Bryson Liberty: Horses Were “Air and Water” for Tribes

Bryson Liberty talks about the importance of the horse to Indigenous people.

Bio: Bryson Liberty is a tribal elder of the CTUIR. Liberty has a military background and is a published author, as well as working as a health administrator and actor. His article about fishing at Celilo titled “On the Rock” was published in Cowboys and Indians magazine in 2011. He was on “The Cellar,” “Northern Exposure,” and “Little House on the Prairie”.


All those wild horses. Those used to be–those were the life stream for the Indian. The horse. I mean that was everything to the Indian. It was just like air and water. That’s how much the horse meant to the Indian. And when they were–I guess there got to be so few people had horses anymore. Like when I was a little boy my grandma and my aunt had eight or nine broke saddle horses. And they were elders but they had all these horses, they’d still get out there and saddle them up, get on them and go huckleberry picking. You know, but the horse was everything to them and it’s really sad now. There’s no place left for the horse. Think what they meant to the tribe.

Related Content