The Thunder Bird Tootooch Legends, by W.L. Webber, , at sacred-texts.com
Years ago the ancestors of the Eagle Clan believed in an after-life for all creatures. Food cast into the fire became invisible and everlasting and was for the departed spirits to partake of on their journey to the spirit land where they entered a greater and more wonderful life.
When Od-euons (The Great Eagle) is shown on totem poles of the Eagle Clan, it sometimes signifies this legend:
A fearless, strong brave was killed in battle. At death his spirit strayed to Eagleland, a remote mythical village of the sky region on the West coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Upon his arrival he was received with a welcome by Od-euons, the Great Eagle Chief. As time went on, the brave proved that he was an untiring and fearless hunter of whales, the Eagle's mortal enemies, who dominated all oceans. The Whale Chief was the Right Whale, who had never been conquered. He could blow spouts of water high above the clouds, which was a warning of death for those who had many combats with the Right Whale, leaving many scars on the Whale's tough hide from his sharp claws. He would relate these adventures of strength and cunning to his fellow Eagles who regarded him as a cowardly old braggart.
The young brave was determined that he would show that the power of the Right Whale was a myth. He would conquer this master of the seas single-handed. Making his way high over the ocean he sighted the mammoth whale. Soaring high above, he waited for an opportunity to attack the whale unawares, and, when his chance came, he swooped down, digging his powerful talons deep into the flesh of the enemy, flapping his wings, straining every muscle, he could not raise the foe. The young eagle had to call his fellow eagles for help. As the ethics of their brotherhood demands that they always lend a hand to a brother, they flew to his aid. The wise old Eagle, hearing the call, sharpened his talons and rushed into the fray just in time for his fellows were badly weakened. Not only were they likely to lose the battle, but all of them might be destroyed as well. The coming of the old eagle changed the tide of battle. He showed his strength and daring by picking up the whale and carrying it homeward.
Thus the oldest and wisest saved his tribe from destruction. The old eagle was so pleased with the young eagle's conduct and daring that he gave him his daughter in marriage in celebration of the victory.
Ever after, the wise one, named Od-euons, means Great Eagle, the Mighty.