OKLAHOMA CITY – John Froman, chief of the Peoria Nation, recently honored the memory of former Miamians and active members of the tribe John Patrick McNaughton and Bettye Lee Robinson McNaughton at the Oklahoma Capitol.

Froman presented the couple’s daughter, Tookie Hayes, with two Eagle feathers in honor of her parents, who passed away only eight weeks apart in 2006.

     Eagle feathers have great cultural and spiritual value to American Indians as religious objects. Both Bald and Golden Eagles (and their feathers) are highly revered and considered sacred within American Indian traditions. They are honored with great care and shown the deepest respect. They represent honesty, truth, majesty, strength, courage, wisdom, power and freedom. As Eagles roam the sky, they are believed to have a special connection to God. ??According to traditional American Indian beliefs, the Creator made all the birds of the sky when the World was new. Of all the birds, the Creator chose the Eagle to be the leader... the Master of the Sky. The Eagle is considered to be a messenger to God. To wear or hold an Eagle feather causes the Creator to take immediate notice. With the Eagle feather, the Creator is honored in the highest way. When one receives an Eagle feather, that person is being acknowledged with gratitude, love and ultimate respect.

“This is a huge honor for my family, and I greatly appreciate Chief Froman for taking the time to present this special gift for my family,” said Hayes, who is a member of the Peoria Nation and legislative assistant for state Reps. Paul Roan, D-Tishomingo, and Eric Proctor, D-Tulsa,. “My parents were extraordinary people as well as exceptional role models. Certainly, they left us with wonderful stories and many happy memories.”