Manataka American Indian Council





Aug-Sept 2011




NOTICE:  "I am not maligning anyone but you need to do some research on the article "Lightning Medicine:  Rare white buffalo calf named."  It would seem that this was some kind of a scam.  Both calf and mother died and were buried. I ALWAYS enjoy your articles and appreciate the information in the Manataka Smoke Signal News.  Thank you for all the work you do."  Paula Talkstohorses Johnson



Little Soldier: Nothing to Show we Misspent Anything



GREENVILLE - Hunt County authorities say there is no criminal investigation into donations made to the Lakota Ranch in the weeks following the death of Lightning Medicine Cloud.

A Dallas television station is conducting their own investigation of what happened to between $5,000 and $6,000 initially donated following the buffalo calf’s alleged murder.

"They are wanting to go on a fraud situation," Little Soldier said. "There is nothing there to show we misspent anything."

He added that the money was spent on the Native American Scholarship Powwow held in May.

In August, Sheriff Randy Meeks closed the investigation into the death of Lightning and his mother, Buffalo Woman, claiming the two died of natural causes, rather than by violence.

District Attorney Noble D. Walker says he has not filed any charges and his office is not involved in any probe of Little Soldier or the ranch.

"I have not had anything filed and I am not aware of anything," Walker added.






Lightning Medicine: Rare white buffalo calf named


A rare white buffalo runs into a corral after a Native American naming ceremony was held in Greenville, Texas Wednesday, June 29, 2011. The buffalo, named Lightning Medicine Cloud, was born to the Texas herd last month and holds a special place in Native American culture. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

— Thousands of people came from miles around Wednesday to see and honor a legend in the flesh - the white buffalo born in a thunderstorm on a northeast Texas ranch.


The rare white buffalo calf, regarded as sacred by the Lakota Sioux, was honored with Native American prayers, religious songs and the solemn smoking of a pipe in a special naming and dedication ceremony at the Lakota Ranch in Greenville, about 50 miles northeast of Dallas.


Flag-flying patriotism, a steady Native American drum beat and scorching heat provided the backdrop for the spiritual event that drew about 2,000.


The calf was named Lightning Medicine Cloud - a reference to the thunderstorm that marked the arrival of his birth as well as a tribute to a white buffalo born in 1933 named Big Medicine.


According to Dakota Sioux tradition, Whope, the spirit of peace, once appeared in the form of a white buffalo calf. Some say the goddess will return once four such calves are born.


But whether the Greenville, Texas, calf was the third of its kind ever born, one of several in recent history or the first male born on Native American-owned soil in a while wasn't immediately clear.


Little Soldier, right, and his son Tyler Little Soldier perform a ritual in a corral before a rare white buffalo and his herd was let in to roam about after a Native American naming ceremony in Greenville, Texas Wednesday, June 29, 2011. The rare white buffalo, named Lightning Medicine Cloud, was born to the Texas herd last month and holds a special place in Native American culture. (AP Photo/LM Otero

But all agreed that the birth of such a calf was unusual and stressed that it was not an albino, given its dark nose, eyes and marking on the tip of its tail. Several who spoke at the ceremony said they considered it a blessing.


"He's the hope of all nations," said Arby Little Soldier, upon whose land the calf was born on May 12. "The red man, black man, white man and yellow man; we've all got to come together as one."


Unity and peace were major themes, as was respect for the environment and the awareness that all living things are interdependent.


The white buffalo is an omen that signifies the arrival of hard times unless people learn to change their ways and live in a manner that benefits everyone, including Mother Earth, according to literature distributed at the entrance gate.


"It's the beginning of a new age, new times," said Samuel Joseph Lone Wolf, a Native American elder from Palestine, who played an important role in Wednesday's ceremony. "The birth of the white buffalo calf, it tells us we need to get right, not just with Mother Nature but with all nations and with the Creator, which is God."


Some tourists complained that it was difficult to see much of the ceremony unless one was on the front row. There were no bleachers or big screens upon which events were featured. One white woman, seemingly disappointed by the program's length beneath the hot sun said: "I think they're going to keep going until all the pale faces faint."


But another said she was just grateful to be there.


Bonnie Greenwood said she and her husband live down the road and see the herd of buffalo all the time as they drive by.

"We wanted to be sure to be here for this," said Greenwood, who sported a bright orange Buffalo bison T-shirt from her high school alma mater and brought their 9-year-old granddaughter from Oklahoma to also witness the ceremony.


Native Americans dance before a naming ceremony for a white buffalo in Greenville, Texas Wednesday, June 29, 2011. The buffalo, named Lightning Medicine Cloud, was born to the Texas herd last month and holds a special place in Native American culture. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

After Little Soldier rode a horse around a corralled area and threw a lance into the dirt, marking the ground as sacred, the crowds surged forward as the herd of about a dozen buffalo was let loose with the small white buffalo among them.

"He's beautiful," said Angela Hope, who drove up from San Antonio to pay homage. "He's a spiritual gift."


To commemorate the occasion, tourists could buy everything from Lightning Medicine Cloud T-shirts and caps, glossy photos of the white bison and even buffalo meat made from Lightning's darker relatives.


Arby Little Soldier and several other leaders are charged with caring for the calf. When Lightning Medicine Cloud turns 2, another ceremony will be held and other prophecies revealed, said Patricia Little Soldier, Arby's wife.


"When do you think you'll get another white buffalo?" 13-year-old Tristen Scott from Virginia asked Arby Little Soldier.


The calf's caretaker sighed as he patiently explained that the odds were against that happening any time soon. "What are your chances of winning the lottery?" Little Soldier said.


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