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.
2023 Important Dates
Due to Covid-19, this year will change our process and important dates:
April 30, 2023 - The deadline for applications. SICC will follow up with applicants if there is information missing.
Mid-May 2023 - The SICC Elders Council will review all applications to make their recommendations for approval. Additionally, the SICC will notify all applicants, in writing, the results of the decisions of the SICC Elders Council.
All applicants will be notified immediately after the SICC Elders Council makes their decisions.
Late-May 2023 - The 2023 Birds of Prey Program Feather Issuance Ceremony will occur. Successful applicants are obligated to obtain their feathers and other items in person and are responsible for their travel costs for the Feather Issuance Ceremony. An offering of tobacco and cloth are considered appropriate protocols.
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.
If you do not have a way to print, fill out, scan or fax in the application, please email Melody Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a phone call to fill out the application.