Mitakuye Oyasin

Tips From The Top
by Daniel van Starrenburg, President

Daniel in a TreeMitakuye Oyasin. We chose it as our company wide theme, influencing each of our meetings and conferences throughout the year. More importantly, Mitakuye Oyasin serves as a guiding principle for SavATree. But what does it mean? And why does it matter?

The literal translation of this Sioux Indian saying is “all my relations.” A common interpretation is “we are all connected,” which references the underlying belief of interconnectedness among all creation that is held by the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people. This means every action we take or don’t take affects someone or something else on the planet. Such a holistic perspective drives our conscience to think about our impact on others.

I was originally introduced to this theme during a Portage River trip in the Canadian wilderness. There are probably few places where our impact as humans and connections to each other are more noticeable than when you are in the pristine wilderness for weeks, living off the land and water.

Working closely with plants and in nature, we see examples of underlying connections every day. For instance, oak trees sustain as many as 525 species; something to consider when deciding whether to take down a tree. Likewise, we value ash trees for shade, but may not realize that at least 20 species of butterflies rely on them for survival. Although we may be unaware of such links, we are surrounded by them. In fact, they form the basis of all ecosystems where, by definition, living and non-living components are inextricably linked together.

Of course, human connections are at the heart of what makes SavATree special. The strength of our relationships with our customers and professional alliances drive the growth and success of our business. This is one reason we make every effort to consistently obtain customer feedback (see survey news item in the company update section). Likewise, as in any service company, employees are a crucial asset. Happy team members create happy customers and we know this is central to reaching our goal of being the best in every market we serve.

The Sioux considered Mitakuye Oyasin a prayer of oneness and harmony. At SavATree, it provides context for everything we do as a company. I invite you to join me in being open to what Mitakuye Oyasin can mean for you.

Click here to return to newsletter homepage