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 educator lesson plan and activities for Buffalo Song, a title featured in Reading Is Fundamental’s Multicultural Book Collections.
For additional connections and exploration of themes, pair these field trip and activity ideas with Buffalo Song.
About the Creators
Joseph Bruchac, a citizen of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation, is the author of more than 100 books for children and teens, including multiple picture books published by Lee & Low, and the young adult Killer of Enemies trilogy, which received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. A Rockefeller Fellow and an NEA Poetry Writing Fellow, Bruchac has received numerous recognitions and awards over his long-standing career. In addition to writing, Bruchac is an editor at Greenfield Review Press, a literary publishing house he co-founded with his wife. Visit his website: 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