Thirty-three bison have been reintroduced to Onion Lake Cree Nation. (Yellow Finch Images)

After more than three years of working with the Elk Island National Park to bring bison back to Onion Lake Cree Nation, 33 plains bison are now roaming the land they once inhabited.

The bison were released during a ceremony on Feb 17. Onion Lake Cree Nation Chief Henry Lewis was one of those to welcome the animals back home.

“To the student body, you learn a lot about our ways and how the buffalo provided for our needs, now you will get first hand information visiting this site,” Lewis said while addressing the crowd.

“It will reflect back in history. Where we stand today is where our ancestors roamed, and now, the buffalo will roam where their ancestors also roamed.”

“It’s really meaningful for us and that community to see those animals back on the land,” said Jonathan DeMoor, ecologist team lead at Elk Island National Park, where the animals came from.

“It’s great to be working with these communities to restore and renew these connections, cultural connections and ecological connections to the land.”

He said he looks forward to making more positive impacts in communities around the country as their herds don’t stop growing in size, and new homes need to be found.