The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

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May 9, 2012

Memorial service for Lightning Medicine Cloud Sunday

GREENVILLE — A separate memorial service has been scheduled for Lightning Medicine Cloud, in addition to events this weekend during a benefit powow.

Arby Little Soldier said the public memorial service has been set for 10 a.m. Sunday at the Lakota Ranch.

“Everyone is welcome,” Little Soldier said. “It is open to everybody.”

The 18th Annual Greenville Scholarship Native American Powwow will take place Friday and Saturday at the Lakota Ranch, just outside of Greenville. Originally planned for a one-year birthday celebration for Lightning Medicine Cloud, a rare and sacred white buffalo born at the ranch on May 11, 2011, Little Soldier has said the event would now also serve as a remembrance of Lightning and his mother, Buffalo Woman.

A criminal investigation involving multiple agencies is underway. Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said he is awaiting a report, which was not available as of Tuesday afternoon, from a veterinarian who examined both Lightning and his mother.

Little Soldier said he had found Lightning at his ranch near Greenville on April 30 and Buffalo Woman May 1.

Powwows are social occasions and can take the form of family honorings, general celebrations or dance competitions. Greenville’s event is a combination of all of the above, as people come from as far away as Oklahoma and New Mexico to take part, renew ties and enjoy the moment.

Thousands of people came to the ranch in June of last year, to participate in a ceremony in honor of the birth of Lightning Medicine Cloud.

The Pow Wow had been scheduled each January at Greenville High School, but was moved to the ranch and May this year to coincide with Lightning’s birthday. The Greenville powwow typically features several champions in Native American dancing competing in various styles, as well as vendors offering Native American food and arts and crafts.

Little Soldier said the publicity surrounding Lightning Medicine Cloud’s death may serve to increase the projected attendance for this year’s powwow.

“I think it is going to be bigger than if it was his birthday,” Little Soldier said, adding he has been in contact with the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office about the expected crowds. “They thought it is going to be huge.”

A reward fund, which at last report had reached approximately $45,000, has been established for information connected to Lightning Medicine Cloud’s death.

Anyone who may have information concerning the criminal investigation is being asked to contact the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office at 903-453-6800.

Those wishing to contribute to the White Buffalo Reward Account can send donations to the sheriff’s office, 2801 Stuart Street, Greenville, Texas, 75401 or through Alliance Bank, 6609 Wesley Street, Greenville, Texas 75402.

Little Soldier said those wishing to bring donations for the powwow, honor gifts or tokens of remembrance to the ranch can leave them near a bronze buffalo statue on the ranch grounds, or along the north fence of the ranch near the photo of Lightning Medicine Cloud.

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