Comforting Thought: Mitákuye Oyás

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“The phase Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ comes from the Lakota language and was part of the language of resistance used in the Standing Rock demonstration. Translated to English it roughly means ‘All my relations.’

“During prayers and meetings at Standing Rock, the Lakota people used this phrase when they wanted to speak or when they finished speaking. Listeners repeated it back to them to affirm they had been heard.

“Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ is a sign of respect and love, an acknowledgement that we are all connected to everything and everybody else. To the worms and slugs, as well as the eagles…to the brambles and the toadstools and the nettles as well as to the great redwoods and rainbows.

“Prayers extended to even those who opposed the action and who pepper-sprayed them. Their prayers are instead for the water and for the earth. It isn’t a war with a good side and a bad…

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