The animal, a female born in June at Bitterroot Valley Bison Ranch in Missoula, has been named The Creator's White Buffalo Maiden. Only about one in a million buffalo calves are born white, according to researchers, and many lose their snowy coloring as they grow. 

Tribal members believe White Buffalo Maiden has immense cultural significance, with some saying she represents the strife plaguing our nation. Others claim her arrival means women should take more leadership roles in tribal affairs. 

About 30 people from Montana's seven main tribes gathered in Lolo on August 29 for a ceremony honoring White Buffalo Maiden's arrival. 

'I think the reason the Creator sent this calf here is because of all the injustice that's been done,' Glenn Gopher, who conducted the ceremony, told the Great Falls Tribune.

'She shows that we need to love and respect one another. ' Gopher said. 'Love and respect are what's missing in this country; our lawmakers are out of hand.' He said the group prayed 'for peace and harmony for all of mankind.'

'It was the most beautiful appearance,' Gopher told the Tribune. 'I'm sure I will never see anything like that in my lifetime again.'

Aside from her tribal name, the rare bison has been named Faith by the owners of the ranch. On Facebook, Jimmy St Goddard, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, said his people had been waiting for her arrival for 900 years.

'For 40,000 years the Creator has used the buffalo to provide the indigenous [with] sacred messages and prophecies.'

Blair Gopher, a member of the Blackfeet and Ojibwe tribes, said a female calf was a sign more women should hold positions of authority.

The National Buffalo Association puts the birth of a white buffalo calf at one in every 10 million births, while the Montana Historical Society says its closer to one in every five million. With the advent of selective buffalo breeding on private ranches, though, it's now closer to one in a million.



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