North Star Polaris

Animator: Rhidian Gatrill
One starry night, Anostin and his Kokum and brother gaze up at the sky and learn the story of Mahkan Atchakos, the wolf star, which is five times larger than our sun! (Ininewuk traditional story.)

NARRATION: I like to look at stars and to learn stories about the stars. So does my brother and my kokum. Here is the Big Dipper. The Big Dipper is part of what is called Ursa Major. Many Indigenous people call these stars (Language) or Spirit Bear and these stars here point to the north star or Polaris. Some people call Polaris the going home star because it helps people find their way.

NARRATION ELDER: Did I ever tell you about the north star story? A long time ago, there were no dogs for the human beings to have as protectors and friends. The wolf, coyote, and fox nations gathered to discuss this. They worried about the humans because we are so vulnerable. They all decided to send two of their puppy relatives to go live with the humans on Turtle Island and then sent two more puppies to the Four Directions on earth for all the human beings. The great mystery, the Creator, wanted to thank the wolf, coyote, and fox nations, so she used the stars to help us remember their gift to the people of the world. When we tell this story, Polaris is called (language) the Wolf Star.

NARRATION ELDER: The three stars of the Little Dipper handle represents the wolf, Polaris, coyote, and fox. The four bull stars symbolize the puppies sent to the four directions of humankind.

BOYS: Wow.

ELDER: Do you know how far away (language) is?

BOYS: 434 light years away.

ELDER: Wow, what else do you know?

BOY2: (Language) Is five times larger than our sun. It is an ancient giant star that has used up its hydrogen (unclear) now burning helium deep in its core.

ELDER: Huh, sounds like me. Wow. You kids sure know lots!