Replacement being donated for slain white buffalo

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by DEBBIE DENMON

WFAA

Posted on May 12, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Updated Saturday, May 12 at 10:16 PM

A white buffalo is a sacred image for Native Americans.

Recently, a young white buffalo named Lightning Medicine Cloud was slaughtered in Hunt County along with its mother.

But now, the Lakota Ranch near Greenville will be getting a replacement white buffalo — all the way from Oregon.

News 8 spoke with Cynthia Hart-Button, who is sending a 3,000 lb. white buffalo named Chief Hiawatha from her own sanctuary to Texas. He will be seven years old on Wednesday.

But details of Chief Hiawatha's arrival in North Texas are being kept a secret.

"That's why I have screened over 30 trucks," said Hart-Button, president and founder of the Sacred World Peace Church and Alliance. "Part of me just wants to go down with him to make sure he gets there."

There are obvious security concerns after what happened to Lightning Medicine Cloud. The rare non-albino white calf was found dead nearly two weeks ago — skinned.

It is a tragedy, considering Native Americans believe the Goddess of Peace once appeared in the form of a white buffalo calf.

"I felt that the nation lost their hope and part of their faith in somebody killing, and I just thought in my heart, I have the abundance of 13 and I just want to restore hope," Hart-Button said.

On Saturday, there was a pow-wow at Lakota Ranch to honor Lightning Medicine Cloud, the calf that should have been celebrating a first birthday.

Now, everyone attending this ceremony can celebrate the arrival of Chief Hiawatha, who could produce another white calf. The ranch's owner, Arby Little Soldier, sees this as a sign the killer who skinned his white baby buffalo and poisoned her mother did not win.

"The people thought they were going to stop legacy and stop history, but it didn't stop," he said. "It put in everybody's mind that we carry this message on."

The message is one of hope, as the bull named Chief Hiawatha is being sent to Texas to protect the the other buffalo at Lakota Ranch until the killer is found. There's a $50,000 reward to make that happen.

Cynthia Hart-Button's sanctuary in Oregon has a record 14 white buffalo. She says her facility has also received threats.

E-mail ddenmon@wfaa.com

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