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False (sadly): Buffalo Did Not Stampede DAPL Protest at Standing Rock on Their Own

Saturday, October 29, 2016 15:23
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Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is a mesa carrier in the Peruvian Andean Medicine Tradition, Reiki Master Teacher, animal communicator, author and artist. In practice and in partnership with her companion animals, Rose offers private sessions and ceremonies for humans and animals, and teaches classes and workshops in Reiki and shamanism in Seattle, Washington.

Yellowstone Buffalo Hard Look, ©Rose De Dan

Nothing would make me happier than to report that the viral story circulating about the buffalo showing up on their own to support the water protectors at Standing Rock was true—especially since what I teach is that animals have opinions about what we are doing in this world, want to be heard, and are patiently waiting for us to listen.

Sadly, it is NOT true. With scattered reports coming out of Standing Rock it is difficult to sort truth from fiction (or manipulated truth). The well-intentioned story of the “thousands” of buffalo who appeared as a stampede to support the protesters is one that I have spent the morning researching.

My search for information started with someone I know well sharing this post with me on Facebook:

“At the height of the conflict today, a woman yelled, “Look at the buffalo!” We all turned to the east to see a herd of buffalo charging. Behind them were young warriors on horseback. Police in ATV’s charged after them. There were shots fired. The young men rode through the line of ATV’s and made their getaway. A war cry went up from the crowd. I’m proud to say we are still the greatest light cavalry in the world!”—Elder Jon Eagle Sr., SRST

While buffalo are sacred to many of the native tribes, and their appearance put heart into the protestors, it seems that the buffalo did not appear on their own to support them (that would be a wonderful sign that I would gladly share).

Here is what I discovered from the most reputable source I could find, Camp of the Sacred Stones:

“Members of the horse nation herded around 100 buffalo from the west and southwest of the Cannonball Ranch onto the the DAPL easement. One rider was reportedly hit with up to four rubber bullets his horse was reported to be hit in the legs by live rounds. Another horse was shot and did not survive.”

I support the water protectors in standing for #NoDAPL.

I support the peaceful protests of the water protectors.

However, I am not in favor of spreading stories that aren’t true, no matter how much we want them to be. In fairness I believe that the false story being shared through social media is the result of a misunderstanding rather than a deliberate attempt to mislead.

I am also not in favor of using wildlife to make political or spiritual points and potentially putting them in harm’s way.

The animals definitely want to help us restore balance to our relationship with them, the land and the water, as well as among ourselves. If the animals choose to get involved in the conflict on behalf of the people that is their decision, which I support. To the best of my ability to discover, that is not what happened this time, and I want to set the record straight on their behalf.

Prayers, blessings, Reiki on behalf of the people and animals at Standing Rock are needed for the highest and best good, and for wherever there is conflict over protecting the land and the water that sustains us all.

UPDATE 10/29/16: It is still difficult to say whether the buffalo showed up on their own, and I am not sure that we ever shall. The power of the story to inspire is perhaps more valuable than knowing. However, this video (sorry, could only find on Facebook) shows that the buffalo were chased by the Morton County police on ATVS and even a plane, trying to scare them away. Prayers for all our relatives at Standing Rock.


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©2016 Rose De Dan. All Rights Reserved.


An early pioneer in the field of complementary healing for people and animals, Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing, blends animal communication and Reiki and shamanic energy healing in a unique way.

Inspired by a shamanic vision where wild and domestic animals are calling for action to save the Earth and assistance in co-creating a better future for all, her classes, events, ceremonies and products are created with the intention of helping people heal themselves and live in harmony and connection with All Our Relations.

Her book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism features heartwarming stories about animals and their role in her evolution as an energy worker and shamanic healer.

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