“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 side or an enemy to beat down. We are all in this together. What is good for my descendents is good for yours.
“Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ, all my relations shares with Buddhism the powerful perspective that all beings, all things are interconnected. Water and mountains, police and water protectors, indigenous peoples and their colonisers.
“In the 13th Century, Eihei Dogen, founder of the Soto School of Zen wrote:
From: Standing At the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet by Joan Halifax
Roshi Joan Halifax PhD is a Buddhist teacher, Zen Monk and Anthropologist who explores the edges of human experience and writes incredibly compelling books about the intersection of spirituality, psychology and human consciousness.