"Spirit of the Forest"
Black Bear (aka: Spirit Bear, or Kermode))
Princess Royal Island, British Columbia, Canada
It is believed that Spirit Bears evolved on the British Columbia coast over the last 10,000 years from black bear stock that became isolated from interior black bears more than 300,000 years ago.
However, a more fanciful explanation of the bear's origin comes from the Tsimshiam people, who once lived on Princess Royal Island. Long ago, so the story goes, the world was covered in ice and snow. One day, Raven, creator of the world, came down from heaven and turned the world green, as it is today. As a reminder of the time when all was white, the raven went among the bears and turned every tenth one the color of snow, decreeing that Moksgm'ol (Tsimshiam word for white bear), would live forever in peace.
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