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Spirit Animals Descriptions

Spirit Animals Descriptions

Buffalo Spirit

Strength & Respect

A buffalo represents respect and is one of the Seven Grandfather Teachings

Michif – buffalo – bufloo

I am a buffalo spirit. I want you to take notice how strong the human spirit can be. Like you I have overcome difficult and sometimes unfair obstacles in my life. My  nation was once a herd of hundreds of thousands. We were almost extinguished to fulfill the needs of others’ wealth and greed. Before they came I gave every part of myself to provide food, clothing and shelter. I am strong and fiercely protective of my children. If threatened, my buffalo clan forms a circle around our children. Protect your children, as they are the next generation. Teach them respect for oneself and for all living things. One day they will stand tall to be our future leaders. Buffalo/Bison
Bison are often referred to buffalo by Indigenous people in Canada. Upwards of 60 million woodland Bison and the plains bison were almost hunted to extinction by the 1850’s. This was to make way for the colonization of the land, we now know as Canada. The plains, grasslands and hills were their natural habitat. Wildlife refuges were created to prevent their extinction. Canada now has several bison farms to produce meat for grocery stores. A buffalo weighs up to 900 kg and can live up to 20 years. Buffalo were once the main source for food, clothing and shelter for Indigenous people and they are reintroducing them on their lands. Many Indigenous people continue to highly respect the buffalo as a key component in ceremonies and spiritual practices.

Bear Spirit

Courage & Bravery

Bears represent courage and are one of the Seven Grandfather Teachings.

The Michif word for bear is aen-noor.

I am a bear spirit. I walk upon Mother Earth knowing that around the next corner there may be difficulties that arise. Being on this land means that I must have courage to move forward in life with an open mind. I trust my instincts and bravely stand up for my convictions. However I know it also takes courage to be open-minded and listen to others’ viewpoints too. Bear
We have three main species of bears in Canada. The black bear, grizzly bear and polar bear. Black bears live in thickly vegetated forest areas and bushlands. Grizzly bears prefer living near rivers in the boreal forest and also in the Arctic tundra area. Polar bears live in the arctic near pack ice so they can easily hunt for seals. Global warming has caused forest fires and early melting in the arctic. This threatens their food sources and habitats. Bears are intelligent and curious.  They are one of the most intelligent mammals living in Canada. Bears hibernation periods vary depending on the climates they live in. Bears in colder areas will hibernate from November to April. However, with climate change bears hibernation periods are shortening.

Wolf Spirit

Mindfulness & Humility

A wolf represents humility in  the Seven Grandfather Teachings.

Michif – aen loo – wolf

I am a wolf spirit. I use my senses to hunt and keep my pack safe. I am humbly aware of my gifts. My sense of smell is 1000 times greater than my fellow man’s. I am mindful of your aura and know there are many stories hidden within it. I carefully listen, focusing the attention away from my fears. I want both of us to feel safe in each other’s presence. Wolf
Wolves are quite playful and one of the most social animals found in Canada. A wolf pack can range from 6 to over 20 wolves. One pack can roam across a territory of upwards of 2000 km in search of food. They can go without food for up to a week. There are around 50,000 Wolves across Canada which include the gray wolf and timber wolf. Wolves keep deer and elk populations in check as it’s their main source of food. The wolves’ habitats have been shrinking at a steady rate due to deforestation. Wolves were hunted almost to extinction in the mid 1900’s when they were considered pests by farmers.

Turtle Spirit

Honour & Truth

Michif – turtle – la torcheu

I am the turtle spirit. I hold and value the knowledge of my ancestors’ teachings since the beginning of time in and on my body. The turtle represents truth in the Seven Grandfather Teachings. It embodies and carries all of the six teachings before it, wisdom, courage, humility, love, respect, and honesty. Turtle
Canada has 8 species of freshwater turtles and 4 species of marine turtles. The painted turtle is considered the most widespread freshwater turtle. The turtle subspecies have a variety of different ranges of red and green stripes and blotches on their bodies. They often bask in the sun to warm up and also rid their bodies of leeches. In the winter they swim to the bottom of the pond and burrow in the mud to hibernate without oxygen for the winter months. Their favourite food is water vegetation such as water lily seeds, algae and ducked. They also eat insects that live within their habitats. Painted turtles nest in a sandy area and lay up to 10 eggs. After about 80 days the baby turtles hatch and are fully self-sufficient to survive. They grow up to 3.5 cm in diameter. These turtles easily adapt and are often household pets.

Spirit Beaver

Wisdom & Creativity

The beaver represents one of the Seven Grandfather Teachings and embodies wisdom.

Michif – beaver – aen kastor

I am a beaver spirit. I share my gifts of wisdom freely. We are all unique beings here on Mother Earth. Together our knowledge will overcome the most difficult problems humankind faces.  I will succeed at my quest to bring the balance back to Mother Earth. Beaver
Beavers are very family oriented and remain with their pair for life. Their babies, also called kits, leave the lodge after two years. They are excellent swimmers due to their webbed feet and flat tail that’s used as a rudder. They slap their tails on the surface of the water to warn their families of an approaching danger. beaver can submerge itself for up to fifteen minutes without air. They are part of the rodent species. Unfortunately they are often disliked by people due to their need to gnaw on wood to keep their teeth from growing too long.  They are known as engineers of the ecosystem. They naturally manage drought issues by creating dams and ponds.

Eagle Spirit

Gratitude & Love

The eagle is one of the Seven Grandfather Teachings and it embodies love.

Michif – eagle – l’aegl

I am the eagle spirit. I love all beings unconditionally and will embrace you with open wings. I will support you at your weakest moments and your most joyful. My love knows no boundaries. I will protect you and guide you like I do my offspring. I will share the gift of love with all living things, so they will pass on the goodwill to all. Eagle
Eagles are at the top of their food chains which is referred to as an apex predator.  The two species of eagles in Canada are the bald eagles and the golden eagle. An eagle’s favourite food is fish and other birds. Their vision is about eight times better than humans can spot prey as they fly from up to 3km. They live by rivers and open water surrounded by a highly forested area. Their migration patterns are determined by food availability, seasonal hormonal changes caused by daylight and temperature changes. They nest with the same partner and in the same area yearly. Their nests are one of the largest in the world. Eagles lay two to three eggs a year and after a 35 day incubation period they hatch. When fully grown their wingspan can be as wide as 2.5 meters.

Moose Spirit


Michif – Moose- aen nariyael

I am the moose spirit.  I am often alone and I prefer it that way. This gives me time to contemplate new visions for the future. My stamina and endurance to travel across the muskeg alone will help me in my quest. I have no problem surviving in the heavily forested northern lands. My deep creative thoughts will someday benefit  the greater good of mankind and all living things. Moose
Moose are one of the largest mammals across North America. They can grow up to 2 meters in height and 3 meters in length. The male bull can be upwards off 600 kg and a female up to 400 kg. Their width can be an extraordinary 3 meters. Only the male grows antlers and can be up to 2 meters from tip to tip. They are the largest antlers on any animal on earth. Their long nose is as unique as the rest of their bodies and helps them forge for food in the muskeg and  beneath the northern bogs.

Dragonfly Spirit

Balance & Change

Michif – dragonfly – damwahselle

I am a dragonfly spirit.  I appear to you to remind you that balance & change are necessary in life. Being human is knowing that change is always in the air. Learning how to balance some of these life changing moments is the key to a healthy state of mind. The sweetgrass on my body symbolizes the importance of prayer in our lives. Prayer comes in many forms within the human race. The sacred circles on my body represent oneness and our deep connections to all living things within the universe. This awakening will bring back balance on Mother Earth. Dragonfly
Dragonflies were one of the first flying insects that evolved. Their flying motion is much like a helicopter. A dragonfly’s wings can move up to 40 beats per second. They only catch their food while flying and eat hundreds of mosquitoes and other insects in one day. Dragonflies live close to water and are attracted to freshly watered gardens.
They lay about 1500 eggs which will hatch in about just over a week. They can live up to 55 days. Some dragonflies live through winter under water in their larvae stage, while others eggs survive the winter and hatch in the spring.

Fish Spirit

Prosperity & Abundance

Michif – fish – li pwasoon

I am the fish spirit. I bring abundance and prosperity in many forms. Many of my relatives have adapted through time and now live on land. Adapting to new ways while honouring the old may help one prosper in this ever changing world. It’s important to share our prosperity and not over indulge. Mother Earth’s resources are great, but not endless. Take only what you need and be thankful. Sharing Mother Earth’s abundant gifts will bring balance back to humanity. Fish
Fish in landlocked water live in fresh water not salt water. They can grow up to 40–55 cm and weigh up to 25kg.  Pike are carnivores and eat smaller fish like the walleye or the perch.  Perch are the smallest of the three fish. Perch, Pike and Pickerel are enjoyed at many supper tables.

Porcupine Spirit

Trustworthy & Reliable

Michif – porcupine – aen portipik

I am the porcupine spirit. You’ll find me high on a tree limb nibbling on bark or berries. The bits of berries I drop are shared with the small creatures below. My hardworking nature keeps me busy for hours, as I balance on my tree limb through the night. This will not stop me from being there for you. I know I may need you someday too. Being reliable and trustworthy brings me peace. Porcupine
Porcupines are tree dwellers. Their long claws and short strong legs are adapted for climbing.  These nocturnal animals are mostly solitary unless they are nurturing their young. Their gestational period is just over 200 days and they have one offspring a year. They eat buds, evergreen needles, and bark through the winter. Porcupines have over 20,000 quills which they use to slap their predators. The quills lay flat until a predator appears and then they quickly pop upward.  Porcupines must gnaw on hard wood surfaces to keep their constantly growing teeth at a healthy size. Their life span is around six years in the wild.

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Canada Down Under is an on-line portfolio of Canadian-Australian stories produced by the Consulate General of Canada in Sydney and other contributors.

Canada Down Under est un portefeuille en ligne d'histoires canado-australiennes produites par le Consulat général du Canada à Sydney et d'autres contributeurs.

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