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Old 01-01-2005, 08:28 PM   #1
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Fight focuses on who can use eagle feathers

Fight focuses on who can use eagle feathers

By The Associated Press
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com

SALT LAKE CITY A battle is brewing over the rights of white people
who practice American Indian religion to use federally restricted
eagle feathers in ceremonies.

Two federal statutes the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and
Golden Eagle Protection Act limit the right to have the feathers to
members of federally recognized tribes. The feathers are the most
powerful objects in the culture's ceremonies, and tribal members are
required to earn the right to handle them.

Many tribal members, backed up by the federal government, say
feathers and other eagle parts should be reserved for American
Indians as a way of preserving the culture.

"Some [white people] may marry into Native American tribes or have a
fascination or even a sincere interest to be more knowledgeable, but
they shouldn't be able to legally possess the feathers," said Nino
Reyos, a Ute and Pueblo who lives in Salt Lake City.

But two non-Indian Utah residents, Raymond Hardman and Samuel Ray
Wilgus Jr., claim they have a religious right to use the feathers in
sacramental activities. The federal laws allow enrolled tribal
members to get a permit to possess eagle feathers and parts.

The items are either passed down from tribal elders or obtained from
the National Eagle Repository, operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service.

Wilgus, who said he is an adopted member of the Paiute Indian Peak
Band, was convicted of possessing 141 eagle feathers without a permit
in 1998. Feathers given to Hardman as a gift by a Hopi leader in
Arizona were seized in 1996, and he was found guilty of violating
federal law.

Both appealed, and the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver
eventually sent their cases back to Utah to determine whether the
restrictions violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The act
holds that religious practices must be accommodated unless a
compelling governmental interest can be demonstrated. Decisions in
the cases are pending.

"I don't think government should be in the business of telling who
can or cannot worship in a particular religion," said Cindy Barton-
Coombs, Hardman's lawyer.

Indians fear an already long wait for feathers could get longer if
non-Indians are allowed to use them. Applicants routinely wait three
to four years for a whole eagle, including beaks and talons.
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Old 01-02-2005, 01:28 AM   #2
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Thumbs down

This is the first I've heard of this...kinda disturbing. I don't really know what to write...
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Old 01-02-2005, 04:04 AM   #3
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I hope their convictions stand. The man who had eagle feathers given to him by the elder should have known better, and should have passed them on to someone that could legally have them. It's bad enough, we in the US have to get on a list to receive any eagle feathers, after waiting for so long. The laws are very restrictive now; it would be ridiculous to start allowing every wannabe, new-ager, and boyscout leader the legal right to attain and have eagle feathers.
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Old 01-02-2005, 11:28 AM   #4
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What the hell will be stolen next? The gold from our teeth? This seems absurd to me...hope they lose their case. With continual expansion, and 'development' the eagles are already facing severe habitat loss...and increasingly rare. If they are allowed to be used by nearly anybody...they may be driven to extinction.
C
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Old 01-02-2005, 11:39 AM   #5
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How about what they said here.......

Both appealed, and the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver
eventually sent their cases back to Utah to determine whether the
restrictions violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The act
holds that religious practices must be accommodated unless a
compelling governmental interest can be demonstrated. Decisions in
the cases are pending.

"I don't think government should be in the business of telling who
can or cannot worship in a particular religion," said Cindy Barton-
Coombs, Hardman's lawyer.
__________________
"We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume
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Old 01-02-2005, 12:03 PM   #6
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Looking at the history of legal cases...NOTHING would surprise me...and I also don't think the Gov't should be establishing/discouraging religious practices...where no one is harmed...yet as I'm sure you're aware...the native religions were SEVERELY suppressed, and in many cases, made illegal. Then also polygamy was once part of an organized religion, and that was outlawed. So there is a precedent for Gov't intervention. I personally would be more concerned about the eagles chances for survival, if the 'market' for them was greatly increased, much more than the impact on the people involved. Where money is involved, the track record for ethical conduct/concern for the resource isn't very encouraging!!!!
C
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Old 01-04-2005, 10:51 PM   #7
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eagle feathers and who has a right to posess them

Boozhoo niji,

This is a topic that has been discussed repeaatedly in my life. I am like 1/32 Ojibwe, my mother 1/16. She is a enrolled member of the White Earth band, has the enrollment number and receives monies and everyhing.

I... on the other hand, do not have a high enough blood quantum to be an enrolled member, however I do have a descenedent identification which USED to give me hunting, fishing and gathering privilages on the rez.

She can apply for these feathers as mentioned in the thread, I cannot, but I am her son. Now if she did apply for them, and she dies then what is to become of the feathers?

Also... I go out and pow wow. I want to learn what I can about Ojibwe tradition, language, Mide, or anything. I am willing to move back to Minnesota to do that. She likes it here in Florida, never does anything, although she does like to go to the pow wow that comes here local once a year, and watch me dance. She is very proud of me, and has told me that she would apply for the feathers on my behalf, but was not sure what would become of them after she passes away.

Also, what are you supposed to do if an elder offers to give you a feather, and I am not just talking about an elder as in older than you, I mean someone that is a legitimate spiritual advisor of the tribe.

This is a lot for me just to think about, it seems like I am treading a very thin line. I have had a lot of people call me a wannabe, and this makes me very angry. I do not show any of the stereotypical features of being Indian, other than Ilet my hair grow long and I braid it. My story is a long and complicated one, filled with learning, most of it hard, from mistakes. I was taught, in a white school, all of the negative things that Indians were, practically all of it untrue, and this is what my mistakes and ignorance were based from.

I have been taught, and not here in the Florida pow wow trail, but up on the rez, that being Indian is not on your skin but in your heart, and I have found acceptance up on White Earth. It keeps me going back, makes me think that Florida is not worth really living in. I have to fight for who I am down here, but am accepted inthe North.

So anyway, i am pretty confused. I stay here in Florida to take care of my ailing parents. My Mom has decided to not apply for the feathers, she does not think she would live past the waiting list, and I told her I was not entirely sure what I would do with them anyway. I fancy dance, so I use turkey feathers for my bustles anyway, i mean it would probably take 4 whole eagles to make a set of bustles, so how long would the list be for that?

Oh and I think I know why the list is as long as it is. This is a rumor, but it comes from a very reliable source, that is there is a woman at the eagle feather repository, that shreds feathers, on a daily basis. True or not, it still sounds like something the govt. would do.

Derek
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Old 01-04-2005, 11:24 PM   #8
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It has always been to my understanding that only a person that has tribal enrollment in a recognized tribe is allowed to apply for and receive eagle feathers. It is also to my understanding, that a descendant of an enrolled person can also inherit those feathers. They can also be given to somebody unrelated, as long as they are native american.
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Old 01-06-2005, 09:48 PM   #9
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It is a dilemna... religious freedom vrs. the government. However, I have the same concerns that the article mentioned. The guy though... he had HOW MANY eagle feathers that they confiscated??? Unless he is powwow dancing, does he need that many for religious purposes? I'm asking cause I really don't know. The only real reason though that I hope that they lose their cases is because of the can of worms it would open. And that would be a #10 can size of worms at least!
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Old 01-07-2005, 11:47 PM   #10
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Exactly, Blackbear!!!
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Old 01-08-2005, 10:53 AM   #11
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I've been on this website for 4 years. I've read over and over again - we should share our ceremonies, our religions with whomever wants to learn. We shouldn't stop non-Indians from going into the sweats, into the sun-dances, into our ceremonial lodges. I've seen and heard these comments from people I actually know.

Now, whaddya think?

This is why I never post my "real" name on anywhere there are thieves.
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Old 01-08-2005, 11:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwehnzii
I've been on this website for 4 years. I've read over and over again - we should share our ceremonies, our religions with whomever wants to learn. We shouldn't stop non-Indians from going into the sweats, into the sun-dances, into our ceremonial lodges. I've seen and heard these comments from people I actually know.

Now, whaddya think?

This is why I never post my "real" name on anywhere there are thieves.
Thieves should not be rewarded!
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Old 01-08-2005, 08:00 PM   #13
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well there's another thing to think about... if settlers and ddt did'nt kill off so many of our bald eagles to begin with, there would be no law as there is now. The law is'nt protecting us, it protects the birds.
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Old 01-08-2005, 09:27 PM   #14
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Thumbs down Whatever happened to the Prophecy of the Seventh Fire?

As usual, all I read is blood quotants this and blood quotant that.

Is it not time to live for the Prophecy of the Seventh Fire?

I have a great aunt in Birch Island, ON, CAN; who always talks about being "indian/tribal/first nation" in here (note the heart and spirit). Then she tells me the oratory of the Seven Fires, how like-spirited individuals will dance together by the seventh fire!

If an individual is so chosen by the manitou's to be honoured with an eagle feather (no matter how many), than no "white eyed"/"anishinabek" so-called law, should strike down that honour.

Whatever happened to our anishinabek family?

Your shameful thoughts and musings will catch up with you in the future,
when those of us who are products of your racism, will dance around that seventh fire (without a thought of your stupidity)...

Two thumbs down to you self modulators!!!
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baamaan pii minwaa (until next time)



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Old 01-08-2005, 09:50 PM   #15
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please dont fight

Boozhoo niji,

I posted what I did, because I had a question on the facts of the laws and I also wanted to hear what the elders teach us. Me being in Florida, which stinks, I dont get to hear much from Elders, because most of them are in the North. So I take what I can get, when I go up there every year for a couple of weeks.

I didnt want this to become a heated debate. I really didnt and I am sorry for starting it. We should come together as nations instead of spreading further apart and drawing lines in the sand. I mean that is more like the motto of the white man, to divide and conquer. Well from where I sit I can clearly see we are divided but at least we are not yet conquered.

If we could all figure out how to come together then it would indeed be a strength our people could use. What better a way than to come together under Migizi, the eagle.

Derek
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Old 01-09-2005, 02:45 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingcsi
As usual, all I read is blood quotants this and blood quotant that.

Is it not time to live for the Prophecy of the Seventh Fire?

I have a great aunt in Birch Island, ON, CAN; who always talks about being "indian/tribal/first nation" in here (note the heart and spirit). Then she tells me the oratory of the Seven Fires, how like-spirited individuals will dance together by the seventh fire!

If an individual is so chosen by the manitou's to be honoured with an eagle feather (no matter how many), than no "white eyed"/"anishinabek" so-called law, should strike down that honour.

Whatever happened to our anishinabek family?

Your shameful thoughts and musings will catch up with you in the future,
when those of us who are products of your racism, will dance around that seventh fire (without a thought of your stupidity)...

Two thumbs down to you self modulators!!!
What would you think of all this if you needed a feather and couldn't get one because every crystal-carrying, new-age, wannabe Tom, Dick and Harriet who said it's their "right" had one instead of you.

And one other thing - you told us all not to judge anyone and then you go and judge us for our beliefs and opinions - going so far as to call it stupidity - so as for me, if the "white-eyed" come looking for feathers to give away to non-NDNs like the ones in the court case - I recommend they get your share - seeing as how you like to share so much! If you like you can go ahead and give it all away just don't expect the rest of us to do the same - as a people, we've had enough taken from us already and I'm willing to fight to keep what I have left!
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Old 01-09-2005, 01:35 PM   #17
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If an individual is so chosen by the manitou's to be honoured with an eagle feather (no matter how many), than no "white eyed"/"anishinabek" so-called law, should strike down that honour

Giving away or already did give a whole bunch to your non-Indian in-laws? Are they making a bustle?

Whatever happened to our anishinabek family

Mine is still intact.

without a thought of your stupidity

Is this judgemental?

Singing Eagle - I'm with you.

Rather big difference of opinion between 3 generations. The younger the person is the softer they are.
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Old 01-10-2005, 06:17 PM   #18
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Thumbs up Good Point....

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingcsi
As usual, all I read is blood quotants this and blood quotant that.

Is it not time to live for the Prophecy of the Seventh Fire?

I have a great aunt in Birch Island, ON, CAN; who always talks about being "indian/tribal/first nation" in here (note the heart and spirit). Then she tells me the oratory of the Seven Fires, how like-spirited individuals will dance together by the seventh fire!

If an individual is so chosen by the manitou's to be honoured with an eagle feather (no matter how many), than no "white eyed"/"anishinabek" so-called law, should strike down that honour.

Whatever happened to our anishinabek family?

Your shameful thoughts and musings will catch up with you in the future,
when those of us who are products of your racism, will dance around that seventh fire (without a thought of your stupidity)...

Two thumbs down to you self modulators!!!
Someone who's Thinking Outside the Box.....
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Old 01-10-2005, 07:28 PM   #19
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I also am tired of seeing non-Indians at powwows who have eagle feathers. Especially those powwows on the East Coast. I know they aren't enrolled members of any tribe. Gets me and my friend all riled up and want to get on the soap box. I hope those two jerks lose their case.
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Old 01-10-2005, 09:14 PM   #20
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I have to agree with what blackbear stated earlier... the protection laws are for the birds not our people. I know times change and we are a every evolving people and culture...but I doubt there was this much controversey over feathers 100 years ago...hell even 50 years ago when it was still illegal to do many ceremonies. What disturbs me is to hear not just on here but on the circuit people talking about this very subject and very much against it..yet only want certain types of eagle feathers so that they can look a little better out in the arena. I think the representation and the meanings behind and of the great eagles are being lost. We are turning more towards the way our cultural beliefs make us look instead of what they are meant for. Many ceremonies are gone and probably forever...and I wouldn't doubt many others will soon follow in the next few hundered years..how long before we loose the concept and meanings behind the feathers? How long before we kill out our own ways and as other races and cultures melt together in this melting pot of america.
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