Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Society
Who they are
The Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Society is a grassroots organization based on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, which is home to 26,000 members of the Lakota Tribe and is the second poorest county in the United States. The Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Society is run by members of the Iron Cloud and Two Dogs families.
What they do
The Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Society’s aim is to protect and revitalize Lakota culture and sacred traditions. They have reclaimed 1800 acres of ancestral lands for buffalo restoration projects. These involve building seven miles of fence and installing two windmills for pumping water. In addition, the Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Society hosts cultural and healing camps, led by Lakota elders, to reconnect youth to their culture.
Why they do it
Much of the land on the Pine Ridge Reservation is leased by the US government to non-tribal members. The Knife Chief Project aims to reclaim large segments of this land in order to restore the buffalo population, reconnect with their ancestral lands, and improve their food security and economic self-sufficiency.
While in Pine Ridge, the SStS group will work with the leaders of the Knife Chief Buffalo Nation Society as well as a group of local Lakota youth. The group may support a camp and school for Lakota children, work on buffalo restoration efforts, build fences for new buffalo pastures, and gather materials for traditional ceremonies.