the railway in 1916, following the opening of land for homesteaders in 1910, farming and ranching took off in the fertile Peace Country; the settlement of the British Columbia portion of the agricultural area, known as the Peace River Block, originated as a railway grant which wound up for a time under Dominion jurisdiction and managed by offices in Alberta until returned to British Columbia following ongoing jurisdictional conflicts.
Forestry plays a large role in the Peace Country economy. Pulp mills were built in Peace River and Grande Prairie beginning in the 1970s; the economy received another boost when gas were found in the region. In 1952, gas was struck in the Fort St. John No. 1 well, the first refinery was built in 1957 at Taylor. The massive Elmworth natural gas field in northwestern Alberta was discovered in the mid-70s along with other major gas fields in British Columbia and Alberta. Both Fort St. John and Grande Prairie experienced rapid economic and population growth as a result. Peace Country contains Canada's northernmost lands suitable for agriculture. Crops raised include canola, oats and barley; some cattle ranching and beekeeping is done in the area. In 2006, the region accounted for 14.4% of Canada's total bison-producing herd. Other industries include forestry. Lumber, oriented strand board, pulp are produced in many forestry mills throughout the region. Peace Country is crossed by the southern leg of the Alaska Highway, the western extremity of Alberta Highway 43 and the southern portion of the Mackenzie Highway.
Other important transportation routes include the northern part of Alberta Highway 2, Alberta Highway 35, British Columbia Highway 29, British Columbia Highway 97, Alberta Highway 49. Regional air transport hubs are Grande Prairie Airport and Peace River Airport in Alberta and Fort St. John Airport in British Columbia. Health care is provided through British Columbia's Northern Health. Northern Alberta Peace River Regional District List of regions of Canada Information booklet
The Chipewyan are an aboriginal Dene ethnolinguistic group of the Athabaskan language family, whose ancestors are identified with the Taltheilei Shale archaeological tradition. They are part of the Northern Athabascan group of peoples, come from what is now Western Canada; the French-speaking missionaries to the northwest of the Red River Colony referred to the Chipewyan people as Montagnais in their documents written in French. Montagnais therefore has been mistakenly translated to Montagnais, which refers to the Neenolino Innu of northern Quebec, not the Dene. Chipewyan peoples live in the region spanning the western Canadian Shield to the Northwest Territories, including northern parts of the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. There are many burial and archaeological sites in Nunavut which are part of the Dënesųłı̨ne group; the following list of First Nations band governments had in August 2016 a total registered membership of 25,519, with 11,315 in Saskatchewan, 6,952 in Alberta, 3,038 in Manitoba and 4,214 in the Northwest Territories.
All had Denesuline populations. There are many Dene -speaking Métis communities located throughout the region; the Saskatchewan village of La Loche, for example, had 2,300 residents who in the 2011 census identified as speaking Dene as their native language. About 1,800 of the residents were Métis and about 600 were members of the Clearwater River Dene Nation; the relocation of the Sayisi Dene is commemorated in the Dene Memorial in Churchill Manitoba. The Dënesųłı̨ne people are part of many band governments spanning Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. Athabasca Tribal CouncilAthabasca Chipewyan First Nation. Reserves: Fort Chipewyan Chipewyan #201, 201A, 201B, 201C, 201D, 201E, 201F, 201G, c. 348 km², Population: 1,200 Fort McKay First Nation. Reserves: Fort McKay #174, 174C, 174D, Namur Lake #174B, 174A, c. 149 km². Population: 851 Chipewyan Prairie First Nation Reserves: Cowper Lake #194A, Janvier #194, Winefred Lake #194B, c. 31 km². Population: 923 Fort McMurray First Nation.
Reserves: Fort McMurray #468, Clearwater #175, Gregoire Lake #176, 176A, 176B, c. 31 km². Population: 763Tribal Chiefs Association Cold Lake First Nations. Reserves: Blue Quills First Nation, Cold Lake #149, 149A, 149B, 149C, c. 209 km². Population: 2,858Akaitcho Territory Government Smith's Landing First Nation.'Thebati Dene Suhne' Tthëbátthı́ dënesųłı̨ne, Thebacha Tthëbáchághë -'beside the rapids', the Dene name for Fort Smith. Reserves and communities:?ejere K'elni Kue #196I, Hokedhe Túe #196E, K'i Túe #196D, Li Dezé #196C, Thabacha Náre #196A, Thebathi #196, Tsu K'adhe Túe #196F, Tsu Nedehe Túe #196H, Tsu Túe Ts'u tué #196G, Tthe Jere Ghaili #196B, c. 100 km². Population: 357 Keewatin Tribal CouncilBarren Lands First Nation has a Cree and Dene population. Reserve: Brochet #197, c. 43 km². Population: 1,139 Northlands First Nation known as Northlands Denesuline First Nation. Reserves and communities: Lac Brochet, Lac Brochet #197A, Sheth chok, Thuycholeeni azé, Tthekalé nu, c. 22 km². Population: 1,082 Sayisi Dene First Nation known as'Duck Lake Dene'.
Reserve: Churchill 1, c. 2 km². Population: 817 Akaitcho Territory Government Deninu Kue First Nation known as'Fort Resolution Dene'. Reserve: Fort Resolution Settlement Population: 910 Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation known as'Snowdrift Band'. Reserve: Snowdrift Settlement. Population: 782 Salt River First Nation#195 (Reserves: Fort Smith Settlement, Salt Plains #195, Salt River #195, Fitzgerald #196, c. 230 km². Population: 971 Yellowknives Dene First Nation (Reserves: Dettah Settlement, N'Dilo Settlement, Yellowknife Settlement. Population 1 551 Meadow Lake Tribal Council Buffalo River Dene Nation located at Dillon; the reserve is about 84 km north east of Île-à-la-Crosse. Reserve: Buffalo River Dene Nation No. 193, c. 83 km². Population: 1,405 Clearwater River Dene Nation Its most populous reserve Clearwater River borders the village of La Loche to the north. Reserves: Clearwater River Dene Nos. 222, 221, 223, La Loche Indian Settlement c. 95 km². Population: 2,042 English River First Nation with offices at Patuanak signed Treaty 10 in 1906 under Chief William Apesis.
The name originates from the English River where the "poplar house people" inhabited the area for periods during the year. Most families, who now reside in Patuanak and La Plonge 192 by Beauval had traditionally lived down river at Primeau Lake, Knee Lake and Dipper Lake. Reserves: Cree Lake No. 192G, Porter Island No. 192H, Elak Dase No. 192A, Knee Lake No. 192B, Dipper Rapids No. 192C, Wapachewunak No. 192D, LaPlonge No. 192, c. 200 km². Population: 1,528 Birch Narrows First Nation located at Turnor Lake, most populous Reserve No. 193B is about 124 km northeast of Île-à-la-Crosse, the reserve originated from Treaty 6 in 1906, Reserves: Churchill Lake No. 193A, Turnor Lake Nos. 193B and 194, c. 30 km². Population: 771Prince Albert Grand Council Black Lake Dene Nation located at Black Lake, most populous reserve Chicken No. 224 about c. 170 km southeast of Uranium City known as'Stony Rapids Band
History of bison conservation in Canada
Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the plains bison and wood bison populations were hunted by nomadic indigenous hunters and white hunters alike. By the 1850s, the bison was nearly extinct. Federal government wildlife policy evolved from preservation of wilderness to utilitarian, scientific conservation and management of bison populations; the goals of these policies contradicted themselves, aiming to preserve wildlife, promote recreation, commercialize the bison, assert state control over Aboriginal Canadians. Bison conservation efforts were shaped by the federal government's colonialist and modernist approach to Canada's north, the management of national parks and reserves, the influence of scientific knowledge. Government preservation efforts began with the passing of the Unorganized Territories Game Preservation Act of 1894, which restricted legal hunting to certain times of the year. Bison herds were moved to reserves where hunters were banned from operating. In 1909, Buffalo National Park in Alberta was established with a herd of 300 plains bison.
By 1916 more than 2,000 bison lived in the park, now overpopulated. As a result, many were moved to Wood Buffalo National Park in north-eastern Alberta. There, the plains bison and wood bison created a hybridized species of bison; the plains bison brought new diseases which infected the existing wood bison population. When bison populations collapsed in the mid-19th century, Aboriginal groups that relied on the bison had to find new ways to support themselves. In the 20th century, the Canadian government's conservationist policies that restricted hunting and requisitioned land to turn into national parks made it more difficult for Aboriginals to remain self-sufficient, it was not as difficult for Aboriginal groups to maintain self-sufficiency compared to the alternative of continuing their hunting practices, as Canadian bison would go extinct. Efforts to conserve the bison are ongoing. Parks Canada has plans to reintroduce the plains bison to Banff National Park in order to restore the species and to promote tourism.
The commercial bison industry still breeds bison for food in direct conflict with wild bison conservation efforts. 400,000 bison live in North America today. Many believe that conservation efforts must go beyond increasing population size and focus on the restoration of the bison to its wild, undomesticated state. In the early 1800s, there were an estimated 30 million bison on the Great Plains. However, the lucrative robe trade accelerated overhunting of the plains bison by indigenous groups and white settlers alike; the bison on the western plains were last to be affected by white American expansionism, but by the 1850s those herds were diminished. Westward migration of domesticated animals and people destroyed grazing grounds, drought and new diseases exacerbated the decline; the plight of the bison was seen as the superiority of man over nature until the early 19th century. Historian Andrew Isenberg argues that the rise of capitalist ideology drove indigenous and white hunters alike to compete for every last animal, that a multitude of factors – disease, westward expansion, commercialization and industrialization of hunting and the introduction of domestic animals from Europe – caused the near-extinction of the bison.
Others point out that the bison depletion was a problem of the tragedy of the commons, the opposite of capitalism: The bison were communal property, not private property, therefore they were abused and squandered for short-term gain that caused long-term problems as no one person or group was responsible for maintaining a healthy population. Today, the majority of the world's wood bison herds are located in Northern Canada: a small herd of bison discovered in the northern part of Wood Buffalo National Park. In 1965, 23 of these bison were relocated to the south side of Elk Island National Park and 300 remain there today as the most genetically pure wood bison remaining. While there are many factors that have contributed to the decline of the wood bison, the most prominent are the over-hunting that took place in the 1800s, inadequate conservation methods that led to hybridization with the plains bison and other species, the spread of communicable diseases. Wood bison were over-hunted in the 1800s, only a few hundred remained in Northern Alberta by the early 20th century.
By 1957, wood bison were thought to have been extinct in Canada due to hybridization with the plains bison, which took place in Wood Buffalo National Park between 1925 and 1928. As wood bison species became threatened with the hybridization and breeding conservation programs specific to wood bison were established in 1963, the population increased steadily. From the 1970s to the 90s, the population began to decline again with the spread of bovine tuberculosis which resulted from the transfer of infected plains bison to Wood Buffalo National Park. In the case of Wood Buffalo National Park, the number of wood bison declined from 10,000 bison in the late 1960s to 2,200 bison by the late 1990s due to this process; the story of the wood bison in North America is one of repeated human mistakes that resulted in critical endangerment of an iconic species. Aboriginal worldviews emphasize a connection between all life forms. Aboriginals had a sustainable relationship with the bison. Traditional governing structures ensured the continuity of resource use over time, allowing Aboriginals to adapt to frequent, unpredictable changes in the environment.
In Canada, northern Aboriginals had a subsistence culture base