Stories from the Seventh Fire
The Four Seasons – Traditional Legends for Each Season
DOUBLE DVD SET. Animated legends from Canada’s First Nations based on the art by Norval Morriseau and the live-action footage of wildlife filmographer, Albert Karvonen. This award-winning series outlines Native legends set in 4 seasons depicted in varied animated styles. Produced in English and Cree, the series uses 2-D and 3-D animation and the voices of some of Canada’s best-loved Native performers like Tantoo Cardinal and Gordon Tootoosis.
Tales of Wesakechak: Why the Rabbit Turns White – Weshakechak neglects his responsibilities and is punished by the Creator. Without his powers, Wesakechak must embark on a journey to set things straight. Every creature is a part of nature’s harmony. Wesakechak has become lazy and has not fulfilled his duties of making sure his people respect the land and the animals. The animals and rain clouds have departed in disgust, leaving Wesakechak’s people thirsty and starving! Wesakechak must search for the animals as ask them to return. During his long journey, Wesakechak is rescued by a little rabbit who teaches him that every living being has a role in the harmony of nature.
Wolf Tale: Legend of the Spirit Bear – Mother Wolf tells of a time of eternal winter when all creatures were starving. Looking after our environment will ensure the safe keeping for all. When the earth is filled with ice and snow, all the hungry animals as the creator to bring back the seasons. Legend tells us that with the seasons, also came the ‘spirit” or Kermode bear. This beautiful white bear is a sign of environmental health. The warning goes that Kermode bear disappears, winter will return forever.
Tales of Wesakechak: The First Spring Flood – A story about the power of friendship and co-operation. In the time before there were people on Turtle Island (North America), the Creator put the shape-shifter Wesakechak on the earth to take care of all the creatures. This makes Machias, a bad spirit, very envious and angry. The power of friendship and co-operation is the theme in this spring story. Wesakechak must overcome the envy and anger of the bad spirit, Machias, who intends to drown him in the First Spring Flood. His friends Jackfish, Goose and Beaver cooperate to save him from the jealous bully.
Wolf Tale: Legend of the Giant Beaver – Mother Wolf tells her cubs a story about a giant beaver who learned to adapt and create wetlands in a time when the great plains were covered by water. (Inspired by a story from the Peace River Dene). The story of ancient landscapes and nature sparks the imaginations of all young viewers! We hear of great plains, covered with water and the giant beaver, the size of grizzly bears who built land and created smaller lakes and ponds for other creatures. The natural link to shrinking waters and beavers introduces the role of wetlands, special places (habitats) for many of the beaver’s animal and insect friends.
Tales of Wesakechak: How Wesakechak Got His Name – Wesakechak hates his name and convinces the Creator to give everyone new names hoping he can receive a better name than the one he already has. An excellent lesson in humility and working for stature! Wesakechak feels he deserves a more powerful name. He convinces his fellow creatures to ask the Creator to give out new names. Wesakechak becomes so fixed on being the first in line at the naming ceremony that he tries to stay awake all night. Of course, he falls asleep towards dawn and is so late for the ceremony that he ends up with his old name. But the Creator gives him a new job – he will become the teacher of the First People. his way he will make his name important, nit the other way around.
Wolf Tale: Legend of the Caribou – Mother Wolf tells her cubs a bedtime story about the truth of power and size. The cubs learn about animals and the world to the North in the Barrens, about how too many living in one place can destroy the land. (Inspired by the annual migration of the Porcupine Caribou herds). A lesson in sharing! The caribou herds became so large that they threatened the existence of all the plants and other creatures who lived in the Barrens. When the caribou refused to move or share, the other animals asked the creator for help. Since that day, swarms of mosquitos and flies force the caribou to move to other pastured and so we witness the longest yearly migration of animals on Mother Earth!
Tales of Wesakechak: Wesakechak and The Medicine – This is a cautionary tale about respecting the power of medicine. Abusing medicine can be very dangerous! On a beautiful fall day, Wesakechak sees two chickadees getting extra energy from their special medicine berries. He begs them to share and they do, cautioning him to take only one at a time and only when he is very tired. Wesakechak overdoes it, floats off the earth only to fall headfirst into a swamp. Later, he spies two cranes who toss their eyes to the sky to help improve their eyesight. Again, Wesakechak begs for the secret and overdoes it. He is blinded. Eventually, the Creator shows him how to restore his sight, but first insists on a promise from Wesakechak that he will not abuse strong medicine again.
Wolf Tale: Legend of the First Thanksgiving – Mother Wolf tells her cubs a bedtime story about how the first Thanksgiving was created. (Inspired by a story from the Salish of the Pacific Coast). Sharing is a way to give thanks for the bounty around us! As the leaves are falling, we hear the story of how Raven tricked the other animals into providing a great feast before winter arrives. Harvest, Thanksgiving or Potlatch, the feast tradition carries on for all animals, including humans. In this story we witness the details of how animals prepare for winter.