February 9, 2002

Significance and care of the eagle feather


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Source: Oral History as told by Ken Saunders

All Native North American Peoples attach special significance to the eagle, and its feathers.

The eagle flies higher and sees well than any other bird. Its perspective is therefore different from those of us held close to the earth.

Our Creator also has a different perspective of what occurs below in this world of physical things in which human kind resides.

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The eagle spends more time in the element of father sky than the other birds and father sky is the element of the spirit.

The eagle is a symbol of truth, power and freedom, as it roams the sky. Its wings represent the balance needed between male and female, each one dependant upon strengths and abilities of the other.

The eagle was given the honor of carrying the prayers of man between the world of earth and the world of spirit where our creator and the grandfathers reside.

Therefore, when one holds the eagle feather, one must speak the truth in as positive a way as one can, for the ear of our creator is that much closer to the feather of the eagle.

We honor the feather of the eagle, with great care, showing it respect, honesty, and truth, at all times.

To be given an eagle feather is the highest honor that can be awarded within aboriginal cultures.


A woman who is on her moon-time (menstrual time) must not touch the feather.

It should be hung up within one’s home, not placed in drawers, cupboards , etc.

Under both US and Canadian law, a permit is required from the conservation authorities for one to possess one legally. It must be used for traditional or teaching purposes.

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