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margaretdufay

The grave of Standing Buffalo purified.

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Hi, found this once again in the Avenir de l'Artois, weekly Arras newspaper and thought it might be of interest.

americanindians.jpg

mags

An unusual ceremony took place on Saturday morning of the first of September zt the military cemetery of Bucquoy Road, in the territory of Ficheux.

In the presence of Marie Josée Aylé, Consulate for Canada in Lille, and Jean Claude Bluin, mayor of the commune and its councillors, of the mother of yann Calstelnot, president of the Association of the Research of AmerIndians veterans, a purification of the grave of Joseph Arthur Standing Buffalo, grandson of Sitting Bull was organized by Jean Marc Tavernier, their descendant.

Enlisted in the 78th Batallion of Canadian Infantry, Standing Buffalo was injured and cared for at Beaumetz les Loges. He died on 29 August 1918. Jean Marc TaverTavernier, his Dakota Sioux name of Little Wambli Thunder Rock, kidnapped as a baby from his tribe at Pine ridge, by missionaries, and brought to France to be illegally adopted. An Amerindian uncle found him again after several years of search. He now works so that Amerindians refind their culture and traditional values. Assisted by Lee Lost Flower, the two natives accomplished the ritual which consisted of burning sacred herbs and of tobacco in an abalone shell and sending the smoke into the sky with an eagle's feather in four directions in order to purify the air. A braid of sweetgrass in the hand allows them to channel the energies. The world of spirits is of utmost importance for Amerindians. Words of psalms and chanting closed this ritual. A branch which was used to link the earth and sky was planted. Four Amerindians lie in the cemetery of Bucquoy road and they were more than 7000 to have believed the necessity to defend a notion of freedom in our region. Far from the picture a a feather covered head from films, it is a proud people who struggle step by step to refind its lands and to manage its own destiny.

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Hi Mags,

Thanks for flagging this up. I seem to remember that the same kind of ceremony took place in Passchendaele New British Cemetery sometime in 1985 for Pte Alexander Decoteau,an Indian from the Red Pheasant Reserve KIA on 30 October 1917 during the infamous Push to Passendale (buried in 11 A 28). Good to see these men are not forgotten.

Regards.

Halibag

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I believe he was actually Sitting Bull's Great Grandson - his father being Julius Standing Buffalo who was Sitting Bull's Grandson. As Julius is recorded as being a devout Roman Catholic who brought up all his family in the same faith one wonders how appropriate the ceremony was.

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But from what I see on the web, I think that you were right about being the great grandson of Sitting bull

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Does anybody know of other CWGC headstones with Amerindian names on them? They must be quite uncommon.

Cheers Andy.

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