RCMP detachment receives eagle feather

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

The Slave Lake RCMP detachment is now on board with the RCMP’s ‘Eagle Feather Protocol.’ Recently the detachment took delivery of one such feather.

It’s purpose, as explained in an RCMP document, is to give people the option of swearing legal oaths using the feather rather than the Bible or some similar book.

“In First Nations culture, the eagle is considered sacred,” says the news release. “The eagle feather is a symbol of spirituality and is used in many Indigenous traditions through North America.”

Three uses of the feather are mentioned. One is the above-mentioned option of affirming a statement with the feather; it may also be used “as a comforting item for a client when interacting with employees at the detachment. Thirdly, it is noted that the feather can be used by all citizens while providing evidence or a statement.

The Eagle Feather Protocol “is part of the RCMP’s commitment to create a more inclusive and relevant justice system,” says the document provided by the RCMP.

RCMP Sgt. Don Racette says most detachments in the province have received an eagle feather, and all will in the near future.

Dropping the feather off in Slave Lake was Cpl. Colleen Skyrpan of the ‘K’ Division Indigenous Policing Services Unit.

RCMP Sgt. Don Racette with the Slave Lake detachment’s eagle feather.

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