Student Artwork Reflects Knowledge
of Indigenous Mythology
Robert F from St. Michael's Choir created an original piece of art called The Raven just in time for Indigenous History Month.
Across North America, the raven is revered as a trickster, a guide, and a creator deity. It is praised for its intelligence, and is often given human-like properties.
In Inuit mythology, father raven was born in a dark, lifeless world. Realizing he was alone, he fell into despair and roamed the lightless world aimlessly. In some versions of the story he accidentally created an evil spirit in his likeness out of clay, and it escaped to cause trouble throughout the world. Eventually, raven flew down into our world, and created life.
To the Haida, he was one of the first beings from when humans lived in a dark world. At that time, the world was ruled by grey eagle, who was selfish and hated humans. Raven, who was at that time a beautiful white bird, stole the sun, moon, stars, and fire from grey eagle’s lodge. He hung the sun, moon, and stars in the sky, and flew back to the humans. But the fire charred him, burning his snow-white feathers pitch black. The smoke filled his throat and turned his marvelous singing voice into a raspy croak.
Raven is a common character in the folklore of indigenous Canadians, and is perceived as a benefactor of humanity. Stories of him appear in Ojibwe, Kwakwaka'wakw, and Heiltsuk mythology, as well as many others.