Researchers generally study human-animal relations in terms of hunter-gatherers, pastoralists or urbanites but few have explored the relationship between humans and the same animal across cultures. In this paper, I examine the relationship between humans and bison in the world of Euro-Canadians and the cosmos of the Blackfoot. Although both groups perceived the bison as a valuable resource and implemented conservation strategies to ensure its survival, their respective attitudes toward this species reflected very different worldviews. To Euro-Canadians and western researchers, the bison are perceived as being a part of nature, and thus human-animal relations change in tandem with the changing perceptions of the natural environment. To the Blackfoot people, humans are part of nature as are bison, and therefore, human-animal relations involve direct interactions between sentient beings.
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