Native Languages of the Americas: Atikamekw Legends and Traditional Stories
This is our collection of links to Atikamekw folktales and traditional stories that can be read online.
We have indexed our Native American folktales section
by tribe to make them easier to locate; however, variants on the same
legend are often told by American Indians from different tribes, especially if those tribes are kinfolk or neighbors to
each other. In particular, though these legends come from the Atikamekw tribe, the traditional stories of
related tribes like the Innu and Cree are very similar.
Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Atikamekw story for this page or think one of the ones on here
should be removed, please contact us and let us know.
Click on each character's name for more detailed information about his or her role in Atikamekw mythology.
Wisakejak (also spelled Wizakejak
and other ways):
Benevolent culture hero of the Atikamek and Cree tribes (sometimes referred to as a "transformer" by folklorists.)
It is pronounced similar to wee-zuh-kay-jock. Wisakejak shares
some similarities with other Algonquian heroes such as the Wabanaki
Napi, and Anishinabe
Nanabozho, and many of the same stories
are told in different Algonquian tribes with only the identity of the protagonist differing.
Tcikabis (also spelled Chikabis and other ways):
An Atikamekw trickster figure. He is usually getting into trouble, but his magic
powers protect him from harm. His name is pronounced similar to chih-kah-biss.
An evil man-eating spirit, like the better-known Windigo
of Anishinabe mythology. Witikos play the roles of monsters and bogeymen in some legends;
in others, Atikamekw people who commit sins (especially selfishness, gluttony, or cannibalism) are turned into a Witiko as punishment.
It is pronounced wih-tih-koh.
Carcajou (also spelled Kiikwahaake or Kikwahake):
Wolverine, a conniving sort of trickster character who lies, cheats, is greedy, and basically acts completely
inappropriately by Attikamekw standards-- usually in the funniest possible way.