Bear Mother

This story was told by Walter Wright to William Beynon in 1926. This story describes the migration of Nieshawax and Niesdaok from the upper Skeena River region. They left the area because they were decimated by mountain goats. The cultural property of this Killer Whale clan of Gitlaxdzawk is represented by the single fireweed pole of Nieshawax.

Bear Mother

After the ancestors of the clan had been decimated because of their disrespect to the Mountain Goats, the survivors escaped down the river. Some of them settled down at the Gitselas (Kitselas) Canyon. Near Temlarham there was a lake named Stekyawden (Seeley Lake), which contained trout in large numbers and here the young people came to fish. Once, they gathered the backbones and out of them made a head-dress. They pretended to give a hallait dance (spirit dance) and repeated this often.

From the lake, one day, surged a huge Grizzly Bear who gave chase to the young offenders of the spirits. The bravest among them tried to spear it but failed. In memory of their adventure, they composed a dirge song and repeated it many times: "The huge Grizzly of Temlarham comes down and scatters the trees and the people on its path." From this time on the Grizzly Bear has been used as a crest by the same tribe.