The Wolf Treaty
Defend the Sacred
In its relentless war on the sacred and destructive campaign to further disenfranchise Indigenous people and sovereign Tribal Nations, the Trump Administration is attempting to remove Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections from all of the surviving 6,000 wolves in the contiguous United States. Since 2011, in three states alone - Wyoming, Montana and Idaho - state "management" has resulted in the trophy killing and trapping of 3,500 wolves. The wolf is functionally extinct in 90% of its historic range. If the Trump Administration achieves its objective, "functionally" will be removed from the previous statement leaving only "extinct." In defense of the wolf, and due to the immense cultural significance the wolf has for a multitude of indigenous cultures, organizations representing some 200 tribes submitted official communications to the Trump Administration opposing its proposed "delisting" of the wolf from the ESA. The movement to preserve and protect the wolf, and in turn the sacred lands the wolf occupies, led to the formation of the Wolf Treaty.
"Given the cultural significance of the wolf, this treaty is now symbolic of the struggle to protect our rights and cultures, our sacred lands and waters, and the sacred beings that infuse and inhabit them. From the wolf in the mountains to the humpback in the oceans, we will not permit their decimation just to fill the corporate trough of Trump’s enablers. After 243-years, this pattern of greed and deceit must end. This Wolf Treaty is our red line. It should become the red line for all who want to save Endangered and Threatened species."
- Tom Rodgers, President (Acting), Global Indigenous Council.
Defend the Sacred
Global Indigenous Council and Leaders from the Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association and Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council Support the Colorado Gray Wolf Reintroduction Initiative
"We finish our prayers with 'Mitakuye Oyasin' which means 'for all my relations.' The wolf is one of our relatives and has an important role in our culture. Our ancestors gave their lives and shed their blood to protect our way of life and the land that this proposition seeks to welcome the wolf back upon. In the name of our ancestors and our future generations, we will be honored to participate in returning the wolf and ecological balance, and sharing our Traditional Ecological Knowledge to achieve this. The leaders of the Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association tribes were among the first to sign the Wolf Treaty. The Trump administration has manipulated so-called endangered species issues in devious ways to undermine our treaties, rights, and sovereignty. With our friends and allies, we welcome the opportunity to show this administration how these matters should be conducted."
Chairman Harold Frazier - Chairman, Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association and Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.
“Pre-contact, the Biomass in what is now called North America was at its apex. In the wake of Manifest Destiny, an ideology that continues to this day, take a moment to pause and see what is happening to the Earth. Take that moment now, before it is too late. If you don’t think the Earth is in peril, that climate change and environmental catastrophe isn’t going to impact what you consider to be your part of the world, then you should take more than a moment to think. The Biomass is now on life-support. When you look at cattle, do you recognize that domestic livestock make up the largest proportion of the 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions related to human activity? It’s not just dirty-fuels and extraction eviscerating the ozone layer. What some term wilderness but we call home was never intended to become cattle pasture alone. There is no balance. Many of this land’s First People have a symbiotic relationship with the wolf. The wolf taught us many things, from how to survive to our societal structures, to spiritual knowledge. Like us, the wolf was removed from the land for cows and industry by slaughter and what might be termed eviction. We have an opportunity to come together to begin a healing process. Returning the wolf to these lands is part of that. We must return the balance.”
Tom Rodgers – President, Global Indigenous Council.
“During the pre-contact period, much of the ancestral Hopi lands was inhabited by wolves. Most Coloradans are familiar with Mesa Verde, one of our ancestral complexes. From a Hopi perspective, Hopi land, Hopi culture, and Hopi religion are inseparable; and it is that connection which defines Hopitutsqua (Hopi Lands) and Hopi Katsi (Hopi Way of Life). Other tribes have the same teachings and beliefs. In a biological sense, the wolf plays a vital role in the ecological chain and thus, contributes immensely to the ecological balance. Removing the wolf from the environment in Colorado had a damaging impact on not just the ecological balance, but also upon the spiritual lifeways of indigenous people of the region. With Proposition 107 we have a rare opportunity, the chance to reverse course and start to repair that damage. When I was BIA Superintendent for the White Mountain Apache Tribe, we worked on several T&E species recovery plans, including for the Mexican Gray Wolf and Mexican Spotted Owl, so I know from experience what can be done with cooperation, respect, and negotiation.”
Chairman Ben Nuvamsa – Hopi Bear Clan Elder and former Chairman of the Hopi Tribe.
“I have ties to the Wolf Spirit. Some understand that concept, but some don’t. When I was 11 years old, I fasted with my dad and his friends. On the last day of our fast, this Spirit came and sang a song to us. He spoke Blackfeet to my dad, and he gifted the song to me - the song Mah-Kwi- Siks, that wolves sing when they hunt. My respect for the wolf is immense. I have been with wolves many times when I have been in the woods, and not once did they ever make a threatening move toward me. I carry this effort into my prayers, to return the wolf to that land my people traveled long ago and to honor the connection I have with the wolf from that fast when I was a boy. People in this modern society need to come down off their pedestals and realize that each one of these beings in our world has a purpose and that they contribute to the balance of nature. This balance has been playing out for thousands and thousands of years. Look around you today, look at what is happening to the Earth, and you can see the consequences of interfering with that balance. Return those that were wiped out so that they may return the balance and heal the Earth. Leave the animals and their world alone and allow them to regulate their own balance in this world we now so arrogantly call ours.”
Nolan Yellow Kidney – Blackfeet Sun Dance Leader.
“This is a highly significant development for indigenous people, particularly for the Northern Arapaho, Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, and Northern Cheyenne. The wolf, like the grizzly bear, is integral to our traditional culture. Women who dream of wolves become leaders. I come from a ranching family and so I understand some of those concerns about wolf reintroduction, but there are mitigation strategies that can be adopted, so this does not have to be a binary choice. The wolf made a successful return to my home, the Wind River Indian Reservation. For many generations, my people, the Arapaho, with the Cheyenne, tended to the land in northern and central areas of what became Colorado; the Ute people did the same in the south and to the west. We were ‘ethnically cleansed’ from our lands by force. In Colorado, the voices of the Arapaho and Cheyenne in decision making have been silenced since the heinous Sand Creek Massacre. Now they will be heard again.”
Lynnette Grey Bull – Democratic Candidate for US Congress (Wyoming’s at-large seat).
“This is an important development for the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council. Our people are the original stewards of the land. Engaging in this initiative will provide us with input into decisions that impact the traditional territory of several of our member tribes whose perspectives haven't been heard in Colorado since the 1860s. We look forward to working with our Ute brothers and sisters on the wolf as we did on the grizzly bear issue.”
Chairman Gerald Gray – Chairman of the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council and Chairman of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
The Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council (RMTLC) serves tribal nations located in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Alberta, specifically the Blackfeet Nation, the Chippewa-Cree, the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, the Crow Tribe, the Eastern Shoshone, the Fort Belknap Indian Community, the Fort Peck Tribal Executive Board, the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians, the Northern Arapaho Tribe, the Northern Cheyenne, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of Idaho, and the Piikani Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy.