On Tuesday, February 16, 2021, Treaty 1 Nation Knowledge Keeper Ernie Daniels and Treaty 1 Nation staff Katherine Legrange and Preston Roulette traveled to Turtle Lodge at Sagkeeng First Nation to meet with Elder Dave Courchene. Tobacco was passed to Elder Courchene to bless the Treaty 1 Nation Eagle Staff and teachings were given on the importance and significance of the Eagle Staff.
The Treaty 1 Nation commissioned Darrin Cameron of Long Plain First Nation to make an Eagle Staff that symbolizes and recognizes the seven Treaty 1 First Nation communities: Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, Long Plain First Nation, Peguis First Nation, Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation, Sagkeeng First Nation, Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation and Swan Lake First Nation.
Before the arrival of immigrants to North America, the Eagle Staff was, and still is today, a symbol of our Nations’ Flag. The Eagle Staff can either represent numerous First Nation communities, an individual community as a whole, or in some cases, specific families. It is understood that the Eagle Staff is a living spirit that must be smudged and feasted on a regular basis and not to be kept in an empty building or be only used for symbolic purposes.
The Treaty 1 Nation Eagle Staff identifies the seven First Nation communities not only by their name, but also through the seven Eagle Feathers attached along the side. The Eagle and its feathers represent many things to the First Nation people such as Love from the original Seven Teachings. Love for all living things, love for family, love for the environment and to remind the leadership – love for all children and for the future generations that are not yet here.
In addition, it is believed that the Eagle watches over the people and it can carry our prayers to the Creator, since it can fly the highest of all birds.