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Native Languages of the Americas:
Squamish Indian Legends

This is our collection of links to Squamish 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 Squamishs, the traditional stories of related tribes like the Nooksack and Cowichan tribes are very similar.

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

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Important Squamish Mythological Figures

The Transformer (also known as the Changer or Reformer): A mythic figure common to many Northwestern tribes, who brought balance to the world by using his powers to change people, animals, and the landscape into the forms they have today.

Raven: Raven is the culture hero of the Squamish and other Northwest Coast tribes. He is a benevolent figure who helps the people, but at the same time, he is also a trickster spirit and many Raven stories have to do with his frivolous or poorly thought out behavior getting him into trouble.

Mink: Mink is another Squamish trickster character. Indeed, some of Raven's more light-hearted adventures are sometimes told with Mink as the protagonist instead. However, compared with Raven, Mink is a more negative character who primarily embodies traits that are looked down upon by the Squamish people (greed, recklessness, arrogance, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor hygiene, etc.) Stories about Mink are often humorous, but also are cautionary tales about how not to behave.

Basket Ogress (Kalkaliilh or Qalqalil, in the Squamish language): A giant cannibal monster who catches human children and carries them off in her enormous pack basket.

Squamish Indian Folklore

*Legends of Vancouver:
    Collection of Chinook and Squamish legends recorded by a Mohawk author.
*Why The Salmon Come To The Squamish Waters:
    Squamish legend about the origins of the salmon runs.
*Raven, the Brave Warrior:
    Squamish legend about Raven unsuccessfully trying to trick some Salishan women.
*The Beaver and the Frog Woman:
    Squamish story about the frog on the face of the moon.
*The Copper Man (Skwa7ils):
    Squamish legend about the origin of copper.
*Raven Proposes and is Accepted:
    Squamish legend about how Raven trickily won a wife.
*Kalkalilh and T'it'ki7tsten:
    Squamish version of a typical Northwest Coast legend about a clever boy defeating a cannibal ogress.
*Raven and the Fish Melt:
    Squamish legend about two bad-natured fish women.
*The Mink, the Raven and the Sea Eggs:
    Squamish legend about Raven unsuccessfully trying to imitate Mink.
*The Legend of Wountie:
    Squamish legend about a fisherman punished for his greed.

Recommended Books on Squamish Mythology
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People of the Land: Legends of the Four Host First Nations:
    Squamish and other British Columbia Native legends and stories.
Salish Myths and Legends:
    Anthology of legends and traditional stories from the Squamish and other Salish tribes.
Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest:
    Collection of legends and folktales from the Squamish and other northwestern tribes.

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Additional Resources

 Squamish religion and expressive traditions
 Native American traditions and beliefs
 Squamish First Nation
 Northwest Coast people
 Northwest Coast art
 British Columbia language
 Salish Indian tribes
 List of Native American names

Learn more about the Squamish tribe
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