retold by elder Margaret Labillois)
long time ago the Mi'kmaq used to live near the
river banks in the summertime and they could watch
all the salmon going up the river to spawn. One
day they noticed the salmon could not get up the
in those days the beaver were very, very big. And
they had built a dam across the Restigouche River.
That is why the salmon could not get up the river
Mi'kmaq were very upset. They knew if the salmon
could not get up the river to have their babies,
there would be no more salmon and they would have
no food in the winter.
they held a council with all the people. They decided
they would go out in their canoes to fight the beaver.
men went out in their canoes but when they got close
to the beavers, they would slap their huge tails
on the water and the canoes and the Mi'kmaq went
flying up into the air and fell into the water.
They could not get past the beavers so they could
destroy the dam. The beavers were just too big.
they swam ashore and they decided to call Koluskap.
Koluskap's messenger at that time was Loon. They
asked Loon to call him.
made his wailing sound and called Koluskap. It was
carried across the water to Koluskap and he soon
came riding on the back of his whale to the Mi'kmaq
asked, "Why did you call me?"
told him that the beavers had made a dam and the
salmon could no longer get up the river to spawn.
They said they would not have anymore salmon to
eat if the salmon could'nt get up the river because
then they would not be able to have babies.
Koluskap walked on the dam and when he got to the
middle he took his club and hit the dam. When he
hit the dam parts of it flew. One of these parts
became Heron Island. Another part is called Bantry
caught the leader of the beavers and swung him around
and around by his tail. When Koluskap let
go the beaver landed many miles away and turned
to rock. They call it Sugarloaf Mountain today.
That is really Koluskap's beaver.
then turned to the other beavers. They were afraid
so he stroked their heads and with each stroke they
became smaller and smaller until they reached the
size they are today.
promised the Mi'kmaq that the beavers in New Brunswick
would never grow big enough again to be able to
build a dam that could cut off the rivers so the
salmon could not get through. They would never have
to worry about that problem ever again.
Don't try to do things alone if it is too dangerous.
The men tried to fight the large beavers by themselves
and it did'nt work. It was dangerous for them. But
they finally asked Koluskap for help and he knew
what to do.
we need to ask someone older or wiser or more experienced
than us to help in a bad situation. Trying to face
a serious problem on your own can be dangerous.
There are Elders who can help us.