Meet Coyote, an Aboriginal “Legend”

Posted on July 28, 2015

This first episode in our ‘Meet a Local Legend’ video series looks at the myth of the Coyote. Jacqueline Brown from the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre suggested the Coyote as a local legend for the Thompson Okanagan region of BC. Here is what she had to say about Coyote:

“He is a trickster and a helper. He is funny and naughty. He is the star of so many of our Okanagan Chaptik stories and legends. We at the Nk’mip Desert Cultural Centre honour our Coyote, and are presenting daily during July and August a play where Coyote really becomes Coyote and gets his name and job from Creator.”

Watch the short film and learn how one First Nation conception of the world came from Coyote, and how he righted the wrongs of the land. Though known as a trickster spirit, Coyote was also a healer and one that would fix problems for Aboriginal peoples.

The legend of Coyote also gave way to so-called Coyote Markers, or balancing rock monuments that mark territorial boundaries. Each marker has its own story, and its own lesson from Coyote. As a spiritual people, British Columbia’s First Nations have a special place in their mythology and their hearts for the legend of Coyote.

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This video is the first in a new and ongoing summer video series. The series features short, fascinating films offering a glimpse into authentic local First Nation legends. These legends may include a live person who has had an effect on Aboriginal culture and activism, a meaningful element like cedar, or a spirit animal or totem.

Each of these culturally significant ‘legends’ was nominated by an Aboriginal tourism operator working in their community. Watch for new episodes in the series to come out over the next 10 weeks.


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