The Law Giver

The Strong-bows, and Rocky-Mountain Indians, have a tradition in common with the Dog-ribs, that they came originally from the westward, from a level country, where there was no winter, which produced trees, and large fruits, now unknown to them. It was inhabited also by many strange animals, amongst which there was a small one whose visage bore a striking resemblance to the human countenance.

During their residence in this land, their ancestors were visited by a man who healed the sick, raised the dead, and performed many other miracles, enjoining them at the same time to lead good lives, and not to eat of the entrails of animals, nor to use the brains for dressing skins until after the third day; and never to leave the skulls of deer upon the ground within the reach of dogs and wolves, but to hang them carefully upon trees. No one knew from whence this good man came, or whither he went.

They were driven from that land by the rising of the waters, and following the tracks of animals on the sea-shore, they directed their course to the northward. At length they came to a strait, which they crossed upon a raft, but the sea has since frozen, and they have never been able to return. These traditions are unknown to the Chipewyans.

John Franklin
Fort Enterprize
March 18, 1821