The Manitoba RCMP held a ceremony at Headquarters today to launch the eagle feather initiative. This initiative will see eagle feathers distributed to all detachments throughout the province and will provide victims, witnesses, suspects and police officers the option to swear legal oaths on an eagle feather.
The eagle feather will be used the same way as the Bible or affirmation is currently used. When someone provides a sworn statement to the RCMP, they will be given three options: to swear on a Bible, affirm, or affirm with an eagle feather. This means that a sworn statement given by any of these three methods is evidence that can be used in a court of law. It also means that a police officer will be able to use the eagle feather to swear information before the court. Additionally, the eagle feather may also be offered as a comfort for anyone who wishes when they are at the detachment.
"For some, the eagle feather provides comfort and strength. By holding the eagle feather, they find the strength to talk, and are empowered to speak their truth," said Assistant Commissioner Scott Kolody, Commanding Officer of Manitoba RCMP. "This is what inspired us to bring the eagle feather into our day-to-day policing operations."
Anyone who requests to use the eagle feather will be able to do so as every detachment in Manitoba will be receiving an eagle feather shortly.