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Hello Auntie! I’m Nehiyawak and a member of the Cold Lake band of First Nations. The twist in my story is that my father is dead and my uncles are totally disconnected from our Cree heritage. My grandma still lives on the Rez in Alberta (the rest of us are American), but she has severe dementia. Therefore, I make my own regalia and am learning to dance on my own. I want a feather, and cannot get one from a repository because I’m First Nations, not Federally Recognized. What now! My friends and mentors are all Salish and Blackfeet and they also know nothing about Cree-specific tradition.

Hey there!

Thanks for writing in. First, go you! I love how you are taking things into your own hands and reclaiming your culture.

Gosh, this is tricky. My first thought goes to asking your Uncles if they know anyone from your Cree side who might help.

Secondly, have you looked into enrolling with your Cree enrollment department? Then perhaps you can start making inquiries into getting a feather.

You can do an internet search for their number. I did find some info here:

Both links contain phone numbers you can call.

When you start talking to people, just let them know what you’ve told me. Ask them if they know anyone who can help connect you to your Cree heritage and if they know of any Cree dancers (or from other tribes) who you can talk to. Have your friends start asking around for you too. You never know what wisdom others can share unless you ask.

Wishing you the best of luck and I hope this helps.

Take care,

Auntie Manda

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Hello Auntie! I’m Nehiyawak and a member of the Cold Lake band of First Nations. The twist in my story is that my father is dead and my uncles are totally disconnected from our Cree heritage. My grandma still lives on the Rez in Alberta (the rest of us are American), but she has severe dementia. Therefore, I make my own regalia and am learning to dance on my own. I want a feather, and cannot get one from a repository because I’m First Nations, not Federally Recognized. What now! My friends and mentors are all Salish and Blackfeet and they also know nothing about Cree-specific tradition.

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