Makoi-Yohsokoyi - The Wolf Trail - The Milky Way

The Wolf Trail reminds us of the time our ancestors were taught how to survive by the wolves.

As told by Rosie Day Rider and Louise Crop Eared Wolf, Kainai

© Canadian Heritage Information Network, 2003


According to the Blackfoot people of the North American plains, Makoiyi, the wolves, were the first Ksahkomi tapiksi (Earth Beings) to pity us. One snowy winter, when our people were starving, a young man and his family camped by themselves as they searched for food. The wolves found the family and appeared to them as young men bringing fresh meat to their tipi. The wolves took this family with them back to their camp. There, there were many different animals camped together, and they helped the family to set up, make a fire and get food. The animals shared many spiritual gifts with the man and also showed the man how to co-operate with other people when he hunted buffalo and other animals. The wolves also told our ancestors that animals with hoofs and horns were all right to eat, but that animals with paws and claws should be left alone. The wolves disappeared in the spring, but we still see them in the sky as Makoi-Yohsokoyi (Wolf Trail). These stars constantly remind us of how we should live together.

He invited the important men of the different clans and he fed them and he told them the story of how he got saved by the animals and that he was given the powers and he shared everything with them. And he told what the wolf man had told him that up in the skies you are going to see the trail [the Milky Way] in the future and you are going to have to pray to that trail. There are human beings there, there are spirits there, they are going to help you. They are powerful.

That’s the story of the wolf trail. That’s how it was given to us, to look up in the sky and to always revere that trail that it’s a sacred thing. It’s not just there, it’s for people in the future to always think about it, to look up at the skies. And then that it has stayed there we don’t know how long but it’s still there today. And it’s going to be there for all times. And that’s where the story boils.

I would think the lesson taught in that story is the virtue of caring, of giving, and of sharing, and of respect. I think that was what the lesson and to respect all of creation. Because all of creation comes from the Creator, created the skies, and the earth, and the animals on the land, and the birds of the air, and the animals in the water. Everything is connected. We are all the creatures of the same Creator that created us.

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