This is Science Friday. I'm Ira Flatow. In Canada, science museums and indigenous educators are using star stories as a bridge. Science writer-producer Christie Taylor went to Canada to get the story, starting on the shore of Lake Winnipeg in rural Manitoba.
They're coming out. They're starting to come out.
It's a freezing cold night in Manitoba, and we are waiting for the stars. It's early May, but I'm wearing three sweaters, and I'm huddled next to a campfire, listening to a man named Wilfred Buck tell us stories behind constellations that I've never heard of until tonight.
And that's called Pakone Kisik, the hole in the sky. And the hole in the sky, this is where we come from. We come from--
Wilfred is Cree, from one of Canada's largest First Nations groups. And he's telling us stories from indigenous communities across Manitoba. He calls us tepees and telescopes. It's a coming together of far-flung indigenous teachers, community leaders, local youth, and one science reporter from the United States, me. It's a weekend of stories, ceremony, and astronomy.
Tell us about Venus.
Tell us more about Mars.
Wilfred is telling star stories, but also tales of science. Take the peculiar path Mars takes through the night sky, because the Earth orbits the sun faster than Mars does.
--as fast as Mars. And when it does that, it looks like Mars does a circle in the sky. Then it continues its journey. Retrograde motion, so they called it kitom pampaniw. It circles back. And another name to have for it is mooswa acak-- moose spirit. Because what happens is when a moose is startled, it'll run, and it'll run in a big huge circle. And then it'll come back. Then it will continue its journey.