"A long time ago, Our People came from the Northern Woodlands to the Great Plains looking for food," Grandfather said. "They saw that the Buffalo lived in harmony with Mother Earth the same as Our People did."
Through the Creator, the buffalo gave themselves as a gift for the sustenance and survival of the Plains Cree people. The largest land animal in North America once thundered across the Great Plains in numbers of 30 to 50 million. They provided shelter, food, clothing, tools, hunting gear, ceremonial objects and many other necessities for those who lived on the Plains.
But by 1889, just over a thousand buffalo remained, and the lives of the Plains Cree people changed. The buffalo is honoured to this day, a reminder of life in harmony with nature as it was once lived. This is the story of how the buffalo came to share themselves so freely.
Judith Silverthorne, a multiple-award winning author, has lived most of her life in Saskatchewan, exploring its culture and history, and revelling in the natural beauty of the prairie landscape, which provides inspiration for many of her books. Ray Lavallee is a Wisdom Keeper and Medicine Man from Piapot First Nations in the Qu'Appelle Valley of Saskatchewan. He has spent his life preserving and sharing the spiritual traditions of his Cree ancestors.
Mike Keepness grew up on the Pasqua First Nation in southern Saskatchewan. To this day, the Qu'Appelle Valley, with its coulees, hills and rivers, is a place of prayer, sanctuary and inspiration for his work.