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Native Languages of the Americas:
Salish Indian Legends, Myths, and Stories

This is our collection of links to Salish folktales and traditional stories that can be read online. We have indexed our Native American mythology 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 Spokane, Kalispel, and Flathead Salish tribes, the traditional stories of neighboring tribes like the Kootenai and Coeur d'Alene tribes are very similar.

Enjoy the stories! If you would like to recommend a Salish legend for this page or think one of the ones on here should be removed, please let us know.

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Important Salish Mythological Figures

Coyote. Coyote is the trickster figure of Kalispel, Spokane, and Flathead Salish mythology. Coyote is foolish and boastful, and so stories about him are often humorous in nature; however, he is a well-meaning creature who usually acts for the good of humankind. Coyote frequently dies in the course of his adventures, often in humorous ways, but each time his patient friend Fox (by some accounts his brother) restores him to life.

Salish Indian Folklore

*Coyote Kills the Giant * Coyote's Adventures in Idaho:
    Flathead stories about Coyote slaying a giant.
*Blue Jay's Skinny Legs:
    Flathead legend about Blue Jay's legs.
*The Story of Coyote and Mountain Sheep:
    Kalispel legend about a ram who tricked Coyote.
*Coyote, Wren, and Goose:
    Kalispel legend about three birds taking vengeance on Coyote.
*Coyote And The Skukula'na Women:
    Pend d'Oreille legend about Coyote and some deceitful shellfish.
*Coyote and the Snake Monster:
    Pend d'Oreille legend about Coyote saving humankind from a monster.
*Coyote and the Monsters of the Bitterroot Valley * Coyote and the Rolling Rock:
    More Salish myths about the trickster Coyote.
*Chef-Eth, The Kingfisher:
    Salish legend about the kingfisher.
*The Woman Who Became A Horse:
    Salish legend about a woman who joined the horse people.
*Mythology of the Interior Salish:
    Early 20th-century collection of Kalispel legends.

Recommended Books on Salish Mythology
Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links

Salish Myths and Legends:
    Anthology of Salish legends and traditional stories.
Beaver Steals Fire:
    A legend about Beaver and the origin of fire, presented by the Salish and Kootenai tribes.
Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest:
    Collection of legends and folktales from the Spokane Salish and other northwestern tribes.
Indian Legends from the Northern Rockies:
    Anthology of folklore from the Flathead, Kalispel, and other Plateau tribes.
American Indian Trickster Tales:
    Compilation of more than a hundred stories about Coyote and other Native American tricksters.
    (Use discretion sharing these with kids as some of the stories contain adult humor.)

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Additional Resources

 Salish religion and expressive traditions
 American Indian spiritual beliefs
 Salish Indians
 Spokane tribe
 Montana Native American history
 Tribes of the Plateau region
 Salishan languages
 Salish culture
 American Indian tribe names list

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