Please join us on December 5th for the 4th annual Follow the Buffalo benefit concert! This is an evening of family-friendly entertainment, featuring live music, performances, and a silent auction with many unique items donated by local artists. All proceeds will go to Follow the Buffalo, Inc. and will be used to fund youth camp scholarships.
When: December 5th, from 6 – 10 pm
Where: Old Dog Tavern, 402 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo, MI
This year the event will feature performances by Joe Reilly, Tom Duffield, Aaron Young, Ira Cohen, and others. In addition, Jeff Brazda, board president, will speak about Follow the Buffalo, Inc. and our work with the Pine Ridge community.
Please visit the event page on Facebook for a full schedule and more details!
Watch the video below to hear “Wishless” by Joe Reilly!
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
Filed under Projects, Vision
The government and coporate interests of the U.S. are in a dispute with the government and corporate interests of Iran. We are led to believe that the people of Iran are different from us, that their beliefs and attitudes are a danger to us. The Iranian people have been told that the U.S. is the great satan.
From the perspective of the Creator we are just squabbling siblings. Unfortunately, the division between us effects billions of people. Continue reading
To be a chief in the Lakota way is an honor that is earned by providing service to the people. One of the honored and respected chiefs of the past was Chief Red Cloud. A brave and skillful war chief who helped his people resist genocide. He was also among the chiefs that negotiated the Fort Laramie treaties. These treaties promised that the Lakota people could remain on their lands as their own sovereign nation and receive assistance from the government for food, health care and other services in exchange for ending the war. These treaties, though often not respected by the US government, remain in effect today.
The great grandson of Chief Red Cloud, known as Oliver Red Cloud is now a chief of the Lakota people. Now in his 90’s, he has served the better part of his adult life fighting for the rights of his people and as an inspirational leader helping to preserve the culture and spirit of the Lakota people. The war on the Lakota people has ended, but the cultural genocide continues. Although native peoples were able to win back some of their rights to preserve their cultures, languages and practice their own religions, there is continuous pressure put on them that threatens their survival. Among the modern forces that threaten and invade on the Lakota nation are the Cameco and PowerTech uranium corporations and the TransCanada oil pipeline. These powerful multi-national and multi-billion dollar corporations use their influence over the US government to supercede the treaty rights of the Lakota people. They are taking over land and causing radioactive contamination that will make some places unliveable for thousands of years. The TransCanada pipeline will pass right through the Lakota nation and put at risk the Ogallala Aquifer which is the main source of drinking water for millions of people. Chief Oliver Red Cloud has been outspoken in his resistance to these efforts. Consulting with the United Nations on the rights of native people. Meeting with the US government to express the wishes of the Lakota people to protect and maintain their lands and to have the area of the Black Hills returned to them as promised in the treaties.
Chief Oliver Red Cloud is now close to the end of his life. He is in the hospital in Rapid City and loved ones are travelling there to be with him. We have been asked to join in prayer with our Lakota brothers and sisters. Please take a moment to hold him, his family and the Lakota people in your heart and to send good prayers for his peaceful passing and to help those who are closest to him cope with their grief, and to inspire the next generation of leaders to step into their roles and continue to fight for the Lakota people.
Wakan Yeja – Sacred One
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.
Filed under About, Events
Happy Holidays from Follow the Buffalo, Inc.
We hope your holidays are warm and cozy, filled with laughter and joy shared with loved ones. The chill of Winter drives us inside from the elements, but draws us inward in reflection. We hope as you look back on 2012 you find many things to be grateful for and that your experiences of the year lead to new insights and even greater wisdom.
At Follow the Buffalo, Inc. we look back at 2012 with special fondness as the year we brought our vision into reality – a vision of helping our brothers and sisters on the reservation and those working to preserve native cultures. We are discovering just how much we have to learn in building relationships, raising funds, and working for change. The challenges before us are great, but the Creator is leaving us that bread crumb trail of hints and bringing just the right people in at the right times to help us make our way.
The spirit that drives Follow the Buffalo, Inc. is the understanding that we are all related, all children of the same Creator. We are part of that great circle of life, each with a role to play in this creation we call earth. The Lakota way of expressing this is Mitakuwe Oyasin – All My Relations. They proclaim this each time they pray.
As we enjoy the warmth and abundance of the holidays with our loved ones, we hope that you will join us in remembering our brothers and sisters who’s life on the reservation can be challenging in the cold months of Winter.
Your donation can make a real difference in easing suffering and providing encouragement.
Thank you so much for all the ways you bring more light into the world.
We invite you to share this message with your friends and family. Click the link to open as a PDF: winter letter
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.
Follow the Buffalo, Inc. and Healing Lifeways are joining to sponsor and host the first Coyote Life Festival in Comins, Michigan on the weekend of February 22-24, 2013.
The Coyote Life Festival is a celebration of life, love, and laughter in the traditional “coyote spirit”. There will be plenty of fun, food, games, drumming, singing, storytelling, sharing, and thanksgiving.
- Arrive 5-8 pm – meet, mix, and mingle
- 8-10 pm – drumming, singing, and bonfire (weather permitting)
- 10pm – Canupa (pipe) ceremony
- 7:30 am – pancake breakfast
- Morning – games, crafts, and workshops (TBD)
- 12pm – soup, sandwich, and potluck lunch
- Afternoon – games, crafts, outdoor activities (weather permitting), drumming, songs, and stories
- 5-8pm – chili supper – this will be open to the public and will feature drumming, singing, dancing, contests, and discussion on the theme of celebrating life with gratitude
- Evening – prayers, discussion, etc.
- 8:30 am – breakfast
- 10 am – blessing the land, drumming, singing, Canupa (pipe) ceremony
- 12 pm – lunch, cleanup, and farewell
Cost – We suggest a donation of $40 for the weekend (includes all food and activities). All proceeds will benefit Follow the Buffalo, Inc.
What to bring – simple food to share on Friday evening and Saturday lunch.
Please contact us for lodging information.
To register or learn more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call Tim at (989)848-5757
Click the link below to download a PDF flyer:
Coyote Life Festival info
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
The Inipi or sweat lodge is just one of the sacred ceremonies of the Lakota people. Another of their sacred ceremonies is the Keeping of the Soul. This ceremony was given to the people to help them deal with the deep feelings of loss and grief experienced at the death of a loved one. It provided a structure for understanding and supporting the transition from this life to the next. It taught that even the death of a loved one can serve a life-giving purpose. Continue reading