RCMP are now offering a more inclusive option to swear legal oaths.
The eagle feather initiative saw feathers distributed to all detachments in the province to provide victims, witnesses, suspects and police officers the opportunity to swear legal oaths on an eagle feather.
RCMP Cpl. Lester Houle explains the eagle feather will be used similarly to how oaths are sworn on the Bible.
"The RCMP is looking at Indigenous culture and being more inclusive of those Indigenous ways of life," House says. "And as an Indigenous person it's so encouraging they've embraced it."
While not everyone will choose to make use of the eagle feather, "it's now there for everyone," Houle says, adding he will personally use the eagle feather as a way of honouring his Indigenous background.
He notes the eagle feather is a source of honesty and respect, "it's not something we take lightly."
Additionally, the eagle feather may also be offered as a comfort for anyone who wishes when they are at the detachment.
"By holding the eagle feather, they find the strength to talk, and are empowered to speak their truth," explains 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.