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News Release

Tanka Fund

November is #SupportTheReturn Month

In honor of National Bison Day on November 7 and national Native American Heritage month during November, a leading Native nonprofit, Tanka Fund, is dedicating an entire month of online activity to help support the return of the Buffalo to the lives, land, and economy of indigenous peoples. The coordinated fundraising and education effort will #supportthereturn of buffalo, a keystone species, to one million acres of reservation land in the United States. Tanka Fund, Native-led and operated on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, provides leadership, direction and expertise to make The Return of the Buffalo a reality in Indian Country.

“The Return of the Buffalo will help Native ranchers overcome the obstacles they face in growing economically and environmentally sustainable buffalo herds that can feed reservation communities and build community wealth,” said Dawn Sherman, member of the Lakota, Shawnee and Delaware tribes, and board member of Tanka Fund. “Natural bison will drastically improve access to healthy foods for so many that struggle with high rates of diabetes and heart disease on the reservation.” Dawn is CEO of Native American Natural Foods, creator of the renown bison and berry Tanka Bar which was developed in 2007, and resulted in the new retail meat snack bar category. Tanka’s bison and fruit grab-and-go meat snack is made from a traditional Native recipe that is still used today, called wasna. Sales of the bars online and in stores nationwide will help #supportthereturn of the Buffalo.

A series of activities will be held throughout November during Native American Heritage Month to #supportthereturn. With two contests, videos, a Facebook Live panel and an education series, the Tanka Fund has set the goal of raising $50,000. Daily social media posts using #TankaFund and #SupportTheReturn will lead interested donors to

“As more people learn about our social justice work in Indigenous communities, we will grow our following and raise funds to provide tools and solutions to improve the health of our reservations,” said Trudy Ecoffey, Executive Director of Tanka Fund. “The funds will directly impact Native buffalo ranchers to support and sustain ranch planning, financing and operations.”

Nick Hernandez, Board Member for Tanka Fund and Founder and CEO of Makoce Agriculture Development, an organization focused on developing local food systems on the Pine Ridge Reservation, said, “Buffalo restoration is prairie restoration, cultural revitalization and sustainable regenerative agriculture. It’s a path from historic poverty to sustainable opportunity.”

Partners include: Niman Ranch, Onnit, Dr. Bronner, Tanka Bar, Chef Sean Sherman, Lisa Iron Cloud, Makoce Agriculture Development, Native American Agriculture Fund, Cedar Tree Foundation, Northwest Area Foundation, Emergence, Aida, Software for Good, and many more.

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