Joe Eagle Tail Feathers – Iitsooahp’potah (Attacks in the Water)
Joe Eagle Tail Feathers is from the Kainai First Nation (Blood Reserve), which is part of the Blackfoot Confederacy & Treaty 7. His parents are Frank Eagle Tail Feathers and Helen (née Chief Calf) Eagle Tail Feathers. Joe makes his home east of Standoff in southern Alberta, and he lives in the same home as his late parents. Joe is a spiritual leader and has been involved in ceremonies all his life. He conducts different types of ceremonies, and he has been doing so on his own since 1995. Prior to that time, he was a helper to and learned under several medicine men including Danny Volon, John Day Rider, Buster Yellow Kidney, Alan Shade, George Good Striker, Floyd Rider, Winston Day Chief, and Allan Prairie Chicken (all but Volon have passed on). He has also learned from several women who have passed on, including Margaret Hind Man, Margaret Running Crane, Lucy Day Chief, and Rosie Day Rider – some of whom were medicine women. Joe is a fluent speaker of his language, and he continues to assist his fellow Blackfoot ceremonialists as both an interpreter and a translator. Since 2007, he has been a leader of a sun lodge: a piercing sundance. In 2021, Sundance Coulee Society became recognized as a registered charity. Throughout the year, the collective promotes spirituality, healing, wellness, and community engagement. Outside of Treaty 7, Joe has extended his ceremonial involvement into the Shuswap territory, Yukon, North West Territories (where he has visited several times), on Canada’s East Coast (working with the Mi’kmaw and Maliseet people) and West Coast. He has worked with the Plains Cree and Woodlands Cree in Saskatchewan and northern Alberta. In the United States, he has run ceremonies in Washington, Oregon, and South Dakota. Since 2018, Joe has served as the Elder-in-Residence at F.P. Walshe School in Fort Macleod, Alberta.