BFC joins in solidarity as The Longest Walk takes a detour to pray for the buffalo and comes through Gardiner, MT. On the left, Good Shield holds barb's ski pole, which he beautifully decorated after her passing. This ski pole was the walking aid she always used, propping it outside the media cabin door as a sign of her there-ness. You are always with us, barb! BFC file photo.
As the mid-morning Montana sun warmed the half-frozen landscape, the sound of the Yellowstone river rippled along to the sound of cars driving by the Corwin Springs capture facility. The drivers turned to look at a group of Native and non-Native youth and elders gathering by the side of the road to pay respects to their four-legged relatives, who's wounds were still fresh from being tortured by APHIS, DOL and Yellowstone the week before.
The group of people, known as The Longest Walkers, had been marching for just over a month from the West Coast and would eventually arrive in Washington, D.C. Their mission and purpose is to bring awareness to the growing epidemic of diabetes, particularly in Native communities, due to the loss of traditional diet and the force-fed commodity GMO and high fructose "foods." They had stopped at many different Native reservations along the way, including some whose people had participated in the Yellowstone buffalo hunt. It became apparent that they had to stop in Gardiner for spiritual reasons.
Upon arriving at Corwin Springs, The Longest Walkers made tobacco offerings and prayers, and along with BFC volunteers, began their spiritual walk to Gardiner. In just about an hour and a half, the walkers arrived at the Park entrance and were greeted by a herd of thirty buffalo.
The Walkers moved past Yellowstone's arch and straight towards a family group of buffalo, waiting there to greet them. BFC file photo.
As songs were sung the buffalo all stood and faced East, with one mother nodding her head along to the drum beat. Many good words were spoken and the buffalo seemed to know why they were there. After a closing prayer circle, the walkers headed to the Gardiner BFC camp, where a feast of wild game and good stories awaited them. The Walkers thanked BFC for what they do and everybody was left inspired and with good hearts. The entire day was truly an impromptu "making of relations" ceremony. This is just the beginning.
~ Good Shield
P.S. Please tune in to this incredible new video, A BFC Volunteer Perspective, Featuring Good Shield