Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe calls for prayer ceremony in Yellowstone National Park April 15, 2008
For Immediate Release:
April 4, 2008
Rosalie Little Thunder, Seventh Generation Fund's Tatanka Oyate Project,
Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign, 406-646-0070, bfc-media"at"wildrockies.org
Rapid City, South Dakota & West Yellowstone, Montana - Seventh Generation Fund's Tatanka Oyate Project and Buffalo Field Campaign are honored to share this announcement of a Releasing of the Buffalo Spirits Ceremony to be held in Yellowstone National Park on Tuesday, April 15, beginning at 12:00 noon (MST). The ceremony is open to all, and all are welcome. Following the ceremony, a community meal will be served at the Gardiner Community Center on 206 Main Street.
The ceremony will be led by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe, who last performed the Spirit Releasing ceremony in 1997 when 1,084 wild buffalo were slaughtered that winter.
According to the U.S. National Park Service, so far this winter Yellowstone National Park and the Montana Department of Livestock have trapped and slaughtered 1,187 wild buffalo migrating from the Yellowstone plateau to winter range in the Gardiner Basin and upper Madison Valley. Hundreds more buffalo remain in a trap operated by Yellowstone National Park inside the Park at Stephens Creek. 80 bison calves have been separated from their family groups and placed in a quarantine research project at Corwin Springs, Montana.
An excerpt from Arvol Looking Horse's full press statement attached in PDF follows:
"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 (Grandmother Earth), 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.
"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."
Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe
Releasing of the Buffalo Spirits Ceremony Tuesday, April 15, 12:00 noon (MST)
GATHERING - Releasing of the Buffalo Spirits Ceremony.
RECORDINGS - Protocols will be announced on what photos, video and all recordings of the ceremony, if any is permitted.
WHEN - Tuesday, April 15, 2008 and begin 12:00 noon (MST).
WHERE - Stephens Creek Road and Old Yellowstone Trail, west of the Yellowstone River, 2 1/2 miles north of Gardiner, Montana.
DIRECTIONS - From the Arches landmark, located near the Gardiner, Montana Fee Entrance to Yellowstone National Park, head north past the football field/local school along the Old Yellowstone Trail County Road for 2 1/2 miles to Stephens Creek Road, that leads to the bison trap. Please note that Yellowstone National Park has a closure in effect from near the Fee Entrance to Stephens Creek west of the Old Yellowstone Trail. Please do not park off-road or block traffic. For people who are car pooling, there is extra parking at the Arches landmark along the gated fence.
RECORDINGS - Actual ceremony is not to be filmed, recorded or photographed. Media/journalists should register with media coordinator for protocols.
LODGING - Accommodations in Gardiner, Montana and the surrounding area can be found online: http://www.gardinerchamber.com/directory.asp?cat=1
COMMUNITY MEAL FOLLOWING CEREMONY - Bear Creek Council is co-hosting a community meal in the historic Eagles Hall Gardiner Community Center on 206 Main Street following the ceremony. The purpose of our community meal is to share our gratitude with everyone who traveled near and far to participate in ceremony honoring America's wild buffalo. We thank the Gardiner Community Center for sharing their space, and extend an invitation welcoming all to share in a meal together.