Native American woman speaking in front of a herd of bison

Breakfast with the Bison Welcomes Very Special Guest

Breakfast with the Bison Welcomes Very Special Guest

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In September, Lucille Contreras, Lipan Apache Band of Texas member and CEO/founder of the Texas Tribal Buffalo Project, spoke to Breakfast with the Bison attendees about a topic near to her heart: her relatives the bison.
Native American woman speaking in front of a herd of bison
Lucille Contreras, CEO and founder of the Texas Tribal Buffalo Project and a member of the Lipan Apache Band of Texas, speaks about her relatives the bison at Breakfast with the Bison. Photo by Friends Staff.

On a glorious morning in September, the Friends hosted our annual Breakfast with the Bison, featuring a very special guest, Lucille Contreras. Lucille is the CEO and founder of the Texas Tribal Buffalo Project and is a member of the Lipan Apache Band of Texas. Her organization is a nonprofit dedicated to the restoration of the traditional relationship between the Lipan Apache and their relatives the bison  Iyanee’ in Apache (pronounced “eee-yah-knee”) — and the reconnection and healing of generational trauma of the Lipan Apache and other indigenous communities and tribes in Texas.

Group sitting at a table listening to a speaker in front of a herd of bison
Breakfast with the Bison attendees listen to speaker Lucille Contreras. Photo by Friends Staff.

As guests arrived, Lucille greeted the bison. As members enjoyed breakfast, Lucille shared the story of her people and their kinship to the bison. She answered questions and concluded with two folklore tales about bison and prairie dogs. During her talk, a bison began making calls to her, as if she were part of the herd. The surrounding wildlife also noticed Lucille. Coyotes howled nearby as she shared her tales.

Group listening to Native American woman speak in front of a herd of bison
Lucille Contreras educates attendees with folklore tales about prairie dogs and bison. Photo by Friends Staff.

It was an extremely moving experience to see our herd connecting with Lucille and hearing the reaction of the animals while she was on the Refuge. We will be partnering with The Texas Tribal Buffalo Project on future events and programs that will focus on the Iyanee’. Visit the Texas Tribal Buffalo Project’s website to learn more about its mission: texastribalbuffaloproject.org.

By Haily Summerford, Executive Director, Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center

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