BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, S.D. (AP) — Indigenous groups in the U.S. and Canada are leading efforts to restore bison across North America more than a century after European settlers drove the species to near extinction.

Tribes now have a collective 20,000 bison and that’s been growing steadily along with a desire among many Native Americans to reclaim stewardship of an animal their predecessors lived alongside and depended upon for millennia.

The long-term dream for many is to return bison, also known as buffalo, on a scale rivaling the tens of millions that once roamed the continent in thundering herds that shaped the landscape itself.

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