The Eagle feather is the most sacred and honoured gift given to an individual. Respect is key in relation to Eagle feathers. Only certain people are able to take Eagle feathers from the Eagle. One must be given the right to be able to do so. Eagle feathers are obtained from Elders who have the ability to give them to individuals.
A feast is held to honour the feathers.
The care and responsibility that comes with carrying an Eagle feather must be taught. The Eagle is our most sacred of birds because the Eagle carries our prayers to the Creator and is therefore heard.
The Eagle is also our relative and is part of our family. As a part of our family we must care for and respect that it has given up its life so that a person may carry its feathers.
To care for Eagle feathers means you must follow certain protocols and procedures. It is an honour to have Eagle feathers. Always keep your Eagle feather in a clean and safe place.
Smudge your Eagle feather on a regular basis with prayers to give thanks to our relative the Eagle who gave its life so that you may be honoured with it. To care for an Eagle feather:
- Smudge yourself thoroughly and say prayers to the Creator.
- Smudge your Eagle feather with sweetgrass or sage from time to time.
- Keep your Eagle feather in a clean, safe compartment away from alcohol, drugs and related paraphernalia.
- A person must not be intoxicated with drugs or alcohol while handling an Eagle feather. The preference is to abstain from an unhealthy lifestyle.
- You can appoint your parents or grandparents to care for your Eagle feather until such time as you’re prepared to be responsible for it.
- During her menstrual cycle, a woman cannot touch an Eagle feather.