nuu chah nulth

Daily Monster 142: Haietlik

Region of origin: Vancouver Island

“Lightning snake” sea monsters in the legends of Nuu-chah-nulth mythology, they were said to be large enough to prey on orca, stunning the whales with lightning shot from their mouths or stabbing at them with their knife-like snouts. Fishermen or hunters seeing a haietlik was supposed to bring good luck.

Hogwarts North America

Okay, so there’s a post here on Tumblr going around based on this image of four Old Spice deodorant products.

Technically, they are called the American Hogwarts houses (yet, they go and include Mexico, which is a completely different country, and exclude Canada, which is also part of North America and who’s history marched in step with the States).

But a lot of tumblrs and HP fans are forgetting something.

You’re trying to compare this land mass…

…to this continent…

The total area of the British Isles is 313,000 square kilometers.  The total population is over 68 million.

The total area of North America is 24,709,000 square kilometers.  That’s 79 British Isles.  And the total population is 565,265,000.  Over half a billion!  That’s 8 times the population of the British Isles!

Trying to place just ONE School of Witch-craft and Wizardry in North America just ain’t gonna cut it.  At the very least, there’d be three.  One in Canada, one in the States, and one in Mexico.  But we’re talking about North America, there are so many freakin’ political, cultural and religious ideologies it’s not even funny.

Therefore, it would be more realistic this way (I’ll start with Canada).

L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland would most likely have been the first of the magical schools in North America.  It would have most likely been a mix of Norse and First Nation cultures.  L’Anse aux Meadows was a Viking settlement which is estimated to have been founded near 1,000 AD.  You have to keep in mind, that the Norse had far better engineering capabilities than the Britons during this age, and it’s stated in the Harry Potter books that Hogwarts is just over 1,000 years old.  So it’s not a stretch that L’Anse aux Meadows would be the first magical school.  Going based on historical evidence and archaeological evidence, it is believed the settlement was abandoned after hostilities between the Norse settlers and the Mi’Kmaq who lived in the region.  Another theory is that the Norse left after the first harsh winter when food was scarce.

In the history of Canada, it cannot be discussed without the tensions of the French and British settlers.  New France was a major trade settlement for France, and it was coveted by the British.  The British already had the nearly impenetrable fortress of Halifax, and it only meant it was a matter of time before the British would be victorious in a push against the French military stationed in New France.  At the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, the British finally pushed the French out.  But this left thousands of French settlers who had no real interest in the war.  After, the French Canadians suddenly found themselves isolated from France and under British rule.  This would be the start of tensions that would continue into the 21st Century (see the Quebec Separatist Movement).  Any magical schools created would have definite lines divided between language.  There would most likely be a British school that would take in some First Nation students, but there’d also be a French school that would also be populated by Mohawk, Iroquois and Quebec Cree.  The British school would most likely be outside of York, Upper Canada (suburb of Toronto, Ontario), while a French school would probably be located near Montreal, possibly Laval.

The fifth or sixth school of witchcraft and wizardry would most likely be in present day British Columbia, thanks in part to Captain James Cook (who would be killed only a few years later on Hawaii).  Between the times of L’Anse aux Meadows, a school in York and another in Laval, there would most likely have been a school in the New England states.  Though, whether or not it was destroyed thanks to the fear of witchcraft (Salem Witch Trials) would have to be explored.  In the States it would be most evident that any school would have to run in secret (even in present day).  As for British Columbia, during Cook’s third voyage as he captained the HMS Resolution, the expedition sailed to find a north west passage through North America.  In 1778, Cook would have sailed through Nootka Sound (completely missing the Strait of Juan de Fuca) and made land at the Nuu-chah-nulth village of Yuquot.  While there might not have been a settlement created there for British settlers, Cook’s crew may have had an influence on the First Nations People (even those of magical blood on the voyage may have connected with the people and told them of Hogwarts, L’Anse aux Meadows, York, or Laval).  From there, a school would have been open at first, then run in secret once British Columbia began seeing European settlers.

It is completely possible that during the North West Rebellion, standing shoulder to shoulder with Metis and First Nation settlers would have been magical born settlers fighting to keep their land against the oppression of the Canadian government who wanted to push out the Metis (mainly French) settlers from the territories of Saskatchewan and Alberta.  In an almost manner of mocking, the Pure Blood settlers would have established a school outside of Battleford, capital of the North West Territories and home to Government House.  There would have been sympathy from the Pure Bloods toward the Metis and First Nation Cree and Dakota, as they would have had the same oppression from the government.  If a school wasn’t located at Battleford, then it would have been built hidden away from muggleborn eyes in Batoche almost like a memorial for those Metis and First Nations who died fighting for their land.  One of the ghosts who walked through the school’s halls may very well have been Louis Riel, the Metis leader who was hanged for treason in Regina in November of 1885.

That’s Canada.  Because long post is long, I’ll do up the United States magical schools in another post.


Killer Whale Pod Of Many Nations by Doug 

From the photographer: This is a fantastically detailed sculpture found in the Seattle Aquarium. Created as a tribute to endangered killer whales and Coastal tribes from Puget Sound to Alaska, Odin Lonning’s Killer Whale Pod of Many Nations panel symbolizes the enduring bond between First Nations and killer whales, regarded as sacred by many Northwest Native peoples.

 From left to right, the whales exemplify Tlingit, Haida, Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakwaka'wakw, and Coast Salish motifs.

Seattle | Washington | Seattle Aquarium

Thanks for looking. I appreciate feedback!

On display in the Hall of Northwest Coast Indians, this colorful headdress from the Museum’s collection represents a supernatural serpent, most likely a lightning snake. For the Nuu-chah-nulth people of the Pacific Northwest Coast, a headdress like this one would be part of the regalia worn by ceremonial dancers who have inherited the privilege of taking the role of this creature.

Learn more about the lightning snake. 

Shuswap actor plays Leonardo Dicaprio’s wife in The Revenant

Gracey Dove (Canim Lake Indian Band) will be playing Leonardo Dicaprio’s wife in his new movie ‘The Revenant’ which will be released on December 25th. The movie is about a 19th century fur trapper named Hugh Glass, played by DiCaprio. After he is mauled by a bear, his hunting team leaves him for dead. Glass vows revenge on the men who abandoned him.

The movie also features Duane Howard (Nuu-chah-nulth),  Melaw Nakehk'o (Tlicho) and Forrest Goodluck (Dine, Mandan, Hidatsa and Tsimshian).

Gracey also hosts the APTN adventure sports TV series underExposed.