Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe preparing for Coronavirus

Published: Mar. 11, 2020 at 8:04 PM CDT
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Leaders with the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe are preparing for the Coronavirus. On Friday, they held a ceremony giving thanks to the Tetonka Oyate, the buffalo nation.

"We're taking precautions to move quickly as possibly to stockpile food, medicine, cleaning supplies, so we can support our people that can't support themselves.," Donovan White, the Chairman of the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe, said.

The Chairman of the Tribe, Donovan White, says there are two main groups of people the tribal leaders are focused on taking care of, the elderly, and those with pre-existing conditions.

"That's what the virus is going to do, it's going to put their lives in jeopardy, the stats say they are the most prone to be susceptible to health emergencies" White said.

The early work for the tribe started on Friday with a ceremony, selecting buffalo for quarantine, and showing their appreciation for the animal.

"We were thanking the buffalo for keeping their promise to us and always keeping their word," said Breon Lake, the Reservation facility manager.

There was also one buffalo selected for sacrifice.

"We gave that buffalo our problems to help us with this Coronavirus that's coming, so when his spirit went back to the star camps, he told the Creator what our concerns were," Lake said.

The next step for the tribal leaders, preparing for the next ceremony, which should happen in the very near future.

"The ceremony that is coming up is going to ask everybody's help to help with our elders," Lake said