RESPECT represented by the BUFFALO
No animal was more important to the existence of Indigenous families than the buffalo. A single buffalo could provide food, shelter, clothing and utensils for daily living. First Nations people were true conservationists for they lived in a sustainable relationship with the buffalo and they believed themselves to be true caretakers of the great herds. Through this special relationship the true spirit of Respect was understood.
The buffalo, through giving its life and sharing every part of its being, showed the deep respect it had for the people. No animal was more important to the existence of Indigenous families than this animal. This sustainable and mutual relationship with the buffalo resulted in a relationship that was a true expression of respect.
This spirit of respect was shown toward all of life because Native people saw the interconnectedness to all life. They saw very clearly their dependence on the land. Therefore, the land and its resources were to be given absolute respect.
When this respect was abused, the buffalo were hunted for fun; therefore, we see no great buffalo herds in the wild any longer.
RESPECT should not be expected but earned.
RESPECT is also reciprocal; that once it is given it is returned.
Excerpts taken from: George Martin, Lillian Pitawanakwat, Cindy Crowe, Dave Courchene Jr