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Old 06-16-2005, 01:34 AM   #1
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eagle feathers for powwow money

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EPISODE 2

JUNE 10, 2005

CBC News
Duncan McCue

The eagles of North America are a threatened -and protected- species, but
someone out there doesn't seem to care.

Thegolden eagle of the American Plains wasalmost wiped out last century,
thanks to egg-thinning pesticides, loss of habitat and government-sanctioned
'vermin hunts.' Its cousin, thebald eagle (found more along coastlines) was
threatened too.
Both the United States and Canada responded by making the eagles, the
embodiment of potent religious and national symbolism, protected species; both the
U.S. andCanada enacted tough laws carrying stiff penalties for anyone caught
threatening the birds.
Earlier this year,those laws failed. Back in February, as many as 50 bald
eagleswere found butchered andburied in shallow graves near two native reserves
north of Vancouver. Their wings, heads, tails and talons had been cut off.The
case remains unsolved.
Deep inside the U.S. military's old rocky mountain arsenal in Colorado sits a
safety deposit box containing eagle parts: feathers, talons, beaks... It is
called theNational Eagle Repository, and it functions essentially as an eagle
graveyard.
The eagle feathers are guarded like gold; a single feather can fetch as much
$100 on the black market.
David Hancock, a biologist, has studied eagles and native issues for more
than 50 years. For Hancock, the B.C. eagle slaughter wasn't so much a 'whodunit'
mystery, as a mystery of 'who wants it?': "Where were these eagles' parts
headed, and why? Investigators here said the parts were bound for Native Americans
in the Southwestern United States for religious and ceremonial use... We
thought we'd try to find out ourselves, to see if we could follow the eagle parts
pipeline."
According to Hancock, the eagle parts pipeline feeds a commercial market -
not a religious one.
"The suggestion that the bald eagles' feathers and their parts, their heads
and their feet, are being used for religious purposes is a crock," he insists.
"The tradition was always that the headdresses, the bustles, these were the
feathers of golden eagles."
Now, however, bald eagle feathers have been incorporated into the
headdresses, despite the fact that "there's no religious significance" for using bald
eagle features in Native American cultures, says Hancock. "The demand now is
being driven by the powwow circuit," he charges. "It is demanding these feathers
from our west coast eagles, and it's the powwow circuit that unfortunately
drives this market onwards."
One of the top powwows in North America occurs at Stanford University, just
south of San Francisco. For three days, people flock to theStanford Powwow for
singing, dancing and drumming.
But the event is more social than spiritual. Thousands of dollars in prizes
are at stake. The spectacular outfits worn by participants count almost as much
as the performances. Eagle feathers are everywhere. Jerome Tsinnajinnie, 25,
dances with feathers given to him by his father. He's in the Men's Northern
Traditional competition, despite the fact that he's from the southwest, and
Navajo.
"This style of dance is not really my original style," he says. "This comes
from the Plains Indians up north, South Dakota into Canada. My style of dance
we do for ceremonies, which is totally different to this. But this is what I
grew up as, because now it's all over Indian country."
Like many competitors, Tsinnajinnie has embraced what's becoming a pan-Indian
look: the quest to be the dancer with the most eagle feathers.
Matt Snipp is also in the crowd. He's Cherokee and Choctaw - and the chair of
Native American Studies at Stanford. Snipp refutes the notion that Native
Americans would ever buy eagle feathers on the black market - the feathers are
simply viewed with such esteemed reverence, that' not a possibility:
"Indian people are easy targets. They possess these [feathers]; they're not
shy about showing people that they own them, that they have them. This is part
of their traditional culture... They're the most immediate people to blame,
but I think the people who have done that, I think aren't aware of the extent of
the trade you have in Indian artifacts in Europe as well as in this country."
German Dziebel, a doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology at
Stanford, has been exploring the lesser-known side of the European love affair with
North American Indian culture. Dziebel says powwows are not celebrations
confined to North America's borders. There are Russian, Polish and German powwows,
attended by what Dziebel calls "Euro-Indians" or "Indianists" - Europeans
seeking a simpler life. He's quick to add that these Europeans are not seeking
illicit eagle feathers:
"They are poor in eastern Europe. They don't really have much money, you
know. They try to make all their attire with their own hands... So it also has to
have a spiritual component to it; if you want to be a real Indian, you have to
do everything with your own hands... trade is not the best way to do [that]."
Which brings this story full-circle, back to the National Eagle Repository
outside Denver, Colorado. TheU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gathers up all of
the dead eagles it can find (most have died from collisions with cars, as a
result of unlawful shooting and trapping, or from natural causes).
The service then parcels out the pieces to Native Americans (the only
Americans who can legally possess them) who've signed up on the repository's waiting
list. Most applicants want a whole bird, and they'll wait three and a half
years to get it.
It's that long wait that's likely fueling the eagle parts black market, says
Gary Mowad, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife's Special Agent in the Rocky Mountains
region. Mowad points the blame back towards the powwow circuit:
"From the cultural and the religion aspect, we don't have an issue. But for
the folks who are willing to set their cultural and religious beliefs aside and
actually unlawfully purchase eagle feathers and eagle parts in hopes of
enhancing their chances to win money, well, then we certainly do have an issue."
B.C. eagle expert David Hancock says the problem begins back at theNational
Eagle Repository. "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service collected all the dead
carcasses of both golden eagles and bald eagles, and they then turned these over
to the natives," he says. "The natives have now started to incorporate bald
eagles into these big headdresses. Now this was not traditional, it has nothing
to do with religious ceremony, but it has created an artificial demand for
bald eagle feathers.
"Now, unfortunately, here on the West Coast, our bald eagle feathers, our
bald eagles, are being shot to provide feathers for the powwow circuit."
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agrees that may be the case, though it is
in a bind: it needed to find some way to satisfy the demand for eagle
feathers; using bald eagle parts seemed like a natural solution. But now they admit
they've created a bottleneck - supply simply can't meet demand.
Meanwhile, there's no shortage of native and non-native buyers eager to fork
over cash for eagle parts. That means bald eagles in Canada, the masters of
the sky, aren't safe from one very dangerous predator: anyone bent on making a
quick buck.







CORRESPONDENT

Duncan McCue
Reporter
CBC News


Earlier this year, conservation officers in British Columbia discovered the
remains of scores of dead and mutilated bald eagle carcasses. (CBC News)


RELATED LINKS

Times Seven does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the
external links posted below. Times Seven does not necessarily agree with nor has
it verified the accuracy of information linked to. External links will open
in a new window.
Canada: Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and
Interprovincial Trade Act
U.S. Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940
National Eagle Repository
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Stanford Powwow
Eagle slaughter called 'worst ever' - CBC News
American bald eagle no longer endangered - CBC News
Suspect identified in case of mutilated eagles - CBC News


A British Columbia police officer examines the remains of several bald eagles
discovered in North Vancouver.
(CBC Television News)

An eagle carcass is processed at theNational Eagle Repository, near Denver,
Colorado.
(Times Seven)

Eagle feathers are guarded like gold at the repository; they’re worth as much
$100 for a single feather on the black market.
(Times Seven)


FACTS

No one knows exactly how many bald eagles there are in North America.
Estimates range as high as 75,000.
About 20,000 of them live in British Columbia.
In the lower 48 states, just 8,000 have bounced back from near extinction.
The U.S. government feels that's enough toremove the eagles from the
endangered species list.
They will, however, remain protected under theMigratory Bird Treaty Act and
theBald and Golden Eagle Protection Act - protected, so long as humans don't
ignore those laws that is.








Copyright © Times Seven | 2005
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Old 06-16-2005, 02:57 AM   #2
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Good article; my personal feelings on this are mixed. I know I would never buy an eagle feather. But I sure would like to have more than I have now. Guess I'll have to wait the 3 or mores years to get one legally!
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:33 PM   #3
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From the article:
"Now, however, bald eagle feathers have been incorporated into the headdresses, despite the fact that "there's no religious significance" for using bald eagle features in Native American cultures, says Hancock. "The demand now is being driven by the powwow circuit," he charges. "It is demanding these feathers
from our west coast eagles, and it's the powwow circuit that unfortunately drives this market onwards."


I agree the powwow circuit, amongst other things, is driving a black market demand for feathers from both golden and bald eagles.

However, I've no idea where Hancock gets the idea that bald eagle feathers weren't used on traditional religious items. In pictures and drawings of items that WELL pre-date the year 1900, and certainly pre-date the existence of the Federal Wildlife Service, you can see bald eagle feathers. It's almost impossible to safely ID an adult bald eagle's dark plumage in a picture or drawing, but the spotted feathers of the juvenile bird are pretty unmistakable.

One of the ritual calumets collected by Lewis & Clark, now in the Smithsonian's collection, is adorned by spotted bald eagle feathers. You can't blame that on an 'artificial' demand created by the Federal government's policies. That's not the only example out there, it's just a handy one that popped to mind. You can also see spotted feathers on turn-of-the-century photos, in roaches and headdresses. They are very distinctive, although I agree they aren't 'commonly' found.

Maybe in the few plains tribes he has in mind, and with the few items he's thinking of (plains society bustles and such), they didn't use bald eagle feathers. I think one can argue, to some degree, that they may not have been the PREFERRED feathers for most items. But the juvenile bird's feathers always were, and are still, most certainly used here in the Great Lakes area... and there is evidence of it that goes back to the time when White Men were new to the country.

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Old 06-19-2008, 11:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackbear View Post
Like many competitors, Tsinnajinnie has embraced what's becoming a pan-Indian
look: the quest to be the dancer with the most eagle feathers.

This article really misses the point. As many non-Indian people are unable to understand time and again (makes me think of that I want to go to ceremonies in KY thread), our spiritual beliefs are not something we practice one day of the week, or practice only in a church, or only in a Indian ceremonial space. Just because some powwows are competitive, does not mean that eagle feathers have been completely commodified and dancers totally forget any spiritual aspects of dance styles. Whether or not the dance style is from this guy's tribe is irrelevant. Indians traded from South American all the way to Canada pre-contact, and we're still doing it now.

It also frustrates me that the article looks at only 2 potential sources of black market buyers: Indians, and "Euro-Indians" or hobbyists in Europe. I doubt one has to look all the way to Europe to find a hobbyist. What about hobbyists in America? There is no mention of them at all. No, instead there's a quote from a German graduate student saying "well Eastern Europeans are poor! They can't be buying the eagle feathers!" Many Indians in America are poor too! The article also completely ignores private collectors, regardless of race, who may be interested in buying Indian arts and crafts with authentic eagle feathers. I'm not saying that American hobbyists and collectors are to blame; probably it is a combination of Indians, non-Indian hobbyists, and private collectors who buy eagle feathers on the black market. But by completely leaving out these two other groups, the article really misses a major point AND completely blames Indians.

Finally, I do not condone buying eagle feathers. I haven't and won't. But I think the general attitude of criminalizing those who legitimately need eagle feathers for spiritual reasons or religious practices, and have to resort to illegal methods because of the long wait time at the repository, is really problematic. This article makes me think of the one "Powwows are the Biggest Killer of Eagles". Why is there all this propaganda arguing that powwows are going to be the next DDT? I think that the repository application system is confusing to some and the wait time frustrates others. I'm next going to post some other articles on this issue that I've found interesting. Again...I'M NOT CONDONING KILLING EAGLES. They are a threatened species and need to be protected. But I do think there needs to be changes in the current system and less blaming only Indians for the black market eagle trade.

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Old 06-19-2008, 11:29 PM   #5
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Feds face big backlog of eagle requests

By WHITNEY ROYSTER
Star-Tribune environmental reporter Wednesday, May 24, 2006 2:08 AM MDT



By WHITNEY ROYSTER
Star-Tribune environmental reporter Wednesday, May 24, 2006 2:08 AM MDT

JACKSON -- How long it takes an American Indian tribe to get dead eagles or eagle parts from the federal government for religious ceremonies seems to be a key issue for a federal judge.

During a court hearing here Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Downes repeatedly asked witnesses to clarify how much time elapsed between the time of their application to an eagle carcass repository in Colorado and when they received a bird or bird parts.

Witnesses testified it took up to four years to receive anything.

A representative of the repository testified there is a backlog of requests, as the center does not receive many eagles, and many are in poor condition.

During what was expected to be the last day of testimony in a hearing over whether to dismiss charges against Winslow Friday, an Arapaho man who shot a bald eagle last year, both sides presented arguments to support their case. Closing arguments are expected Thursday, and it is unclear when Downes will rule on whether the case should move forward.

Northern Arapaho member Harvey Spoonhunter testified that he applied for an immature golden eagle in 1997, and in 2001 was told the repository couldn't obtain one. He said the repository sent a bald eagle, but the head and body were decayed. He said eagles from the repository "would not be acceptable" for religious ceremonies because of their poor condition.


But Spoonhunter was cagey in his responses to Downes when asked if an eagle that was shot would be acceptable for religious ceremonies. Spoonhunter first said he would not shoot a bird, then said in today's world "life has changed." He said he's not sure how birds are obtained for ceremonies.

The entire hearing is unusual, as American Indians typically do not talk about their ceremonies. Several elders from the tribe would not testify in the hearing because of their cultural beliefs.

Daniel Caldwell, another Arapaho man, said he applied for an eagle in 1998 and got a response in 2002. He said the carcass was spoiled.

Bernadette Atencio, supervising wildlife repository specialist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, testified for the government that her agency processes about 25 applications per week. She also said the waiting period for an immature golden eagle is about four years, and about two years for a bald eagle.

Atencio said there are about 4,000 pending requests.

Atencio also testified that in her previous job, she processed permit applications for lethal "take" of eagles. No permits were issued for religious purposes during her tenure from 1982 to 1995, but no applications were received.

Brian Milsap, chief of the division of migratory bird management for the Fish and Wildlife Service, said there were very few applications for lethal "take" permits before 2003, and since then there have been no requests.

Defense attorneys have argued American Indians do not know they can apply for permits to kill eagles. Atencio testified the Fish and Wildlife Service does not advertise the permits because eagles are threatened, but information is available.

Friday, an Arapaho man, is charged with illegally killing a bald eagle on March 2, 2005, on the Wind River Indian Reservation. He testified Tuesday he did not check with elders to see if it was OK for him to shoot an eagle for a religious ceremony. He also said he shot the eagle because he made a promise to his dying grandmother he would participate in a ceremony for which an eagle is required.

He also said after he shot the bird he played video games, during which an Arapaho game warden -- whose last name is also Friday -- approached him about the shooting.

"Maybe what I did was wrong, but I didn't know that," said Friday, 21.

Nathan Friday, a cousin of Winslow Friday, said he applied for a bird from the Colorado repository in 2001 and never heard anything back. Two wildlife officials said there has never been any record of his application or his name. Nathan Friday was sponsoring the ceremony for which Winslow killed the eagle, though Nathan said he did not ask his cousin to shoot a bird.

Defense attorneys maintain Friday is protected under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and should not be penalized. Prosecutors argue he broke the law, and if charges are dropped it could have dramatic impacts to eagle populations, with people killing them for religious ceremonies. Law enforcement would also have trouble determining who was killing birds legally versus illegally.

Bald eagles have recovered substantially since they were listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1978. They were reclassified from endangered to threatened in 1995, and Fish and Wildlife Service biologists estimate there are now more than 7,700 nesting pairs of bald eagles in the Lower 48.

Even if they are removed from the list, bald eagles would still be protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

There is one documented pair of nesting eagles on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

Friday's charge, if it stands, carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

Environmental reporter Whitney Royster can be reached at (307) 734-0260 or at [email protected].
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:31 PM   #6
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Feds aim to revive eagle charges

By BEN NEARY
Associated Press writer Wednesday, March 28, 2007 2:03 AM MDT

CHEYENNE -- A federal judge in Wyoming was wrong to dismiss criminal charges against a Northern Arapaho man who shot a bald eagle for use in his tribe's Sun Dance, federal prosecutors argue in papers filed last week.

U.S. District Judge William Downes last October dismissed criminal charges against Winslow Friday. Friday and the Northern Arapaho Tribe had argued that the charges against him should be dismissed on the grounds that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service generally refuses to grant permits allowing tribal members to kill eagles even though federal regulations say the permits should be available.

The Northern Arapaho Tribe argued in Friday's case that federal records show more than 5,000 American Indians are on a waiting list to get eagle carcasses from a federal repository in Denver and that the wait is about 3 1/2 years.

In his order, Downes said that while the federal government professes respect and admiration for accommodating the religious beliefs of American Indians, "its actions show callous indifference to such practices."

"It is clear to this court that the government has no intention of accommodating the religious beliefs of Native Americans except on its own terms and in its own good time," Downes wrote.

An attempt to reach Friday for comment on Tuesday was unsuccessful. In an interview last year, he said he had no regrets about killing the eagle.


"I'm going to say no, because of what I did with the bird," Friday said last year. "I participated in our Sun Dance. No, because that made me feel good in my heart."

Robert Rogers, an assistant federal public defender in Cheyenne who represents Friday, said he's sure "Indian Country will be watching the outcome of this case closely."

"There are other prosecutions going on, here and around the country, for Native Americans who are using eagle feathers in religious ceremonies," Rogers said Tuesday. "This case will be important for this region at least."

Lawyers with the U.S. Department of Justice filed a 50-page brief in the 10th U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver last week arguing that Downes' ruling dismissing the charges was wrong.

"The district court erred in holding that Friday was not required to seek a permit because applying would have been futile," the government's brief states. "Both the Eagle Act and the regulations expressly provide for the availability of permits to take eagles for Indian religious purposes, and the record shows that take permits are in fact available and have been issued in short order."

To support their point, the federal lawyers filed an extra brief asking the appeals court to take notice of an eagle permit the Fish and Wildlife Service issued last October to the Jemez Eagle Watching Society, an American Indian group in New Mexico. The brief states the New Mexico permit reflects "the indisputable fact that the FWS has permitted the take of eagles for Indian religious purposes."

The government also notes that both the Navajo and Hopi tribes in the Southwest receive annual permits from the federal government allowing tribal members to kill eagles, and that the Hopi permit allows an annual take of up to 40 eaglets.

The government argues that it can't allow every American Indian who says they need an eagle for religious purposes to shoot one. "The record in this case shows that allowing tribal members to take eagles for religious purposes without a permit would seriously compromise the Fish and Wildlife Service's ability to administer the Eagle Act and threaten the viability of the species," the brief states.

The brief states that the National Eagle Repository receives almost 2,000 requests for whole eagles annually and has about 4,000 pending requests. "The potential demand is significant when compared to the estimated population of bald eagles of only 7,700 nesting pairs in the lower 48 states," it states.

Stuart S. Healy III, assistant U.S. attorney in Wyoming, declined to comment on Friday's case on Monday, saying his office can't talk about pending cases.

Rogers noted that seven government lawyers signed the brief. He said the Northern Arapaho Tribe has asked the appeals court for permission to file an argument on Friday's behalf.

"They are using a lot of resources," Rogers said of the federal government. "But yes, I feel we have adequate resources to meet them."

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Old 06-19-2008, 11:33 PM   #7
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Native American faces trial for killing eagle

Native American faces trial for killing eagle

3:15 PM Tue, May 13, 2008 | Permalink
Bruce Tomaso E-mail News tips


A federal appeals court ruled last week that a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe must stand trial for killing an eagle for use in a religious ceremony.
The Associated Press story is after the jump.
The court noted that federal law allows Native Americans to kill eagles for religious uses -- if they get a permit.
"Law accommodates religion," the ruling said. "It cannot wholly exempt religion from the reach of the law."

Federal appeals court orders Wyo. man to trial in eagle caseBC-WST--Bald Eagles-Religion, 1st Ld-Writethru,0689
Federal appeals court orders Wyo. man to trial in eagle case
Eds: UPDATES with details, comment.
By BEN NEARY
Associated Press Writer
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) -- A member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe who killed a bald eagle for use in his tribe's Sun Dance in 2005 must stand trial, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.
A panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver reversed a 2006 decision by U.S. District Judge William Downes of Wyoming that had dismissed a criminal charge against Winslow Friday of Ethete.
In dismissing the charge, Downes had ruled that the federal government does no more than pay lip service to American Indian religious practices. Downes said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service generally refuses to grant permits allowing tribal members to kill eagles, even though federal regulations say such permits should be available.
But the appeals court ruled that American Indians' religious freedoms are not violated by federal law protecting eagles or its policy requiring American Indians to get permits to kill eagles.
"Law accommodates religion," the appeals court said in its ruling. "It cannot wholly exempt religion from the reach of the law."
If convicted of killing the eagle, Friday faces a possible sentence of up to one year in jail and a fine. He declined comment on the court's ruling.
Friday has said he shot the eagle with a rifle on the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming. The reservation is home to both the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes.
John T. Carlson, an assistant federal public defender who represented Friday, said the ruling "reflects a failure to grasp the unique nature of the Northern Arapaho religious practice surrounding the eagle."
Carlson said he and his client haven't decided how to respond to the ruling. Their options include asking the full appeals court to hear the case, appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court or allowing the case against Friday to proceed to trial in Wyoming, he said.
Friday, who's in his early 20s, said last year that he didn't know about a federal program that allows American Indians to apply for permits to kill eagles for religious purposes. Lawyers representing him and his tribe have argued that the Fish and Wildlife Service did its best to keep the program secret and only grudgingly issued the permits.
In his ruling, Downes said it was clear that Friday wouldn't have received a federal permit to kill an eagle if he had applied for one.
Downes wrote that the Fish and Wildlife Service has encouraged American Indians to apply to receive eagle parts from a Colorado repository that holds the remains of birds killed by power lines and other causes. He said the agency makes no effort to encourage American Indians to apply for permits to kill birds of their own.
The bald eagle was removed last year from the list of threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The bird had been reclassified from endangered to threatened in 1995. However, bald and golden eagles are still protected under the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Wyoming, which originally prosecuted Friday, could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
Kathryn E. Kovacs, a lawyer with the U.S. Department of Justice, told the federal appeals court in arguments on Friday's case last December that Friday had no standing to argue about shortcomings of the federal permitting process because he never applied for a permit before killing the eagle.
In its ruling, the appeals court agreed. The court also rejected Friday's argument that the federal Religious Freedom Restitution Act, which prohibits the government from placing undue burdens on religious practices, should block the federal government from prosecuting him for killing the eagle.
The Northern Arapaho Tribe intervened in the case in support of Friday.
"I think overall, we brought attention to the fact that there is this permit system that is out there that the feds have been concealing," said Chris Schneider, lawyer for the tribe. "So at least that way, it is a victory for the Northern Arapaho Tribe and Winslow Friday. He's a very courageous young man to have challenged this."
AP-WS-05-08-08 1738EDT
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Old 06-20-2008, 12:39 AM   #8
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eap7:

"Finally, I do not condone buying eagle feathers. I haven't and won't. But I think the general attitude of criminalizing those who legitimately need eagle feathers for spiritual reasons or religious practices, and have to resort to illegal methods because of the long wait time at the repository, is really problematic."

I think sometimes we're ALL missing the point. I had a reply in the thread on 'eagle feathers', which basically says that I don't understand why we're suddenly relying upon the Feds and the Repository to present us with the feathers we need for spiritual reasons. Go and stand at virtually any powwow today. You are surrounded on all sides by more eagle feathers than you can count. While some dancers might LIKE having 60+ some feathers on their outfits, they don't NEED them. You aren't sixty times 'more spiritual', than if you have just one feather. An eagle feather is an eagle feather.. although of course, we all know that isn't true. Some are definitely more 'desirable' than others. It's cooler looking to have 60, than it is to have just 30... at least if you're a certain kind of dancer. It's far better to have a bustle of black tips, than it is to have ordinary looking brown bald eagle feathers... which may just as well be goose feathers, eh?

We shouldn't be begging the Feds for feathers. We should be looking to ourselves, and redistributing the feathers we already have in a more equitable and respectful fashion, instead of hoarding them because it's the current regalia style. If some people in a tribe are suffering through ceremonies with no eagle feather at all, then why isn't some dancer who 'owns' more than they really need for their regalia, handing feathers over? If a dancer has 4 wings and 2 tails' worth of feathers in his single swing bustle, why isn't he making a more reasonable sized bustle, and handing the extra feathers over to his community's spiritual men and women, so they can be handed out to those in need, or through ceremonies?

The men who take up the traditional northern dance are supposed to be the caretakers and protectors of our peoples. They should be the first in line to sacrifice for the rest of us... not the first in line to claim every feather for themselves, because it looks good in today's powwow circle.

The shortage of eagle feathers isn't a "problem" the Feds should have to be solving 'for' us via the repository. The repository isn't supposed to be there to pad out the latest style on someone's new regalia. It's supposed to be there to meet the needs of people with genuine spiritual requirements. A double-row swing bustle, a fully decked out staff, 4 or 5 scalplock feathers, full shoulder epaulettes, and a full eagle fan sure are pretty to look at, but they're NOT 'spiritual requirements'. They're a fashion.

Ideally, I'd like to see the repository become something only tribally recognised elders and spiritual leaders can even get feathers from. They can then distribute them as they see fit, to those who earn the right to them, or who pass through ceremonies where they are typically handed out (namings, for instance). They could be handed out to pipemakers and staff makers.

I honestly don't think anyone should be accumulating forty, fifty, sixty, or seventy feathers for the sake of 'nice' looking regalia, when there is obviously an issue with people being unable to obtain enough feathers for basic ceremonial purposes--naming, veteran recognitions, etc.

All the feathers needed, for everyone, are already right here. They're just concentrated in the hands of a rather small part of the dancing community.

GREED lies at the heart of the problem. Greed, and vanity. Everyone is lining up at the repository for just one more full tail for that fan they always wanted, or that next pair of wings to pad out an inner row on their swing bustle. And they're crying a river of tears because they aren't getting those feathers 'fast' enough to suit them. They're crying a river of tears because this time they got a dirty-edged white bald eagle tail, instead of that golden eagle black-tipped tail they always wanted.

I'm just tired of hearing it, especially from folks who, traditionally speaking, haven't even achieved the battle honors that give one a 'right' to wear black tips.

No one NEEDS a feather to pray, but if you've got one, it sure is nice. Any number of feathers above and beyond the one you pray with, is just gravy. We need to learn to be more thankful; I'd like to see more folks giving away feathers, as easily as they like to accumulate them.

But, eagle feathers are the new money. And the only time anyone really seems to care or complain, is when they can't get themselves a piece of it.

-grayback
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Old 06-20-2008, 10:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by grayback View Post

I think sometimes we're ALL missing the point. I had a reply in the thread on 'eagle feathers', which basically says that I don't understand why we're suddenly relying upon the Feds and the Repository to present us with the feathers we need for spiritual reasons.

We shouldn't be begging the Feds for feathers. , and handing the extra feathers over to his community's spiritual men and women, so they can be handed out to those in need, or through ceremonies?

The shortage of eagle feathers isn't a "problem" the Feds should have to be solving 'for' us via the repository.

Ideally, I'd like to see the repository become something only tribally recognised elders and spiritual leaders can even get feathers from. They can then distribute them as they see fit, to those who earn the right to them, or who pass through ceremonies where they are typically handed out (namings, for instance). They could be handed out to pipemakers and staff makers.

-grayback
Hi grayback, I appreciate your response but I have to disagree with some of your points. Are many eagle feathers a trend? You're probably right, but I'm not a men's traditional dancer so I really can't say. I disagree with your statements that we shouldn't look to "the feds" to solve the problem of high demand for eagle feathers. The federal government has trust and other responsibilities to our federally recognized nations. Allowing free practice of our spiritual beliefs is guaranteed by the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. Until this was passed in 1978, many Indians couldn't obtain eagle feathers and other things to practice their traditions. So maybe you or I think that maybe lots of eagle feathers are a trend. I can't judge people as a whole unless I go up to and question every person about if they use them for spiritual practices, earned them, whatever. I guess I'm willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, rather than try to change this act or otherwise restrict eagle feathers. In my view, that's probably what the federal government wants, since it often likes to reduce or get rid of responsibilities to Indian tribes.

I also think its dangerous to say that only certain Indian people can obtain feathers- spiritual leaders, elders, etc. I'm sure we can all think of members of federally recognized tribes who have sold ceremonies to whites or other Indians. There was an issue a few years ago up here in Boston where a self-proclaimed spiritual leader from Pine Ridge was selling sweatlodge ceremonies to the highest bidder. Its sad to say but like you said, if eagle feathers are the new money, there will always be someone willing to sell as long as there is a demand- which clearly there is, and a big one. Why should we let the eagle repository limit who they distribute to? I think people would be upset if the federal government made rules saying who can and can't be a spiritual leader, elder, or worthy of receiving eagle feathers. Leaving it up to the tribe would probably cause problems too, because then it might come down to who's on council, who is part of what family, who's mad at who. I just think it would become really political. Like you said, all the feathers we need are here, they're just unevenly distributed! Maybe I'm too pessimistic, I don't know, but I don't think limiting who can receive them would more evenly distribute them. I also don't know the answer to the larger problem of demand for eagle feathers so its good to hear your view even though I don't agree with all of it.
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Old 06-20-2008, 05:09 PM   #10
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We shouldn't be begging the Feds for feathers. We should be looking to ourselves, and redistributing the feathers we already have in a more equitable and respectful fashion, instead of hoarding them because it's the current regalia style. If some people in a tribe are suffering through ceremonies with no eagle feather at all, then why isn't some dancer who 'owns' more than they really need for their regalia, handing feathers over? If a dancer has 4 wings and 2 tails' worth of feathers in his single swing bustle, why isn't he making a more reasonable sized bustle, and handing the extra feathers over to his community's spiritual men and women, so they can be handed out to those in need, or through ceremonies?
It's obvious you've not been to too many native communities when someone gets their feathers... I'm not saying EVERYONE does but feathers are often distributed throughout the family, not hoarded like you think. And those that do have these surplus usually do because their family is'nt in need.

The whole thing is that people are poaching because someone is buying and regardless WHO they are it is happening. Native or not, if an eagle has to be poached then they will have to in the end answer to the creator for what they've done and it's not really for us to judge those with huge bustles or fans JUST because YOU or ME or ANYONE ELSE thinks they have too many.
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:16 AM   #11
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Blackbear--

I'm not talking about the poaching. Poaching is poaching, and is always going to happen, no matter how legal or illegal it is to have eagle feathers. Every stripe of humanity under the sun will be involved in poaching, and every stripe of humanity under the sun will buy poached items. And if the animal or plant in question isn't illegal to hunt, then there's still always going to be someone who takes more than they should. Eagle poaching is not, and never will be, a solely Indian or non-Indian problem.

I'm talking about, in virtually all of my posts, of the sense of ENTITLEMENT we Natives have towards eagle feathers. As if just because these birds exist in our traditional cultures as spiritual items, and the Federal government obtains dead eagles, we have some sort of 'right' to them and the government should immediately fork the feathers over to us.

Is that how it works? Is that how we 'earn' items that are supposed to be so deeply meaningful to us?

Sorry, just because we're Indians, it doesn't mean we 'own' these birds. No one has a 'right' to them. If you had tried to say to my great-grandfather or grandmother that the Feds 'owe' us these birds--especially for the sake of constructing dance regalia!--they would have given you a very funny look indeed. I don't know that they would have even accepted a feather given to them that way... dropped in the mail and sent off to someone for no reason other than they're enrolled somewhere, and they happened to ASK for one.

These self-centered demands a lot of us are making about what the Federal government 'owes us' when it comes to eagle feathers, is what my problem is with. The laws are in place to protect the BIRDS. If we feel the laws make our religious lives more difficult, well, sorry, but I don't see that it matters. The birds' lives are more important, than whether or not we have easy access to their feathers.

When the birds do die, they DO hand those feathers out to Natives. What the hell more do we want from the government? They have laws to protect the birds, but they still do what they can to get those feathers into the Native community. It's win-win, as far as I can tell.

Virtually every article I've read about the repository, even on this website, makes us sound like spoilt little first-graders who were denied our morning pop-tart.

Eagle feathers are from the Creator--they are from our family and our elders. If they come our way, they do. Generally, you've got to earn them. From the FEDS, you just have to ASK for them.

So, I have a hard time listening to people whine about how they aren't getting the kind of feathers they want, in the numbers they want, in the time frame they want... from the FEDS, no less.

Does the fact that we're Indians, give us the right to talk this way about eagle feathers?

Seems to me that we should be the LAST people to speak of feathers this way.

I am aware of the fact that a lot of dancers give away eagle feathers. I'm not stupid (or blind), believe it or not... and yes, I've been in plenty of situations where I've witnessed folks giving away feathers.

I've given away plenty of the feathers that have come my way to people who were in need. My father received a bald eagle bustle to dance with (at the age of 67--first he'd ever had), and he broke it up and gave those feathers away (he kept only 4 for the trailer), because he felt it was wrong to pile up all those feathers in a bustle, when they could do other people more good, and he was just fine with other, non-eagle feathers instead. I have a friend who passes on every feather he ever receives, and has done so for over 40 years. That's the kind of community I belong to--a community where there are still a lot of older men who dance in OUR traditional clothing, and are proud to forego bustles altogether.

That's where *I'm* coming from.

But these aren't the kind of people who are 'hoarding' feathers. These aren't the kinds of people who are in the Feds' line, 5 times in a row, asking for whole eagles or 'comparable parts', so that they can make up a new bustle, or another bustle, or a second row for the one they already have, or so they can make up a bustle of 60 feathers to hand over to another (northern tradish dancin') friend of theirs.

As I said in my post on the other thread, there's a reason that so many, MANY eagle feathers are concentrated in the hands of just one dance category... and that's not because they're our 'warrior men', or because that's a 'traditional' look they just have to wear.

Find me a picture where these HUGE kinds of bustles are 'traditional'. Find me a description, even from amongst our own people, where these are traditional, spiritual requirements.

In times of plenty, well, why not? Be as excessive as you want to be.

In times of hardship for people who are trying to get feathers from the repository for spiritual ceremonies and gifting ceremonies, maybe it's time for some of these tradish dancers to step aside from asking for their third or fourth pair of wings, and let someone else get in the repository line. Maybe if we did that, we wouldn't have to be turning to the Federals for feathers at all.

In life, I don't question why any dancer does or doesn't have feathers, or the number they carry. Maybe that's what they saw themselves doing in a dream--maybe someone else dreamed of them in that outfit. Maybe they're dancing in feathers not only from their bustle, but also from the bustle of a relative who can't dance, or isn't here to dance anymore (although wouldn't those feathers honor that relative just as well, if you gave it away to others in need--and NOT just to yet another northern tradish dancer, either?)

However, just like you, when I see an arena full of eagle feathers dancing on northern tradish regalia, I feel pride. I think how beautiful it is. I don't sit there and think, "What an as*, he's got about 100 feathers on his outfit. Selfish pr*ck."

I assume, just as you do, that there's a reason for it. We each have our own calling to do what we do, and our own reasons for doing it, and it isn't someone else's place to get in our face about it (although it seems we're happy to get in someone's face that if the issue at hand is one WE have a personal problem with, of course).

I don't wander around at powwows confronting tradish dancers.

HOWEVER, and this is a damn big HOWEVER:

That doesn't mean that this issue doesn't still need to be talked about in our COMMUNITY.

You and I both know that there are folks out there who are more concerned about how they look, and whether they're going to win. They might pawn off a hundred reasons to themselves and others about why they're wearing all the feathers they are, but if they were to be honest with themselves, we all know it's purely for style. It's "what northern tradish dancers wear"--if they wanna win. If they wanna look 'cool'.

But feeling pride in seeing that regalia, pride on our part or theirs, doesn't make what current regalia styles demand, 'right'. It's gone out of control, because somewhere along the line there weren't folks who stood up and said, 'This is too much'.

The 'Look' itself, is contributing to the abuse. Why are we complaining about the shortage, and not thinking about trying to change that 'Look' ? Does EVERY male Northern Tradish Dancer need 80 or 100 feathers on his outfit? When the Feds supply us with that many feathers, is that when we're going to finally be happy about the repository program?

No matter how beautiful it is, I can still look at those dancers and understand that a lot of them slap on feathers here or there (like epaulettes or visors), because they saw someone else wearing it, and it looked 'cool'. It's got nothing to do with being a traditional item their outfit must have. It's just 'the Look'.

People need to learn to admit that, and stop with all this 'entitlement' they have to feathers, because their dance is 'traditional' and they 'need' them. We need to learn to start being honest with ourselves, first of all. I don't understand why it's so hard for us to do that. We act like it's all the White man's fault that we're in the situation we are, with a shortage of feathers for people who are seeking them.

Now, again, in times of plenty, why not wear all that get-up? Go ahead. No one's going hungry, if the featherin' times are good. If each and every one of us were passing along feathers in respectful ways, like we should be doing, I don't see why we'd even need to ask the Feds for anything.

I don't care how attached dancers have become to wearing a hundred feathers, or how attached we've become to seeing them in those feathers.

It's still not right. In a time of hardship and shortage, it's NOT right, and tradish dancers should be the first in line standing up to correct it. Aren't they supposed to be protecting the rest of us... protecting the welfare of the community? If someone doesn't have the feathers for a naming ceremony, or the feathers to put on a ritual calumet, it's a tradish dancer who should be stepping up to help them. Not the Federal government.

A lot do these things. And there are also a lot whom I've never known to pass on a single feather to anyone, unless they got tired of the feathers they had and wanted a newer, more 'exciting' looking outfit. Even then, some of these boys and men just add their old and new feathers together.

If he feels he can't help someone because it would involve taking apart some piece of his prized regalia... then that's a problem, and we need to be willing to admit, as INDIAN PEOPLE, that it's a problem. A serious one that has a lot deeper origin than simply whether or not the Feds are respectin' our need for feathers.

As for eap7's comment that it isn't our place as non-Northern tradish dancers, I don't agree with it.

Community censorship is the one way we Ndn's have always had, to correct those in our societies who, for whatever reason, have tended to overdo things, to go too far, to the harm of the others around them. Our communities censored those who were working for their own benefit, their own pride, rather than those of the community. If someone thought to do something wholly selfish, someone else, a lot of someone elses, would have tilted their heads and wondered what was going on. And that person would have been questioned about what they were doing, and why... in some tribes, gently. In other tribes, pretty harshly.

I merely think that right now, with feathers at such a premium, people need to stop getting in the Repository welfare line for that one more set of bustle wings, or that perfect tail for a dance fan, because a wing fan just isn't their look.

THESE are the dancers I am critical of, although I also see the cause-effect that comes about from a modern 'tradition' of huge bustles and eagle feathered accoutrements.

There are folks in that line who have genuine need of naming feathers, or veteran's feathers, etc, and they're not getting them because Joe Schmoe, tradish dancer, thinks he needs to give his 10-year-old son a full eagle bustle, or that his own bald eagle bustle would look a lot nicer if it had black tips instead. And a double row of them, at that!

If people want snazzy sh*t for their regalia, let them earn it from friends and family. A lot of dancers still do... why are we tolerating those who feel a need to abuse the repository system, and instead of criticizing them, we complain about what the FEDS are trying to do for us?

We're yelling at the wrong people, because why... ? We're afraid to look at our own faults? We're afraid to ask to these men dancers to change something they've become accustomed to wearing in MODERN times? We're afraid to ask them to think about wearing something a little smaller.. a little more respectful? We're afraid to walk up to a dancer and say, 'hey, dude... let's think about these 80 feathers you have on your outfit. Maybe we can do something a little better FOR OUR COMMUNITY, with say, 20 of them?"

There are tradish dancers who do exactly that. I have no problem with them.

But that doesn't erase the basic question of... are these huge bustles and epaulettes and visors and feathered staffs all really necessary?

Of course not. They just look cool.

Maybe if we could all start admitting that to ourselves, we could ALL start to solve this problem of folks not having the feathers they do, truly, NEED... for graduations, for childbirth, for namings, for veterans, for whatever ceremony it is folks need them for. Maybe then the folks in line at the repository wouldn't be waiting a year or two for their naming feather, because the tradish dancer is looking elsewhere for the 40 feathers he wants for his new bustle. Maybe he even decided that he doesn't need a new bustle, and what's more, he's okay with just 30, instead of 70.

If you and I, and everyone who's a member of the Ndn community, isn't willing to police ourselves anymore, and say 'eighty feathers an outfit, right now at this place in time, is going too far, guys--let's think about those who have none'--then who's going to do it?

Or are we gonna leave that to the Feds, too?

It's our job, as traditional people, to question these ever-growing regalias, and ask what they mean, morally, for our communities... and what it means for the true 'value' of the feathers themselves.

Now, I sound all heated in this post. But I'm not, really. It is just honestly how I feel, but I'm not out there ranting in people's faces on the powwow circuit.

I, too, still enjoy a good, stompin' northern tradish dance. Whether the regalia keeps growing, or simplifies down, I probably always will.

But I'll always understand that I'm looking at a dance increasingly geared for flashy show--'bling', as someone in another thread called it--and not tradition. And certainly not a dance geared for the benefit of communities suffering a shortage of eagle feathers for uses OUTSIDE the competitive powwow circuit.


-grayback
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:36 PM   #12
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You and I both know that there are folks out there who are more concerned about how they look, and whether they're going to win.
YOU might know this, but I don't... Maybe they are, maybe they are'nt... And Who's community are you talking about that this needs to be discussed in? Up my way they don't wear bustles traditionally and back home they don't either. And I'm dying to know how many people are actually suffering because they don't have a single feather to call their own. Not to mention that each nation has a different idea of what earning your feather(s) is, and if you had to go through the process for feathers with the eagle repository, then you might feel you earned them just for doing that.

The repository is'nt the US governments' way of regulating natives... but it is a way that was set up to get feathers to us. Think of it for a moment... if everyone was living on a reservation and you got feathers the old fashioned way, your area would be depleted of the birds in a just a couple of generations. Instead this program brings them to us from all over and the birds did'nt have to die in vain from being hit by cars or electrocution and poaching. Their bodies educate people on how to prevent their deaths better, land the assholes who kill them for sport or money in jail for very long periods of time and then distributed by first come first serve.

BTW.. I should mention that first come first serve is exactly it too.... so what if someone has put in for an eagle carcass 5x's??? At a MINIMUM of 4 years for a whole bird, that's twenty years that person had to wait for all five of his birds AND they probably are used by his entire family, because you have to be a certain age before you can put in for your bird as well. So if you got a youngster who's wanting to dance or needs his feathers for prayer, then he's gotta use what dad or mom puts in for until he's of age. And there may be more than one child in the family.
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:17 PM   #13
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Blackbear--

I'm not going to go on arguing about any of this, although there are three things in your new post that I still disagree with. Strongly.

But I've said what I feel and think about the basic issue, and I'm gonna leave it at that. I think what you, I, and eap have written pretty much covers both sides' perspective.

I learned a long time ago that to keep on talking when neither side agrees or is going to budge, is nonproductive. I could go on all day with examples of what I've seen, of what others see, but I suspect you're going to come back each time with, "Sorry, never see it happen." My feeling on that stems basically from the fact that one of the first things you wrote in reply to me, was an aspersion against how Indian you felt I might be, if only by some lack of involvement with my own community.

That's usually the best sign that a 'discussion' is about to go South. No one is ever 'less' Indian, just because our opinions or practices don't happen to mesh. I might think someone is wrong in something they do, but it's got nothing to do with them not being 'Indian enough' to know otherwise.

People see things, or they don't, and that's how it is. Either they take part in the discussion to change a problem (perceived or otherwise), or they don't. If you don't have problems like this up where you live, then I envy you. I assure you that it isn't the same down here.

Others have privately messaged me to agree that they see the same problems in their area, but have chosen not to make those comments public on this thread. I respect that, but I wish more folks who see what I and others see, would also speak up publicly about it. These abuses aren't even half so rare a problem as a lot of Indians would make it out to be.

But I respect their decision to keep the peace, so to speak. Most of the time, I keep quiet myself, because I know that what I or others say about this isn't going to make any difference in where it's going. Not enough people give a sh*t.

I personally don't dance or even attend many powwows anymore. We each make our own decisions about these things, which is all anyone can or is free to do.

Now, a few minor comments on other things in your post:

You:
"The repository isn't the US government's way of regulating natives... but it is a way that was set up to get feathers to us."

Me:
"When the birds do die, they DO hand those feathers out to Natives. What the hell more do we want from the government? They have laws to protect the birds, but they still do what they can to get those feathers into the Native community. It's win-win, as far as I can tell."

Note that I did point that out. I've argued this very thing in my post over on the "eagle feathers?!??!" thread.

I've never said the repository is a way to control Natives. In fact I believe it does "our" community a service (is the parenthesis any better?). I've never claimed the contrary. Never will.

The 'community' I'm talking about is the one we ALL belong to. Like it or not, pan-tribalism in the competitive powwow arena is here to stay. Problems for one tribe or one area affect us ALL, eventually. Ask any tribe who thought to stand up to the White Colonials by themselves.

'Alone' don't float.

All the same, I'm gonna leave this thread alone, now. ;)

It's funny to me, but... back when I first joined this website in 2002, I got involved in some discussions (occasionally arguments) with you and a few others. Mostly we disagreed--some things don't change, it seems. Given that you were so conservative upon cultural changes I was far more liberal upon, I was a bit surprised to see us disagree on this one. It did make me laugh, though.

Thanks to those of you who've lent your support to what I've said both here and on the "eagle feathers?!?!?" thread. Public or private, I appreciate it.

-grayback
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by grayback View Post
Blackbear--

I'm not going to go on arguing about any of this, although there are three things in your new post that I still disagree with. Strongly.

But I've said what I feel and think about the basic issue, and I'm gonna leave it at that. I think what you, I, and eap have written pretty much covers both sides' perspective.

I learned a long time ago that to keep on talking when neither side agrees or is going to budge, is nonproductive. I could go on all day with examples of what I've seen, of what others see, but I suspect you're going to come back each time with, "Sorry, never see it happen." My feeling on that stems basically from the fact that one of the first things you wrote in reply to me, was an aspersion against how Indian you felt I might be, if only by some lack of involvement with my own community.

That's usually the best sign that a 'discussion' is about to go South. No one is ever 'less' Indian, just because our opinions or practices don't happen to mesh. I might think someone is wrong in something they do, but it's got nothing to do with them not being 'Indian enough' to know otherwise.

People see things, or they don't, and that's how it is. Either they take part in the discussion to change a problem (perceived or otherwise), or they don't. If you don't have problems like this up where you live, then I envy you. I assure you that it isn't the same down here.

Others have privately messaged me to agree that they see the same problems in their area, but have chosen not to make those comments public on this thread. I respect that, but I wish more folks who see what I and others see, would also speak up publicly about it. These abuses aren't even half so rare a problem as a lot of Indians would make it out to be.

But I respect their decision to keep the peace, so to speak. Most of the time, I keep quiet myself, because I know that what I or others say about this isn't going to make any difference in where it's going. Not enough people give a sh*t.

I personally don't dance or even attend many powwows anymore. We each make our own decisions about these things, which is all anyone can or is free to do.

Now, a few minor comments on other things in your post:

You:
"The repository isn't the US government's way of regulating natives... but it is a way that was set up to get feathers to us."

Me:
"When the birds do die, they DO hand those feathers out to Natives. What the hell more do we want from the government? They have laws to protect the birds, but they still do what they can to get those feathers into the Native community. It's win-win, as far as I can tell."

Note that I did point that out. I've argued this very thing in my post over on the "eagle feathers?!??!" thread.

I've never said the repository is a way to control Natives. In fact I believe it does "our" community a service (is the parenthesis any better?). I've never claimed the contrary. Never will.

The 'community' I'm talking about is the one we ALL belong to. Like it or not, pan-tribalism in the competitive powwow arena is here to stay. Problems for one tribe or one area affect us ALL, eventually. Ask any tribe who thought to stand up to the White Colonials by themselves.

'Alone' don't float.

All the same, I'm gonna leave this thread alone, now. ;)

It's funny to me, but... back when I first joined this website in 2002, I got involved in some discussions (occasionally arguments) with you and a few others. Mostly we disagreed--some things don't change, it seems. Given that you were so conservative upon cultural changes I was far more liberal upon, I was a bit surprised to see us disagree on this one. It did make me laugh, though.

Thanks to those of you who've lent your support to what I've said both here and on the "eagle feathers?!?!?" thread. Public or private, I appreciate it.

-grayback
Dang take a chill pill

By the way I just recieved a letter from Fish and Wildlife today
You know the ones that regulate eagle feathers
They are streamlining the whole process
For those of us that have permits we now have them for life and we no longer have to go through the area offices but our orders go straight to the Repository

As for the orders
It takes about 6 months for 10 loose feathers ( And you can order over and over)
About 14 months for a pair of wings
And up to 5 years for a whole bird
As for a "shortage" of feathers out there for Powwow dancing, I see no such thing Ndn's adapt and use what feathers they can...

As for me I ordered a wing and recieved it in 13 months, I now dance with a eagle wing...

I chat with folks all over and ask them how long it took to get there orders, they say not too bad and as for Fans one trend I am seeing is "Macaw fans" all over the place
Dang now they are hard to get a hold of!!!!

As for hoarding these precious feathers I have already passed them to my family with papers all legal as per the regs
They are best put to use not stuff in a box stashed away!
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Last edited by Josiah; 06-23-2008 at 08:45 PM..
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Old 06-24-2008, 02:41 PM   #15
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I learned a long time ago that to keep on talking when neither side agrees or is going to budge, is nonproductive. I could go on all day with examples of what I've seen, of what others see, but I suspect you're going to come back each time with, "Sorry, never see it happen." My feeling on that stems basically from the fact that one of the first things you wrote in reply to me, was an aspersion against how Indian you felt I might be, if only by some lack of involvement with my own community.
Hmm... I don't know if there is a reason why you would feel it was any kind of attack on your "indianess", but I know where you are from and I know you are not getting a more widespread eyeview and my point on that was, you're judging and making broad accusations about people when you don't know how they came about their feathers, how they feel about them... and I gave another perspective you don't see.

As for me comeing back repeatedly with I never see it... that's a bit assuming don't you think? Makes me think you are more worried about me attacking your indianess than interested in what I've actually seen myself. But that suffering comment still has me asking who.
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