Mitakuye Oyasin (We are all brothers) The Story of the Turtle Tribe

4 Comments April 20, 2008 / Posted in Mindfulness

Ellen Langer in her book Mindfulness says:

Mindfulness is creation of new categories,
openness to new information
and awareness of more than one perspective.

With that in mind, sometimes that openness is to new information that is old information that we forgot we knew in our search for new information.

This is shared from dear friend and elder Abe Walking Bear Sanchez

Hello Ozzie,

Always good to hear from you. How you doing?

My friend and mentor , Jack Brightnose first told me the story and then Don Coyhis from White Bison in Colorado Springs spoke of it and I’ve been telling it ever since.

Brightnose passed on some time ago but Coyhis is still around…a heck of a speaker and a good man . White Bison

Yes please tell the story.

Mitakuye Oyasin,


The Turtle Tribe

Long ago when animals talked and people did not, all people lived on Turtle Island. Each, while different was the same.

Creator came to Turtle Island and said to the people: “You are to divide into groups and go off in different directions. Each group will go through the cycles of time apart from the others. There will come a time when you will come back together, form the sacred circle and share what you’ve learned while apart, and there will be a time of co-operation, peace and prosperity.”

The group that went off to the East became known as the Red race and the medicine wheel is painted red on that side. This group was given care of Mother Earth and all the animals and plants found there. The East is the direction of the morning sun, the Red sun, and it represents the Spring of the year and of our lives when we are infants and all we can do is love and be loved in return.

The group that went off to the South became known as the Yellow race and the medicine wheel is painted yellow at the bottom. This group was given care of the air and all the birds of the air. The South is the direction of the Summer sun and represents the Summer of the year and of our lives when we are youths and focused on self.

The group that went off to the West became known as the Black race and the medicine wheel is painted black on that side. This group was given care of the waters and the seas and all life found there. The West is the direction of Fall when the days grow shorter and represents the Fall of our lives when as adults we are to care for the children and support the elders. It’s as grand being a Dad, a Mom as it is work.

The group that went off to the North became known as the White race, and the medicine wheel is painted white at the top. This group was given care of fire which in time became mathematics and science. The North is the direction of Winter , of the snow and represents the Winter of our lives when as elders we are to care for the children yet to come.

Each group was given the additional responsibility of remembering in their hearts that all men are brothers, that there is but one race, the human race.

While going through the cycles of time apart, the people learned to speak each in their own way, and in so doing they almost forgot that they had once all been alike. Many came to think of each other as being strangers.

We’ve learned much while apart and as Creator promised, we are sharing what we’ve learned. In so doing, we’re coming back together. We’re remembering who we are and from where we all came.

There are those who would keep us apart, who would divide us into “us and them”, who create fear so as to drive us onto the Black Road…. they have yet to learn that neither heat nor light is lost from sharing the camp fire.

When all the people join the sacred circle we will have returned to Turtle Island and there will be Peace and Prosperity.

As our Lakota Brothers say:
“Mitakuye Oyasin”

(We are all relatives)


4 Comments... What do you think? Subscribe via RSS
  1. Ozzie Gontang said on April 30th, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Bill Acker shared with Abe Walking Bear the intro to Lee Iacocca’s book Where have all the Leaders Gone (2007)

    Abe’s response Bill Acker:

    Hello GreyEagle,

    It all starts with you and me.

    Change , real change and not just moving deck chairs around as the ship goes down …has to come from us.
    A society is defined by the virtues of its people.

    As long as we , you and me , continue to worship Materialism, as long as we are willing to trade the Gift from Creator…our lives, for junk, for stuff we don’t need and yet pay to store…then what are our virtues?

    Small houses and Big lives, walking the Red Road of Love, doing for others, making a small footprint on Mother Earth… all is up to us, you and me.

    Leo Tolstoy in his book, “The Kingdom of God Is Within You ” writes that otherwise good people are party to evil, even if that participation is only their silence. They are party to the corruption of good and evil.

    We all know deep in our hearts and souls that fear is what keeps us apart…and we all have our fears.

    We let those in “authority” stroke our fears with talk of heaven and hell, of them and us…for surely a society, which sees people as flawed and as evil if they don’t look like us or talk like us or know and believe what we know or believe, is defined by its fear.

    Having sent the People of Turtle Island off through the cycles of time apart from each other , Creator promised that the time would come when the people would come back together and share what they learned while apart …and there would be a new time of co-operation, peace and prosperity.

    We are leaving the time of the “us and them” and moving into the time of the “WE”.

    GreyEagle, thank you for sharing what you have learned, for contributing to the circle, to coming together.

    Neither heat nor light is lost when we share our campfire with others…only fear of the darkness and what may lurk there.

    Mitakuye Oyasin,(we are all related)

  2. Ozzie Gontang said on April 30th, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Bunny Sings Wolf responded:

    Dear Abe – and all good hearts

    For a moment here I hold the talking stick with gratitude. Blessings and love I send from where I sit humbly in the heart of the sacred Black Hills, upon a simple stone owned by no one but Creator, sending my songs and flute voices this Spring as all songbirds do whether they perch on a stone, a tree, a telephone pole, atop the roof of a mansion, or on a garbage heap – whether anyone hears them or not, the songs are always beautiful as they are sent from simple joy, gratitude, and from the heart, for all our relations (little birds sing from the chest not the throat).

    There are many empty buildings and many good and yet wild and natural places to teach our grandchildren on our knees. It is time to build relationships, not more buildings which would only continue to consume time, energy, resources that are needed to build good relationships. Pool resources instead of spend them, bring the circle round in giving and sharing, recycle upon what has already been built – there is much to work with – a new awareness needs to be awakened to see these things and take the good step towards them now.

    One of my newest dream songs yet to be recorded states: “Everything that goes around comes around, and it’s our come around time” – in the context of the song it refers to those of us who honor Mother Earth and have cared for her and attempt to continually walk softly upon her as it is the right thing to do. We are bound together in the circle of life, the circle of oneness and love, regardless of our illusions. The song continues to “say” we will be cared for even as we have cared for these things, and thus the “come around” time comes, for goodness begets goodness always and also. Perhaps if Creator helps me find the way, I can record it and you may hear and enjoy it’s message for these times just as my “Prophecy Keeper” song exorts. until then…

    I would like to share also round this warm campfire words that came in a dream to me this past “Earth Day” and now, among you, I find the place to send them
    with love and good intent:

    “Our perfect, precious and most beautifully abundant Mother Earth, gives of herself in honor of LIFE! Yet not even she would feign to protect her own beloved children from themselves, for this would betray Gods’ natural law of free will. ” Bunny Sings Wolf 4-22-08

    Mitakuye Oyasin,

    Bunny Sings Wolf

  3. Ozzie Gontang said on April 30th, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Abe responded to Geoff, a long time friend from the UK:

    Hello Geoff,
    Thank you for taking time to write and for sharing your insights.
    About 100,000 years ago scientists figure we evolved to modern man, although man domesticated fire around 1.4 million years ago.

    For the first 90,000 years of modern man’s life span we were all hunters and gathers. Families lived in groups, the generations caring after each other…living and dying together.

    About 9600 years ago the first villages appeared, along with the end of an ice age.
    Village life was good, the generations still lived together and cared for one another but now they grew corn and other grains and grasses and they kept domesticated animals rather than wandering from place to place. Craftsmen and farmers taught their children the family business …as they worked side by side.

    About two hundred and fifty years ago modern man entered the Industrial Age and for the first time in close to 10,000 years dad left home to go to the mine, the mill, the factory, the office. This created a void in the minds of the children and demons rushed in to fill the void.

    In 1960 Toffler referred to the new time as the Information Age and both dad and mom when off each day and in different directions.

    It’s time, past time that we combine the best of each of the human models and go back to the generations living and dying together. That we use all that has come before to create a high-tech Eco-village that grows its own food, generates its own energy and is connected to the rest of the world. A place where children learn from their elders, from artists, doctors, scientists and from the keepers of the word.

    We are but seeds cast upon the Earth and some land where they have all they need to grow and blossom while others struggle.

    Geoff, what if we build a 1000a Pueblo, Turtle Island Pueblo. A place where 500 people on 1000 A could blossom? A place for the generations?

    Mitakuye Oyasin,

  4. Ozzie Gontang said on April 30th, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    A Mother’s Day celebration:
    May 10 & 11, 2008
    19th Annual Cherokee County
    Indian Festival & Mothers Day Pow Wow
    Boling Park Canton, Georgia / 20 min. N.W. of Atlanta

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