The Sacred Buffalo: Target of Farm Subsidies
While Indian peoples go hungry, commercialization of the buffalo and new government agricultural policies will keep the price of buffalo meat high. The alleged surplus of buffalo meat has prompted the United States government to subsidize buffalo producers. The Department of Agriculture will buy $6 million in surplus ground buffalo meat, one fourth of the industrys production. Some of this is intended for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations. However, as the history of farm subsidies shows, large corporate ranchers - including, no doubt, the biggest buffalo producer Ted Turner - will be the beneficiaries. Also, history shows that surplus foods passing through the Department of Agriculture to needy people tend to be of lower quality. See the article on Why is Cankú Lúta Conducting Food Drives for Indian Communities?
The Buffalo is sacred to the People of many Indian nations, especially to the Lakota People. Wakan Tanka (The Great Mystery) gave the Buffalo to the People as their way of life. Not only was the Buffalo sacrificed for his meat, but every part was used for some purpose. The Buffalo contributes to ceremonies, to the children, to the elders, to all aspects of Lakota life.
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