Chapter 9, pt 2:
"Nicolai's Raven Story of Creation"
Nicolai intensely disliked the “white devil spirits,” though I
was never quite sure what he meant by that since he did not necessarily
dislike the white people themselves. He had a larger view of life which
saw all of us as part of an extended family rather than as a grouping of
different races. He was never happy with the predominant white outlook
which dismissed the Natives as lower in stature than whites and which
completely ignored the effect of what they were doing to the earth every
time they disturbed it in the highly aggressive manner which
characterized their society.
Our family was of the Raven Clan. The chief was more favorable toward
the ravens than he was toward any other animal except a Siberian dog he
usually kept near him which he called Tikaani--the wolf dog.
In studying those highly intelligent birds he believed he could find
answers to our own humanity. Sometimes the best way for an Indian to
explain the world is through a raven story. It is this special tale I
relate now which Shee-ya told Michael and Charles and me on that
particular night. It was Nicolai’s telling of the tale which set the
stage for what was about to follow--for the rest of our lives.
Lt. Henry Allen drawing of Miles
Raven Story of
Creation, page 3