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Bald eagle

Wolastoqiyik: Cihpolakon

Mi’kmaq: pipugwes

There is a strong symbolism attached to the bald eagle. Indeed, because of its high flight, it symbolizes the sky, and many Indigenous people believe it has a special connection with spirits. This bird is thus considered a messenger, and its feathers are sacred.

The spirituality of the Indigenous peoples who live in the St. Lawrence estuary around the 14th century was diverse and complex. It is generally founded on an “animistic” view of the world, meaning that all things, whether living or not, have a soul that can continue to exist in another reality: the afterlife. Humans are therefore considered part of nature, in a balanced system where animals, vegetation and even rocks have an equivalent value. The notion of cycles, such as the seasons, the tides, the moon, the sun and life, is also significant.

Indigenous peoples’ myths and legends tell stories that often feature animals. As in any society, these tales are told to teach and transmit worldviews, values, knowledge, and experiences. For Indigenous peoples, who do not have written language, the passing on of these myths and legends, as well as all other knowledge, takes place orally, through the spoken word. These sharing moments contribute to forging social ties. Furthermore, elderly people (or Elders) play a fundamental role in this transmission. They are valued and respected for their vast world knowledge and great wisdom.

In addition, singing and dancing are part of the spirituality and celebrations of the Indigenous peoples of the St. Lawrence estuary.


Origin: Digital 3D drawing


Smith, D. G. (2011, December 4). Religion and spirituality of indigenous peoples in Canada. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/religion-of-aboriginal-people

Illustration: Bald eagle