Constellation chart and illustration by Alexander Jamieson.

Orion and Indigenous Skylore

Orion star chart.

Orion is the figure in the southern sky that looks like the outline of a giant or a man with shoulders, a belted waist and bright knees. The Horsehead Nebula is embedded in the Orion nebula. The large dark molecular cloud is visible against the background of a brighter nebula. Messier 42 or the Great Orion Nebula is a stellar forming region that has, at its core. The trapezium is a cluster of four very bright new stars. Rigel is the bright blue supergiant that is 772 light years away and Betelgeuse is a glowing red supergiant that is 643 light years away. 


Galileo website Learning: Meyopimatisiw


Wesakechak is a trickster and hero in Ininewuk stories begin, move forward and end with him. Stories about Wesakechak are to be told only in the winter when he stands tall in the sky. Today we call that constellation Orion. In the Ininewuk or Cree language, he’s called Mistapiw, also translated as the Giant. The stories of Wesakechak are tales about a shape shifter who can be a big furry creature or sometimes are rock or small animal. He teaches through his mistakes and many of his stories are very funny.