Mitakuye O’yasin – We Are All Related 

Written October 6, 2016

Mitakuye O’yasin – We Are All Related “The phrase translates in English as ‘all my relatives’, ‘we are all related’, or ‘all my relations’.(Wikipedia)

Wikipedia goes on to say, “Mitakuye O’yasin is a phrase from the Lakota language. It reflects the worldview of interconnectedness held by the Lakota people of North America.This concept and phrase is expressed in many Yankton Sioux prayers, as well as by ceremonial people in other Lakota communities. It is a prayer of oneness and harmony with all forms of life: other people, animals, birds, insects, trees and plants, and even rocks, rivers, mountains and valleys.

“In 1940, American scholar Joseph Epes Brown wrote a study of Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ and its relevance in the Sioux ideology of ‘underlying connection’ and ‘oneness’. He noted how the phrase has been misappropriated and misused as a slogan and salutation by peoples from outside the Lakota cultures.”  

Before I continue on, I would like to say that it is with great reverence that I say this phrase in my writing. I believe the gentleman I learned this from was Lakota but I never found out before he Dropped his Robe(passed away). Since I have been slowly learning more about Native American culture and I encourage those more knowledgeable in/on these topics, I do not want to be disrespectful to those who’ve taught me and those who have yet to teach me.

If you spend anytime on Native American pages or groups on social media this is a phrase you’ll see occasionally, if not frequently. So what does it mean? Mitakuye O’yasin loosely translates to “We Are All Related”. “But I’m not related to this person! I don’t even know him/her!” you might say. While it’s true “this person” had different parents and probably neither parents knew each other nor did your grandparents, and so on but we are related nonetheless.

Each human, no matter what color/race, belief/faith/religion or socio-economic status, have many things in common. First and foremost, if you peel back the skin you’ll notice that all of us bleed the same red blood and the same organs. Each of us have 2 eyes, 2 ears, a nose and a mouth. We also have brains that think the same thoughts and hearts that feel plus we all have the same if not similar dreams and aspirations in life.

Another thing that connects all humans is the belief in a Higher Power. Yes, there are many different faiths and religions but each of us believes in a Power Greater than ourselves. This Power has names like The Divine, God, Buddha, Allah, whatever you choose to call Him(or Her). To my knowledge, Native Americans refer to Him as Creator but said in the different languages depending on the tribe to which they belong.

Next, if you look closer at each faith or religion you’ll notice that the primary message is one of love, love not only for that Higher Power and yourself but also love for each other. What many people aren’t aware of is that many eons ago there was one faith, one religion. Over the course of time people disagreed on how to worship and pray so they broke away and formed new religions. This of course gave us something else to fight with each other about.

The next time you think bad thoughts about someone from another race, creed, faith, or whatever else divides us, consider all of the similarities that I mentioned. I guarantee you will see for yourself all the similarities.

Thought for the day:

A’ho Mitakuye O’yasin Prayer

“To the Creator, for the ultimate gift of life, I thank you.

To the mineral nation that has built and maintained my bones and all foundations of life experience, I thank you.

To the plant nation that sustains my organs and body and gives me healing herbs for sickness, I thank you.

To the animal nation that feeds me from your own flesh and offers your loyal companionship in this walk of life, I thank you.

To the human nation that shares my path as a soul upon the sacred wheel of Earthly life, I thank you.

To the Spirit nation that guides me invisibly through the ups and downs of life and for carrying the torch of light through the Ages. I thank you.

To the Four Winds of Change and Growth, I thank you.

You are all my relations, my relatives, without whom I would not live. We are in the circle of life together, co-existing, co-dependent, co-creating our destiny. One, not more important than the other. One nation evolving from the other and yet each dependent upon the one above and the one below. All of us a part of the Great Mystery.

Thank you for this Life.”

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