GREENVILLE - It was scheduled to be a ceremony honoring the birth of a sacred white buffalo. But this weekend’s Native American Powwow will instead serve as a memorial for Lightning Medicine Cloud, who, along with his mother, were found dead last week.
The community and Native American tribes across the nation continue to mourn the death of the rare buffalo, whose birth is said to be a one in 10 million occurrence.
Arby Little Soldier, owner of the Lakota Ranch just west of Greenville where Lightning Medicine Cloud was born, says that while he and his brothers and sisters are deeply saddened by the event, Medicine Cloud’s memory will live on.
“What he brought to us wasn’t to highlight me; it was to highlight the legacy and the word that he brought. And that’s what’s going to go on from this ranch,” Little Soldier stated during a May 4 press conference.
The 18th Annual Native American Powwow is scheduled for May 11 and 12 at the Lakota Ranch and will feature several champions in Native American dancing competing in various styles, as well as vendors offering Native American food, arts and crafts.
Lightning Medicine Cloud was born on May 12, 2011. Weeks later, a naming ceremony took place attracting thousands.
“Spiritually I was not supposed to touch that calf until he was a year old. To be able to take and unite with him like I was supposed to. His mother had him for that first year. Protected him, helped him grow up, was teaching him,” Little Soldier said.
Images from last year’s naming ceremony can be viewed here.
Meanwhile, the investigation continues into the deaths, but the type of crime and details of the killings are still unclear.
Sheriff Randy Meeks said Friday, “We have not been able to classify the crime as yet, so that [the investigation] will determine the degree of charge or charges.”
A statement on the Ranch’s website reads, “Thus far, the investigation has concluded that neither [buffaloes] were killed by natural causes. This crime is too senseless to imagine and our hearts are heavy with sadness.”
Little Soldier says his family is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.