“In Lakota culture, we give thanks, always, for everything. We wake up, greet the morning and give thanks for making it to another sunrise. We look out and give thanks for Unci Maka (earth) and all her beauty. When it’s time to eat, we give part of our breakfast and Wakalyapi (coffee) to the spirits with a prayer of thanks. We then offer up prayers for the gorgeous day we are about to embark on. By the time I’ve ingested my food and am ready to start my day, I’ve already offered up thanks for so many things.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Being aware that the creator is responsible for everything we do, we see, we experience, is innately part of us; it’s the fabric of our culture. It helps us to stay grounded, humble, Ice Wicasa, or Ice Winyan: common man or common woman. It reminds us we are no better than anything around us, we do not rule over the grass or the pebbles just because we are larger than them.
I feel this is a lesson for all human beings, Lakota or not. This is what seems to have been forgotten in wasicu society, or perhaps they never had it. Based on their past and present history with women, and other nations, I imagine the latter is probably true.
See, in our culture Lakota women didn’t have to rise up and have a feminist movement, because we were never discriminated by our men. We are sacred in our culture. We are rulers of the roost, literally. There are issues now, between women and men, but that is due to acculturation — and that is a whole other post for another time.
Back to what I was saying, this issue of equality between human beings has always been a dividing line between our cultures and it continues to be one; manifest destiny did not, and does not, mean the same thing for everyone .
For Lakotas one of our common mantras is “Mitakuye Oyasin” — we are all related. All of us, no matter who you are (person), or what you are (grass, trees, rocks), are the same. No one is better than anyone else. Our lives really are circular, and yes, everything REALLY is related to everything else…”
~Mary Black Bonnet
excerpt from Mitakuye Oyasin – We Are All Related