Sky Stories

© Veronica Patlas / © The Manitoba Museum / © Glenbow Museum


Astronomy is the oldest and most far-reaching science. Its goal is to understand the nature of existence and humanity’s place in the cosmos. Sound like a big question? It is, and people have been asking it for thousands of years.

Indigenous peoples have passed down, from generation to generation, stories about the sky that serve as moral, ethical, and practical guides.

The indigenous names of and stories about particular stars vary from place to place, depending on where people see the sky, and what time of year it is. Indigenous astronomy is different from western science. It can make us think about things we usually just accept without question by showing us that there is more than one way of thinking about nature.

Indigenous peoples believe that, with the Ancestors, they have a responsibility for the whole of nature, helping to care for it.

A glossary of terms used in this collection can be found at:

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