Buffalo Spirit ~ The Evolution

"Bringing the wisdom, discipline and love of the Elders to the people."

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Buffalo Spirit Communications Foundation

Buffalo Spirit is about bringing the teachings of our ancestors through our Elders now to a wide audience, especially to Aboriginal people. It is for the people and only the people can make it fulfill its calling. The foundation, incorporated on January 5 2005, set out some very specific goals to reflect Aboriginal culture today.

Buffalo Spirit Logo

Objects:

• To encourage and promote Aboriginal culture through communication
• Produce Buffalo Spirit publication and broadcasts to provide information about Aboriginal culture
• Provide a forum for Aboriginal Elders to share their knowledge
• To encourage and promote job training for Aboriginal people in communications sector: print, radio & television
• Establish a hands on communications center to be used for training with all necessary equipment & current technology
• Establish & maintain a scholarship fund for Aboriginal students entering into the communications sector
• Solicit funds and corporate sponsorship to promote the objects of the foundation

 

Buffalo Spirit Culture Online

Buffalo Spirit ~ Culture On-Line

Through websites and video on-line we are witnessing the fastest growing form of communication and in keeping with this trend, Buffalo Spirit offers website visitors a opportunity to encounter cultural teachings in the oral tradition of Aboriginal people. We have interviewed those who uphold the cultural knowledge of their community and from the spiritual and natural worlds.

This website is about our ties to ancient teachings and personal histories shared by Elders that are relevant today. For Aboriginal people and the world. We are creating new cultural works with video on-line that captures the spirit of the present and of our history as Aboriginal people.

A buffalo skull with smoke


Buffalo Spirit~Culture On line is the beginnings of a compilation of the rich history and culture of Aboriginal people.  This includes interviews with Elders who are no longer with us. While they cannot personally pass along a way of life, stories, and songs, their legacy through video, print and audio recordings can still impact current and future generations. Listen closely to their teachings for they speak of one force, of one connection to all within the traditions and ceremonies of each nation. They tell us we have been given our ceremonial life as a roadmap to this one source.

We are asking the Elders to discuss how we can keep ceremonies intact and alive in today's fast paced world of television, video games and the world wide web. This is a discussion on how and if current intellectual property laws can be used to protect sacred knowledge. And if not, does that mean the alternative is for Aboriginal communities to develop their own guidelines to prevent unwanted disclosure.

Buffalo Spirit Communications Foundation has an undertaking from the spiritual and cultural people to make certain what they have shared with us is protected. One of the ways we are meeting this responsibility is by not showing entire ceremonies or songs. We are also aware that this information is our lifeline to healthier way of life and it is here for us. As one of the culturally trained people have said the only way to integrate this knowledge is to live it. And that is very different from taking it and using it for personal gain.

At Buffalo Spirit ~ Culture On Line, we have an open forum for discussion on this very important and timely set of issues that surround the protection of specific cultural activities of Native people in this country and in the world. We welcome your constructive and positive comments, insights and knowledge. Please see our Intellectual Property section.

The challenge for Native people now is to learn and master the ability to move in and out of many worldviews. In this man made world, we have our digital communications and because of it our lives constantly change in our man-made world. In the other world, we enter ritual to call in the spirits of our tribal ancestors, and the supernatural connections to all life that is as old as the earth itself. As we learn to master these worlds, we can move to places within ourselves that are sacred where there is only love.

 

 

 

 

Buffalo Spirit Magazine

buffalo spirit logo banner

Buffalo Spirit Magazine

Buffalo Spirit was first published as a supplement to Windspeaker, one of the Aboriginal Multi Media Society of Alberta's newspapers in 2000. Buffalo Spirit continued to publish on a quarterly basis with interviews from Elders, which are unedited, along with stories and legends that concern Aboriginal culture and spirituality.

"Buffalo Spirit is about a journey, a journey of self-discovery of one's cultural and spiritual roots."

Bert Crowfoot, the publisher of AMMSA wrote this phrase in the first issue of Buffalo Spirit, in his publisher's statement where he talks of how the concept of Buffalo Spirit came into being. The following is an excerpt from the statement made by Bert Crowfoot, Founder of Buffalo Spirit Communications Foundation.

"Buffalo Spirit is for those individuals who are searching for who they are and where they come from. It is especially confusing for those individuals who grew up in the city and not on the reserve. When one is searching for spiritual identity, there can be much frustration with mainstream religion.

Another thing adding to the confusion is how ceremonies have changed. After hearing about a ceremony that somehow has changed over the years and is now done backwards, in the past, spiritual leaders were quick to correct these mistakes and ensure the purity of the ceremonies.

We have lost many of these spiritual leaders and with their passing goes that knowledge. What can be done to preserve this knowledge?

I don't agree with videotaping or photographing ceremonies, but the late Joe Crowshoe, a spiritual leader from the Peigans, once allowed a pipe ceremony to be photographed because he felt that it was important that the ceremony be preserved. Is this the answer?

I spent time soul searching in the mountains around southern Alberta about whether or not it was right to publish stories on cultural and spiritual matters. The answer I received was that that was the purpose for Buffalo Spirit and the time was right.

I want you the readers to participate by sending us your letters, emails and faxes concerning your questions, life experiences or your philosophies on spirituality. The more discussion we have the more we will learn by sharing. Buffalo Spirit is your magazine and only you can make it fulfill its calling. Being Indian is about sharing; sharing not only to feed our physical beings, but to feed our spiritual beings as well. May the Creator be a part of your life and may your journey be a good one."

 

Quest of Buffalo Spirit

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The Quest of Buffalo Spirit

"Where the buffalo was essential to the physical survival of several Native tribes, it is the spirit of the Buffalo that represents the spiritual survival of Native people today."

 

In late 2005, a 5-minute short video was created by Producer/Director/Writer: Marie Burke for the newly formed Buffalo Spirit Communications Foundation. With interviews collected by Bert Crowfoot with Chief Adam Dick, Kim Recalma-Clutesi, Mary Thomas and Ruth Brass, the video became the groundwork for a four part half hour video series.

The Quest of Buffalo Spirit, a 4 part limited series - part history lesson, part documentary and part sacred quest. The series takes us on a journey from British Columbia's west coast to the southern plains of Alberta. Marie Burke, supervising producer also directed and wrote the "Quest" which is broadcast on OMNI Television in English and in Mandarin from 2008 to 2010.

In keeping with Native oral traditions, spiritual leaders from two western Canadian Native Nations demonstrate the powers of memory and presentation. Alan Pard and Jerry Potts from Piikani First Nation, and Clan Chief Adam Dick, along with Daisy Sewid-Smith and Kim Reclama-Cultesi from Qualicum First Nation, help us understand more about authentic cultural and ceremonial knowledge defined by tribes within Nations. By preserving the specific rituals of a Nation's cultural ceremonies, these guardians confront "Pan-Indianism" and show us the importance of maintaining tribal knowledge in a digital age.

The Quest is a sacred personal journey. In keeping with the Aboriginal perspective of honoring relationships, series host, Bert Crowfoot embarks on his own quest to reclaim the ancestral name of his Great Great Grandfather, Chief Crowfoot of the Blackfoot people.

The people behind the cameras and recording equipment also take the Quest. Their experiences of the sacred lead them to a code of conduct when recording with Native people. As filmmakers they follow professional protocols and undertake a spiritual responsibility to Native peoples' specific spiritual and cultural laws. Intellectual copyright and the chain of rights involve real, living relationships maintained by cultural guardians with their land, oral tradition, art, designs and literature.

Buffalo Spirit respects the integrity of the training, teachings, and protocols that must be followed in order to share cultural knowledge appropriately. This straightforward documentary series defines, creates room for honest discussion on the preservation of authentic Native cultural knowledge by using the communications media. The spiritual leaders featured in this series have the experience and the cultural rights to transmit knowledge as handed down to them by their teachers and from a Native community's collective memories. Their time with us on this earth is shortening.

Bringing the wisdom, discipline, and love of Elders to the people, The Quest of Buffalo Spirit strives to define, safeguard and uphold cultural identity.