black hills unity concert

What Do You Stand For?

Mitakuye Oyasin is a Lakota word that means all things are related, the animals, the land, the ancestors and most importantly the people. Over the full moon weekend of August 28–30, 2015, activists, artists, musicians and tribal members from across the country came together in the Black Hills of South Dakota for a concert and a collective prayer to restore sacred land to its rightful caretakers, the Lakota people.

The Black Hills Unity Concert allowed people to bring their own medicine and share it with the community. We got the chance to ask seven participants what it is that they stand for. Their answers to this one simple question reminds us that we are truly interconnected.

Standing Fox

"The preservation of people and land. Everyday is a ceremony, so live it as that." 

Apache Strong Hold

Nahko Bear

"All my relations"

Medicine for the People

Luke Nephew

"I stand in the ocean of us, full of waves and courage, rising and falling in celebration of our precious water. Alive always in the struggle for our liberation."

The Peace Poets

Waltrina Middleton

"I stand for love and it's transformative power that can heal wounds, liberate the oppressed and redeem the oppressor. Love is prophetic. Love is power."

The Movement for Black Lives

Tina Malia

"For the return of humanity living within natural order on our precious Earth."

Bridge to Vallabha

Paul Stover Soderman

"I stand for the realization of ancestral healing."

The Lakota Way Healing Center

 Lyla June

"I stand for forgiveness, compassion, faith, and generosity."


Thank you to all the participants and to the organizers of The Black Hills Unity Concert.

See you all next year.