Native American Reading Comprehension

Free printable traditional legends and informational texts from the Native American and Indigenous People cultures. Read and test reading comprehension online or print and use offline. Recommended level: 3rd or 4th Grade and up


The Legend of Sedna

From the Inuit People of Baffin Island

A long time ago there was a family with a very strong-willed daughter. Sedna, the daughter, refused to marry any of the men her parents brought to her.

After a while, her parents no longer wanted to provide for their strong-willed unmarried daughter. They took her out in a boat, and when a storm rose, they threw the girl overboard.

They started to paddle home feeling cold and ashamed of themselves.

Suddenly the boat stopped. They saw that Sedna's hands were holding the boat and rocking it. She was going to toss them into the ocean and they would drown!

Unable to loosen her grip, the father took his knife and started to chop at Sedna's fingers. As Sedna's fingers splashed into the water, they changed into animals. One finger became a whale. One finger became a seal. One finger became a walrus. One became a salmon. Her fingernails became whalebone.

Sedna then fell from the side of the boat and swam to the bottom of the sea. There she lives as the mother of all the sea creatures. People call her the Goddess of the Sea.

What do you think "strong-willed" means?
stubborn
smart
having lots of muscles
stubborn Why did Sedna's family not want to care for her?
She was mean to her father.
She was strong-willed and refused to marry.
She ate too much.
She was strong-willed and refused to marry. Why did the father chop at Sedna's fingers?
to loosen her grip on the boat
to cause her pain
to unthaw them
to loosen her grip on the boat What happened to Sedna's fingers?
They became oars for the boat.
They bled.
They fell into the water and became sea animals.
They fell into the water and became sea animals. Why is Sedna called the Goddess of Sea Creatures?
because she swims with them
because sea animals came from her fingers
because she is a mermaid
because sea animals came from her fingers

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