Annual meeting of the Wind River Native Advocacy Center shares buffalo tours, food, and healing

The inaugural meeting was held earlier today at the Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative camp behind the old Morton church northeast of Kinnear. The day started with a tour of the Eastern Shoshone’s buffalo herd.

Eastern Shoshone Buffalo Caravan, December 2021. Photo Credit: Taylar Dawn Stagner

“When we have buffalo we increase our biodiversity,” Jason Baldes said during a presentation during the meeting. Baldes is Eastern Shoshone and spent his collegiate career studying buffalo and how they are good for the ecosystem. 

The meeting included a prayer by Wes Martel, former Eastern Shoshone business council member, and he talked about the importance of community. Members talked about lobbying in Cheyenne at the state legislature. 

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Games and food were provided as well as a healing workshop led by the Wind River Advocacy Center’s board chair Cherokee Brown.

Cake walk, Wind River Advocacy Center Meeting. December 2021. Photo Credit: Taylar Dawn Stagner

“Today we are focusing on healing,” Brown said as she led the group through an exercise about the dynamics and importance of healing from intergenerational trauma. 

Elections of board members as well as a caravan tour of the Northern Arapaho’s buffalo herd was held as the meeting ended on a note of the importance of the buffalo. 

The Wind River Native Advocacy Center is also a part of the Citizens for the Red Desert, a group that advocates for the preservation of the red desert south of the Wind River Reservation.

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Also, the day kicked off a project called Help Me, Help You, Help Us. A group of women focused on camping, foraging and learning about the relationship between land and people.

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