Sacred Eagle Feather gifted to Calgary Police Service
Yesterday, an Elder from the Piikani Nation gifted our Service with an Eagle Feather and its story in a traditional Blackfoot ceremony.
Chief Constable Mark Neufeld graciously accepted these gifts and teachings under the supervision and consultation of local Traditional Knowledge Keepers. Our Service is grateful to receive these teachings and yesterday’s ceremony signified our shared journey on a path to Truth and Reconciliation.
As we strive to be more inclusive, the Eagle Feather will allow us to integrate an Indigenous ceremonial practice into our major ceremonial events, transforming our traditions to be more inclusive of our current membership, new recruits and the Indigenous community members we serve.
We are honoured to have this gift. The Stewards of the Eagle Feather will be Chief Constable Mark Neufeld, Staff Sergeant Travis Juska, Sergeant Jason Hiscock, Sergeant Alan Chamberlain, Constable Justin Thomson, Inspector Nadine Wager and Staff Sergeant Sarah Roe. These seven members reaffirmed their officer oath yesterday using the sacred Eagle Feather.
We would like to thank local Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers from Treaty 7 for sharing their experiences and wisdom with us as we work to find our way back to being equal partners and honouring one another’s traditional ways. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the Blackfoot Drumming group, Sorrel Rider, for leading us in the start of the ceremony, and to retired Justice James Langston for attending this special occasion.
We would also like to acknowledge the recent confirmation of anomalies consistent with unmarked graves at a former residential school near High Prairie, Alberta.
This reminds us that these dark periods of the past are living trauma for many Indigenous people today, and our Service will continue to engage and support Indigenous community members in the hope of moving forward together, in a good way.