Deborah Anderson: The Women of the White Buffalo

Acclaimed, award-winning photographer Deborah Anderson couldn’t have picked a better time to raise the voices of Native American Women than with the current exhibit of her photographs at the Leica Store & Gallery in West Hollywood, which runs through June 25.

Anderson is also collaborating in a project with film producer Adam Schomer who  produced Heal, a documentary about the power of the mind to heal, and The Highest Pass, which premiered at the Topanga Film Festival in 2011.

Stepping out with great courage and shedding light on hard truths to bear, Anderson
seeks to empower and celebrate a matriarchal culture that has experienced the good, the bad and the ugly with great resilience. This is about the power found in ancient practices that lift all wrongdoing to a masterful teacher.

I met with the women who are the backbone of the community and keepers of their ancient wisdom

“I recently traveled to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the home to the Oglala Lakota Nation,” Anderson writes. “I was told it is one of the poorest of all the reservations and as I observed the broken pieces of a history that has tried to erase these people, I met with the women that are the backbone of the community and keepers of their ancient wisdom.

“These photos presented are stills from my upcoming feature documentary film about the Native Women that live on the Indian reservations in America. Their stories of loss, suicide, murder and epidemic meth addiction amongst their community are mirrored by their deep ancestral roots, traditional ceremony, prayer and hope.

“The story of the White Buffalo Calf Woman holds a deep importance within the Lakota tribe and many other Native tribes across the continent. The understanding is that of manifestation, rebirth, abundance, and world harmony.”

In the words of Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe of the Lakota Nation: “It was told that next time there is chaos and disparity, she would return again. She said she would return as a White Buffalo Calf. Some believe she already has.”

Mayra McCullough, Founder and President of the non-profit, Coach2Edify Foundation, is the project’s fiscal agent (818) 458-3810

The Leica Store is located at 8783 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048; (424)

Flavia Potenza

Flavia Potenza is executive editor of the Messenger Mountain News. She is also a founding member of the 40-year old Topanga Messenger that closed its doors in 2016. She can be reached at

1 Comment
  1. Hello. I am Onondaga, from the Bear Clan. Is the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, doing the real work on the rez since 1971 ,even mentioned in this white made film?

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