Native Sun News: Sacred white bison born on Connecticut farm

The following story was written and reported by David Arredondo, Native Sun News Summer Journalism Intern. All content © Native Sun News.

Sacred white buffalo born in Connecticut
By David Arredondo
Native Sun News
Summer Journalism Intern

GOSHEN, CONNECTICUT –– A white buffalo calf was born June 16 on a farm near this small community to a great deal of adoration and publicity.

The birth comes on the heels of the slaughter of a year-old white buffalo calf named Lightning Medicine Cloud in Texas in early May.

The white buffalo calf is a sacred symbol to many Native American tribes, particularly the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota peoples. This significance dates back to the legend of the pre-Columbian appearance of White Buffalo Calf Woman, or Pte Ska Win in Lakota dialect.

A white bison birth is a rare occurrence: An estimated one of every 10 million buffalo are born with a white coat. The phenomenon is scientifically attributed to albinism, or lack of pigmentation, a genetic condition. White bison offspring are also achieved through crossbreeding.

The bovine animal used to roam the North American plains, with an estimated population of 30 million at its peak. Today, the population is estimated to be around a half a million due to near-extinction during white America’s westward expansion of the 19th century.

Peter Fay, the dairy farmer who owns the white buffalo calf, contacted friends from the Pine Ridge Reservation after the birth, according to Michigan-based online media outlet Native News Network. Lakota elders from the Oglala Sioux Tribe will perform an on-site naming ceremony for the calf on July 28.

Fay has temporarily named the white buffalo calf “Tatanka Ska,” which is Lakota for “White Buffalo.”

(Contact David Arredondo at

Copyright permission by Native Sun News

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