Canadian Aboriginal Myth Story about Snow

Posted: September 4th, 2013

I have checked the footnotes according to my version they are all correct.





Canadian Aboriginal Myth Story about Snow

            Man lived in the world with peace and tranquility after creation of the earth by the gods[1], from water when the divine woman fell from the torn part of the sky[2]. He was asked to give rise to many others in order to live with him in the earth[3]. He was allowed to use what he needed but never to waste any commodity even if it was in plenty[4]. He lived happily in the newly created world using whatever he needed as long as it was within his reach and ensured not to waste. He was also asked to make sure that all the rest of creation was living in absolute harmony. However, as man continued to raise many others like him, he forgot about taking care of the other animals and part of the creation. When the area he lived in did not serve him right, he would seek out more of what he needed further in order to satisfy his needs. As this continued, he continued to move further and further in exploration of food[5]. The guardian spirit guarded him but in his quest to explore more forgot about the guardian angel[6].

Later, as time went on, man was forced to become nomadic, moving from one place to another, in search of more food and other things he needed to survive[7]. Each time he continued to raise more of his kind, and forgot to raise more of what he needed. Time went on as he continued with this trend of raising more of his own kind while he forgot to raise more of what he needed. Soon, food for him became scarce, and this required him to keep moving all the time in search of more animals for food[8]. This went on becoming harder and harder each time to find food[9]. The little that was there had to be shared among all the people in order to survive. This forced man to adopt new ways of surviving in the world, which included not only relying on animals for food, but also utilizing fruits and plants. Therefore, he went on to seek out more of the animals and plants that he needed to live.

As this went on, the situation got harder every time with animals getting scarcer as well as the plants that gave fruits. Soon, due to exploitations of man, vegetation was scarce and the land begun to dry up, making it hard for animals and plants to survive. Therefore, man started facing drought for the first time due to lack of honoring the responsibility of ensuring that everything else was alright in the creation. Therefore, man had to learn to make use of the little that was provided in order to make maximum benefit[10]. Soon, after realizing that he would exhaust the world, it was time for him to raise the other creation as well[11]. However, the population had also grown, and many of the human beings had to go their different ways in search of food[12].

Soon, man started caring for other animals as well as plant. However, it was too late, but a famine had already stricken. The bareness of the land led to the sun becoming too hot, heating the land during the day and making it immensely unbearable. During the night, the moon that helped in cooling the heat of the sun made the night unusually cold and unbearable[13]. Soon, there started forming clusters of white substance in the sky, which resembled the moon’s color. When the white substances covered the whole land blocking the sun in the day, they started falling down to earth in the form of water. The gods allowed the big giant of winter from the arctic side to blow his frost breath across the land[14]. The breath of the winter caused the falling clouds to remain like snow, making the whole land covered in white snow as the giant loved[15].

During the snowing, nothing could grow as famine struck hard, and animals that man hunted were nowhere to be seen. During the snowing period, the animals hibernated, staying under cover until it stopped snowing and new life was reestablished. Therefore, man would not hunt during the snowing season, which he came to call winter, the name of the giant whose breath causes snow to fall. The gods had released man because they were angry at his misuse of creation, as he hardly took care of it as was instructed by the gods upon his creation[16]. Every year, the giant winter is allowed to blow his breath for one season, which covers the whole land with snow. During winter, plants and animals are left undisturbed by man since he does not go hunting or gathering fruits even to date. The weak plants and animal unable to survive in the winter die and only a few of them are left to grow after snow stops falling.

During winter, man relies on the reserves that he has already put in store during the hot days when he harvests what he has been raising in the warmer days. Scarcity caused man to start planting his own crops and domesticating animals to help him in his activities, and for food when it was in scarcity especially during snow time[17]. When the winter is over after the snow has melted and flown away, in the form of water, man goes on to plant crops that he will harvest and keep reserves to use during the next winter. Therefore, every year during the winter season the Giant Winter blows his breath across the land, making everything so cold and snow starts falling.

Work Cited

Bastian E. Dawn and Mitchell K. Judy. Handbook of Native American Mythology. Santa Barbara, C.A: Oxford, 2004. Print.

Curtin, Jeremiah. Native American Creation Myths. North Chelmsford, MA: Courier Dover Publications, 2004

Erdoes, Richard, and Alfonso Ortiz. American Indian Myths and Legends. New York: Pantheon Books, 1984. Print. Native American Legends., n.d. Web. June 06, 2012.

Lopez, Barry. Giving Birth to Thunder, Sleeping with his Daughter: Coyote Builds North America. New York, N.Y: Avon Books, 1990. Print.

Lowie H, Robert. Myths and Traditions of the Crow Indians. Sources of American Indian Oral Literature. Lincoln University Press, 1993. Print.

Molloy, Michael. Experiencing the World’s Religions: Tradition, Challenge, and Change (Fifth Edition). Toronto: Mayfield Publishing Company, 2010. Print. How Glooscap Found the Summer: An Abenaki Legend., n.d. Web. June 06, 2012.

The Canadian Encyclopedia. Religion of Aboriginal People., 2012. Web. June 06, 2012.


[1] The aboriginal people believed in several gods, each god served with a certain purpose such as rain, drought and other gods for each occasion important to the aboriginal people (Molloy 47)

[2] The creation of earth according to the aboriginal Canadian myth is believed to be from the water where animals dived in to search for some earth to put the woman on. The toad returned with some earth that was spread on the back of the turtle to grow into a big country and later to the whole earth that we know today. More about creation of earth see ( 2009)

[3] After man was put on this earth, he was required to reproduce, fill it as well as subdue it according to the bible, which he continues to do to this date, and will always continue.

[4] In addition, gods put man in charge of the creation including animals and plant, to take good care of them and ensure their continued sustainability, which remains to be the responsibility of man even to this date (Molloy 57).


[5] In the early days, the aboriginal natives of Canada, Paleo-Indians, were hunters and gatherers who went from one place to another looking for better game to hunt as well as fruits. (Bastian and Mitchell 6). They are believed to have migrated from Asia in the glacial period, around 20,000 to 35, 000 years back. They migrated in search of better game meat since they were nomadic hunters. See (Bastian and Mitchell 6) for further readings.

[6] The guardian spirit quest occurred in many aboriginal stories and myths, which was in majority of the aboriginal religion too. More about Guardian Spirit Quest see the Canadian Encyclopedia, religion of aboriginal people.

[7] Population of the aboriginal people continued to increase all the time, making the food and game meat less and less available all the time (Bastian and Mitchell 4).

[8] Before domestication of plants and animals, human being had no choice except to move in search of more animals for food as well as plants for fruits (Bastian and Mitchell 6).

[9] Each time as he continued to increase in population the resources continued to become more scarce and the aboriginal people tried to entertain their gods to gain favors (Molloy 48)

[10] Man started using his knowledge to make his own food by settling in one area and trying to cultivate food rather than having to hunt through out, which continued to exhaust the creation. This was after fish and animals become scarce and man needed to survive, thus raising of crops was a good way of dealing with the problem.

[11] See also. (Bastian and Mitchell 6) on the climate of northern America including Canada and the arctic neighboring Canada

[12] It is for this reason that there are many aboriginal people scattered all over the country and continent of north America after they dispersed, some going to the arctic side, some in the sub arctic, others in the Ontario while others dispersed to southeast amongst other placed where some can be found or were found before Europeans contact (Curtin 307).

[13] The aboriginal people believed that the sun heated the earth during the day while the moon was supposed to cool the night from the heat of the sun. For more information on sun and moon mythology see (Erdoes, Richard, and Alfonso 156), and (Lowie 143).

The moon is also credited with causing winter after it was released into the sky by the coyote after they stole it in search of light (Lopez 45)

[14] The arctic was considered the giant, which the aboriginal people were protected from until they failed to heed to the responsibility given to them by the gods. Therefore, the giant was allowed to blow his breath across Canada in their country (Bastian and Mitchell 5).

[15] The Giant Winter is believed to be the cause of snow in the Canadian aboriginal story on seasons. Thus, he was used by gods to punish human beings for their act of refusing to take good care of the earth. More about Giant Winter can be found at (

[16] Man had not been thinking about the rest of the creation as he was put in charge, and his actions did not consider the continued survival of others except for himself. It is for this reason that the gods decided to allow the giant winter to cause snow in order to create a balance as well as punish man for not doing as told (Molloy 58)

[17] Man started domesticating animals such as dogs among others in order to help him in his daily activities such as hunting, while others such as horses helped in taking him from one place to the other. He also domesticated some of the wild plants that he found in order to raise them for food and stop having to go far looking for food (Molloy 58)

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