Alaskan Tlingit and Tsimshian dieties

Tlingit man wearing Raven hat

In native belief of both Alaska and Siberia, the present world owes much of its form and features to an immortal being called Raven, who combined attributes of spirit, human, bird, genius, and fool. Alaskan Tlingit and Tsimshian dieties »»

The meaning of owls in american Indian lore

c. 1910s: Indian woman and owl, Blind River, Ontario

Among the different American Indian tribes, there are many diverse beliefs regarding the Owl. Presented here are some of those beliefs. The meaning of owls in american Indian lore »»

How Utangi became the eagle

Ukatangi talked and talked. He talked so much, he could only hear himself. Not the river, not the wind, not even the wolf. The raven came and said, “The wolf is hungry. If you stop talking, you will hear him. The wind, too. And when you hear the wind, you will fly.” How Utangi became the eagle »»

Oglala four superior gods

Learm more about the offspring and companions of the Oglala Sioux major dieties. Oglala four superior gods »»

King salmon not returning to Alaska in record numbers

Chinook King Salmon

Yukon River smokehouses should be filled this summer with oil-rich strips of king salmon — long used by Alaska Natives as a high-energy food to get through the long Alaska winters. But they’re mostly empty. The kings failed to show up, and not just in the Yukon. King salmon not returning to Alaska in record numbers »»

Arlecho Creek is special to the Lummi tribe

The old-growth forest in Arlecho Creek is special to the Lummi tribe. It is a place of spiritual worship and a place to interact with Mother Nature. Arlecho Creek is special to the Lummi tribe »»

Dieties of the Oglala Sioux

The Oglala mythology places their God figures in four ranks, with four dieties in eah rank, having prestige and precedence according to rank and place in rank. Dieties of the Oglala Sioux »»

Bear Warriors

It is said, in the old days Bear Warriors, through a special relationship with bear spirits, literally adopted a bear’s strength in the rage of battle, actually transforming into bears while they fought. Bear Warriors »»

The Sacred Council Fire

For thousands of years indigenous people have held council fires. The Sacred Fires are kept so that our children and grandchildren may understand the collective wisdom that is preserved from generation to generation around these council fires. The Sacred Council Fire »»

Hopi Prophecy of the 4th world

I am very glad to have this time to send a message to you. We are celebrating a time in our history which is both filled with joy and sadness.

I am very glad that our brothers have given us this opportunity to share these feelings with you because we know many of you are having the same troubles. Hopi Prophecy of the 4th world »»

Choctaw creation story

Choctaws are an ancient people, but by their own account, they were the last of earth’s inhabitants to appear in this world. Choctaw creation story »»

Navajo Creation Story

The Navajo creation story involves three underworlds where important events happened to shape the Fourth World where we now live.

According to the Diné, the Navajo people emerged from three previous underworlds into this, the fourth, or “Glittering World”, through a magic reed. The first people from the other three worlds were not like the people of today. Navajo Creation Story »»

Lakota creation story

As told by Lame Deer

A long time ago, a really long time when the world was still freshly made, Unktehi the water monster fought the people and caused a great flood. Perhaps the Great Spirit, Wakan Tanka, was angry with us for some reason. Maybe he let Unktehi win out because he wanted to make a better kind of human being. Lakota creation story »»

Apache creation story

Animals, elements, the solar system, and natural phenomena are revered by the Apaches. That which is beyond their understanding is always ascribed to the supernatural.

In the beginning nothing existed–no earth, no sky, no sun, no moon, only darkness was everywhere. Apache creation story »»

Wichita creation story

As told by the Wichita chief, Towakoni Jim, to George Dorsey

In the beginning there were neither sun, nor stars, nor anything else that we know today. For a long time, the only man was Man-never-known-on-Earth. He created everything. When he created the world, he created land and water, but they were not separate, and still everything was dark. Wichita creation story »»

Seneca creation story

As told by Abraham Johnny-John, Solomon O’Bail, George Titus, George Armstrong, Zachariah Jimeson, Andrew Fox, Henry Jacob, Henry Silverheels, Peter White, Black Chief, Phoebe Logan, Truman Halftown, and Chief Priest Henry Stevens

Long ago, before this earth existed, humans lived in the sky, and they were ruled by a great chief. This chief’s lodge was near a tall tree that had white blossoms and that every year produced corn for the people to eat. When this tree bloomed, there was light, but once its blossoms fell, darkness descended until its next flowering. Seneca creation story »»

Hawaiian creation story

This story comes from Hawaii, where it was part of the Kumulipo, a chant recounting both the origin of the world and the genealogy of Hawaii’s reigning family. The Kumulipo is a work of poetry with many shades of meaning and plays on words, and it also contains many subtle parables and parodies of rivals of the royal family. Hawaiian creation story »»

Potawatomi creation story

Earthmaker made the world with trees and fields, with rivers, lakes, and springs, and with hills and valleys. It was beautiful. However, there weren’t any humans, and so one day he decided to make some. Potawatomi creation story »»

Menominee creation story

When Mashé Manido, the Great Spirit, first made the earth, he also created a large numbers of manidos or spirits. Some of these spirits were benevolent, but many were malevolent, and they went to live beneath the earth. Kishä Manido, the Good Spirit, was one of these spirits. Menominee creation story »»

Jicarilla Apache creation story

The Jicarilla Apache creation story tells of the Creation and the emergence of the Jicarilla people, and the sacredness of the number four. Jicarilla Apache creation story »»

Cherokee creation story

 As told by Ayúnini (Swimmer) to James Mooney

The earth began as nothing but water and darkness, and all the animals were in Galúnlati, above the stone vault that makes up the sky. Eventually Galúnlati became so crowded that the animals needed more room, and they wanted to move down to earth. Not knowing what was below the water, they sent down the Water-beetle to explore. Cherokee creation story »»

Hopi Creation Story

 As told by Oraibi Elders

The world at first was endless space in which existed only the Creator, Taiowa. This world had no time, no shape, and no life, except in the mind of the Creator. Eventually the infinite creator created the finite in Sotuknang, whom he called his nephew and whom he created as his agent to establish nine universes. Hopi Creation Story »»

Medicine man of the 21st century

by Kirsten Scharnberg, Chicago Tribune

Albert Laughter is a fifth generation medicine man from the Navajo tribe. He has trained most of his life to treat the people of his tribe with traditional healing methods and natural herbs. But these days, he is employed by the Federal Government to treat military veterans suffering from the trauma of combat. Medicine man of the 21st century »»

Moving ancient rocks would destroy their spiritual significance

AUTHOR: Erik Siemers, Tribune Reporter

To the American Indians who hold them sacred, the seven rocks in the way of Paseo del Norte’s westward expansion aren’t inanimate stones. They’re alive. They’re connections to their sacred earth that can’t be replicated 100 feet away. Moving ancient rocks would destroy their spiritual significance »»

Protection ceremony for San Francisco Peaks

AUTHOR: Somana Yaiva, The Observer

Amidst the dust and set into the backdrop of the San Francisco Peaks, the Navajo Medicinemen’s Association held a weekend long ceremony over April 21 through 23 for the safeguarding and continued protection of the sacred San Francisco Peaks. Protection ceremony for San Francisco Peaks »»

Regaining The Mdewakantons Mille Lacs ancestral homeland

By Thomas Ivan Dahlheimer

On a Mille Lacs Kathio State Park interpretive sign, Leonard E. Wabasha is quoted as saying: “My people are the Mdewakanton Oyate. Mdewakanton means the People of Spirit Lake. Today that lake is known as Mille Lacs. This landscape is sacred to the Mdewakanton Oyate because one Otokaheys Woyakapi (creation story) says we were created here. Regaining The Mdewakantons Mille Lacs ancestral homeland »»

Gang Graffiti Sprayed on Petroglyph National Monument

Gang tags were spray-painted on at least eight large basalt boulders at the edge of the Petroglyph National Monument but none of the ancient petroglyphs was damaged, the monument’s superintendent says. Gang Graffiti Sprayed on Petroglyph National Monument »»

We must honor the buffalo! We are buffalo people

Many days passed before the joy of that day settled deeply into my heart and I could move forward to thinking on the realities of the present situation of the buffalo on our People.

We must honor the buffalo! We are buffalo people »»

A Day With the Buffalo and the Elders

On November 29, 2006, eight little buffalo calves forced their way out of a government enclosure where they, and many other wild buffalo, were being detained in holding pens and experimented on by scientists attempting to produce a "brucellosis-free buffalo herd" in the Yellowstone area.

A Day With the Buffalo and the Elders »»

What the buffalo mean to our people

Time never stops and is always moving us forward and through the changes of seasons. Time stands as an unforgiving taskmaster that regulates the passage through eternal tides.

What the buffalo mean to our people »»

We are all one family

As we completed our prayers, we all sat there with the buffalo herd in silence. The buffalo had been making their low, gentle calls back and forth to each other during the entire time we had been praying and singing for and with them. Yet at the end of the prayers, we all, as one family, sat in peace and silence together.

We are all one family »»

Pray for the Buffalo

In September 2007, there were six devoted people who did not forget the buffalo. Though the day was cold and the sky filled with snow, the journey began into the heart of Yellowstone in search of our beloved buffalo. Three men and three women began the day amidst the traffic, stopping at gas stations, passing through forest ranger stations and dealing with the congestion of Yellowstone Park visitors to arrive at the place where one of the buffalo herds was gathered.

Pray for the Buffalo »»


You may have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round….. The Sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours….Black Elk, Oglalla Holy Man

The Sacred 7 Prayer

The sacred 7 prayer as told by Elder Noel Knockwood. The Sacred 7 Prayer »»

The 7 Cherokee ceremonies

The Cherokee Indians had seven priciple ceremonies. Six cherokee ceremonies were perfomed each year, while the seventh was only held every seven years.

Indian approach to life

Out of the Indian approach to life there came a great freedom, an intense and absorbing respect for life, enriching faith in a Supreme Power, and principles of truth, honesty, generosity, equity, and brotherhood as a guide to mundane relations.

Inherit the Earth

Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.