Points of View – National Human Rights Photography Exhibition
The Great White Buffaloes
Many years ago, as hunger was striking their families, the Seven Sacred Council Fires of the Dakota were gathered in an encampment. As two scouts that were sent out to hunt for food were travelling, they came upon a beautiful woman wearing an outfit of white buckskin. While one man thought of the woman as one that could be his wife, the other man commented that she didn’t look like the other women of their tribe but seemed sacred and holy and that he should be careful.
The first man didn’t want to listen to the second man and decided to approach the woman. He tried to embrace her but suddenly the two were surrounded by a thick, white cloud. After what seems to be forever, the cloud finally dissipated but the man had disappeared. A pile of dust and bones was laying at the woman’s feet.
In shock, the second man drew his bow but the woman promised that wasn’t there to harm him. She said her name was Ptesan-Wi, and that she was there to help the Dakota people.
When she arrived at the encampment a big feast was prepared in her honor. She then went on and taught the people the Seven Sacred Rites and gifted them the sacred pipe. Before leaving, she made one promise. The promise to return to them one day as a white buffalo.
In March 2010, Sioux Valley Dakota Nation was gifted a rare white buffalo from the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg. As this arrival of this beautiful sacred animal is not only cherished gesture of friendship and unity between the people of Manitoba and Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, but a good omen of peace and prosperity for the community.
The appearance of a white buffalo is a very rare and unique event and on a beautiful May morning in 2016 the white buffalo gave birth to a white male buffalo.
People from as far as the United States have been coming to see the baby and his mother and leave tobacco offerings wrapped in colourful ribbons representing the colors of the Aboriginal Medicine Wheel.