By Tawnya Plain Eagle
Eagle Woman, commonly known as Jarrellee Bad Eagle Haggard, is from the Piikani Nation.
She is well known for her custom star quilting sewing line, Jarrellee Star Quilts.
After leaving Peigan Crafts Ltd. in the fall of 2008 she established her own home business where she would create her own “authentic Blackfoot art” by sewing cradleboards, tipis, dancing outfits, crowns, moccasins, and star quilts.
In the Spring of April 2013, she was awarded the “Excellence in Entrepreneurship” award by Community Futures Treaty 7 & Piikani Resource Development Ltd.
Following the award, she went on to create her own small business.
In 2014 she attended the AANDC (INAC) conference hosted in Edmonton as a student with Piikani Employment Services.
It was there where Bad Eagle and her friend were inspired to host a Start Quilt auction and the end of the conference.
“We asked our Boss if we can host this at the end of the Conference, with our luck, we did it,” she said. “Five of my Authentic Star Quilts now is part of the True North,” Bad Eagle added.
She spent a part of her childhood living up north, but proudly admits she was raised in Piikani.
Growing up around her grandparents, the late James Frank Bad Eagle, Ihtsimainskii, or Long Time Horse Singer in English, and Loretta Four Horns.
As well as her paternal grandparents from up north.
Growing up she was instilled in the “rich Blackfoot Culture, customs, values & beliefs.”
Where she proudly lives by her teachings and incorporates them in her authentic creations.
Bad Eagle was always around her grandfather, her uncle Ihskitohpii and her aunt Ruth.
She said they would always make sure she knew her own culture and the Blackfoot way of life.
“I was accustomed to learning the Blackfoot way of life, through oral dialect and educational necessitates for life,” she said.
A star that gives back.
According to Bad Eagle, one of her greatest accomplishment has been the time she made 10 star quilts foster care children who were being placed back in their families care.
Calgary Foster Care Association heard of Bad Eagle by word of mouth and requested she sew and design special blankets for these families that had endured hardships but overcame and had their children returned back to them.
“I was more than happy and honoured to create such work for amazing First Nations families,” she said.
She added that in the winter of 2015, she lost a great member to her Bad Eagle family, the late Francis Bad Eagle.
“He was a great inspiration to many people both on and off reserve of Piikani Nation,” Bad Eagle said.
As a tribute to her uncle, Bad Eagle created a Galaxy Chief Joeseph Star Quilt for him.
“It is my firm belief to share a story in all my creations, all my seamstress work,” she added.
Lately, Bad Eagle has branched out into sewing clothes.
She specializes in sun dance dresses, ribbon skirts, and has even created shirts for last year’s Canadian Indian Relay Races hosted in Lethbridge.
“I’ve also hemmed much clothing, and don’t mind a sewing challenge. I repair tipis, and sew like the wind,” she said.
We as a family are mourning the sudden loss of my late baby sister Kathlynn Leah Bad Eagle, she was my mother Anita’s second oldest daughter, Kathy has 2 children with her late partner from Pincher Creek.