Saskatchewan

Prince Albert, Sask. woman seeks owner of ceremonial pipe found in her backyard

A Prince Albert, Sask., woman was initially surprised to find parts of a ceremonial pipe in her backyard. Now she's looking for its rightful owner.

Sheryl Nelson has received messages from people across Canada about ceremonial pipe

Sheryl Nelson said she found the pipe stem tossed into her backyard. She found the head of the pipe tossed near her garage in Prince Albert. She's now asking people to describe the pipe's head and the case it was stored in, in an effort to track down its rightful owner. (Submitted by Sheryl Nelson)

A Prince Albert, Sask., woman was initially surprised to find a ceremonial pipe in her backyard but now, she's looking to find its rightful owner.

Sheryl Nelson made a Facebook post about finding the pipe on Jan. 15.

Since then, the post has garnered over 1,700 shares and Nelson has received countless messages about the ceremonial item.

"I was only expecting my friends to share it, and then it got shared a bunch of times," Nelson said. "I've just been getting a bunch of inboxes, asking about the pipe… I didn't realize that many people actually carry pipes."

She said she's received messages from people all over Canada asking about the ceremonial item.

In an effort to track down the pipe's true owner, Nelson refrained from posting any details about the container the pipe was stored in, or what the pipe's head looks like. She's asking people to describe those items before she commits to sending the pipe off.

The pipe's rightful owner has still not come forward or seen the post, according to Nelson.

She said if she can't find who it belongs to on her own, she's going to ask an elder she knows from Keeseekoose First Nation to take the pipe from her hands.

"I was going to get him to come in and smudge my house, because with this pipe, I don't know if it carried any bad medicine or anything," she said.

"Since we found the pipe, little things have been moved [around my house], things that shouldn't be moved."

Nelson said until the elder takes it from her or she finds its rightful owner, she's storing the pipe in a safe place in her home, away from where her children could touch it — while trying to follow the protocols she knows about ceremonial pipes.

"A lot of people are telling me 'don't touch it, don't carry it,'" she said. "We only pulled it out of the bag the one time, and that was to take the picture of it."

About the Author

Bryan Eneas

Web Writer

Bryan Eneas is a journalist from the Penticton Indian Band currently based in Regina, Saskatchewan. Before joining CBC, he worked in Prince Albert reporting in central and northern Saskatchewan. You can contact him at Bryan.Eneas@cbc.ca.