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Astronomie et cultures autochtones


CHIN, Ottawa, Ontario

Contemporary Views on Blackfoot Sky Stories

The stories of the Spomi-tapi-ksi (Sky Beings) have been passed down through Blackfoot oral tradition since ancient times. Simple versions of the stories are told to children at a young age. These stories continue to be extremely important for teaching behaviours and morals to younger generations. As people get older and gain more authority, the stories can become more complex, with additional important lessons.

Non-natives are now starting to understand how natives are protectors of the land. Rock, stars, nature, spirits-everything had a meaning. We are the original environmentalists. (Jerry Potts Jr., Apatohsipikani, 2000)

When we pray, we call upon the Sun, the Moon, the stars, the Milky Way , and last, but not least, the Earth and everything in it. We call upon all the elements. (Louise Crop Eared Wolf, Kainai Nation, Alberta, 2000)

Traditions change, they evolve with the rest of the environment, especially technology. What has not changed is our principles. (Andy Black Water, Kainai Nation, Alberta, 2000)

My name is Kent Ayoungman; I am from the Siksika Nation. I come from a big family and we are very closely knit. My grandparents are my main source of our traditional customs and old stories. Stories taught to me are important and have very strong meanings. Stories that talk about the stars make me think about how we are so lucky to be here today and to respect other people. Stories are good to hear because they teach us morals and teachings for our life in the future and help us to be kind, gentle and loving people. (Kent Ayoungman, Siksika Nation, Alberta, 2003)
Canadian Heritage Information Network

© Canadian Heritage Information Network, 2003
Learning Object Collection: Inside Astronomy Today
Learning Object: Sky Stories Today
Institution: RCIP-CHIN