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Opinion: The legend of how the Sea to Sky mountains were created

Forever leaving their bodies behind, residing on this Earth while the giants are in the next stage of life. Today, those lifeless bodies are known as our mountains.
Have you ever looked at a mountain and thought, “Wow, that mountain really looks like a person?”

Some mountains’ features are so life-like that you can clearly see the face: the eyes, nose, cheek, chin, and neck.  

As you see the face, the rest of the body, arms and legs often really start to stand out.

Have you ever thought about how the mountains were created?

Throughout my journey travelling with the Squamish Valley War Canoe Club as a teenager, I attended many races on the waters throughout the West Coast of North America. I heard stories that go beyond our Skwxwú7mesh territories from people I have crossed paths with.

Here is a legend of how our mountains were created that I was told along the way.

Many moons ago, during the mystical times, there was much life flourishing.

Giants were common, and humans learned to work well alongside them.

Giants had lived a long time on Earth, while at this time humans were a young species in comparison.

Some humans, known as Medicine People, were very powerful in mind, body, and spirit. It was an honour to witness their knowledge and ability to connect with everyone and everything.

A Medicine Person could heal someone on the opposite side of the Earth. Plus, they could take a pebble at your feet, throw it and it would grow a thousand times bigger and land hundreds of miles away.  

For this one particular job, the Great Creator had called upon all the Medicine People of the Earth and given them the same task, in different locations, around the planet.

Each medicine person was directed to go to a certain location. While on their way, they had to harvest certain plants and prepare themselves for a couple of weeks of a mentally draining experience.

The giants told the creator that their species was getting tired, and the creator understood what had to happen next. The creator sent the giants on one last journey with their families.

As the giants were on their last journey, the Medicine People were settling into their camps. They had been given the message and assignment of what to do with the giants.

The Medicine People had locked on to the giants and could feel that their inner light was weakening. The Medicine People worked on their light and strength: getting their spirits ready for their journey to their next stage of life.

The giants were then told to lie down and rest from their journey.  As they lay down, the Medicine People were there to help them transition.

Next, the Medicine People worked on the giants’ earthy bodies.  The creator instructed them to turn the giants’ lifeless bodies into rock and stone.

Forever leaving their bodies behind, residing on this Earth while the giants are in the next stage of life.

Today, those lifeless bodies are known as our mountains. 


Chelachatanat is North and South American, Ojibwa and a Squamish Nation member.