Yakking about buffalo hunting: Mongolian Ambassador visits<br>

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Yakking about buffalo hunting: Mongolian Ambassador visits


By Jason Stover, story, and Eric Pourier, video and photos

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A delegation from Mongolia visited the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Oct. 22 in search of buffalo and, hopefully, good hunting grounds. This could be the first meeting of a cultural exchang, with some of their hunters coming here to hunt our buffalo and some of our Lakota hunters going to Mongolia.

The Tanka team was invited to meet the delegation at the Oglala Sioux Tribe's Parks and Recreation Building here in Kyle, S.D. Our Thunder Valley partners provided Tanka Dogs from the e-Tanka Cafe, a healthy lunch for our new Mongolian friends.

Our visitors included Mongolian Ambassador Khasbazar Bekhbat and his wife, Jamsrangiin Gerelmaa; Second Secretary/Political Sambuu Dawadash; Second Secretary/Consul Lkhagvasuren Altangerel; Ministry of Education, Culture and Science Buurankhii Mishigjav; Adviser to the Minister Gongor Damdinnyam; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade B. Bayasgalan; and James F. Wagenlander, Honorary Consul for Mongolia in Denver.

Birgil Kills Straight, Executive Director for the Oglala Parks and Recreation Authority, hosted the delegation and was on hand to talk about the Reservation's land and the wildlife that lives here. In turn, each employee at the Parks and Recreation Authority explained their jobs and areas of expertise. Trudy Eccofey, Chief Biologist, told the group that Pine Ridge has some of the healthiest wildlife in this part of the country. Monica Terkildesen described her duties as grant writer.

The delegation was excited to try our bison products and, while they ate, Glen Gibbons, Chief Park Ranger, talked about the terrain of our homeland and what animals could be found in our region as well as the cost of actually buying licenses to hunt on our land. The delegation had two avid hunters in their group who are interested in hunting buffalo.

The visitors said our buffalo is much like the yak is to them, a traditional food and a central part of their way of life. They said yaks are strong animals, well-suited to the high mountain regions of Mongolia. Their milk and meat have long been staples of their diet. Mongolia also has snow leopards, camels and Bighorn sheep.

The Mongolian Bighorn sheep license costs $40,000, making it a sport just for very wealthy people. In comparison, a license to hunt one of our buffalo is less than $1,000 for non-tribal members. Oglala Lakota tribal members pay less.

As the meeting was wrapping up, Travis Brave Bird, Enforcement Ranger, said a team had rounded up buffalo in a corral for the delegation to see in the pastures near Allen.

As for their review of our Tanka Dog, the ambassador looked to be more interested in his pickle, and we had a heck of time trying to decipher the Mongolian language to know for sure. The good news is that the majority of the group appeared to enjoy eating our Tanka Dog.



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Guest smokiewind on Mon Oct 26, 2009 17:17:16
why hunt them at all let them roam free as our mother ment for them to be..i can under stan if the people of pine ridge needs the meat of there bothers to fead there little ones but why but a price on someing our mother earth gave us to watch over...