On Friday, November 5 I had the pleasure of attending the first, of what I hope will be many, lecture series at the newly launched Aboriginal Gathering Place at Kwantlen’s Surrey campus. The guest speakers were David Hancock, who has dedicated a lifetime of research to “soar with” eagles, and Lekeyten Antone of the Kwantlen First Nation, who shared the wisdom of many generations of his people and their reverence for the “winged ones”.
One of my favourite “perks” of teaching at a university like Kwantlen, is the numerous opportunities that I am afforded to learn something new. Very often these chances come in the form of marketing or business related learning. Every now and then though, I find that an event on campus peaks another of my interests and I can indulge myself a little. This is why I chose to attend the “Soaring With Eagles” event. I love eagles.
In Ontario, where I grew up, you were extraordinarily lucky to spot an Eagle. If a nest was established in any local area it became great news and soon people would come from all around to spot the beautiful birds. When my father-in-law visits us here in BC, an eagle tour is always on the agenda. He too thinks we are incredibly lucky to spy them on a regular basis.
Although I admire them incredibly, I’ll admit that I knew very little about them. Since my professional life rarely sets such things in my research sites, I thoroughly enjoyed the information in the presentation that David shared. I learned incredible things about these graceful and beautiful creatures.
– It takes 6 years before an eagle has its distinctive white head and eye
– Eagles’ nests can be 10-12 feet across!
– Eagles will revisit the same nest season after season
– Many eagles die on their first flight
I will also admit that I knew very little of the importance of the eagle to the Coast Salish people. Lekeyten told traditional stories of the spiritual role the eagle plays in bringing prayers to the Creator, the importance of the cherished eagle feathers and how they become blessed, and sacred, and finally, related the stories of the eagle’s life and death struggles that David shared to our own lives. Friday afternoon in Kwanten’s Aboriginal Gathering Place was a very thoughtful place to be.
I would like to sincerely thank all those who worked to make this event happen. I understand that DVDs of the presentations can be borrowed from Kwantlen’s library – Thanks Jean!
David’s eagle stories, photos and videos were captivating. You can find live feeds of local eagle nests on his website www.hancockwildlife.org. They are amazing!
I would like to especially thank Lekeyten, for through his kind words, my children felt incredibly welcome, and empowered.
So although this wasn’t at all about marketing, or teaching marketing, this experience is one of the many adventures I enjoy as a member of the faculty and community of Kwantlen.
I look forward to the next event!