By Joseph Bruchac
Illustrated by Bill Farnsworth
Hetcha hey Hetcha ho Hetcha hey yeh ho Walking Coyote gently lifted the frightened buffalo calf and sang softly. Lone survivor of a herd slaughtered by white hunters, the calf was one of several buffalo orphans Walking Coyote adopted and later raised on the Flathead Indian Reservaton in Montana.
For thousands of years massive herds of buffalo roamed across much of North America, but by the 1870s fewer than fifteen hundred animals remained. Hunted to the brink of extinction, the buffalo were in danger of vanishing. With reverent care, Walking Coyote and his family endeavored to bring back the buffalo herds, one magnificent creature at a time.
Here is the inspiring story of the first efforts to save the buffalo, an animal sacred to Native Americans and a powerful symbol of the American West. From the foresight and dedication of a few individuals such as Walking Coyote came the eventual survival of these majestic animals, one of the great success stories of endangered species rescue in United States history.
Check out the curriculum guide for Buffalo Song from the William Allen White Children's Book Awards, established and directed by Emporia State University.
Check out educator activities for Buffalo Song, a title featured in RIF’s Multicultural Book Collections. To find other free activities that inspire young readers as well as learn more about Reading Is Fundamental, visit us at RIF.org.
For additional connections and exploration of themes, pair these field trip and activity ideas with Buffalo Song.
About the Creators
is an Abenaki Indian. He is among the most respected and widely published Native American authors, with over 100 titles in print, including the popular Keepers of the Earth series and Lee & Low's Crazy Horse's Vision, which received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. His YA novel, Wolf Mark, is a Westchester Young Adult Fiction Award winner. A Rockefeller Fellow and an NEA Poetry Writing Fellow, he was the 1999 recipient of the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to writing, Bruchac is an editor at Greenfield Review Press, a literary publishing house he co-founded with his wife. He lives in Greenfield Center, New York. To find out more about Joseph Bruchac, visit josephbruchac.com
is the illustrator of more than fifty children's books. His work has received numerous awards and honors, including Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, American Bookseller Pick of the Lists, and selection for the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show. Farnsworth's warmly-lit oil paintings gracefully illuminate the Maine landscape and Sockalexis's days on the baseball diamond. Farnsworth lives with his family in Venice, Florida. Visit him online at billfarnsworth.com