Wesakechak is a trickster character, hero of the Cree tribe.
Wesakechak name is subject to many variant spellings, including Weesack-kachack, Wisagatcak, Wis-kay-tchach, Wissaketchak, Woesack-ootchacht, Wisakecahk, Wisakechak, Wesakaychak, Wisakedjak, Weesageechak, Wissaketchak, Whiskey-Jack, and several other ways.
Wesakechak is generally portrayed as being responsible for a great flood which destroyed the world originally made by the Creator, as well as the one who created the current world with magic, either on his own or with powers given to him by the Creator for that specific purpose.
Wesakechak shares many similarities with other Algonquian heroes such as the Wabanaki Glooskap, Blackfoot Napi, and Anishinabe Manabozho, and the same stories are often told in different Algonquian tribes with only the identity of the protagonist differing.
Long ago, it was told amongst the Cree, that there was once a monster by the name of Windigo. Windigo would steal men, women, and children to be eaten. Many had seen Windigo, but could not describe him, because he was so ugly. Many had now been taken by the Windigo, and no one know what to do about it.
It was during this time that a man called Wesakechak said, "I will go. I will kill the Windigo, and free our people from that demon forever!" And so he departed on his quest, and for many days he did not find the Windigo. But one day in the wild, Wesakechak finally found the Windigo, and stood before it face, to face. Wesakechak was terrified, for the Windigo was frightening, and looked hungry. He knew that he could not match the monster in a fight, so he decided to outsmart it.
And so he said, "Ke minno iau nuh! Hello my brother, how are you on this fine day?". Confused, but not swayed, the Windigo said, "Go-sto! I am well, my brother, but I am very hungry. Build me a big fire." Wesakechak went to collect wood, and found an Ermine. He said to the Ermine, "My brother, you must help me! The Windigo plans to eat me! You must crawl down his throat to kill him. You are so small that he will not even notice you!". The Ermine looked at him, and said, " What will I get in return for helping you?" Wesakechak said, "If you help me, I will make you the most beautiful creature in the woods!" The Ermine agreed, and climbed onto Wesakechak, who returned to the hungry Windigo.
The monster was getting impatient, and said " You still havn't built me a fire! What is taking so long?! I am hungry!" Suddenly, as the Windigo began to open his mouth the Ermine jumped out of hiding, jumped into the mouth of the Windigo, and down its throat. The Ermine reached the Windigo's heart, and with his sharp teeth, began to gnaw, and gnaw, and gnaw. Suddenly the Windigo fell down dead, and the Ermine came out of the monster's body, covered in blood.
Astonished, Wesakechak said, "Thank you my brother, oh, thank you! You have killed the Windigo!" The Ermine looked him in the eye, and said, "I have kept my promise. Now you must do what you have promised, and make me the most beautiful creature in the woods." "Of course, my brother!" said Wesakechak. "Come with me."
So Wesakechak took the Ermine down to a riverbank, and cleaned all the blood from his fur. Then he took some white clay, and began to rub it into the Ermine's fur, until his fur was completely white except for a spot on the end of his tail. The Ermine admired how beautiful he had become, and said, "My brother, thank you for making me so beautiful!" And since then the ermine has always had white fur. The two then went their separate ways.
Wesakechak returned to his village, and proclaimed, "Hinapa man we! My people! I have killed the Windigo!"