Edmonton Police Service to incorporate eagle feathers into policies and procedures


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The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) has added the eagle feather, a sacred Indigenous symbol, to its policies and procedures on National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Seven eagle feathers, which are spiritual symbols signifying a connection to the Creator who impart wisdom and medicine, were presented on Monday to demonstrate EPS’s commitment to the community.

Eagle feathers are considered sacred gifts to be used in ceremonies, to honor people, show respect, or purify and pray for blessings.

Retail Retired PSE Eric Wilde introduced the initiative to Chief Dale McFee and the management team in January 2020 and received overwhelming support.

Retail PSE Retired Eric Wilde has family roots in the Cree community of Desmarais in northern Alberta. The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) is adding the eagle feather to its policies and procedures to be more inclusive of the community. The eagle feather is a sacred symbol for indigenous peoples. Screenshot. BPA June 2021 jpg

Wilde, whose family is from the Cree community of Desmarais in northern Alberta, has been passionately involved with the Indigenous community as an advocate and mentor during his 30-year policing career. He always believed that PSE should do more to be inclusive in the culture and traditions of the community.

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Wilde, with help from Andrea Levey, Indigenous Equity Advisor at PSE, began bringing community members together to fashion eagle feathers in a way that would honor the spirit and traditions of Indigenous peoples. .

Indigenous Elder Betty Letendre contributed to cultural protocols for incorporating eagle feathers into PSE operations. She presided over a pipe ceremony to welcome the eagle feathers into the community on Friday.

New police recruits, witnesses and complainants will now have the option of taking the oath using sacred eagle feathers, the Bible, the Quran or a statutory affirmation / declaration. The feathers will also be available for community ceremonies.

It is hoped that the sacred eagle feathers can provide anchorage, connection and strength to all who use them and help demonstrate PSE’s continued commitment to the community.


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