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Spring has Sprung

May is here!  Finally, the seeds begin to sprout, the leaves pop out, and life explodes all around us.  At this time of year, we see once again how something very little, with a little bit of water and sunshine, turns into something big and beautiful!

Follow the Buffalo, Inc. presents an opportunity for you to share in growing something beautiful. Continue reading

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Winter Medicine

In the traditional ways, the word medicine can mean anything that brings us closer to the Creator, wholeness and the life force within all things.  This could involve the healing of body, mind or spirit.  We learn the medicine through close observation of nature, noting the behavior and qualities of the animals and plants that share this creation with us.  The seeker of medicine must have great focus, patience and desire to be in harmony with the essence of the being who’s medicine they seek.  The knowledge of medicine takes time and intention to grow.

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Everything in Nature is a teacher.  Even the changing seasons bring experiences that deepen our connection to the Creator.  Winter is a time of reflection.  Many living things die off or go within themself to grow and be renewed once Spring returns.  Bears and other animals hibernate.  Plants shut down, feeding off stored energy until the warmth returns.  We people have this opporunity too.  We develop wisdom and medicine not just by observing, but also by taking time to process our experiences.  Through contemplation and meditation the deeper meanings of our experiences are revealed.  We ask permission to use the medicine through our prayers and as we are ready those healing energies become available.  Ceremony helps us cleanse those things that block us from being open to the medicine that surrounds us.

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Happy New Year

Wakan Yeja – Sacred One

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In Lakota they call their infants Wakan Yeja – Sacred Ones.  Babies were believed to choose their families.  And the babies were loved, cherished and cared for not only by their parents, but also their Tiospaye – extended families.

In Western culture we often describe the New Year as a baby.  We might imagine that baby has chosen this time and all of us to be his or her family.  We might envision not one baby, but the babies of all the different races and cultures as being part of our human family, all needing and deserving of our love and care.

What kind of world could we create if we understood all new life on the earth to be our family?

This is the medicine we can choose to cultivate in this New Year and new era.  There is a growing awareness of our interconnection and interdependence.  Our intentions and actions can add momentum to this shift.  If you want this, if you feel this, use this awareness to guide both your big and small life choices.  Be the change you wish to see.

We do ceremony to connect with the Creator and to come into harmony with all of creation.

We will have a special meeting with the board of Follow the Buffalo and anyone who wants to participate in upcoming events we hope to host to support our work to assist people on the reservation and those maintaining traditional cultures.  Your creativity and energy is needed and wanted to carry out this joyful work.  The meeting will be on Sunday, January 20th at 9:00am at Follow the Buffalo Inc.’s World Headquarters 9429 Marsh Rd., Plainwell MI 49080.

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Connecting Youth and Culture

I had the chance to speak with a friend on the Pine Ridge Reservation recently. We spoke of many things, but what really stayed with me was his concern for the youth living on the reservation. The teen suicide rate on the reservation has been three times as high as the rest of the United States. Depression and substance abuse are also at elevated rates. But our talk was not about statistics – rather he spoke of real people coping with tragedy and seeking to ease their suffering and provide hope for the next generation.

I asked him what he thought made life so difficult for young people on the reservation. The first thing he said was loneliness. Loneliness that comes from physical distance, but also from losing connection with family.

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Update on the Elder Wood Project

This month, Follow the Buffalo, Inc., was pleased to contribute to the Elder Wood Project.  The donated funds enabled Arlin Whirlwindhorse, the leader of the project to purchase 2 new chainsaws.

Wopila, Thank you!

We are so grateful for your generous responses to our call for help at Follow the Buffalo.  We wanted to let you know that your help allowed us to purchase 2 Stihl chainsaws to aid the work of the Elder Wood Project.  These sawswill help put a crew of 5 young men to work cutting, splitting, and delivering badly needed firewood to seniors on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  This is just a first step in this process, but a very important step that will make an immediate impact in the community.  We will keep you posted on the progress of this project.

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One of the crew members of the elder wood project, using one of the new chainsaws

 

 

 

Thank you all for your continued support of our mission!

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What is the Elder Wood Project?

Winters on the Pine Ridge Reservation are harsh.  Weather is extreme – severe winds are common and temperatures are bitter cold, frequently below zero.  Many Reservation homes lack adequate insulation.  Even more homes lack central heating.  Wood burning is the second most common form of heating a home, although wood supplies are often expensive or difficult to obtain. Continue reading

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Welcome

Welcome to Follow the Buffalo.

Follow the Buffalo envisions a world in which people of all races, cultures, socio-economic classes, and spiritual traditions are treated with dignity and respect.  The directors of Follow the Buffalo come from a community of people whose spiritual journey has allowed us the opportunity to experience a small portion of the wisdom, depth and beauty of Native American spirituality.  Continue reading

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