What seven eagle feathers on new Kamloops crosswalk represent | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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What seven eagle feathers on new Kamloops crosswalk represent

The crosswalk at the corner of 5 Avenue and Victoria Street displays seven eagle feathers in a design that was adopted in consultation with the TteS Language and Culture Department and approved by TteS Council.

A symbolic crosswalk with Indigenous artwork was installed in Kamloops’s downtown core last month.

It was created in honour and respect of a one-year anniversary of the discovery of unmarked graves on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

While the colour orange has become a symbol for the suffering of children who were forced to go to residential schools in Canada, the seven feathers carry a different meaning that is also broad in scope. 

Kamloops resident Danielle Tourand Manuel of the Secwépemc nation said the feathers have to do with braiding sweetgrass and the significance of the number seven.

“The seven feathers represent the braiding of seven generations past, seven sacred teachings and the next seven generations,” she said. “When we braid sweetgrass each of the three strands must have seven individual strands in each. Sweetgrass braids are mother earth’s hair.”

READ MORE: Why Kamloops has a new orange crosswalk with 7 eagle feathers

Tourand said the seven generations past refer to parents, grandparents, great grandparents and on who made us who we are today. The seven sacred teachings are Love, Respect, Honesty, Courage, Wisdom, Truth and Humility. The last seven strands represent those of the seven generations in front of us, our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and those yet to be born and how everything we do to Mother earth will one day affect them.  

Manuel said the symbolism of the seven feathers stretches across many nations because sweet grass is used by all of them and the story of seven generations, seven teachings, and seven future generations is the same.

“I love that Kamloops finally has the crosswalk,” Tourand said. “It starts conversation and learning for those who want to learn.”

The design was adopted in consultation with the Ttes Language and Culture Department and approved by the TteS Council.

READ MORE: Canada celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day with ceremonies feasts

The crosswalk was unveiled by the City of Kamloops in partnership with the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc.

“Kukwste´p-kucw to the City of Kamloops and the TNRD for their ongoing support," acting Kukpi7 Morning-Star Peters said in last month’s media release by the city. "This act of recognition is a visual reminder of our joint commitment to reconciliation, inclusiveness, awareness, and healing.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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