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There’s a story told by the Skidi Pawnee about Mars and Venus, two bright stars in the sky. Mars, or a male god, travels across the sky to meet with Venus, a female god. Along the way, he has to battle a bear, serpent and a wildcat — among other constellations in the sky. When the gods meet, they create the first human, a girl. Since the beginning of time, Indigenous people all over the world have looked to the stars for the answers to life, religion, culture, origins and the future. What do the stars say to Native Americans?
Dr. Bradley Schaefer – astronomy and physics professor at Louisiana State University
Warren Pratt Jr. (Skidi Pawnee) – head chief of Nasharo Council of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma
Carl Gawboy (Bois Fort Band of Minnesota Ojibwe) – retired professor of American Indian Studies, College of St. Scholastica
Break Music: Starry Night (song) Dallas Arcand (artist) Modern Day Warrior (album)
Carl Karasti says
Listening to the stories about the people being born from the stars I hear them as a indigenous versions of the new age expressions of us being star children, as well as of the scientific view that we are, indeed, animated star dust because the bulk of the elements have been and are being created in the furnaces of the stars. These are differently told and understood versions of the same essential story. And the diversity doesn’t detract from the reality, but rather enriches our fuller understanding of ourselves and our relationships with Nature and the ways we see according to who we are.
Thanks to all on the program, especially my friend, Carl Gawboy.