The composition is reminiscent of a renaissance holy ascension painting, but the levitating figure here is coming down from the heavens into view to illustrate the story told by the buffalo spirit on the left with his companion reptile.
The buffalo spirit is passing the story of survival down to the living descendants on the right. The central effigy apparition is Sarah Larribee, the French/Cheyenne wife of James 'Scotty' Phillip (Scottish immigrant, gold miner, then rancher) who together saved the American Buffalo from extinction in the late 1800s.
When Sarah was young, in the 1860's, there were 60,000,000 Buffalo roaming the American Continent. After they married in 1879, Sarah and James watched as hunting parties and hide hunters killed all of the Buffalo. They wanted to do something about it so in 1899 they bought 54 head from Pete Dupree's estate sale and then grew them into a 1000 head heard before James died suddenly in 1911. Living American Buffalo are direct descendants of this herd.