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Eagle feathers, like the Bible, now an option for swearing oaths in all Alberta courts – The Globe and Mail

by ahnationtalk on November 18, 201966 Views

As the first Treaty First Nation person to receive a law degree from the University of Alberta, Wilton Littlechild requested – and received – special permission to swear the oath required of new lawyers with a sacred eagle feather.

Almost 42 years later, the Treaty Six Grand Chief found himself holding back tears during a ceremony making eagle feathers an option for swearing oaths in all Alberta courts.

“I felt very emotional because I saw an acceptance of our spiritual and cultural beliefs in a judicial proceeding in the Canadian justice system,” Mr. Littlechild said after the ceremony in Edmonton.

Until last week, individuals making an oath in civil, criminal or family matters in Alberta could swear only on a religious text or make a non-religious affirmation. In court, witnesses were commonly offered the Bible or the choice of affirmation before their testimony.

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