A local ranch has been working with the Turtle Mountain Tribe to help in bringing their community back together after the pandemic. A white buffalo was given to the tribe on Friday.

“They mean a lot to us in so many ways,” said Murton Gillis, a Buffalo Manager at Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.

Fischer Ranch recently got a white buffalo from the Wahpeton Zoo. Since one of their goals is to share the appreciation of agriculture and provide opportunities for people to learn about animals, they were more than happy to give the rare buffalo to others.

“My husband and I have tried to do a lot with other people. We reached out to Turtle Mountain, and they said they would take him. So, being he’s a white buffalo, and that’s got a lot of significance for the Native Americans. We gave it to Turtle Mountain,” Beverly Fischer, a Rancher at Fischer Bar 33 Bison Ranch.

According to the White Bison Association, only 1 out of every 10 million buffalo born are white. These buffalo are said to have great spiritual meaning to the Native American culture.

“They mean a lot for hope and integrity. With everything going on with COVID, and everybody around the world being shut down. This could bring our tribe together in a good way, through prayer. So, I hope it does have a great influence on our people,” said Gillis.

The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa plans to hold a hand drum ceremony once the white buffalo enters the pasture. They also hope they can breed other white buffalos for their herd. The buffalo will be eventually be returned to the ranch.

Fischer Ranch in Selfridge plans to continue providing educational opportunities and plans to continue to develop and expand their ranch. They also hold an annual bison sale every winter.