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F.P. Walshe school’s First Nations grads honoured at eagle feather ceremony

Blackfoot elder Peter Strikes With A Gun performs the eagle feather blessing ceremony for Halle Bottle.

Blackfoot elder Peter Strikes With A Gun performs the eagle feather blessing ceremony for Halle Bottle.

A record number of First Nations graduates at F.P. Walshe school were honoured Friday during an eagle feather blessing ceremony.
Blackfoot elder Peter Strikes With A Gun carried out the ceremony with nine graduating First Nations in a tipi set up on the grounds of the 1184 North West Mounted Police Barracks provincial historic site.
“This ceremony has become one of the highlights of our year,” F.P. Walshe school principal Bill Forster said. “It’s one of the highlights at the end of the year as we celebrate the graduation of these students.
Seventeen First Nations students took part in the eagle feather blessing ceremony — a new high for the Fort Macleod school.
“That is awesome,” Forster said.
The eagle feather blessing is part of an increased emphasis on involving First Nations culture at F.P. Walshe school and in Livingstone Range School Division.
The students were invited into a tipi, where Strikes With A Gun spoke to them collectively.
Strikes With A Gun then gave each student a blessing and an eagle feather — one of the highest honours in Blackfoot culture.
Kyle Blood, a counsellor at F.P. Walshe school, was master of ceremonies on Friday.
Guests included Livingstone Range School Division chair Martha Ratcliffe, associate superintendent Darrell Seguin, Lisa Crowshoe of the Piikani Board of Education and Donna Crowshoe, who represented the Alberta Education First Nations, Metis and Inuit.
The drum group Wandering Tribe, made up of Leland English and Blais Bad Eagle, performed two honour songs for the grads.
The 2015 First Nations grads at F.P. Walshe school are Halle Bottle, Cody Crow, Tameka Four Horns, Wilfred North Peigan, Dasan Crowshoe, Joseph Jackson, Carleigh Grier-Stewart, Tre Davis, Dulcie Eagle Speaker, Lakeesha Badger, Stuart Fox, Chyranda Krammer, Aiden Orich Tanguay, Sustasha Yellow Wings, Mary Many Bears, Connor Grier and Jayden Goodstriker.
After the ceremony about 60 family members, friends and staff were treated to berry soup, tea and fry bread.

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Garrett de Koning Says:

    When I went to school in Fort MacLeod you spelt TEE PEE not tipi what are we spelling french now instead of CANADIAN ENGLISH?