Image - buffalo
Past Event

Ken Burns, Rosalyn LaPier and The American Buffalo

For thousands of years, the American buffalo evolved alongside Indigenous people who relied on them for food and shelter, and, in exchange for killing them, revered the animal. For millennia, this totemic animal lived in symbiotic relationship with grasslands throughout North America, then—in less than 100 years—new settlers and hunters brought their numbers from 30 million to the mere hundreds, while in the same era glorifying them as our iconic national animal.

It’s a classic and cautionary tale of our ability to destroy the natural world—and potentially, to bring it back. 


This program was recorded for radio and podcast.

October 2, 2023

The Commonwealth Club of California
United States

Image - Ken Burns

Ken Burns

Director, The American Buffalo

Image - Rosalyn LaPier

Rosalyn LaPier

Indigenous Environmental Historian and Ethnobotanist

Image - Greg Dalton

Greg Dalton

Founder and Host, Climate One