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Sudbury Catholic School Students Honoured to Participate in Traditional Eagle Ceremony

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Annie Wemigwans, a grade 5 student from St. David Catholic Elementary School holds on to her Eagle feather gifted to her by an Elder at the Eagle ceremony in Killarney.

January 14, 2010 - Students from the Native Studies and Native Language Programs at the Sudbury Catholic District School board were invited to participate in an Eagle Ceremony at the board’s Outdoor Education Centre in Killarney on January 13, 2010. Vince Pawis, a traditional elder who works with the Catholic Board was given an eagle that had been hit on the highway so he invited the students as well as other community Elders and traditional teachers to help him feast the eagle so that the feathers could be used for traditional purposes. In aboriginal culture, it is believed that the Eagle flies closest to the Creator and, therefore, can see the past, present and future at a glance. The Eagle is considered the great illuminator and sits in the east on the Medicine Wheel with the Elders and the direction of wisdom and guidance. It is a powerful symbol of courage and this is why the feathers are such powerful tools for healing, and why there are special ceremonies for the Eagle feathers. The students learned from the celebration that it is okay to combine wisdom and courage and to be wise enough to know when a change needs to be made in one’s life. Through the strength of the Eagle’s spirit, they learned that they can find the courage to execute the change. The Elders expressed their happiness that there were so many students there to witness and participate in the celebration as it is so important for their culture to passed on. Each student that took part in the ceremony was given an Eagle feather by the elders to take home and cherish.

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