My skipper, our coach and teacher, is from Duncan, where many moons ago our waterways were travelled by canoes.
This is the legend that I was taught about the Sea Monster, how it was defeated, and the land formations caused in the process.
The villagers near modern-day Duncan were told not to travel on the water, as there was a Sea Monster there, capsizing canoes. The pullers never returned; only pieces of their canoe or belongings washed up onshore.
When a crew of hunters returned, they found that some of their family members had not returned from their paddle. They were heartbroken.
Not wanting to lose any more people, a man asked his family if they could help get rid of the Sea Monster.
The man knew of a Medicine Man down in Washington State and wanted to ask for his help.
Medicine Men are powerful beings. Their minds work to help heal the sick and direct the lost.
Medicine Men can do so much more than one can imagine.
The family began their journey across Georgia Strait in their sea-going canoe, heading toward Washington. The family kept a very watchful eye in all directions to make sure the Sea Monster didn’t surprise them.
As the family pulled their canoe up onto the beach, the Medicine Man greeted and welcomed the family, allowing them to come onshore.
The Medicine Man knew why they had come and agreed to help. Not wasting any time, he began his work.
He picked up a pebble and looked in the direction of the family’s home on the island, wound up, and threw the pebble.
As the rock flew through the air, it grew 10,000 times its size. The Medicine Man said, “I missed, too far to the left.”
The pebble, now a massive boulder, landed in Saanich.
[If you ever hike the Stawamus Chief, at a spot after 45 minutes up, there is a balancing rock. The boulders are about that size!]
The Medicine Man picked another pebble. He focused in the direction of the family’s home, wound up, and threw the pebble. Once again, the pebble grew 10,000 times as it flew through the sky.
The Medicine Man said, “I missed again; too far to the right. The pebble, which was now boulder-sized, landed in Nanaimo.
The Medicine Man then spoke again, “Mr. Mountain, you are in my way. Can you crouch down a bit, please?”
The mountain agreed and sank down some. The Medicine Man said, “Thank you, Mr. Mountain.”
Once again, the Medicine Man picked up a pebble and focused on the area where the Sea Monster was.
He wound up and threw the pebble yet again.
The pebble grew 10,000 times bigger in size and flew through the air. The pebble, now a boulder, hit and killed the Sea Monster on contact.
The Medicine Man said, “The Sea Monster is dead. You can return home safely now.”
And they did.
You can see the boulders that missed the Sea Monster and landed in Saanich and Nanaimo to this day.Chelachatanat is North and South American, Ojibwa and a Squamish Nation member.