Marty Two Bulls Jr.
“"Mitákuye Oyasin" is a Lakota phrase that loosely translates to "we are all related". It is a philosophy that is directly tied to Lakota culture and religion. We say this phrase in our ceremonies and it is meant to remind us that we are related and interconnected to everyone; even to the plants and animals.
My hope is that by using the Lakota language, a language most of the audience at my site is unfamiliar with, it will spark curiosity and people will investigate what the words mean. Mitákuye Oyasin is a phrase that is meant in my culture to reinforce empathy and humility. These are two values that I think are missing in the way this country is treating recent immigrants.
My people have been negotiating issues around immigration and land entitlement for many generations and I believe that using our language in this conversation to encourage empathy and humility is a powerful statement.”
Marty Two Bulls Jr. is an artist and educator based in Rapid City, SD. Two Bulls is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Two Bulls was raised on the high plains of South Dakota. Two Bulls comes from a family of diverse artists. His father, Marty Two Bulls Sr., is an accomplished artist and gave Marty Jr. his first art education. Two Bulls went on to study art at The Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Two Bulls has exhibited his artwork in galleries and museums both nationally and internationally. Aside from his studio practice, Two Bulls is a member of the Art Faculty at the Oglala Lakota College where he teaches art and art history across the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Hear from Marty Two Bulls Jr.: