pass the feather art workshops

Pass The Feather offers one of a kind Feather Bundle | Sharing Circle Workshops!

“Developing friendships and nurturing informed opinions of Indigenous culture.”

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Next Feather Bundle | Sharing Circle workshop:

September 11-15, 2017 | Kumik Lodge, Gatineau | Click here for details.

Feather Bundle workshops are infused with valuable lessons that reflect respect for others, respect for our land and the animals that we share it with. We will practice and explore the healing and spiritual benefits of sharing circles and how intergenerational trauma and blood memory profoundly affect our lifestyle and actions. We also touch on bird medicines, sustainable hunting practice and ornithology.

Each participant will receive a variety of feathers, hide and beads to work with. All are welcome to be creative and design sharing circle bundles, regalia fans or smudge feathers that are suitable to their personal needs and uses.

This workshop is for adults only. There will be morning and afternoon sessions every day beginning September 11th and ending September 15th.

About our Workshops

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Isohetst ne ostó:ser | Pass the Feather

Feather Bundle Workshops and Sharing | Talking Circle Gatherings

Our Feather Bundle workshops are infused with valuable lessons that reflect respect for others, respect for our land and the animals that we share it with. We explore the value of talking circles within our systems of work and education – how they teach trust, respect and co-operation. We will practice and explore the healing and spiritual benefits of sharing circles. We also touch on sustainable hunting practice, ornithology and address intergenerational trauma as a result of the 60’s scoop and residential school system.

This workshop initiative envisions a more respectful connection between Ontario’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities by tapping into mutual interests despite different histories or ideologies. By recognizing mutual ground such as art and environment, we have an opportunity to create a reciprocal relationship and decrease the perceptions of inequality.

Isohetst ne ostó:ser has created this one of a kind Community Arts Workshop that reminds us of our connection to the natural world and it’s importance to our physical and emotional wellbeing.


Each participant must first recognize the importance of each individual bird that flies above us, walks or swims beside us and that it can be directly connected to our spiritual and physical health on the land. These teachings are important and when you hold feathers in your hand you cannot ignore how the unusual opportunity of touching and admiring their aesthetics influences our consciousness of the responsibilities that birds carry.

Feather bundles or ‘Talking Feathers’ play a very important role in our Nations. Historically used by tribal council circles to control discussions; the individual that held the feather was given a turn to speak uninterrupted. This practice is now used widely in our school systems and workplaces and our organization travels to teach about talking circles and make feather bundles with participants of all ages. Feather bundles are also traditionally used by individuals to direct medicines in spiritual and physical healing and cleansing (ex: smudging). All of these teachings are visited in our workshops.

This project is important and the process explained is unique. We are the only program of this kind in North America.

Participants and Costs

Isohetst ne ostó:ser | Pass The Feather workshops are designed for adult, children and youth. We are open to working in any safe, inclusive and respectful spaces such as classrooms, communities, workplaces and private homes. We most often facilitate workshops with:

  1. Educators in their classrooms.
  2. Faculty within boards of education.
  3. Women’s groups.
  4. Groups of survivors of residential school and Indigenous child removal services (60’s Scoop).
  5. Day camps, healing camps, children’s summer programs.
  6. University based Indigenous resource centres.

Our workshops are generally 1.5-2 hours depending on the group’s schedule. We have been known to shorten workshops to accommodate certain schedules but warn that primary grade level students are very responsive and desire more discussion time. Workshops for adult groups often last longer depending on sharing circle participation.

Feather Bundle Workshops and Sharing | Talking Circle Gatherings are available upon request as are quotes for these presentations. Feather Bundle workshops range in price from $25-40 per participant (depending on materials and demographics). Primary and secondary school workshops are always $25 per student for materials.

Workshop fees cover materials only. While we do not charge for our time, we may ask for help with travel costs. Adult workshops work with higher quality hide and a larger selection of feathers.

Ontario Educators

As of fall 2016, each school board in Ontario has a position that is designated to support the implementation of the Ontario First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Education Policy Framework. School boards within Ontario now have an ‘Indigenous Lead’. For educators looking for funding and resources like this workshop, please contact your school board and access the increased funding that is available for Indigenous studies. Please understand that we only ask that you cover the cost of our materials and travel. To collect and clean local feathers in this quantity is very hard work and materials such as hide are very expensive. Please do not ask an Indigenous Elder or Knowledgekeeper to teach in your classroom without offering an honorarium. To learn more about procedure and honorariums, click here for an excellent document by Carleton University.

Please contact us for more info.

Non-Profit and Community Groups in Need

The AACC would like to offer these workshops free of charge to any FNMI non-profit organization that assists community members, Elders, survivors of abuse, survivors of the residential school system, survivors of the apprehension of children by social services (coined 60’s Scoop), displaced individuals and individuals that need assistance with recovery from drug dependences.

feather bundle workshop, smudge feathers, workshop, pass the featherIf you participate or work with a group of individuals that is in need of workshops like ours, we’d like to hear from you.

Funding does exist for programs like this but we need your help to access the funds.

Click HERE or call us for more information. 613-847-7692

Below you can view and download a print-friendly version of our Feather Bundle Workshop description.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Click on any picture to see a collection of photos from past workshops.

feather bundle workshops, pass the feather, smudge feathers, non-profitWe are working hard to save our programming.

We would love for you to join us in one of our Fundraising Workshops!

Not only will you get insight into First Nations culture and art, make your own traditional craft but you will also be supporting an amazing cause!

To learn more about where your dollars will go, click here!

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In November of 2016 we visited Featherston Drive Public School in Ottawa and were honoured to be worthy of a CBC interview.

Listen to our interview and see a collection of videos and photos from our Feather Bundle Workshops.