Former CTHPO director continues anthropology work through 7 Bison Consulting
Thu, 02/15/2018 - 5:00am admin
By Gary Rood / Big Horn County News
Dr. Emerson Bull Chief, former director for the Crow Tribal Historic Preservation Office, has moved to the private sector where, for the past year, he has surveyed and advised for parties interested in cultural resources and lands. The anthropologist’s business, based in St. Xavier, is called 7 Bison Cultural Consulting.
“7 Bison Cultural Consulting provides expertise in the National Historic Preservation Act, National Environmental Protection Act and a variety of training,” the business’ LinkedIn page states.
His business’ name, Bull Chief said, was inspired by “The Seven Bison Bulls” story, where a young Crow child – called Buffalo Boy – is raised by the titular bison.
In his May 2016 dissertation at Montana State University, Bull Chief argued that this story depicted the transition from antique bison – who existed 4,000 to 5,000 years ago – to modern-day bison. The story’s antagonist Fused Bone, he stated, represented an antique bison with its larger bones and skull.
“The story resonated with me,” he wrote, “and is one of my favorites.”
In its current form, 7 Bison does not require tribal resources or lands for their environmental and historic preservation work. Clients for the business have included the Crow Tribe itself, and outside parties including corporations or the federal government.
Bull Chief believed his approach to leading THPO from 2013-16 had been “successful” and – after he was laid off in December 2016 during the change in executive administrations – decided to take his business in a similar direction.
“We’re using the model we developed while I was the tribal historic preservation officer,” Bull Chief said. “Basically, building relationships between federal agencies and tribes [as well as] companies and tribes.”
Working with him are Dr. Tim McCleary as archaeologist, former Crow Chairman Darrin Old Coyote as governmental affairs adviser and Executive Branch Lead Counsel Melissa Holds the Enemy as attorney. They help Bull Chief’s business comply with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, which “requires federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties.”
More information on 7 Bison may be found on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/7bison/.