“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I am going to rediscover the buffalo. As a young kid, an elder on my reservation pulled me aside to tell me about the buffalo. He said that prior to contact with settlers, the buffalo provided our food, tools, shelter, clothes, and medicine. After a few hundred years of living on the rez, however, he said that the buffalo as we knew it was gone. In a subtle yet inspiring way, he told me that it was part of our collective life journey to rediscover the buffalo for new ways of living, thinking, and producing.

He wasn't being literal — it wasn't our job to lift up a gun and go hunt. Rather, it was to discover for oneself what the next buffalo was going to be. My buffalos so far have been education, access to capital, and a network. These all-providing creatures may have physically left awhile back, but they seem to be metaphorically returning in droves. Hopefully, I will help steer a herd or two back to Montana.

— Jon Swan