Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative

In 2016, after being absent for over 130 years, the first Buffalo returned to the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. The Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative is working to restore the Buffalo and their rightful place on the land and within the Indigenous community. This process of renewal and healing will help to balance human, animal, and environmental health.


Wind River Buffalo Initiative


To set the stage, our Oregon-based team collaborated with Jason Baldes, who resides in Wyoming. Jason is a member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, manager of the Eastern Shoshone Buffalo Herd, and Executive Officer of the Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative. He has been spearheading the return of the Buffalo to Wind River for over 30 years.

Our biggest challenge was navigating Jason’s time. He wears an unbelievable number of hats. Some meetings were delayed because he was on calls with Senators discussing important legislation, on the road teaching communities about the importance of Buffalo, or out mending fences. So we counted ourselves grateful any time we got to meet.


“The Ruby Slipper team takes ideas and crafts them into engaging stories told beautifully on our website and in our newsletters. Our work to rematriate the Buffalo to Tribal Lands is complex, with a lot of factors at play and projects taking place at the same time. The team dedicates time to understanding our vision. I believe that shows through the quality and depth of the communications they produce. Thank you, Ruby Slipper! With Great Appreciation!!!”


Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative
Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative



To understand the importance of this project, it’s crucial to paint a picture of the past. For millennia, millions of Buffalo once roamed the Great Plains of North America. They were integral to the ecosystem. Buffalo provided food, clothing, and shelter, and were essential in the spiritual ceremonies of Tribes. Nearly every part of the animal was used, including horns, meat, and tail hairs.

In the late 1800s, they were almost annihilated. There were fewer than two dozen left in Yellowstone.

In 2016, after being absent for over 130 years, the first Buffalo returned to the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.

Led in an effort by Jason Baldes of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe — as well as the Northern Arapaho Tribe, the InterTribal Buffalo Council, and the National Wildlife Federation — conservation Buffalo are beginning to once again roam their ancestral lands.

The story of the Buffalo genocide is one of the most extreme human-caused massacres in our history. But now, thanks to numerous Tribal Initiatives throughout the country, we are at a place of hope and renewal, with a promising future for conservation Buffalo.

This website tells their story and paves the way for their future.

Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative logo displayed on laptop screen


Our graphic designer Ashley created a powerful logo, one with deep meaning and intention. At the center is a petroglyph of a pregnant mother Buffalo — a beautiful tribute to the initiative’s mission of “land rematriation” and giving back to Mother Earth through restoring this keystone species.

Our web designer Dena worked with Jason to incorporate colors, fonts, and symbols that capture the landscape of Wind River. Golden hues of the plains, blue-green sagebrush, brick-colored petroglyph backdrops, and pine green accents. Along with stunning photos of Buffalo, everywhere.

Our copywriter Rachel worked closely with Jason to make sure the story was told with accuracy. And our programmer Fiew spent countless hours painstakingly making sure this masterpiece of a site works flawlessly from desktop to mobile.

Wind River Buffalo Initiative homepage display on laptop

LAUNCHED: September 2022


  • Branding & Logo Design

  • Website Plan and Direction

  • Site Architecture

  • UX / UI Strategy

  • Web Design
  • Icon & Infographic Design
  • Responsive Web Development
  • Content Management System
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Analytics
Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative


This is the most important site Ruby Slipper has ever been a part of. We are now HUGE Buffalo champions — passionate about them flourishing in Wyoming and elsewhere in North America. This new site is visually stunning and features a video snippet from the talented Colin Ruggerio. An animated map shows how the histories and futures of Native Americans and Buffalo are integrally intertwined. The simple navigation invites visitors to Explore, Learn, Visit, Connect, and Give.

Our great hope is that this site will serve Jason to tell this story to the world. We hope donations flow in and that the Buffalo and Wind River Tribes thrive and flourish.