If ever there was an animal that deserved some recognition, it"s the bison. Since 2012, National Bison Day has been observed on the first Saturday of November to acknowledge the animal"s cultural, historical, and economic significance—as well as its remarkable comeback. Bison were once plentiful in North America. Tens of millions strong until the mid-1800s, they roamed in great herds, helping to diversify and maintain the prairie habitat. They"ve also played several important roles in Native American cultures. Indigenous peoples have used every part of the bison for food, utensils, and clothing—and they pay tribute to the giant beasts in religious rituals.