The Legend of the Sasquatch

The Origins of the Sasquatch

Bramble Berry Tales’ upcoming story app helps readers uncover the origins of this mythical creature

Bigfoot. Yeti. Sasquatch.

They’re all common names in popular culture, yet very few people know the true story of the ape-like creature believed to inhabit the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Luckily, that’s about to change thanks to the latest Bramble Berry Tales release from Rival Schools. Available later this October, The Great Sasquatch is the second book app in a three part series (The Story of Kalkalilh was released on August 1), dedicated to the preservation of Indigenous folklore and language. It’s also one of the few narratives to fully explain the origins of the Sasquatch, or the Sasq’ets, as they’re known in the Halq’eméylem language.

A Common Figure in Indigenous Folklore

Stories of a Sasquatch-like being have long been a part of Indigenous legend and lore, especially amongst the Sto:lo people. Passed down from generation to generation, the legend spans a number of cultures, regions, and peoples. But where did these mythical beings come from, and why are they so illusive?

For those answers, you’ll have to wait for The Great Sasquatch release!

Bringing the Legend of Sasquatch to Light

The legend of the Sasquatch first surfaced outside of the Indigenous community in the 1920s, thanks to a series of Canadian newspaper articles from a prominent government official named J.W. Burns. In this series, Burns coined the term “Sasquatch,” an Anglicized version of its Halq’emeylem pronunciation: sasq’ets. Burns, who worked closely with the Indigenous populations of Western Canada, had a keen interest in the subject of these “hairy giants,” and devoted a great deal

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of this career to studying them.

The following is a short excerpt from one of Burns’ recordings:

I am convinced that survivors of the Sasquatch do still inhabit the inaccessible interior or British Columbia. Only by sheer luck, however, is a white man likely to sight one of them because, like wild animals, they instinctively avoid all contact with civilization and in that rocky country it is impossible to track them down. I still live in hope however, of some day surprising a Sasquatch and when that happens I trust to have a camera handy.

Burns’ accounts quickly popularized the age-old legend, cementing the term “Sasquatch” in the consciousness of the residents of western Canada. Since then, additional iterations of the myth have surfaced all around the world.

What is the Sasquatch? Which brings us to the sightings.

From footprints to hidden camera footage, so-called Sasquatch hunters have reported sightings of this mythical beast from practically every corner of the globe. In 1924, for example, prospector Albert Ostman claimed to have been abducted by a Sasquatch in the mountains of British Columbia. In 1967, Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin purportedly captured the Sasquatch on film in Bluff Creek, California. And, more recently, hunter Rick Jacobs claims he captured an image of a Sasquatch in 2007 using an automatically triggered camera attached to a tree in the Allegheny National Forest.

According to information from the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) Geographical Database, Washington tops the list for most reported Bigfoot sightings (568 as of September 2013). California came in a close second with the last of some 428 sightings being reported in March of 2013. Oddly enough, Sasquatch sightings are far less common in Canada. According to the BFRO, Bigfoot has been spotted in British Columbia 125 times and 67 times in Ontario.

Is the Sasquatch Really Out There?

While various types of creatures have been suggested to explain both the sightings and the origins of the Sasquatch, there’s something about the legend of Sasq’ets that can’t be rationalized.

Decide for yourself if there’s something magical living in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Learn the origins of the Sasquatch later this October when Bramble Berry Tales 2: The Great Sasquatch is released worldwide.

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