South Peace News
First Nations and other citizens will now have the option to swear oaths on an eagle feather rather than a Bible in Peace River.
The eagle feather will be offered as an option to victims, witnesses and police officers at the Peace Regional RCMP detachment. If a client chooses the eagle feather, they will hold it while providing their evidence or statement.
Eagle feathers are considered sacred in First Nations cultures and are already used in many indigenous ceremonies throughout North America.
The Eagle Feather Initiative was launched in Nova Scotia in March 2018 and all 54 RCMP detachments were presented with eagle feathers.
“To many First Nations people, when you give them a Bible, it doesn’t mean anything, but if you give them an eagle feather, it carries more significance, power and clout,” says RCMP Cpl. De-Anne Sack, Nova Scotia’s Indigenous policing analyst.
The eagle feathers were cleansed through a smudging ceremony and a blessing and gifted to the RCMP from the Mi’kmaq community.
Cpl. Courtney Tipton of the Peace River Regional Detachment says Indigenous employees of the RCMP have been a significant contributor to the initiative, and their culture is valued and has a place within the RCMP.
The eagle feather is also available at the High Prairie RCMP Detachment and provincial courthouse.