TEACHING OF RESPECT
The teaching of Respect is the gift from the Buffalo. No animal was more important to the existence of Indigenous families as the Buffalo, as it sacrificed it's whole being to provide life and ensure the survival of the people. The Buffalo, through giving its life and sharing every part of itself, showed it's deep respect it had for the people. The respect shared between the buffalo and the people was mutual. Indigenous believed themselves to be true caretakers of the great herds and developed a sustainable relationship. The buffalo was, and still is, deeply beloved among the Indigenous and remains a true expression of Respect. Through sacrificing it's being the Buffalo provided many gifts including shelter, clothing, and utensils and so much more for daily living. No part of the buffalo was wasted. See below for a list of Traditional uses of the buffalo.
Traditional Uses of the Buffalo
|Eating Utensils||Sweat Lodge||Medicine|
|Teething Tools||Glue||Moccasin Tops|
In this day and age there is a lot of controversy around taking the life of an animal. Without going too far down that path, I feel inclined to briefly state the difference between Trophy Hunting, and the way the Buffalo was, and continues to be harvested. I personally have walked through many forests with Colin Mosseau and other teachers, and each and every time I am brought to tears with the amount of Respect that is shown to every living thing, from the grass, to the plants, to the current season, to the trees. There is a deep awareness and recognition of this life and the spirit of each living thing. To see the world in this way is truly beautiful and transforming. The same is applied with the process of taking a life in the Traditional way. Before any life, including the life of the Buffalo is taken there is a connection made with the spirit of the animal. The animal must offer itself before it's life is taken. In the case of the Buffalo, it sacrificed itself for the survival of the people. A ceremony is conducted to give thanks for the offering of the animal, and for the life that it has provided. Prayers and ceremonies conducted are also used to ensure the spirit of the animal makes its way to where it belongs. There is a profound amount of respect for the life that has been taken.
The Buffalo also teaches us that all forms of Respect begins with oneself including to respect your body, your mind, and spirit that go with your emotions. When you respect yourself and show others you respect yourself, respect will be given. If you treat yourself negatively and with poison, you will destroy yourself and will show others to treat you the same. With that being said, there is no doubt the current delicate state of Mother Earth is a reflection of how we have treated ourselves.
The Buffalo shows us to Respect all life on Mother Earth no matter how big or small, to respect our Elders and people of all races. The very essence of respect is to give and share.
The Buffalo is a tool of life guided by the Creator to live harmoniously with a sense of balance. Next time you are out in nature, try to connect with the spirit of all the life around you and notice the difference in the feelings within yourself when you look at each living thing with a deep sense respect, reminding yourself of the importance each living thing plays on sustaining the balance of the planet.
WATCH OUR VIDEO ON THE TEACHING OF RESPECT BELOW