The time before man was known as the animal world. All creatures had been given instructions from the spirits to remain respectful of the other creatures and all things. Yawu’nik’, a large water creature, disobeyed these instructions and brought grief to many others. He was to be killed, so a war party was formed. At this time, the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers were joined and Yawu’nik’ continually evaded capture, travelling around and around in the waterways for many months.
Nalmuqcin, a huge land creature, was given advice by the spirits to close off the waterway. He knocked down part of the mountain and blocked Yawu’nik’s passage. Yawu’nik’ was killed and his flesh was distributed for food. His innards were gathered by Nalmuqcin, who scattered them into the wind to settle and become the Yellow, White and Black races of mankind.
Where the Yawu’nik’s blood touched the earth, the Red people emerged. Nalmuqcin was so excited that he stood up and hit his head on the ceiling of the sky, killing himself! His body now makes up the Rocky Mountains. Man was given instruction to care for the land and creatures, and in turn, it would care for him.