NICC, Extension sponsor buffalo harvest

Feb 9th, 2012 | By | Category: 23-3: Technology and Culture, Tribal College News

BUFFALO HARVEST. Jim Hallum shares traditional information on the buffalo at an October 2011 harvest sponsored by Nebraska Indian Community College and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Tribal Extension. Photo by Mark Gordon

Through a partnership between the Nebraska Indian Community College (NICC, Macy, NE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Tribal Extension, Jim Hallum of Santee, NE, is working to strengthen and preserve Native values. In October, dozens of Native and non-Native community members from over 10 tribal areas gathered for a traditional buffalo harvest to learn and preserve the old ways of living.

“We are teaching people how to live again,” explains Hallum, who is passionate about the sacredness of the buffalo (Bison Americanus) to Native people.

Today, throughout urban communities and on Indian land, much of the primary food source is processed, preserved, and then packaged for convenience. Through this process, much of the nutritional value and health benefits are lost. This contributes to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and various forms of cancer prevalent within today’s society. “Back then, we had none of these troubles,” says Hallum. “The buffalo provided for our needs.”

Every day, the cost of our conveniences is being realized, and although current trending now favors organic and healthier foods, much more must be done.

The bison signified more than a food source for Native peoples, according to NICC language instructor Alice Saunsoci. She adds, “The buffalo represented life.”

To learn more about NICC’s efforts to preserve traditional values and cultures through education, or to contribute, email

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