tântê kâ-ohcîwâkopanê nistam-ininiwak - Where the first people came from

Simeon Scott

The first two people came down from the land above to the land where the Cree now live. They did not heed the warnings that only one person may look down from the spider's line and when both looked, they fell into the great eagle-nest. They were rescued by a wolverine and a bear, the latter of whom taught the pair the ways of life on this new land. Much later, the White men came.

StoryTeller Simeon Scott Community
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 2009 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by
Topics
Teachings Genre

cahkâpêsh kâ-natôkaminât mistamiskwa - Chahkabesh reaches for the giant beaver

Xavier Sutherland

Chahkabesh discovers a group of giants hunting beavers and despite his sister's warning never to approach them, he finds them again and, upon their taunting, snags a beaver out of the water. However, the beaver does not belong to him and when he runs off with it (breaking a giant's arm when they try to stop him), they come to his home and, not finding him, abduct his sister instead. Quickly, Chahkabesh finds his bow, follows them and kills all the giants to save his sister. Together they return to their home and make broth with the beaver meat and melted snow.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

tântê kâ-ohci-wîhcikâtêkopanê cîpayi-sîpiy - How Ghost River got its name

John Wynne

Ghost River got its name from an ambush in which Cree people killed a lot of Iroquois. Divination had allowed them to determine the enemy's position in advance.

StoryTeller John Wynne Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level preschool Language Kashechewan Cree (mixed n-l dialect)
Year Recorded 1956-58 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

mâwaci-oskac ê-takoshinowâkopanê ininiwak ôta askîhk - The arrival of people here on earth at the very beginning

Simeon Scott

Long ago the land we know as Canada was empty. People lived in another land, up above. An unseen voice asked a man and a woman, if they would like to go to another land down below. They agreed and went to see Spider to get there. They did not heed his warnings, however, that only one person may look down from the spider's line and, when both looked, they fell into the great eagle-nest. They were rescued by a wolverine and a bear. The bear taught the pair the ways of life on this new land. This is why the bear is respected and considered a wise person. When the White-Men came, they were interested in the Indians' coats and skins, but the two groups of people did not understand each other.

StoryTeller Simeon Scott Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1955-57 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

cahkâpêsh kâ-isî-nakwâtât pîsimwa - How Chahkabesh snared the sun

Simeon Scott

One day, as Chahkabesh is looking for sustenance, he sees a trail leading over a ridge. He wants to know who created the trail and so he lays a snare. He returns home and forgets about it until the next morning when dawn never comes. His sister wonders what could have happened and then Chahkabesh remembers his snare. Sure enough, as he approaches it, he finds the sun unable to move. He cannot get close enough to free the sun without getting burned, and neither can other animals except for the mouse with the pointed nose who gnaws through the snare. That is why the mouse looks singed now.

StoryTeller Simeon Scott Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1955-57 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

cahkâpêsh kâ-kî kohcipânihikot mishi-kinoshêwa - Chahkabesh is swallowed by the giant fish

Simeon Scott

When Chahkabesh wants to go hunt near the lake where the big fish live, his sister tells him to be careful not to lose his arrow in the lake or he'll be swallowed by the giant fish. Chahkabesh doesn't listen and when he tries to shoot at eagles, his arrow falls in the lake and he goes in after it. When he doesn't return home, his big sister worries and hooks the giant fish in the lake to see if her brother is inside it. As she begins to cut the fish's belly, she hears her brother's voice telling her not to cut too deeply or she will cut him too. When he's free she tells him never to go into the lake again.

StoryTeller Simeon Scott Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1956-57 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

cahkâpêsh nêsta mâka maskwak - Chahkabesh and the bears

Simeon Scott

Chahkabesh finds tracks leading up a hill and wonders what animals are making them. When he tells his sister, she warns him that those are the animals that killed their parents, and that he was never to go looking for them again. Chahkabesh agrees but doesn't mean it. Instead he fashions arrows that can break even stones and when he finds the bears, he shoots one arrow that kills them all. He guts each bear but can't find his parents. When he tells his sister, she admonishes him but he ignores her again. Then, he goes outside to get snow and his big sister warns him not to look up at the moon but he does anyway and is drawn up and stuck on it forevermore.

StoryTeller Simeon Scott Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1956-57 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

cahkâpêsh kâ-kî-ocipitikot tipiski-pîsimwa - Chahkabesh is drawn up by the moon

Simeon Scott

When Chahkabesh, a child orphaned by the great bears, grows up and find the tracks of his parents' killers, he ignores his sister's warnings to leave them be and instead fashions strong arrows and kills them all. He guts each bear but can't find his parents and so he returns to his home and tells his sister what happens. She admonishes him but he ignores her again. He then goes out to collect snow and she warns him not to look up at the moon or he'll be drawn up. He agrees but doesn't mean it. As he collects snow, he looks up and the moon draws him up. That is where he's been ever since.

StoryTeller Simeon Scott Community
Age/Level preschool Language
Year Recorded 2009 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings
Genre

wîsakêcâhk ê-âtanôhkâsot kâ-kî-niskipotênik ômêniw askîniw - The legend of Weesakechahk and the flood

Simeon Scott

When a flood covered all land, Weesakechahk built a raft to save himself and gathered creatures onto it. He decided, however, that he wanted to make more land and so he lowered the creatures he had down into the depths of the water to gather earth from the bottom. The first animal drowned on the way and the second, a muskrat, was near death when Weesakechahk blew it off and collected the earth from the creature's claw. Weesakechahk told the wolverine to run around in circles until the land was so large that the wolverine never made it back. Then, Weesakechahk made his way North, leaving signs of himself behind, and he was found at the end of the land by two men. One asked to live long enough to see his children supporting themselves and Weesakechahk granted him this, the other asked to live forever and Weesakechahk turned him into a stone.

StoryTeller Simeon Scott Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1956-57 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

wîsakêcâhk kâ-itâcimikisot nêsta pinêsiwak kâ-papâmihnâcik - Weesakechahk and the birds who flew south

Simeon Scott

Weesakechahk wished to eat the birds with whom he lived and so he hosted a dance and bid them all to sway with their eyes closed. The loon, however, was suspicious and opened his eyes to see Weesakechahk snaring the birds and he warned the others, so Weesakechahk kicked him in the back. That is why the loon has a flattened back, they say. After Weesakechahk left them, Shingibish began to take two wives. But when he saw that the loon was covered in beads and looked handsome, he worried the loon would steal his wives and warned his wives not to leave him. The loon approached and stole Shingibish's wives anyway and that night, in revenge, he took a heated up chisel and shoved it down the loon's throat. That is why the loon has a dark-coloured throat, they say.

StoryTeller Simeon Scott Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1956-57 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

âtanôhkân wêskac, pêyak kishê-'iniw ê-itâtanôhkâsot okisisa âyâs kâ-ishinihkâson'ci - The legend of Ayas

Simeon Scott

In this story, there is an old man who doesn't treat his wife properly and his son, Ayas, disapproves. One day, the father tricks his son into coming with him and leaves him on a faraway island with no way to return home. A horned water creature comes to Ayas's rescue but is killed when Ayas doesn't warn him of the approaching storm. Feeling guilty, Ayas meets his grandmother who feeds him and gives him items for the long and dangerous journey back home: a sleeping-skin, a mink-skin, and a pointed stick. Ayas leaves his grandmother and travels into many wigwams on his way home, tricking and killing the people he meets with his grandmother's tools until finally finding his way home to his mother. He discovers, however, that his mother was living idly because his father had found another woman and had a child by her. Therefore, he instructs his mother to build a fire and throws the child into it to kill it, and when it is done, the father comes out and is outraged until he sees his lost son, Ayas, whom he treats very finely now. Ayas, on the other hand, fashions two arrows and kills his father and his second wife and makes them burn in such a way that the father becomes the "Ghost-smokes", and the wife becomes a stone defaced with mud and white moss. Ayas becomes the tamarack alongside the lagoon, used for snow-shoes.

StoryTeller Simeon Scott Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1956-57 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings
Genre

mistâkanâsh kâ-kî-nipikopanê, êko mâka kâ-kî-wanishkâkopanê - Mistaganash who is supposed to have died and then to have risen

Simeon Scott

Mistaganash awoke from the dead and returned home to the delight of his mother. He returned to hunting and excelled at it, but someone tried to kill him again over a woman. Thankfully, Mistaganash's step-father intervened.

StoryTeller Simeon Scott Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1956-57 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings
Genre

mêmishôsh kâ-mitêhkêkopanê - Memishoosh the conjuror

Simeon Scott

Memishoosh the conjuror adopted young orphan boys, raised them to be his sons-in-law, and then routinely killed them off. One of them, however, was also a conjuror and saved himself from Memishoosh's plans until he managed to reverse one of his father-in-law's plots and the man froze to death.

StoryTeller Simeon Scott Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1956-57 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings
Genre

wîhtikôwak - The windigoes

Simeon Scott

A windigo is speared through the neck while hunting an Indian. Instead of saving his life, the wise windigo makes sure he dies so that they can eat him. The wise windigo proclaims, however, that whenever the windigoes see each other after that, they will kill each other. That is why the windigoes no longer live together. Then, some windigoes began to marry their captives and one day, one of these windigoes went hunting Indians with his son. The Indians, however, escaped, got back to their home and laid a trap for the pair. Both windigoes were killed, their icy insides melted in the fire.

StoryTeller Simeon Scott Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1956-57 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings
Genre

cahkâpêsh nêsta mâka mistâpêskwêwak - Chahkabesh and the giant women

Xavier Sutherland

Chahkabesh hears a strange sound, which his sister tells him is the giant women collecting wood in the morning. He promises his sister never to go back but the next day he returns to where he heard the sound, equipped with a bladder of fish-fat for a snack. As he nears the place, a whiskey-jack alights near him and he kills it to wear its skin and fly into the giant women's camp. When they discover the whiskey-jack, they figure it is Chahkabesh and try to boil him to make a broth but he opens his fish-fat bladder to stop the boiling. When the women come to look at the cauldron covered with fat, Chahkabesh bursts out and pours the broth all over them, killing them. He also kills the wounded giant whose arm he broke before.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

cahkâpêsh kâ-nakwâtâkopanê pîsimwa - Chahkabesh snares the sun

Xavier Sutherland

Chahkabesh finds what appears to be a blazed trail and wishes to set snares to trap whatever caused it but his sister forbids it because that region is where the sun walks when it rises in the morning. Chahkabesh does not heed his sister's warnings and sets a trap where the sun walks. The next morning, both brother and sister wake up early but the dawn does not arrive and they figure it must be because Chahkabesh actually snared the sun. He sets off to free it but the sun is shining too hot to get near so he asks his friend, the littlest mouse, to gnaw through the snare line so the sun may walk again.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

cahkâpêsh kâ-kî-kohcipanihikot mistamêsa - Chahkabesh is swallowed by the giant fish

Xavier Sutherland

When Chahkabesh shoots an arrow at a bird and misses, it lands in the lake. He is too afraid to retrieve it, however, because of the strange creatures creating ripples on the surface. He tells his sister about it and she warns him never to return to that lake because if he goes into the water the fish will surely grab hold of him. Chahkabesh ignores the warning and jumps into the lake the very next day and is promptly swallowed by a fish. His sister grows worried when he doesn't come home and goes to the lake herself and hooks the fish that swallowed him. She slits the fish down the middle and saves Chahkabesh.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

cahkâpêsh kâ-ocipitikot pîsimwa - Chahkabesh is drawn up by the moon

Xavier Sutherland

After hunting one day, Chahkabesh's sister tells him to get snow from outside but warns him not to look up at the moon. Soon, however, he looks up at the moon and stares at it as hard as he can and is consequently drawn up by it. That is why Chahkabesh now appears on the moon.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

wîsakêcâhk kâ-pimiwatêkopanê onikamôwiniwat - Weesakechahk carries around his song bag

Xavier Sutherland

Weesakechahk lures many birds into his trap by refusing to sing outdoors for them and instead building a wigwam for them with snares all over. He instructs the birds to dance according to his song lyrics so that when he sings of eyes closing, they close their eyes and when he sings of dancing with their necks together, that's what they do. That is when he pulls on the snares and chokes the birds. The loon gets suspicious of the noises, however, and when he opens his eyes, he runs away. Weesakechahk kicks him in the back, flattening the loon forever. Then, Weesakechahk decides to bury the dead birds and cook them in the hot sand but he is robbed overnight and discovers only the feet still in the sand.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

wîsakêcâhk kâ-wayêshîhâkopanê maskwa - Weesakechahk tricks the bear

Xavier Sutherland

Weesakechahk joins a bear that is gathering berries to fatten up and discovers that the bear cannot see well at all. Despite the bears reservations, Weesakechahk convinces the bear to let him crush berries into his eyes, claiming that this remedy is what cured his own eyes. When the bear's eyes start to burn, Weesakechahk tells him to close them and meanwhile fetches some stones and beats the bear to death. As he begins to cook the bear, he realizes that he's not hungry enough to eat a lot so he asks two trees to flatten out his stomach so that he can eat but the trees trap him between them and tell the forest animals to go eat the bear. When Weesakechahk finally frees himself, nothing is left for him except the liver and innards he'd thrown aside earlier. This is a lesson about not throwing food away when it is plentiful.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

wîsakêcâhk wêhwêwa kâ-wîci-pimihnâmâkopanê - Weesakechahk flies south with the waveys

Xavier Sutherland

Weesakechahk comes upon a flock of waveys getting ready to fly to a place where it is never winter and he wishes to go with them. The leader of the waveys gives him permission to go with them but the trip is delayed as the waveys must eat heartily to fatten up. Then, after purging and cleaning themselves, the flock and Weesakechahk take off in the middle of the night with strict instructions to only look in the direction they are flying. Someone calls out to Weesakechahk as he is flying, however, and when he looks down to see who it is, he is shot and his wing is broken. He plummets to the ground but he does not die, he gets up and walks. They say that is why wavey geese are never killed by falling out of the sky.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

nâpêw kâ-kî-kitamokokopanê wâposhwa - The man who was devoured by rabbits

Xavier Sutherland

This story teaches children not to laugh at anyone who is in trouble. There were once two families living together during winter who lived mostly on hunting rabbits. One day, one of the hunters came back earlier than expected with blood covering his hands from a rabbit bite and was laughed at by his companion. His companion thought he was inept and that angered the hunter who decided to cast a spell on the one who laughed at him. The next day, the companion went on the rabbit hunt and was confronted by waves of increasing numbers of rabbits until there were too many to kill. The rabbits feasted on him and all that remained days later were his bare bones on the snow.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

nâpêw kâ-kî-mâkomikot sakimêwa - The man who was bitten by mosquitoes

Xavier Sutherland

This is a lesson about abusing creatures. Once there was a man who, during the hot summer, was repeatedly stung by mosquitoes because he had nothing with which to kill them. Later, he collected all the mosquitoes in a jar and when winter came, he took his revenge by spreading them outside so that they froze instantly. When spring and summer returned, however, the mosquitoes came back and never gave him a moment's peace, no matter what he did or where he went. That's why creatures shouldn't be abused, because they are defenseless and such actions bring requital on the person committing the atrocities.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

nâpêw kâ-kî-wêpishkâtât kôna - The man who kicked away the snow

Xavier Sutherland

Once, during winter, there was a man whose younger brother got so cold that he froze to death. When the snow began to thaw, the older brother kicked at the snow and dared it to come freeze him and the snow threatened to do just that. So, during the summer, the older brother gathered burning wood and animal grease and waited for winter. One winter night, it got extremely cold and the man sat there keeping the fire going and adding grease to make it last until finally some snow started to melt. Then, the snow conceded defeat and promised not to bother him again.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

tipâcimôwin awahkânak ohci - About animals kept as pets

Xavier Sutherland

When Xavier, the narrator, was a child, his family had a beaver for a pet. During the day he slept but during the night he worked hard at cutting willow sticks until there was a pile blocking the door. He worked hard to close the door completely like he would on the river and in the morning he would be asleep.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre