EPS incorporates eagle feather into procedures, policies
Those taking or swearing an oath to tell the truth will now be able to do that holding an eagle feather at any Edmonton Police Service (EPS) divisional station.
The eagle feathers are being introduced today, June 21, which marks National Indigenous Peoples Day.
The eagle feather will also be a choice, along with the bible, Qur'an or affirmation/solemn declaration, provided to new police recruits at graduation ceremonies.
“Look around the police service. Look around the community. We come from all directions. We come from many places,” said retired Detective Eric Wilde, whose family is Cree from Desmarais in northern Alberta.
“That language that we've had for decades is not inclusive. By going down this road, we've actually made our service and our policies more inclusive of the community that we work with.”
Wilde spearheaded the movement in early January 2020 to include the eagle feather in EPS polices and procedures after Alberta courts introduced the eagle feather for the swearing of oaths on Nov. 8, 2019.
“When you talk about the eagle and you hold an eagle feather, you must speak your truth. And it should always be that you speak your truth if you know who you are. But speaking the truth with this is the most powerful thing you can do to honour that eagle spirit,” said Elder Betty Letendre.
Wilde brought the initiative forward to Chief Dale McFee and the EPS Leadership Team.
“(He) received overwhelming support to amend EPS policy to include the use of an eagle feather for the swearing of oaths,” read an EPS statement released today.
As eagles are a protected species, director Sue Cotterill with Alberta Fish and Wildlife helped obtain the eagle feathers.
Metis artisan Lisa Ladouceur added the beading, ribbons and sage to the feathers.
Ladouceur explained she beaded with red and blue to match EPS's uniforms and gold to represent the shield. The ribbons were the colours of the medicine wheel, significant to the Cree in Treaty 6. Edmonton sits in Treaty 6 territory. She wrote her name in Cree syllabics on the leather.
“I also put a little bit of sage in them so they're in good medicine. So whoever holds it will have good medicine to them,” said Ladouceur.
Woodworker Roger Freeman crafted cedar boxes for each eagle feather and carved individualized eagle feathers on each lid.
“The cedar is a powerful matriarch of treesâ€¦. So that's the significance of the cedar and how the cedar boxes are made,” said Letendre, who assisted with the cultural protocols of incorporating the eagle feathers into EPS operations.
Ladouceur believes that including the eagle feather is “important work” being undertaken by the EPS.
“I feel it's a good step in healing, acknowledgement. You know, all the things that we are saying that need to be done are happening,” she said.
“To see the Edmonton city police are trying to make it visible. It's not a deep dark secret anymore. They are acknowledging that the relationship is-was-is broken and that these steps will help future generations saying that we've done wrong, but this is what we're doing and working together with the Indigenous communities and Edmonton city police.”
She also thinks it's important for those who are incarcerated.
“I think of incarceration or being convicted and that person to see that eagle feather and know that that is who they are and that's who their people came from, is huge,” said Ladouceur. And that's their connection, even though they may not walk that life yet, or that path, that they know that their ancestors did and it could be a turn around point for them.”
Letendre points out that the eagle feather isn't only for Indigenous people.
“Everybody on this earth has the right to use an eagle feather as an oath,” she said, as it represents “the strength, the courage, the honesty, the humility, all those values, all those virtues that governs who we are as people.”
“To me this is a small step to things that we can still do better in the future,” said Wilde. “I hope that with our services, and I hope that with our community, this initiative just continues to grow a new path and new opportunities for us just to learn and be better people together.”
In its statement, the EPS said it “hoped that the sacred eagle feathers â€¦ (would) help demonstrate the Edmonton Police Service's ongoing commitment to the community.”
Letendre presided over a pipe ceremony to welcome the eagle feathers into the community on June 18.
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
W5 INVESTIGATES | Fewer firefighters mean slower response times, jeopardizing lives
Saturday at 7 p.m.: a CTV W5 investigation reveals that a critical shortage of volunteer firefighters in this country is having a potentially deadly impact, especially in rural Canada.
Mendicino says Alberta's resistance to federal gun buyback plan is 'reckless' and 'a political stunt'
Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino is calling Alberta Justice Minister and Solicitor General Tyler Shandro's plan to direct RCMP in the province not to enforce confiscations of prohibited firearms 'reckless,' and is amounting it to 'a political stunt' that won't hold up.
As of this morning, travellers to Canada do not need to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 -- and wearing a mask on planes and trains is now optional, though it is still recommended.
Rescuers searched for survivors among the ruins of Florida's flooded homes from Hurricane Ian while authorities in South Carolina waited for daylight to assess damage from its strike there as the remnants of one of the strongest and costliest hurricanes to ever hit the U.S. continued to push north.
Offices in Canada still haven't returned to their pre-pandemic occupancy rates, and now a growing number of underused buildings are being converted into apartments and condominiums. CTVNews.ca takes a look at this trend.
Canada is headed for a 'severe' and 'almost inevitable' recession in early 2023, according to the head of economics at Macquarie Group, which states Canada will face an approximately three per cent contraction in gross domestic product and a five per cent rise in its unemployment rate during the predicted recession.
Ceremonies, marches and other gatherings are taking place across the country Friday as communities mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The federal statutory holiday was established last year to remember children who died while being forced to attend residential schools, as well as those who survived, and the families and communities still affected by lasting trauma.
A revived Hurricane Ian pounded coastal South Carolina on Friday, ripping apart piers and flooding streets after the ferocious storm caused catastrophic damage in Florida, trapping thousands in their homes and leaving at least 17 people dead.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed treaties Friday to illegally annex more occupied Ukrainian territory in a sharp escalation of his war. Ukraine's president countered with a surprise application to join the NATO military alliance.
Indigenous community members and their allies gathered in Morley, Alta., on Friday to recognize the intergenerational traumas of Canada’s residential school system.
The nerves were high for Tsuaki Marule as she sang O Canada in front of thousands of fans at the Toronto Blue Jays game on Friday.
Calgarians gathered to remember, educate and listen on Friday for the country's second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Shirley Isbister had trouble believing her eyes Friday as she stood at the bottom of Victoria Park in Saskatoon watching more than 1,000 people dressed in orange shirts pour in from the street above for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
More than four thousand people attended the Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) Pow Wow and Concert at SaskTel Centre on Friday.
Newly appointed president of the Canadian Medical Association, Dr. Alika Lafontaine shares what the organization plans to do in helping save the country’s collapsing health-care system.
Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty hosted an event for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at the Residential School Memorial on the grounds of Government House in Regina.
Downtown Regina was host to a memorial walk Friday morning, acting as one part of the many gatherings for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in the Queen City.
'I still struggle': Residential school survivors share stories during National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
People in Regina gathered at the Eagle Heart Centre on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. For the community it's a time to acknowledge.
Employees who have suffered wage losses due to the destruction of post-tropical storm Fiona on Prince Edward Island are set to benefit from a new program by the provincial government.
‘The truth hurts but it also heals’: Halifax recognizes the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Drums and singing could be heard at the Grand Parade in Halifax as many gathered in orange to honour residential school survivors and those who never returned home.
Major clean-up efforts continue in Cape Breton on Friday as many on the island remain in the dark.
Toronto's election is less than a month away. Here's what some mayoral candidates are pledging ahead of upcoming debate
Toronto’s municipal election is less than a month away, but there seems to be a lack of campaign buzz across the city.
Peel Regional Police say one person had been taken into custody early Saturday morning, ending an hours-long standoff at a medical facility in Mississauga.
One person has died following a collision on Highway 401 in Mississauga.
As the Quebec election campaign enters its final weekend the main party leaders are fanning out across the province.
The body of a man was found lifeless in a garbage can on Doctor Penfield Ave. in Montreal on Friday evening, and police confirmed that they are investigating the 27th homicide of 2022 in Montreal.
Five investigators from the independent Quebec police watchdog (BEI) will try to shed light on the death of a 39-year-old woman who died Friday after being placed in detention in Nunavik.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | Ottawa police promise 'zero tolerance' approach to Panda Game festivities
Ottawa police say there will be a "significant and sustained" police presence in Sandy Hill and Old Ottawa South today, keeping an eye on Panda Game festivities.
Highway 417 is closed between Metcalfe Street and Carling/Kirkwood avenues until 6 a.m. on Tuesday for the replacement of the Rochester Street bridge.
A construction worker is being treated for injuries after being struck by a large piece of concrete at a construction site in downtown Ottawa.
Kitchener’s first Artist-in-Residence plans to share stories of underrepresented voices through portraits
The City of Kitchener announced, earlier this month, that Bangishimo Johnston would be the 2022 Artist-in-Residence.
A growing garden in Breslau, aimed at nurturing relationships and reconciliation, is now ready for harvest.
Songs of determination and steps of solidarity filled the streets of downtown Kitchener Friday morning, marking the second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Communities across northern Ontario are marking National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – also known as Orange Shirt Day – with ceremonies and events recognizing the impact of the Canadian Indian residential school system.
It was an emotional day on Nipissing First Nation as a survivor shared her deeply personal experience attending a northern Ontario residential school on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Ontario's ninth Indigenous university officially opened in Sault Ste. Marie across from a former residential school on National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.
Former students of Assiniboia Residential School were honoured Friday at the unveiling of a commemorative monument and gathering place on Academy Road.
A memorial sculpture honouring those lost and affected by the residential school system is giving Winnipeggers a new gathering place for truth and reconciliation.
Emergency crews were on the scene of a multi-vehicle collision at the corner of Portage Avenue and the Perimeter Highway Friday.
'It's still a lot of hurting': Survivors of former North Vancouver residential school return to the site
Survivors of a former North Vancouver residential school were among hundreds who gathered at the site for a pilgrimage Friday.
The Musqueam Indian Band has gifted a replacement name for Trutch Street to the City of Vancouver, more than a decade after members first called for a change.
The City of White Rock marked the second ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Friday by raising the flag of the Semiahmoo First Nation at city hall.
An international whale watching and conservation group says some of its members came across a rare and dramatic encounter between orcas and humpbacks off Vancouver Island this week.
While Carmen Spagnola puts a lot of effort into making and tending to her flower garden, the same couldn’t be said for growing her first pumpkin. "It felt like this random miracle that just happened," Carmen smiles.
Langford celebrated the opening of an innovative new residential building Thursday at 2830 Peatt Rd.