Môswa ᒨᓱ Nariyanl Moose

Môswa ᒨᓱ Nariyanl Moose

In the last few years, my mother and I had started to reconnect with her father's side of the family. Growing up, I knew very little about them and only knew we had pretty strong ties to Métis history. Thanks to my mom's half-sister, we were able to learn a great deal more about it and I've been inspired to read the stories of my family's past. It helps that I naturally gravitate to much of the culture already, but reading these stories has given me so much more to think about while enjoying the outdoors. 

 

The following is a shortened version of a story about a young bull moose. Sourced from the Canadian Museum of History.

 

How the People Hunted the Moose (a shortened version of a Métis-Cree story)

A family of moose was sitting in the lodge when a pipe came floating in through the door, passing close to each of the Moose People until it reached the youngest of the young bull moose. He took the pipe and started to smoke it. The old moose knew that it was a pipe the human beings were smoking to ask for success in their hunt. "Now, tomorrow, they will find us," he said. But the young moose was not afraid, for he thought he could outrun them.

 

When the Moose People reached the edge of the forest the next day, they caught the scent of the hunters. The thin crust on the snow made it hard for the moose to move quickly. The young moose was still sure he could outrun the hunters, but the hunters were wearing snowshoes. They followed him until he tired, and then they killed him. They thanked him for giving himself to them so they could survive. They treated his body with care, soothing his spirit.

 

When the young moose woke up in his bed that night, he said to the others, "Those hunters treated me with respect. It is right for us to allow the human beings to catch us." And so it is to this day. Those hunters who show respect for the moose are always the ones who are successful when they hunt.


Adapted from The Native Stories from Keepers of the Animals, by Joseph Bruchac.

Sourced from the Canadian Museum of History.

 

As this moose approached, it was as if he was giving himself to me to photograph. His head lowered in a non-aggressive manner, offering his presence, maybe his life. Luckily for Tiny here, this day was just his day to be photographed.

 

The title of this image, Môswa ᒨᓱ Nariyanl Moose, features "moose" written in spoken Swampy and Moose Cree (môso), written Swampy and Moose Cree, Michif (Métis-Cree), and English. Other translations may include (ᔨᑭᐦᒐᐊᐧᓭᐢ) yikihcawases, which means one-year-old bull moose. Celebrating the stories of this animal throughout Canadian culture.

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Conservation Editions

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Môswa ᒨᓱ Nariyanl Moose - Conservation Edition

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