Mitakuye Oyasin

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Mitakuye Oyasin (All Are Related) is phrase in the Lakota Sioux language. It reflects the world view of Interconnectedness, and is inherent as a belief of most Native American traditions that "Everything is Connected".[1]

It is used in all Yankton spiritual ceremonies and activities and employed as a prayer to end other prayers, after which the sacred food or sacred pipe is passed around. [2] The Lakotas, Dakotas and Nakotas all use this phrase as a refrain in many prayers and songs.[3][4][5]

In 1940, American scholar, Joseph Epes Brown wrote a definitive study of Mitakuye Oyasin and its relevance in the Sioux ideology of "underlying connection" and "oneness", and it has become a catchphrase and greeting in the animal rights, womens' rights as well as human rights activism.[4]


Translations and themes [edit]

The phrase translates as "all my relatives," "we are all related," or "all my relations." 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. [6][2]

Example of Use in Prayer [edit]

Aho Mitakuye Oyasin....All my relations. I honor you in this circle of life with me today. I am grateful for this opportunity to acknowledge you in this 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.

References [edit]

  1. ^ François, Damien (2007). The Self-destruction of the West: critical cultural anthropology. Publibook. p. 28. ISBN 2-7483-3797-2. 
  2. ^ a b Maroukis, Thomas Constantine (2005). Peyote and the Yankton Sioux: The Life and Times of Sam Necklace. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 160. ISBN 0-8061-3649-9. 
  3. ^ "US: Indigenous Lakota women face harsh winter wrath under climate change". November 2, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Lupton, Mary Jane (2004). James Welch: a critical companion. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 23–24. ISBN 0-313-32725-4. 
  5. ^ Ling, Amy (2000). Yellow Light: The Flowering of Asian American Arts Asian American history and culture. Temple University Press. p. 329. ISBN 1-56639-817-7. 
  6. ^ Jones, Blackwolf; Gina Jones (1996). The Healing Drum. Hazelden Publishing. p. 77. ISBN 1-56838-566-8. 
  • Blevins, Win. Stone Song. p. 392 and others
  • The Wolfwalker Collection, Jan. 2006, Silver Wolf Walks Alone [1]

External links [edit]