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Children's Nonfiction Body, Mind & Spirit

Spirit Animals

Meanings & Stories

by (author) Wayne Arthurson

Eschia Books
Initial publish date
Jun 2015
Body, Mind & Spirit, Folklore & Mythology, Customs, Traditions, Anthropology
Recommended Age
6 to 8
Recommended Grade
Recommended Reading age
6 to 9
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2015
    List Price
  • Downloadable audio file

    Publish Date
    Feb 2021
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2012
    List Price
    $18.95 USD

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Our Aboriginal Elders tell of a time when animals and humans could speak to each other. When humans became too greedy and killed more animals than they needed for food, the Creator changed that relationship to protect the animals. So the Creator made a Spirit Animal to represent each one and granted them gifts they could give to people. Spirit Animals teach, heal and inspire. Turtle carries North America on its back and symbolizes peace and balance. Bear is called “Grandfather” for its strength, leadership, confidence and courage. Coyote gifted us with fire and knowledge of herbs and food. Wolf taught us to hunt and form communities. This book is a guide, and the meanings of the Spirit Animals featured here are only one interpretation. If you see these Spirit Animals or Totems reflected in your own life, you have received their gift.

About the author

Wayne Arthurson, 2016 writer-in-residence for Edmonton libraries, is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Saturday Night, Air Canada's En Route, Writer's Digest, Canadian Living, and AlbertaViews.

Fall from Grace, the second novel in his Leo Desroches series, won the 2012 Alberta Readers' Choice Award.

Wayne is also the author of several history books and the co-author of the most popular fanblog for Amazing Race Canada, Gord and Wayne's Amazing Race Canada. He is a husband and father, and he drums in a band which is as yet unnamed, in Edmonton, Alberta.

Wayne Arthurson's profile page

Librarian Reviews

Spirit Animals: The Wisdom of Nature

Spirit Animals is a compendium of knowledge regarding the relationship between Native peoples and animals. The author claims that indigenous peoples have a different view of animals than others. When Aboriginals kill an animal they use every part of the animal. They honour the animal that has sacrificed its life for humans. This book is a guide to introduce the significance of animals to Native people. There are three main sections: Air, Earth and Water. Air contains Crow, Eagle, Owl and Raven. Earth has Bear, Buffalo, Cougar, Coyote, Dog, Horse, Polar Bear, Spider, Wolf and Deer. Water animals are Beaver, Duck, Muskrat, Orca, Salmon and Turtle. The format for each animal includes attributes, legends from many different Native groups, interesting facts, clan references and spiritual aspects of each animal. A Native American zodiac is included.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2013-2014.