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A 125-pound wooden eagle statue was stolen from the Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre. (MICEC) 

In a Facebook post, the centre says around 3 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 3, the statue was taken from their location at 119 Sutherland Ave. by two or more people driving an SUV.

They are now urging people to be on the lookout for anyone who might be trying to sell it or give it away. 

"We've had these and other statues out front and they really made a statement to our community," MICEC community connection coordinator Dawnis Kennedy said. "There were people who would come just to take pictures with the statues, or they would give people the courage to come in for the first time. When we would encourage people to come into our centre and consider our programming that's how they recognized us, they'd say 'oh yeah, the place with the animals out front.'" 

Kennedy says when the staff came in Friday morning they noticed their camera was blocked out. They looked back at the surveillance footage and that's when they realized the carving was missing. 

The centre got the new carvings this summer from Indigenous chainsaw artist Rick Hall, and they chose specific animals that represent different aspects of Indigenous cultures. 

"The eagle is significant to a lot of people, like for the Ojibwae, where the eagle is the head of the Bird Clan," Kennedy said. "For other cultures the eagle is represented in their societies, their legends and their stories. It's a messenger and people even honour and carry the feather of an eagle."

"It's of high cultural significance." 

Kennedy couldn't speculate as to why the thieves would steal their statue, but says they aren't angry. They just hope whoever took it will either be caught or will return it. 

"I don't think it was intentional against the centre or Indigenous people because it wasn't vandalized, it was just taken," Kennedy said. "We're asking people to keep an eye out, people who might buy it or receive it as a gift without knowing where it came from." 

"We're hoping they hear this, or see something about it on Facebook or in the news and can help it find its way home." 

The centre has filed a police report. 

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the statue is asked to call the centre at 204-942-0228 or Winnipeg Police. 

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