The Story of the Northern Lights – Wilfred Buck

The Story of the Northern Lights – Wilfred Buck


(works spoken in cree language) My name is Wilfred Buck, Greetings my relatives. I’m from Opaskwayak Cree Nation As a child I grew up in the northern boreal forest. near the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border on the Saskatchewan River. In the Winter evenings when it got dark. Sometimes we would get an amazing display in the sky. and these were of course were the northern lights We were told as children that we shouldn’t whistle at the northern lights. in the night time. If we did they told us that the northern lights would come to get us and take us away. In the cree language the northern lights are called “Wawataywan”. When there are 1 or 2 strands in the sky moving and when they totally fill the sky they’re dancing around, sometimes you could hear the static you could smell the ozone even. We call them “cree language spoken” which means the spirits are dancing. of course we tried to do it, we tried to whistle at the northern lights all the time. but, I guess the reason they told us this is because. during the long winter months of course it was dark for hours and hours upon end in the winter. and there was very little daylight. and so one of the things our parents and elders didn’t want us to do was to go out in the bush and run around in the bush, especially at night. because in the night. There was alot of animals hungry animals because it was winter and there was very little food. and they were afraid that we would get taken away by a wolf or something. and so that was one of the scares they put into us to keep us near the village and near the community so we wouldn’t go wondering around in the bush. So thats (words spoken in cree) thats means the spirits are dancing. Thats the story of the northern lights. Ekosi


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