Westbank First Nation recently held a feather ceremony to recognize members of the West Kelowna RCMP who were involved in a July shooting incident on Westbank and West Kelowna lands.
The WFN Chief Robert Louie and the band council presented blessed eagle feathers to Cpl. Brian Harris, Const. Mike Philion and Const. Mike Taylor in a traditional ceremony held in the Westbank First Nation council chambers.
The three officers were involved in a shooting incident July 31, 2012, when they attempted to conduct a vehicle stop of the occupants in a green minivan.
That incident ultimately led to the arrest and subsequent charges of attempted murder against two men and a woman.
“This is one example of the dedication to service that our RCMP members across the country demonstrate on a daily basis,” said Chief Louie. “We honour the bravery and courage of these officers, in the face of great danger, to protect our lands and our peoples.”
The eagle feather ceremony has historical and cultural significance to Westbank First Nation; the Eagle feather holds deep meaning to many First Nation bands because the eagle flies the closest to ‘the Creator.’
Its feathers were blessed in order to protect the officers while carrying out their duties in the future.