While completing a perimeter security check, Ursula Blood and Trina Piche were walking on the main road adjacent to Pê Sâkâstêw Centre when Ursula asked Trina if she could see what was moving in the ditch by the road. Trina couldn’t and thought Ursula was just seeing things. But as they got closer, they were confronted with a giant pair of eyes watching them. Their "watcher" was an owl, whose wing was tangled in the barbed wire fence. Ursula and Trina couldn’t leave one of the Creator's creatures in such peril, so they quickly returned to the healing lodge and got in touch with the Medicine River Wildlife Sanctuary Centre. They were advised that help was on its way.
Ursula and Trina protected Ms. Owl until a volunteer from the sanctuary arrived at Pê Sâkâstêw to rescue her. Fearless and determined, the volunteer grabbed a towel and some wire cutters, and the three of them got to work. The volunteer covered Ms. Owl with the towel and Trina helped by cutting the wire that was stuck in her wing.
Trina vividly remembers that exact moment in time. She was transfixed, looking at Ms. Owl who was gazing back at her with those impossibly huge eyes. They could all tell Ms. Owl was scared, although she also seemed relieved. The volunteer mentioned she had some drops that could help with stress. Trina was glad to hear that because both her and Ursula needed some of the drops for the stress they were both feeling. For some strange reason, however, the drops were only for Ms. Owl. The volunteer put the owl in a box and transported her to the wildlife sanctuary.
Some correctional officers know the owl family has been part of Pê Sâkâstêw Centre for years. The owls follow the officers when they do walks at night; they are a constant presence around the perimeter. Trina doesn’t feel threatened by them - she believes they are watching over the staff.
Ms.Owl made a full recovery and was released back into the wild with Elder John Crier conducting a send off ceremony at the centre. Elder John said it was the first ceremony and prayer he had conducted for an owl. Ms. Owl was reunited with her family as well as her extended family at Pê Sâkâstêw Centre.
Let’s Talk would like to thank Trina and Ursula for submitting this piece for publication. Their sense of humour shines through!