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BIRDS OF PREY PROGRAM

Annually, the Birds of Prey Program allows for the distribution of feathers and other items from birds of prey such as Eagles and Hawks for Saskatchewan First Nations ceremonial and spiritual purposes only. The applications are reviewed and recommendations are made by the SICC Elders Council.

2022 Important Dates

Due to Covid-19, this year will change our process and important dates:

  • April 30, 2022 - The deadline for applications. SICC will follow up with applicants if there is information missing.

  • Mid-May 2022 - The SICC Elders Council will review all applications to make their decisions. Due to the pandemic landscape, if this cannot occur, SICC will seek other ways to receive their direction. In order to follow our due process, this may take longer than usual, your patience is appreciated.

  • All applicants will be notified immediately after the SICC Elders Council makes their decisions.

  • Late-May 2022 - The 2022 Birds of Prey Program Feather Issuance ceremony may occur. Due to the pandemic landscape if this cannot occur, approved applicants will obtain their feathers and other items in PERSON at the SICC office by appointment only and are responsible for their travel costs. An offering of tobacco and cloth are considered appropriate protocols.

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PROTOCOL FOR
EAGLE FEATHERS

The Eagle feather is the most sacred and honoured gift given to an individual. The care and responsibility that comes with carrying an Eagle feather must be taught. An Eagle is our most sacred of birds because the Eagle carries our prayers to the Creator and is therefore heard. The Eagle is also our relative and is part of our family. As a part of our family we must care for and respect that it has given up its life so that a person may carry its feathers.

 

Caring for Eagle Feathers

To care for Eagle feathers means you must follow certain protocols and procedures. The following are ways to care for an Eagle feather:

  • Smudge yourself thoroughly and say prayers to the Creator.

  • Smudge your Eagle feather with sweetgrass or sage from time to time.

  • Keep your Eagle feather in a clean, safe compartment away from alcohol, drugs and related paraphernalia.

  • A person must not be intoxicated with drugs or alcohol while handling an Eagle feather. The preference is to abstain from an unhealthy lifestyle.

  • You can appoint your parents or grandparents to care for your Eagle feather until such time as you’re prepared to be responsible for it.

  • A young woman on her menstrual cycle cannot touch the Eagle feather.

 

It is an honour to have Eagle Feathers. Always keep your Eagle Feathers in a clean and safe place. Smudge your Eagle Feathers on a regular basis with prayers to give thanks to our relative, the Eagle who gave its life so that you may be honoured with it.

To download this Protocol for Eagle feathers, please click here.

Click here to download the full 2022 Birds of Prey Application Package.

 

If you do not have a way to print, fill out, scan or fax in the application, please email Melody Wood at melody.wood@sicc.sk.ca to set up a phone call to fill out the application.