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时间:2018-02-20 23:49来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]

Buffalo1 Meat on the Menu Again for Native Tribe

The Oglala Lakota tribe on the Pine Ridge2 Reservation in South Dakota is close to regaining3 its traditional food supply.

The Charging Buffalo Meat House will open for business soon. The business will process and package buffalo meat from the tribe’s herd4.

For hundreds of years, buffalo – also called American bison – were the main food source for the Indian tribes on the Great Plains of the central United States. But buffalo were not only food. They were important for clothing, shelter and even weapons and tools.

In the 19th Century, the U.S. Army found that the best way to force Indians onto reservations was to destroy the buffalo. Millions of animals were killed, and the buffalo came close to extinction5.

Tribes living on the reservations could no longer eat their traditional diet. Instead, they ate foods the government provided, such as flour, oil and coffee. Over time, processed foods were introduced.

Traditional foods lost, health problems increase

The reservation covers almost 9,000 square kilometers, but has only one supermarket. In addition, unemployment on the reservation is estimated to be at 80 percent. Many people buy low-cost food that often is low in nutrition. Obesity6, diabetes7 and heart disease are major problems on the Pine Ridge reservation. The average life expectancy8 there is among the lowest in the U.S.

Charles “Bamm” Brewer9 believes the tribe can improve its health by returning to a traditional diet of wild fruits, vegetables and buffalo.

He said he came to the idea 20 years ago. At the time, he was working in a yearly round up of buffalo to gather animals that may have strayed from the herd. It was then, he said, that he had a vision.

“As the buffalo ran, they kicked up snow and dirt,” he remembered, “and they gave off hot steam. And all of this rose up into a huge cloud. And I ran right into that cloud with them.”

He believes, at that moment, he stepped back into the past and had the experience of his ancestors.

He said, “They gifted me a message: ’Bring the buffalo back to the people.’”

Bringing back the buffalo

Brewer started by raising buffalo on his family’s land. He began building his herd from animals on nearby national parks owned by the federal government.

Today he has a herd of about 50 animals, and buffalo meat has become an important part of his family’s diet.

Brewer said that the Lakota and other tribes killed buffalo for food and shelter, never for sport.

“In our culture, when we hunt the buffalo, we say a special prayer to thank the animal for giving its life,” he said.

About seven years ago, Brewer started working as a food program manager for a non-profit group called One Spirit. The group provides fresh food, fruits and vegetables to poor families. It also works to support the tribe.

Brewer then had the idea that One Spirit could build a meat processing center to process buffalo meat.

After launching a campaign to raise money, the Charging Buffalo Meat House project is nearly complete. To become fully10 operational, the project now needs about $15,000 for a heating and air conditioning system. The business would be identified as “custom exempt,” meaning it would have state approval to process and package buffalo meat for individuals and hunters.

One Spirit says it could start selling meat to the public if it receives approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

The market for buffalo meat is large. The National Bison Association estimates that the industry is worth about $340 million dollars each year.

Meat not the only product

Jeri Baker11 is the director of One Spirit. He said that more can be done with buffalo than supplying meat.

“By building the Meat House, we aren’t just providing employment,” he said. “We’re looking at all the things that could be done with the buffalo besides just having meat to eat.”

The group wants to restart a traditional method of processing buffalo skins. One Spirit has sought the help of a tanner who uses the animal’s brain in a process to prepare the skin, or hide, so that it stays soft even when it gets wet. Baker said providing hides could be a new industry.

Recently, the Charging Buffalo Meat House gave its first buffalo meat to tribe members.

Workers gave out 250 bags weighing one kilogram.

Brewer said people liked the program. Then he laughed. He told how one tribe member didn’t like the idea of eating buffalo.

Brewer explained, “That just shows us just how much this project is needed.”

I’m Mario Ritter. And I’m Alice Bryant.

Words in This Story

reservations –n. land in the U.S. that is kept for Native Americans to live

supermarket –n. a large store that sells many different kinds of food

round up –n. when herders gather together cattle or similar animals

vision –n. an experience similar to a dream that has religious or supernatural importance

tanner –n. a person who prepares leather and skins


1 buffalo 1Sby4     
  • Asian buffalo isn't as wild as that of America's. 亚洲水牛比美洲水牛温顺些。
  • The boots are made of buffalo hide. 这双靴子是由水牛皮制成的。
2 ridge KDvyh     
  • We clambered up the hillside to the ridge above.我们沿着山坡费力地爬上了山脊。
  • The infantry were advancing to attack the ridge.步兵部队正在向前挺进攻打山脊。
3 regaining 458e5f36daee4821aec7d05bf0dd4829     
复得( regain的现在分词 ); 赢回; 重回; 复至某地
  • She was regaining consciousness now, but the fear was coming with her. 现在她正在恢发她的知觉,但是恐怖也就伴随着来了。
  • She said briefly, regaining her will with a click. 她干脆地答道,又马上重新振作起精神来。
4 herd Pd8zb     
  • She drove the herd of cattle through the wilderness.她赶着牛群穿过荒野。
  • He had no opinions of his own but simply follow the herd.他从无主见,只是人云亦云。
5 extinction sPwzP     
  • The plant is now in danger of extinction.这种植物现在有绝种的危险。
  • The island's way of life is doomed to extinction.这个岛上的生活方式注定要消失。
6 obesity Dv1ya     
  • One effect of overeating may be obesity.吃得过多能导致肥胖。
  • Sugar and fat can more easily lead to obesity than some other foods.糖和脂肪比其他食物更容易导致肥胖。
7 diabetes uPnzu     
  • In case of diabetes, physicians advise against the use of sugar.对于糖尿病患者,医生告诫他们不要吃糖。
  • Diabetes is caused by a fault in the insulin production of the body.糖尿病是由体內胰岛素分泌失调引起的。
8 expectancy tlMys     
  • Japanese people have a very high life expectancy.日本人的平均寿命非常长。
  • The atomosphere of tense expectancy sobered everyone.这种期望的紧张气氛使每个人变得严肃起来。
9 brewer brewer     
n. 啤酒制造者
  • Brewer is a very interesting man. 布鲁尔是一个很有趣的人。
  • I decided to quit my job to become a brewer. 我决定辞职,做一名酿酒人。
10 fully Gfuzd     
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
11 baker wyTz62     
  • The baker bakes his bread in the bakery.面包师在面包房内烤面包。
  • The baker frosted the cake with a mixture of sugar and whites of eggs.面包师在蛋糕上撒了一层白糖和蛋清的混合料。
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