ENCORE SUNDAY, OCT. 22 at 1:00PM
THE AMERICAN BUFFALO is the biography of an improbable, shaggy beast that has found itself at the center of many of the country’s most mythic and heartbreaking tales. The series, which has been in production for four years, will take viewers on a journey through more than 10,000 years of North American history and across some of the continent’s most iconic landscapes, tracing the mammal’s evolution, its significance to the Great Plains and, most importantly, its relationship to the Indigenous People of North America.
“It is a quintessentially American story,” Ken Burns said, “filled with unforgettable stories and people. But it is also a morality tale encompassing two historically significant lessons that resonate today: how humans can damage the natural world and also how we can work together to make choices to preserve the environment around us. The story of the American buffalo is also the story of Native nations who lived with and relied on the buffalo to survive, developing a sacred relationship that evolved over more than 10,000 years but which was almost completely severed in fewer than 100.”
The series was written by Dayton Duncan (COUNTRY MUSIC, THE DUST BOWL, THE NATIONAL PARKS, LEWIS & CLARK), who is also the author of the companion book, “Blood Memory: The Tragic Decline and Improbable Resurrection of the American Buffalo,” to be published by Knopf timed to the broadcast. It was produced by Burns’s longtime colleague Julie Dunfey (COUNTRY MUSIC, THE NATIONAL PARKS, THE DUST BOWL, THE CIVIL WAR). Julianna Brannum (CONSCIENCE POINT, NATIVE AMERICA, WE SHALL REMAIN “Wounded Knee”), a member of the Quahada band of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma, served as consulting producer. W. Richard West, Jr., a Cheyenne and founding director and director emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, was the senior advisor.