Myths and Tales of Southeastern Indians

SACRED TEXT This collection of stories from the Southeastern Native American region covers mythology and folklore from the Creek, Hitchiti, Alabama, Kosati, and Natchez. Since the tales were collected in the early 20th c. they include 'modern' elements as guns and dry-goods stores, and obvious post-relocation wildlife such as Buffalo. However, the original stories are visible in strong relief, including the trickster (in this area, a very rascally Rabbit), the Corn-mother, and many tales that are similar to the Cherokee and other tribes farther afield.

Native Languages of the Americas: Native American Indian Legends and Folklore

SACRED TEXT This collection of Native American folktales and traditional stories can be read online. They are indexed by tribe to make them easier to locate. However, variants on the same legend are often told by American Indians from different tribes, especially if those tribes are related or neighbors to each other.

Beliefs of Native Americans, from the Arctic to the Southwest

WEB RESOURCE This Religious Tolerance website is a brief, generic overview of American Indian religious beliefs and related issues that highlight the beliefs that are held by numerous groups.

Mythologies of the indigenous peoples of the Americas

WEB RESOURCE Native American belief systems include many sacred narratives. Such spiritual stories are deeply based in Nature and are rich with the symbolism of seasons, weather, plants, animals, earth, water, sky & fire. The principle of an all embracing, universal and omniscient Great Spirit, a connection to the Earth, diverse creation narratives and collective memories of ancient ancestors are common. Traditional worship practices are often a part of tribal gatherings with dance, rhythm, songs and trance e.g. the sun dance

How the World Began: A Seneca Creation Myth

WEB RESOURCE This Native American creation story from Seneca Myths and Folk Tales by Arthur C. Parker provides a valuable insight into the religious beliefs of the Seneca Indians. It is detailed enough to use in a comparative religions activity. It is very detailed and might best be excerpted by teachers of young students.

Native American Spirituality

WEB RESOURCE Part of the Religious Movements website at the University of Virginia, this page on Native American spirituality provides a Pan-Indian overview of beliefs and a list of some specific Native groups and their traditions. It discusses the mixed feelings among Indians about Christianity and provides a list of reviewed links on Native American culture and history.

Crazy Horse's Vision by Joseph Bruchac

BOOK This beautifully illustrated story about the famous Lakota warrior shows the Native practice of vision quest as a powerful spiritual element of Sioux resistance to white settler encroachment on their land and society. Live Oak Media, 2007. K-4

Native American Perspective: Fast Turtle, Wampanoag Tribe Member

WEB RESOURCE Step back in time to 1620 for this Scholastic mock interview with Fast Turtle is a Wampanoag who lives in Massipee, the area just west of Plimoth. He has a wife and two children. When he was a boy, Fast Turtle was chosen and trained to be a pniese (pa-NEES), a special kind of warrior counselor. Every pniese is selected for his spiritual power, physical strength, courage, and wisdom. They advise the chief, or sachem (SAY-chum), and help settle differences with other communities. Fast Turtle has just returned from the three-day feast in Plimoth. He was one of the 90 Wampanoag, along with the sachem Chief Massasoit, to join this celebration. Links to lessons and resources for teaching about Thanksgiving.

Overview of Native American Religion

ENCYCLOPEDIA ARTICLE This article in the Native American Encyclopedia by George E. Tinker puts Native American belief systems and spiritual practices into perspective for Euro Americans

Blackfoot Creation and Origin Myths

TRADITIONAL STORIES This site has seven creation stories from the Blackfoot people.

Native American Religion

WEB RESOURCES This is a set of resources drawn from the web showing stories and religious practices from a range of Native American tribes. These practices including shamans,medicine men, holidays, myths and stories.

Nez Perce: National Historic Park Museum Collections

WEB RESOURCE This National Park Service site has images and descriptions of artifacts related to the spirituality and religious practice of the Nez Perce people both before and after contact. From this overview page select Legend Times, Daily, and Contact and Change for specific information.

Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest by Ella E. Clark

BOOK This book is a collection of one hundred and more tribal tales from the oral tradition of the Indians of Washington and Oregon. It presents Indian creation and nature stories told for generations around their fires. Each group of stories is prefaced by a brief factual account of Indian beliefs and storytelling customs.

The Raven Story

WEB RESOURCE This video, adapted from material provided by the ECHO partners, presents a telling of the Tlingit myth, "How Raven Gave Light to the World." The story is told by Shirley Kendall (Eagle Moiety), originally from the Alaskan village of Hoonah. It is illustrated with video of Native dancers and Alaskan scenery, as well as with images depicting Raven.

Creation Beliefs / Religion of the Plateau Indian tribes

WEB RESOURCE Tribes of the plateau region practiced shamanic healing, where a medicine man was called in to treat the spirit with supernatural powers in order to cure the underlying causes of physical ailments. They also used herbal medicines to treat a wide variety of ailments and maintain general health, and performed surgeries. For more information select sacred places from this Nez Perce maintained website.

Native American Legends, Lore, and Symbols

WEB RESOURCE This is a list of links to sites from many Native American tribes related to sacred stories, beliefs, and practices. As educators, be careful to use the sites related to practice in an academic fashion so that students "learn about" the beliefs but are not required to recite prayers or simulate religious rituals.

Native Cinema Showcase

SHORT FILMS The National Museum of the American Indian's Native Cinema Showcase is an annual celebration of the best in Native film. Many show an integration of cultural and religious themes. This year focuses on Native people boldly asserting themselves through language, healing, building community, and a continued relationship with the land. Activism lies at the heart of all these stories. Currently the films on linked in one large film but they are indexed on the page so you can select what you want to use.