Treaty 2 Territory – When the world was new, the Creator made all the birds. He coloured their feathers like a bouquet of flowers. The Creator then gave each a distinct song to sing. The Creator instructed the birds to greet each new day with a chorus of their songs. Of all the birds, our Creator chose the Eagle to be the leader. The Eagle flies the highest and sees the furthest of all creatures. The Eagle is a messenger to the Creator.
“The Eagle (Migizi) holds a very special place for First Nations peoples. The Eagle has the power of vision, strength and courage. There are many special meanings and special uses for the Eagle Feather.”
Many teachings explain that Eagle is the principle messenger of Creator. The Eagle flies the closest to Creator and, therefore, can see the past, present and future at a glance. Eagle sees the flow of change. Eagle alerts us to the changes so that we can respond appropriately. Eagle is the great illuminator and soars above us all, sometimes out of sight to us, but never out of its own sight. Eagle sees and hears all and sits in the east on the Medicine Wheel with the direction of leadership and courage. In other words, Eagle is connected both to the spirit of Great Mystery and to the Earth and does both with ease. Eagle, therefore, is a powerful symbol of courage; that is why its feathers are such powerful tools for healing, and why there are special ceremonies for Eagle feathers. Eagle teaches us that it is okay to combine wisdom and courage — it is okay to be wise enough to know that a change needs to be made in one’s life and then finding the courage to execute the change.
When one receives an Eagle Feather that person is being acknowledged with gratitude, with love, and with ultimate respect. The Eagle Feather represents the norms, responsibilities and behaviours that are all a part of the conditioning, learning and commitment to a spirit. It is in this way that life is honoured and becomes whole. That feather must have sacred tobacco burnt for it. In this way the Eagle and the Creator are notified of the name of the new Eagle Feather Holder. The holder of the Eagle Feather must ensure that anything that changes the natural state of one’s mind (such as alcohol and drugs) must never come in contact with the sacred Eagle Feather. The Keeper of the feather will make a little home where the feather will be kept. The Eagle feather must be fed. You feed the Eagle Feather by holding or wearing the feather at sacred ceremonies. By doing this the Eagle Feather is recharged with sacred energy. Never abuse, never disrespect, and never contaminate your Eagle Feather.
Source: “Reflections Outdoors” website and Elder Teachings
Submitted by Renée McGurry, Earth Lodge Development Helper