We Are All Family

Ho Mitakuye Oyasin

I ran across this Native American saying – I think it was at the Great Dakota Gathering we went to this fall. (better known as a pow-wow).  It translates to “all my relations” or “I am related to all things and all things are related to me.”

I’ve “found”  some long-lost relations in the past few years, some I had lost track of for no good reason,  some I didn’t even know existed.  One is Jaylen Bea.

My mother and her great-grandmother are sisters.  She visited me this summer and we were figuring out who she was related to and how.  It got a little complicated.  How many levels of cousin-ness are there? Would she be my third cousin?  Who would the great-grandchilden of my mother’s brother be to her?

She concentrated for awhile and finally told me this:

When you really think about it, we are all related.

Maybe she was just tired of trying to make the connections, but I don’t think so.  I think she was making even more connections.

I wish I was that wise.  I wish our leaders were that wise.

Thanks, JB.  You’re right.  We are all related.

All My Relations (älˑ mīˑ rē·lāˑ·shnz),

n.pr an expression that asserts the basic philosophy of many Native Americans, according to which plants, stones, two-leggeds, animals, sky, earth, moon, spirit helpers, ancestors and—most significantly—the Great Spirit are related; good health results from harmony between all beings.


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