A community is only as strong as its mothers and fathers.
The heritage of Native Americans is rich in community and family bonds. In the Lakota culture, the word tiyospaye encompasses the conviction that family is not only made up of immediate blood relatives, but also extends to all those within their tribal clan. The abundance of family is the measure of your wealth and creates the very foundation of one's life.
This weekend, we're sharing some thoughts about Native men who are strong fathers and father figures for their communities and for the world.
Understanding the Native American Sense of Family
Different cultures develop different conceptions of what it means to live in a family and in relationship with each other. Every culture understands and highlights the importance of fathers, mothers, and healthy families, but Native American culture is uniquely relational. For Native Americans, family and tribal relationships are sacred and interdependent. The pain or joy of your family is your pain or joy
In Lakota culture, tiyospaye embraces the beauty of living in harmony, taking care of one another, and trusting each other. Your tiyospaye will support you throughout life’s journeys, whether the road is rocky or the path smooth. For the Lakota, you are not only a member of the family through birth, marriage, or adoption, but also family extends far beyond to include the whole Lakota nation. Throughout history and into the present day, the Lakota welcome and support each other, wherever they find each other, as if they were in their own immediate family.
This Father's Day, we celebrate the Native fathers and father figures who are supporting, raising, and loving the next generation of young Natives, showing them what it means to live with honor and strength.
The Role of a Father
These words hold true for fathers of all walks of life. Lyle Miller, artist and educator of the Ihanktonwan Oyate [Yankton Sioux Tribe], shares his perspective on fatherhood and the importance of love.
Let's Show Our Gratitude to All Fathers
This weekend, let's celebrate and honor the memory of men who have been good fathers and father figures in our life.
Here at Native Hope, we are grateful for tiyospaye, for fathers, and for our whole community of friends. Mitákuye Oyás’iŋ el lechangleska wichoni–"We are all related in this circle of life."