CANA Foundation's Rewilding of Wild Horses:

Bridging Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the Fight Against Climate Change

CANA at the Forefront of Rewilding and Climate Change:

CANA Foundation is making headlines in the fight against climate change through innovative rewilding efforts with wild horses and Traditional

Ecological Knowledge (TEK). Our work has gained widespread recognition, including the fashion industry, as an innovative solution to climate change. The recent Women's Wear Daily article, "How ‘Rewilding’ Horses Became a Fashionable Climate Solution," highlights the growing attention and support for CANA Foundation's rewilding efforts. Our mission has even caught the attention of Rolling Stone with the article, "Up and Coming Musical Artist Finds a Voice for Wild Horses and the Environment Amidst Ominous Climate News." However, our work is not without its challenges, as discussed in The Intercept article, "Biden is Fulfilling Trump's Cruel Policy on Wild Horses," and the need for continued awareness and support is crucial.


In our quest to “Rewild Our World,” Cana Foundation looks for partnerships that are both creative and interesting to spread our message of wild horse Rewilding. Meet Danny Singh, a young up-and-coming artist that created music and video to represent his feelings about the government's treatment of our wild horses and rewilding.

Nevertheless, the foundation's commitment to restoring natural ecosystems and preserving the long-standing relationship between horses and indigenous communities in North America is evident in a recent paper published in the scientific journal Nature. The paper referenced research supported by CANA Foundation, revealing that horses survived in northern North America as late as 5-6000 years ago. The groundbreaking science in the article provides a comprehensive analysis of the dispersal of horses among indigenous peoples in the western US from the early 16th century. Debunking the history that is currently taught. 

In our quest to “Rewild Our World,” Cana Foundation looks for partnerships that are both creative and interesting to spread our message of wild horse Rewilding. Meet Danny Singh, a young up-and-coming artist that created music and video to represent his feelings about the government's treatment of our wild horses and rewilding.

Horses have been an influential part of human history for centuries, serving as transportation, companions, and even instruments of war. Even today, horses continue to captivate and inspire people from all walks of life, including many celebrities. Recently you can see Kendall Jenner and her new fling Latin artist, Bad Bunny on a romantic joy ride with her horse. It just goes to show that the bond between humans and horses is as strong as ever, transcending time and culture. Whether it's for sport, leisure, or simply spending time in nature, horses have a way of bringing people together and enriching their lives in countless ways.

Rewilding with Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)

Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) is an approach that involves working with indigenous communities to learn about their traditional knowledge and practices. This knowledge can be used to restore ecosystems and promote sustainable living. TEK can also be used to rewild wild horses, which involves returning them to their natural habitats and allowing them to roam freely. This approach has several benefits, including the restoration of natural ecosystems, genetic diversity, and the preservation of cultural traditions. By incorporating this knowledge into rewilding efforts, CANA Foundation is helping to ensure that wild horses can thrive in their natural habitats.

The Issue at Hand:

Our recent media attention is bringing rewilding and TEK to the forefront as a solution to the wild horse crisis. It is imperative to educate the masses that wild horses are native species to North America, and their presence is essential for maintaining healthy ecosystems. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) propagates that wild horses are an invasive species, which has led to the management of their population through roundups and removals. This issue has led to a growing movement to protect wild horses and restore their populations.By joining our movement to #RewildOurWorld we can take meaningful steps towards sustainable living and combatting climate change through these initiatives.

Breakthrough Collaboration between Lakota Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Modern Genomics Science:

A recent scientific journal article titled "Early dispersal of domestic horses into the Great Plains and Northern Rockies" claimed that horses originally evolved in North America and then migrated to Eurasia through the Bering Land Bridge. After being domesticated in Eurasia, horses went extinct in North America during the late Pleistocene period and were later reintroduced by European colonizers. The research cited in the article was supported and funded by CANA Foundation.

In contrast to typical studies, the paper's authors consist of not only biologists and archaeologists from Western universities but also indigenous researchers who incorporate traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). Dr. Ludovic Orlando at the University of Toulouse has overseen the research that combines genomics and traditional knowledge to trace the history and evolution of wild horses. The collaboration seeks to understand the significance of these animals in North America, including their relationship with indigenous communities and evolution over time. 

CANA Foundation hails groundbreaking collaborations between traditional ecological knowledge and modern genomics science. 

In February of this year Cana Science advisor Dr. Ross MacPhee and Manda Kalimian had the honor of visiting with Dr. Ludovic Orlando and Dr. Yvette Running Horse Collins at the University of Toulouse. 

There was great synergy in our cooperative work and ways to align in the support of the horse as a native species to North America and the understanding of the importance of TEK in science.

Manda Kalimian, Founder of CANA Foundation noted, “We here at Cana have always believed and supported native TEK and oral history. I am so excited to see the validation that this study gives to native culture.”  


The memory of the early relationship between humans and horses may have endured for thousands of years. It could have been passed down through oral traditions of various groups, such as the Lakota. Some of these groups rekindled their connection with domesticated horses in recent centuries. Archaeologist William Taylor, who is the lead author of the scientific paper, believes that the theory should not be dismissed without proper examination. By conducting further research using various techniques such as radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis, it may be possible to confirm an intersection between ancient horses and the Lakota, as well as other groups.

The new paper, referencing research supported by the Cana Foundation, highlights that horses survived in northern North America as late as 5-6000 years ago. However, this late surviving population did not leave a persistent genetic trace, as less than 1% of their ancestry can be found in modern horses. There are several possible reasons for this, including very low population numbers, restriction to the subarctic, and final extinction before the arrival of European horses.

Dr. Ross MacPhee from the American Museum of Natural History emphasizes Taylor's message that very little is known about these late surviving horses, apart from their existence. Premodern horse macrofossils younger than 10,000 years have yet to be found in North America, and existing DNA evidence, isolated from sediments, remains very limited. These knowledge gaps need to be closed, and thanks to Cana Foundation's programs, the hunt for their remains continues.

CANA Foundation's programs aim to close gaps in our knowledge of North American horse history and promote sustainable living and wildlife restoration by combining traditional knowledge and modern science, particularly through the use of TEK in our research programs on wild horses as a keystone species for grassland restoration.

UN Climate Report:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released the final installment of its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) after eight years of research by hundreds of scientists. The report states the obvious regarding the grim fate of our planet in a desperate attempt to undo our human-induced global warming. The devastating consequences of rising greenhouse gas emissions, such as the destruction of homes and livelihoods. Will escalate rapidly with every fraction of a degree of warming, with detrimental impacts on people and ecosystems if we don’t take action. 

The Benefits of Rewilding for Climate Change:

Rewilding with TEK positively impacts climate change by restoring natural ecosystems and reducing carbon emissions. By protecting grasslands and other natural resources, rewilding efforts help to promote sustainable living and reduce the impact of climate change. Wild horses are an important part of the ecosystem, and their preservation is crucial for maintaining healthy ecosystems that benefit both wildlife and humans.

Rewilding with wild horses and TEK can help rebuild biodiversity in ecosystems that have been damaged by human activities. Through the restoration of natural habitats and the reintroduction of native species, rewilding can create healthier and more resilient ecosystems that support a greater variety of plant and animal life. In turn, this can also help to mitigate the impacts of climate change by sequestering carbon in plants and soil.

One of the key benefits of rewilding is that it promotes the restoration of natural processes that human activities have disrupted. For example, grazing by wild horses can help to maintain healthy grasslands, which in turn support a variety of other species. Additionally, TEK can help guide rewilding efforts by drawing on the knowledge and expertise of indigenous communities who have lived in and managed these ecosystems for generations.

By rebuilding biodiversity through rewilding efforts, we can create more resilient ecosystems that are better able to adapt to the changing climate. This can also help mitigate climate change's impacts by creating carbon sinks, promoting sustainable living practices, and reducing the need for artificial interventions like pesticides and fertilizers. Ultimately, rewilding with wild horses and TEK offers a promising path toward a more sustainable and resilient future for both humans and wildlife alike.

Rewild Our World:

Join the CANA Foundation in our movement to Rewild Our World and protect wild horses and their habitats. By supporting rewilding with TEK, we can restore the natural balance of ecosystems, promote sustainable living practices, and mitigate the impact of climate change. You can make a difference by donating to CANA Foundation, spreading awareness about the importance of rewilding, and joining local efforts to protect and preserve our environment. Together we can create healthy ecosystems to ensure a sustainable future for all who inhabit our planet.