Le Polatouche, communément surnommé l'Écureuil Volant, n'apparaît pas souvent dans le folklore Amérindien.  Il est donc très rare de retrouver se totem chez un individu.

Lorsqu'il apparaît dans les légendes Amérindiennes, ses caractéristiques les plus importantes sont: Outre la chauve-souris, il est le seul mammifère ayant la capacité de voler, Ayant les mêmes caractéristiques que l'Écureuil, il ne fait pas pour autant partie de sa famille et ne fait pas non plus partie de la famille des oiseaux de nuits même s'il partage avec ceux-ci les mêmes caractéristiques.
Son apparence intermédiaire entre les oiseaux et les mammifères, provoque donc un certains rejet de l'Écureuil volant dans l'un ou l'autre de ces groupes, étant accusé par certains des membres d'agir tantôt comme un espion et tantôt comme un traître dans certaines légendes.  

Par contre la majorités des Nations Amérindiennes ne partagent pas cette vision du Polatouche et le décrive comme suit: le Polatouche est un membre de la famille de l'Écureuil qui a recueillit l'énergie de l'aigle par sa capacité de voler et celle du hibou du fait qu'il aime la nuit et que son vol est silencieux.  Donc il représente comme l'aigle la sagesse et l'élévation atteinte par l'épreuve et comme le hibou la capacité de voir et d'entendre ce que peu d'être vivant peuvent.

Même s'il est principalement un être nocturne, le Polatouche ne dors pas beaucoup le jour, tel que le
font la plupart des autres animaux nocturnes.  Il aime profitez de moments pendant la journée pour jouer et s'amuser avec les autres polatouches, ce qui fait de lui un être beaucoup plus sociable que son cousin l'Écureuil.  De plus le Polatouche n'hiberne pas comme l'Écureuil gris, il est actif tout au long de l'année.

Le Polatouche est un être doux et jovial possédant les dons précieux du hibou de clairvoyance et de clairaudience, qui traverse la noirceur de la vie avec la confiance de l'aigle sans aucune agressivité.
Le Polatouche peut effectuer de très longues distances entre les arbres, sans aucun effort, simplement en déployant ses membranes et en planant.  Il est donc facile de comprendre que posséder la médecine du Polatouche indique qu'un individu possède en lui toutes les capacités nécessaire à traverser les épreuve que la vie mettra sur sa route.

Chez les  Omahas et Poncas ainsi que dans les anciennes civilisations japonaise les écureuils volants étaient également associés à la fertilité


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