Eagle Feather Ceremony Held For Hilldale High School Graduates

Hilldale High School in Muskogee held an Eagle Feather Ceremony for its 56 Native American graduating seniors on Thursday.

Thursday, May 16th 2024, 10:00 pm



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Hilldale High School in Muskogee held an Eagle Feather Ceremony for its 56 Native American graduating seniors on Thursday.

They were given a bald eagle feather to wear on graduation day and carry with them through the rest of their lives.

The bald eagle feather used to be given to warriors as a sign of accomplishment and now it's given to native Americans for accomplishments like graduating high school.

Lauren Kelly presented the feathers to the students, and she had to get certified by the National Fish and Wildlife Service to do so.

Kelly says she learned through different tribes how to prepare and bless the feathers.

The feathers have been rubbed with sage, tobacco, sweet grass, and cedar wood. 

Kelly says getting a bald eagle feather is sacred because of the belief the eagle can communicate with the creator.

The feathers come from the national repository in Colorado and Kelly says they all come from the same bird. 

"Each feather is a little different but it's all from the same bird and it's all one whole being, and even though the class of 2024 will go their separate ways they're always going to be connected by their eagle," said Lauren Kelly with Feathered Futures.

Catelin King is one of the seniors who received a feather.

As a citizen of Muscogee Creek nation, she says it means a lot to her because it honors her tribal heritage.

"It helps me remind myself what the culture is and being able to realize that so many people get to be a part of this and that it's awesome," King said.

Hilldale’s graduation is at the football field on Monday at 8 p.m.

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