Here it is:
Mi-ta-ku-ye (my relatives),
I have been called upon to perform the Spirit Releasing ceremony for
the thousands of buffalo that have lost their lives in the last decade, in
the mountains of the Yellowstone River country.
Many, many generations ago, our relatives, the Pte O-ya-te (Buffalo
People) came up from Wind Cave in the Black Hills; the heart of Un-ci
Ma-ka (Grandmother Earth) and prepared the way for our existence.
From that time forward, they gave of themselves for our survival, as
long as we respected their gift. They taught us how to live in an
honorable and respectful way by example and through the teachings
of the White Buffalo Calf Woman. She brought the Sacred Canupa
(Pipe) to remind us of our responsibilities and also provided us with
the knowledge of the sacred rites that are necessary to discipline
From the Buffalo Nation, our ancestors learned to have an honorable
relationship of being connected with Un-ci Ma-ka; this “way of life”
that identifies us of who we are as an O-ya-te (a People), with all it’s
sacred teachings. They understood the gifts from Un-ci and carefully
lived in harmony with her wellbeing. For that reason, we hold them to
be sacred. We co-existed in a good way until we were nearly
destroyed. Ob un-ka-so-ta-pi tka. The sacred Buffalo Nation in these
mountains are the survivors of that natural way of life. We are
culturally and spiritually indebted to them and we still need their
guidance, to remind us how to be at peace and harmony with Un-ci
Let it be known that Yellowstone territory; the habitat of the last wild
Buffalo Nation – is sacred ground, it has been a SACRED SITE for
the First Nation’s people, and for all humanity who hold deep respect
for all Creation. The Buffalo Nation has confirmed this fact; by where
they have ended up, continuing to survive in their natural migration,
struggling to live in a peaceful manner. Our ancestors also gave us
this message by fasting in this area long ago, as they recognized this
place of sacredness. This understanding is how we maintain the
balance upon Un-ci Ma-ka, to protect these places, especially for the
survival of our future generations to come.
These Buffalo that lost their lives in Yellowstone did not die by
Natural Law, nor were their spirits honored with ceremony. This is
why we must go there to perform a ceremony of honor for those that
lost their lives by the misunderstanding of human-kind and pray to
Wakan Tankan (Great Spirit) for pity of how gifts were unappreciated.
We must pray with all those who grieve and be grateful for them.
Many of the people who are deeply concerned of what has happened
in the manner of which their lives were taken; we see this as an un-
necessary massacre. We have known that this particular herd is the
last original Buffalo Nation that still follows their migration pattern, the
little that is left in tact; they are the sign of our connection to our
wellbeing of living in harmony. I humbly ask for all People to make
prayers on April 15th, at high noon; for a healing of humanity – for the
decisions that are being made with no regard for the sacredness of
life, for the massacred Buffalo’s spiritual journey and to protect what
is left – in understanding of what our journey in this life represents in
being responsible! We must pray for the healing of the human Spirit,
to understand the connection to all living beings on Un-ci Ma-ka.
In a Sacred Hoop of Life, where there is no ending and no beginning!
Can-te Mi-ta-wa I-ta-han (from my heart)
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe