Hau Mitakuyepi, Eyuha Chante waste nape ciyuzapelo, Wanbli Chante emaciyapelo, nahan ojinjinkta wakpa ematahan, nahan igmu wakute tiyospaye etan wau welo!
I shake your hand with a good heart, my Lakota name is “Heart of Eagle” i come from the community of Rosebud creek and i am a representative of the, “Shoots the Cat”, spiritual family.
This is a traditional Lakota greeting. It is important to always shake hands with a good heart, the energy that resides within us is transferable and when greeting relatives or strangers we always want to set a positive tone with a good hand shake. For us as Lakota the tradition of having a Lakota name is very special, mine name was given to me during a healing ceremony. Before the coming of boarding schools all Lakota were identified by spiritual Lakota name. During the boarding school era, christian names were given to students and the original spiritual names were disregarded. We identify the community or region we come from so others will know, also sense of place is very important to us as the history of place holds our stories and ceremonies. Telling the name of your extended family allows others to establish connection to your blood relatives and allows to further extend your family through these connections.
Today many people are diligently working to restore, record and preserve our language. I was told to, learn our songs, and through these songs i will begin to understand and pick up the language. I have been in this practice for a few years now and am trying to give back what i learned by mentoring the next generation. We are teaching the Lakota introduction and introduction to Lakota songs, in hopes of retaining our first language, the Lakota Eyapi.