Religion and Environment Songs: Mitakuye Oyasin by Nahko and Medicine for the People

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Song Picks by Natalie

Mitakuye Oyasin is a song by Nahko and Medicine for the People that I feel relates to spirituality and nature. The phrase comes from the Lakota language and reflects the world view of interconnectedness held by the Lakota people of North America. The phrase translates in English as “we are all related.” The song begins with the lead singer describing being thankful for receiving a greater wisdom so that we as people can help all living things and calls this a prayer. The lyrics of the song describe being thankful for all that we have been provided before and then says,

“All of the blessings I have received
How could they have been bestowed upon me?
So I’ll put it all back in the ground
Back in the soil where I am found”

The band is describing their connection to the Great Spirit, or Wakan Takan Skan Skan, which translates from the Lakota language as Sacred Great Spirit. The song ultimately describes being thankful for this relationship and returning the blessings by taking care of the earth and all its creations. To hear Mitakuye Oyasin click here. To read the lyrics, click here.

Pope Francis on the Dakota Access Pipeline

Pope Francis has released a statement on the issue of developing land that is spiritually significant to native people. There have been many incidents in recent years where land was taken from natives in order to further economic development of a country at the cost of the rights of native people in regards to practicing their religion. Although it was never officially stated, this statement was in regards to the approved completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which will interfere with sacred land of different Native American tribes. To read the full article, follow either this link or this link.

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