As we completed our prayers, we all sat there with the buffalo herd in silence. The buffalo had been making their low, gentle calls back and forth to each other during the entire time we had been praying and singing for and with them. Yet at the end of the prayers, we all, as one family, sat in peace and silence together.
Slowly the real world began to slip back into the moment and the sounds of bustling tourists and cars crept back into the present. And then, as is most often the case with our Native relatives, the laughter began. Gentle teasing and loving laughter went back and forth between us all and we slowly began our journey back to the parking area.
Many tourists asked questions of us upon our return, some took pictures and others seemed connected to the moment as they stared in silence at the buffalo and then towards all of us. We can only pray that some of these visitors were blessed with a new care and respect for the buffalo and will carry that back with them to wherever their everyday lives are lived.
“I was blessed to participate in the prayers for the buffalo in Yellowstone Park and to share that day with such wonderful prayer people like Henrietta Mann. I have shared days like that one with my husband, Scott Frazier and his brother John Potter for probably 20 years.
We have made the journey to commune with our Buffalo family before their hard challenge of the winter, year after year. We have been joined by many individuals that heard the call to pray and to assist.
Some have been Native and some have not. For me, not being able to be an enrolled Native American, I have answered to the calls of my Native ancestors, Indian and non-Indian. I have prayed for the well being of my relatives the Buffalo and for them to tell us what they want us to know for the People.
In my heart they have shown me what we as the People are and do to one another. They have let me look through the mirror of our existence as the People. They have taught me about how we treat one another and how we should treat one another.
I call out to all of the People, no matter what their lineages are. I call out for prayers, compassion and action. The Buffalo have been forced to evolve into different families with varied lineages because of the choices of others or because of the love of the Creator. They are teaching us about choices and new beginnings. Let us all come together without competition or distraction in our prayers for the Buffalo for they are showing us who we are. Aho!”
~Marsha Frazier, Cherokee~
AUTHOR and PHOTOGRAPHER: Shirley Bluejay Pierce