Petawawa, Ontario — Master Warrant Officer Stanley Mercredi maintains a sacred privilege among his peers: As a an appointed carrier for the Department of National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) Eagle Staff, he proudly represents Aboriginal customs and traditions on behalf of the  Defence Team community in events across Canada. MWO Mercredi will be parading the Staff in Ottawa during Aboriginal Awareness Week (May 24 to 27), a nationwide celebration of Aboriginal culture within the Canadian public service, and at the100th anniversary commemoration ceremonies of the Battles of the Somme and Beaumont-Hamel in France this July.

The tradition of the Eagle Staff has been passed down from generation to generation. In Aboriginal cultures, the Eagle Staff represents various meanings, spiritual entities, nations, clans, languages, medicines and healing. From a non-Aboriginal perspective, the Staff can be compared to a national flag: it represents people, states, governments, regiments and battle honours. Thus, it is an honoured and sacred symbol. The DND/CAF Eagle Staff was created in 2002.

With almost 34 years in the CAF as a weapons technician under his belt, MWO Mercredi, of the Mikisew Cree First Nation in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, currently serves as Equipment Technical Quartermaster Sergeant with the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in Petawawa, Ontario.

Below is a profile of MWO Mercredi, highlighting his pride in his Aboriginal heritage and his role as…

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