The Guardians of DECSA
In many cultures, buildings have animal protectors. In China, stone lions are placed outside of banks and other important buildings because they represent strength and protection in Buddhism. Some Hindus believe that dogs protect the doors of heaven and hell. In many Aboriginal traditions, hawks are respected and honoured as guardians. The intricate and complex anatomy of hawks’ eyes gives them exceptional vision. Because of their remarkable sight, hawks recognize both opportunities and dangers from a long way off. Some Aboriginals believe that hawks’ sight and guardianship extend into the spiritual realm, where they act as visionaries and protectors against evil.
DECSA shares its home with two hawks! We’ve seen them around the neighbourhood since 2012, and they love perching on our building and flying around our property.
Beth, a staff member and an avid bird photographer, snaps shots of the hawks whenever she can. “I think the hawks are keeping an eye of protection on us and our building,” she says. “The first time a saw a hawk around DECSA, it was attacking a crows’ nest, and the crows were attacking the hawk. They were making all kinds of noise. Since that time, on several occasions, I’ve seen midair fights between the hawk and the crows.”
The hawks have definitely claimed this territory as their own, and we are honoured by the presence of such majestic animals on our grounds. During DECSA’s Aboriginal Youth Culture Graduation Ceremony on May 1st, staff members saw the hawks flying directly overtop of our building. Their presence was fitting for the occasion, and appreciated by those who noticed it.
Next time you come by DECSA, keep your eye out for our two grand guardians. They’ll probably be keeping an eye out for you.