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

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

wîsakêcâhk kâ-wayêshihâkopane maskwa - Weesakechahk tricks the bear

Isaiah Sutherland

Weesakechahk sees a bear walking along and asks him if he can see a tent in the distance. The bear cannot and Weesakechahk tells him that if he slept, his vision would improve. As the bear is sleeping, however, Weesakechahk throws a stone at his head, kills him, and begins to cook him. But because he had eaten so many berries earlier, he can't stomach eating more right away so he tries to suspend himself from a tree but the tree comes to life and traps him so that all the other animals can eat the bear until all that is left is bones. The reason, they say, that some trees are twisted is because Weesakechahk struggled against the tree and shaped it that way. Later, Weesakechahk tries to cool the grease from the bones by giving it to a beaver to dive with. In his anger, he tries to kill the beaver but a partridge startles him and he falls into the water. Now starving and having nothing to eat, Weesakechahk eats the parts of him that were burnt by the explosion.

StoryTeller Isaiah Sutherland Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Kashechewan Cree (mixed n-l dialect)
Year Recorded 1957 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

wîsakêcâhk ê-oshihât kê-kâkikê-pimâtisinici ililiwa - Weesakechahk creates an immortal

Isaiah Sutherland

Two people hear Weesakechahk singing and find him. The first person asks to live to around average age and Weesakechahk grants this wish by blowing on his head. The second person wishes to be immortal and Weesakechahk pulls and spins him and throws him onto the ground where there is now a stone.

StoryTeller Isaiah Sutherland Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Kashechewan Cree (mixed n-l dialect)
Year Recorded 1957 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings
Genre

cahkâpêsh kâ-kohcipalihikot mistamêsa - Chahkabesh is swallowed by the giant fish

Isaiah Sutherland

Chahkabesh asks his big sister about the fins he saw breaking out of the water of the lake and she warns him never to go into that water because there are giant fish who can swallow him. Chahkabesh doesn't believe his sister and when his arrow falls into the water, he goes in after it and is swallowed whole by a giant fish. For three nights, Chahkabesh is trapped until his sister throws her moccasin into the water for the fish to swallow. She drags it ashore and cuts it open to free her brother. Then, Chahkabesh tells his sister that he saw tracks but she tells him not to bother with them because the sun caused those tracks. Chahkabesh doesn't believe her and lays his snares and, as his big sister predicted, it didn't dawn the next day. He asked all the animals to free the sun but only the sharply pointed mouse could gnaw through the snare and release it. NOTE: the sound file is damaged at the end.

StoryTeller Isaiah Sutherland Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Kashechewan Cree (mixed n-l dialect)
Year Recorded 1957 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings
Genre

nîsho ililiwak ê-nakishkawâcik wâpaskwa - Two men meet a polar bear

John Wynne

As two men hunted in their canoe (without their moose-shot rifle), they saw a polar bear passing close to them. They quickly got to shore and ran away but when the faster of the two looked back, the polar bear was running away across the water.

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

ê-pâshiwâtahk kîwêtinohk - A northern blizzard

John Wynne

Four people were once trapped by a blizzard that buried both them in their tent and their dogs outside. They only managed to dig out their dogs the next day.

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

atimwak ê-kotaskâtitocik - A dog-team race

John Wynne

The Attawapiskat dogs were thought to be smarter than the Albany dogs but the latter proved to be faster and they won the race.

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 Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings
Genre

ê-'nâtawimôswâniwahk kwêtipawahikani-sîpîhk - Moose-hunting on the Kwetabohigan River

Joel Linklater

Joel Linklater and a companion were hunting moose and as soon as one of their prey waded into the water, they shot at it. They only managed to wound it, however, and they continued to chase it until at last Linklater shot it and it went into the willows to die.

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

ê-âhkwatâhkwacit môs'-wayânihk - Stuck frozen in a moose-hide

Joel Linklater

One winter, a hunter shot a moose and killed him, but night was approaching and he was far from home so he decided to skin the animal to keep from freezing. When morning came, however, he was stuck in the frozen hide and remained there for three days until someone came to thaw him out.

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

ayâkwâmsîtotaw môs! - Beware of the moose!

Joel Linklater

During mating season, two hunting companions decide to play a trick on a nearby moose.

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

ê-wanishininâniwahk nôhcimihk - Lost in the bush

Joel Linklater

Joel Linklater got lost at night in unknown territory and finally decided to spend the night in the muskeg. When his three companions went out looking for him, they too almost got lost but eventually found their home again. When Linklater awoke the next morning, he could see that he'd only been about 2 miles from his tent.

StoryTeller Joel Linklater Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level preschool Language Kashechewan Cree (mixed n-l dialect)
Year Recorded 1957-57 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings
Genre

ê-kî-kîwê-miskahk kâ-kî-wanitâspan opâskisikan - Retrieval of a lost rifle

Joel Linklater

While trapping beaver with a young companion on the Pagashi river, Joel Linklater's gun fell into the water. He fashioned a hook out of a stick but couldn't grab it, so he stripped down and swam for it. He finally found it about six feet below the surface.

StoryTeller Joel Linklater Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level preschool Language Kashechewan Cree (mixed n-l dialect)
Year Recorded 1956-57 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings
Genre

nîshtam kâ-pâpalik kâ-pimihlâmakahk môsonîwi-ministikohk - The first airplane comes to Moose Factory

Andrew Faries

When the first airplane arrived at Moose Factory, the residents panicked. Some believed a windigoe had come to kill them and so they shot at it. The older people believed it was the end of the world. One man, Jimmy Asheesh, had a dream that he would see this arrival before he died. He passed away soon after.

StoryTeller Andrew Faries Community Moose Factory
Age/Level preschool Language Moose Cree (l dialect)
Year Recorded 1958 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

wacask wêhci-ishinâkwanilik osôw - How the muskrat got his long, tapered tail

Gilbert Faries

Long ago, the muskrat's tail was big and flat and he disliked it very much. He went around the creek singing about his tail until it was cut off on both sides like it is today.

StoryTeller Gilbert Faries Community Moose Factory
Age/Level preschool Language Moose Cree (l dialect)
Year Recorded 1958 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

acicamôs wêhci-mihkwacâpit - Why the squirrel has red eyes

Gilbert Faries

The squirrel has red eyes because, when he nominated himself as leader of the forest, the other animals ridiculed him. He cried and rubbed his eyes to the point where they became red forevermore.

StoryTeller Gilbert Faries Community Moose Factory
Age/Level preschool Language Moose Cree (l dialect)
Year Recorded 1958 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre