• Creation Stories– Oposenta (Walter Paul) from  Sitansisk (St. Mary’s First Nation). 

A storyteller shares a creation story to help explain to the listeners about their role in the universe. 

A creation story:

  •  tells the listeners about their origin and the origin of the world in which they live.
  • explains events that happen through the actions of supernatural beings.
  • provides the listener with lessons on how to live their lives. Of course, tricksters (transformers) are responsible for both providing the necessities that makes the listener’s life possible and the hardships that makes the listener’s life a bit of a struggle. 

For thousands of years, the Wolastoqewiyik of the Atlantic region have lived and continue to live along the St. John River Valley. They have stories that tell of changes to the center of their world.  One such story is about a nearby mountain called Putuwosuwi-Wocuhsis (little Council Mountain), a dormant volcano.

The valley nourished the Wolastoqewiyik so well that the people became unmindful of their good fortune and forgot the ways that the mountain, the river, the plants, and the animals had taught them. The spirit of the valley was a black bear called Muwin.  Glooscap and Muwin were standing at the top of the mountain watching the village below. Glooscap was not happy with the people. Immediately the creator instructed Muwin to go down and warn them of their backsliding, but the people ignore the warnings. Muwin returned to Glooscap informing the creator of the peoples’ refusal to return to their ancestral teachings and ceremony.  Again, Glooscap angrily instructed Muwin to go back down to the village to warn them of their waywardness.   Muwin got so angry that he came roaring down from top of the mountain.  Black bears running up hill are breathlessly fast.  But because Muwin has short front legs, Muwin sometimes slides and tumbles coming down the mountain, bringing down half of the mountain, covering the valley floor, creating islands on the river and covering the village of  Ek pah hak and all the people there.  Only a few survived, those who were out hunting, fishing, and gathering. Several years later, the people returned to the newly created land formations. To this day, Putuwosuwi-Wocuhsis and Eh pah hak holds its place in the people’s history. The bear (Muwin) symbolizes the lava flow.

Today the creation stories of the Wolastoqewiyik still ripple out from the center of their lives – the place they come from and return too. It is the place of the bear, the river, the mountain, and the Islands.  Storytellers continue to remind listeners that the stories represent their past/present/future beliefs. 

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