Yakima Valley College hosts Ken Burns buffalo film and Yakama speaker panel

Yakima Valley College celebrates Native American Heritage Month this November with a special evening event featuring Yakama Nation biologists and scholars commenting on a new documentary from renowned filmmaker Ken Burns. The event will feature approximately 1 hour of film cuts from “The American Buffalo” followed by a panel of prominent Yakama tribal members.

The event takes place on November 15 at 7 p.m. in YVC’s Conference Center on the Yakima Campus, Building #38, Meeting Room C.

“The American Buffalo,” a two-part, four-hour series, takes viewers on a journey through more than 10,000 years of North American history and across some of the continent’s most iconic landscapes, tracing the animal’s evolution, its significance to the Indigenous people and landscape of the Great Plains, its near extinction, and the efforts to bring the magnificent mammals back from the brink.

For a limited time, the entire documentary can be watched online at PBS.

The panel includes Kristi Olney, lead biologist for the Yakama Nation Wildlife Resource Management Program; Jon (JD) Shellenberger, a Yakama artist, archaeologist and entrepreneur; Darwin Sockzehigh, bison technician lead for the Yakama Nation Wildlife Resource Management Program; and Emily Washines, a YVC adjunct instructor of ethnic studies and author of the blog Native Friends, which explores Indigenous history and culture.

YVC History Instructor Kenneth Zontek will serve as host for the event. Zontek is author of “Buffalo Nation: American Indian Efforts to Restore the Bison,” a history of bison restoration efforts that also explores Native peoples’ pursuit of political and cultural autonomy.

The event is sponsored by YVC’s Diversity Series, Associated Students of YVC, Social Sciences Department, and the Climate and Environment Club. Visit our calendar to learn more about other upcoming events.

Corporate funding for “The American Buffalo” was provided by Bank of America. Major funding was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by The Better Angels Society and its following members: Margaret A. Cargill Foundation fund at the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation; Diane and Hal Brierley; The Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment; John and Catherine Debs; Kissick Family Foundation; Fred and Donna Seigel; Jacqueline Mars; John and Leslie McQuown; and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Tudor Jones. Funding was also provided by The Volgenau Foundation.

Press Release Contacts:
Dustin Wunderlich / 509.574.6870 / dwunderlich@yvcc.edu
Stefanie Menard / 509.574.4646 / smenard@yvcc.edu