I saw the sunrise on a summer day with a prairie dotted with 200 buffalo to the north of the ranch. At the beginning of summer I rode with close to 200 riders for Crazy Horse - the Greatest war chief of all. I saw also a beautiful Grand Opening of our One Spirit BuffaIo House. It was a beautiful Saturday morning, I looked out the back door as the coffee maker started to gurgle around. The scenes in an old western movie are a real deal picture out here - no one will really ever know unless they spent some time out here. My grandson is so happy to see me every evening when I walk in the door at the ranch. No matter how busy or stressful a day gets I always have these sites that complete each day as if heaven was at my house. I am thankful for the life the great spirit has put before me.
We'd been in Sundance a week before and came out of that ceremony feeling the blessing. The buffalo gave us a sign and strength to continue on doing what we do, helping the people. As I looked at the buffalo in the early morning I knew it was going to be a good day. Never a more peaceful morning than coming from that special ceremony and then the thoughts of wanting to help feed the people. It is a very special time and there is no better time to help the oyate than after coming from a Sundance. It was a time of sharing the blessing. I had an idea to cook buffalo soup in a huge crock pot and add a few veggies in for our food day crew. One thing I didn’t consider was looking at the weather it was in the 90’s. It was a hot day, but no one seemed to complain. They all enjoyed the soup.
"You can smell those fresh vegetables"
It was the kind of day where I find myself sitting at home, the sun has gone down and we’re all so tired. But I’m thinking who else needs a box? In the morning we will continue on, as there are plenty more left. Mark Rilings brought a lot of really good wholesome veggies. Plus we had garden fresh veggies from the local “on-Rez” gardens. There was no better place to get produce today then at the Indian Action Garage provided by One Spirit donors. In this part of the year the people really got the freshest veggies today. Some lady walked in the garage and said, “You can smell those fresh vegetables”. It was a great day.
We started out with a smaller crew and I got kind of worried at first because Mark was asking for a forklift, which we don’t have. That request only meant one thing - he had a huge load. After a bit of thinking I decided to call my neighbor Dale MaGaa. He came to the rescue. It sure was a hot day and time really mattered with the burger and sausage in the boxes.Therefore, we made short work of unloading all the bins of melons and corn, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, you name it and it was about all on there. Once we got the food in, then the big work started and the fork lift did most of the work unloading. Once it was unloaded the crew realized it all came from there. That fork lift could unload but it couldn’t put the stuff in the boxes. Then more of the regular crew arrived and they went straight into high gear building boxes and adding food. Once the truck moved out, the crew started building the boxes and also the people started coming in. We are supposed to start walk-ins at 2:00 but they start coming in as soon as they see that big loaded truck at the garage.
There’s always a new and different adventure with every food day, Some of the moments are touches of humor, sadness, frustrations, and hope. Each brings us a good feeling that together we can bring a smile to those not having an easy life, those in a struggle to find happiness. It is a better day, a better evening, a night of rest for the people. I know all your help matters. I see it first hand and my heart is happy because I saw the eyes of struggle, strengthened, the endurance of warriors who continue on.
Thank you Jeri Baker and all the sponsors who help my people.
Bamm Brewer “Natan Hinapa” (Comes Charging)
One Spirit Food Manager