The "Happy Hunting Grounds"

Originally everyone lived in the land of the Great Spirit where there was no hunger, pain or death. There was no evil spirits there. There was no opportunity to develop a true character so Manitoo-oo made mortal bodies of clay for each person and allowed them to form early nations. They could not travel to His home while they were upon earth but after death their souls would go home to the Courts of Cautantowwits in the southwest. Upon entry into the "happy hunting grounds" there would be reunions with departed loved ones and in spirit form the deceased might continue to participate in the affairs of the living as well. The spirits of our ancestors are always invited to participate in ceremonies and are considered to be living in another dimension rather than having ceased to exist.

Note: The afterlife is a spiritual rather than material or physical state. Spirits may choose to reside in their former territory amid their familiar surroundings. This does not prevent them from enjoying the benefits of the Happy Hunting Grounds. According to legends, many tribes any clans recognize certain areas as the dwelling places of ancestral spirits.