The Moon and First Nations Skylore

The earth's satellite distance averages between as close as 363104 kilometres and the farthest away is 405696 kilometres from earth. The orbital period of the moon is 27 days. A large rock hit the earth 4.5 billion years ago. Chunks of the earth broke away and formed the moon. From earth up to 59 per cent of the moon is visible. The gravitational pull from the moon affects the ocean tides. The moon moves one centimetre away from the earth approximately each year. Water was discovered on the moon Nov. 13, 2009. There is a plan in place to build a space lab on the moon.


Cree moon origin story

A long time ago, there was no moon. There was only the sun. The creator had messengers who helped him with his work. One of these was the caretaker of the sun. He had two children, a boy and a girl. All three lived in the sky world. They were very happy.

The daughter looked after the camp. She kept it clean and tidy. When she shook the feather bedding, the feathers would fall to the earth as snow. The son hunted and fished. When he hung his nets to dry, droplets fell to earth as rain. The father would be away. All day he kept the great fire, burning on the sun. The caretaker was very old. He said to his children, “When I die, you must keep the fire burning, or else the people and animals on earth will die.” One day, when the fire was low on the sun, the father came home tired. He said, “Children, my children, my children. I have to go. I will never return.” The children cried and mourned. They knew he would die.

In the morning, it was time to start the fire. The children began to quarrel over who would do the task. “I will tend the fire. I am older,” said the sister. “No. I am the man. I will do it,” said the brother.

The people on earth began to worry. Wesakechak went to the sun to see what was wrong. When he arrived, the boy and his sister were still quarreling. Wesakechak was angry. “The people and animals will perish,” he said to them. “It is up to you! You keep the fire burning,” he told the boy. “Your name from now on will be Pisim.” To the sister he said, “You will work as hard as your brother. You will keep the fire in another place. You will work at night. You will be Tipiskawipisim, the moon. The two of you did not get along. As a punishment, you will see each other once a year. For all time, you will see each other from across the sky.”