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.
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 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 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.