The bear was a very important animal to the Native Americans. Their skins were used for clothing and blankets to help shelter them from the cold. Their claws and teeth were used as jewelry, and their heads made masks for Shamans. Some even considered bears to be Shamans themselves. To be given this totem would be a great honor to some.
The bear is a fast, fierce leader. They resemble courage, strength, and strong family values. Those with the Bear totem may be protective over their families and close friends. They are fearless. They also have great knowledge and wisdom. Some bears may be too prideful of their own power and strength. They are often associated with trees.
SOURCES: Bear Animal Power Totem manizone.co.uk. Animal Totems by Diana Haymond