Published January 30, 2016
SAINT PAUL—A historic campaign to return buffalo to American Indian lands, lives and economies is giving all Americans a chance to be part of this return.
Tanka Fund, a national campaign to bring buffalo back to Indian Country, toured the country for 15 months with an authentic, Lakota hand-painted buffalo hide to invite people from all walks of life to be part of the story of the buffalo’s return.
More than 11,000 people have joined the campaign by entering a free sweepstakes to win the prize hide. The sweepstakes is now in the final stretch, closing January 31, 2016, at 11:59 PM Central Time. People can enter up until that time at www.tankafund.org/win.
A donor advised fund at Indian Land Tenure Foundation, Tanka Fund is sponsored by Native American Natural Foods, a community company on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and creator of the TANKA brand of healthy buffalo snacks. TANKA products are the first branded food products nationally distributed from an Indian Reservation.
“Native peoples of the plains painted buffalo hides to document historic events of the past. We’re using this traditional story telling art to share our vision of a thriving future,” said Karlene Hunter, CEO of Native American Natural Foods.
With Native American Natural Foods’ distribution network of 8,000 plus retail stores and the non-profit reach of Indian Land Tenure Foundation, the buffalo hide travelled to major natural food shows, outdoor retailer events, tribal gatherings and went on the road withNeil Young on his summer and fall Rebel Content Tours!
To build the campaign, Native American Natural Foods ‘created a new TANKA product, called the TankaFund.Org Jerky. A portion of every sale of the Jerky is contributed to the Tanka Fund. More than 110,000 Jerky strips have been ordered since the campaign launch.
With grant money to operate the campaign, every individual donation and all sales proceeds go directly to developing and growing sustainable buffalo herds in Indian Country.
“Returning buffalo is a way to renew the health of our lands, our people and our economies,” said Hunter. “In fact, the last time we had a functioning economy, it was a buffalo economy. It’s time to bring that back.”
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This BBSNews article originally appeared on Native News Online.