The Cherokee Nation has joined the InterTribal Buffalo Council of Rapid City, S.D., as the tribe begins the planning process to raise bison for educational and economic purposes.

Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskins Jr. told the Times Record that the tribe is taking its time to study the project.

The council coordinates the transfer of surplus bison -- also known as buffalo -- from national parks to tribal lands and provides training and technical assistance to its members.

The bison come from Badlands, Teddy Roosevelt, and Wind Cave national parks. The bison may also come from a refuge in Iowa.

The Cherokee Nation has a 7,000-square-mile jurisdictional area covering all or parts of 14 counties in northeastern Oklahoma -- many along the Oklahoma border with Arkansas.