St. Francis Indian School and Sinte Gleska Collaborate on Traditional Buffalo Kill

Story and Photos Submitted by SFIS Language Development Program

On Tuesday, April 10, 2018, students and staff from the St. Francis Indian School Language Development Program met with Sinte Gleska University Bison Project Manager, Ty Colombe, to conduct a buffalo kill. 

The young man chosen for his first buffalo kill was William McCloskey, a senior at SFIS who has attended four years of a camp, “Wikoskalaka nahan Koskalaka Woecun” (Traditions of the young men and young ladies). Through these traditional learning sessions, William (and other young men) were given instructions and teachings by elders such as Homer White Lance, Duane Hollow Horn Bear, Sam High Crane and others on: ceremonies, roles and responsibilities as provider and protector, and proper conduct.

William’s preparation included an understanding of the sacredness of life and his role as provider for all people.  He asked the ‘tatanka oyate’ permission in the lodge the evening before the hunt. 

“Ta Anpetu Luta” (his day was sacred); his vision was clear, his finger was steady, the winds were calm and the tatanka stepped forward to give of himself once again so that the people will live, “Oyate ki Nipi Kte.”

Helping William complete his kill were: Earl Peneaux, Steve Her Many Horses, Sam High Crane, Duane Hollow Horn Bear.  Other SFIS students attended to observe and learn that it takes a process and protocol to feed the people.

The Lakota Language Development staff and students would like to express a “Wopila” to Ty Colombe who has shown much patience and respect for these teachings. Also important to note is that this particular buffalo is to be taken to the 150 Year Commemoration of the Ft. Laramie Treaty; and it will feed all of the different Tribal people coming meeting together on April 28, 2018.


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