The Dene of the NWT place the origins of the Aurora in a fire built by the world’s creator. It’s believed they remain in the sky as a reminder that the creator is still watching over us. Cree legends say the Aurora are the spirits of the dead who remain in the sky, trying to communicate with their loved ones here on Earth. Inuvialuit legends, like those Kisoun grew up hearing, also say the lights are the shades of those once living, playing soccer with a walrus skull — or a human head.
Some say the spirit you see dancing in the Aurora is someone you’ve lost. A close family member or friend who’s passed on. Joe Bailey, a lifelong Northerner and operator of North Star Adventures, says they’re sending a message back to Earth.
“I’m OK up here now. No need to be sad. Enjoy your life, do good and one day we are going to see each other again.”