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  • Eagle Feathers?!?!?!

    I have just recently returned from a dance in south Texas. I was asked to help out as their AD this year. I was very glad to help out in any way I could. I would do it again if asked.

    The issue I want to address is this. On Sat. evening I had a duty to tell everyone with Eagle feathers that 2 Federal agents were supposed to return, Feather Hunting. It came to my attention that if you have any feathers that you do not have proper papers for were not legal. I have paper for my Eagle Feathers. That is I just have papers for me only. I found out that my son and wife could not use any of my feathers legally. Should the Feds ask for my sons papers or the feathers they would have the feathers, "Yeah Right". I have a problem with the fact that I properly obtained Feathers as required by the Feds and I can't even allow my family to use them. I did wear my feathers but many put their feathers away. This surprised me, the people that had to hide their feathers. This got me to thinking. because I had to take the feathers my son and wife were using and put them back in the feather box myself. I have a problem not being able to let anyone else use my feathers, nor can I gift anyone I desire with a feather anylonger. This is not a true part of our ways.

    How many Status NDNs are without proper papers for ALL of our feathers. I for one have a feahter or 2 that were gifted to me. Also, how many used to be Status NDNs who are no longer Status NDNs have feathers from when they were Status NDNs. With many Tribes losing their Federal Status, and the State Rec. NDNs losing their ability to have feathers is this Right?

    I just woke up to smell the roses I guess, but something is wrong when I can't even allow my own family to use the feathers I obtained legally.
    BOB

  • #2
    It may not be just eagle feathers. Hawk feathers might be vulnerable, too, and such mundane birds as bluejays. There is a law, dating from the 1930s, called the Migratory Bird Act, enacted throughout the Americas because manufacturers of ladies hats had taken up putting bird feathers, wings, and even entire birds in ladies hats. It prohibits the possession of feathers of any migratory bird (eagles don't migrate, so they may be subject to a different law). I understand there is an exception for Indians who are enrolled, but when people aren't enrolled, it gets tough to police. It's not just Indians who get caught in this - I heard of a non-Indian farmer who got caught when a flock of birds got into his field right after he had put pesticide down, and a non-Indian artist who tried to sell an artwork using feathers she had just picked up off the ground. I got caught myself when I worked for the electric company and we wanted to build a power line - Fish and Wildlife wouldn't let us build except when birds weren't nesting, which around here is basically February. I don't know why feathers have suddenly become the hobby of interest for the Feds, but it has. The thing to do is get a Congressman in your corner to get new legislation or regulations passed - probably a Congressman from one of the states with larger Indian populations. Maybe somebody knows somebody. I'll ask around, too.

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    • #3
      ...If you ask me,the laws are still in effect just to f#$% with us.WE are the only people here who place any importance on bird feathers and parts.Everytime they get a wild hair up their you-know-whats,they start combing the powwows to confiscate bustles,roach feathers,fans,etc.I don't hear of salmon fisherman or fly-tiers being asked to have their flys looked at(i know,it sounds kinky),and I know for a fact the gov.is NOT THAT GENEROUS with the feathers they have in repository,so there are many who have feathers gifted,handed down,traded,or other means of acquisition.And I thought they didn't grant eagle feathers for the sole purpose of dancing(I may be wrong ),so why is it on the repository website they have a powwow dancer on the front page??
      We didn't endanger the birds,so why is it we have to pay the price for that??Since times long remembered,we've used feathers for ceremony and ornamentation,and we should continue to do so,and fight the legs.that keep us from doing what we need to do for the sake of tradition and in honoring those that came before us.
      The fact that we have to look over our shoulders at a Native gathering IN CASE THE "MEN IN BLACK"are around doesn't make for a good time.And yes,if they are "your" feathers,then your family should be entitled.Many of us have feathers,but I doubt we all have papers,for every little fluff,puff,or pin feather we have...and thats what sux about that.If you have one illegal feather,they have the right to take ALL of them.....
      They'd have to kill me first!!....keep smilin'1

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      • #4
        This is a real catch 22. The way the law is currently formulated, only an enrolled Native can receive raptor or migratory bird feathers by bequest. Saddly, it is also unlikely that any interference in your personal religious practice, caused by prohibiting your non-enrolled relatives from using feathers etc, would not be judged sufficiently compelling to overcome state interest in species preservation. The westren emphasis on belief over practice biases the courts against Native religious practice, since they often find things that interfere with practice do not interfere with belief and therefore do not infringe on your right to believe. In short, you can legally believe you son and wife should be able to use your feathers just don't you dare practice it. And people wonder why there are so many lawyer jokes.


        FWS site about eagle permits:

        http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text...22_main_02.tpl

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        • #5
          I have a feeling that they would not be so hard on you guys if the certain few didnt mess it all up by selling feathers and killing eagles.

          Of course they are gonna frequent the powwows and look for the people with a trunkfull of feathers....the sources of all the illegal activity. (not that some non-NDNS arent in that bunch)

          As far as your son or wife wearing your feathers when you are present, that just seems stupid that they would hassle you.

          I guess its good that I automatically took a liking to grass dancing.....you dont need any feathers!!! or at least any real ones.
          There are 2 types of people in the world...
          Really stupid people who think they are smart
          and
          Really smart people who think they are smart.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by apacheheart
            ...If you ask me,the laws are still in effect just to f#$% with us.WE are the only people here who place any importance on bird feathers and parts.Everytime they get a wild hair up their you-know-whats,they start combing the powwows to confiscate bustles,roach feathers,fans,etc.I don't hear of salmon fisherman or fly-tiers being asked to have their flys looked at(i know,it sounds kinky),and I know for a fact the gov.is NOT THAT GENEROUS with the feathers they have in repository,so there are many who have feathers gifted,handed down,traded,or other means of acquisition.And I thought they didn't grant eagle feathers for the sole purpose of dancing(I may be wrong ),so why is it on the repository website they have a powwow dancer on the front page??
            We didn't endanger the birds,so why is it we have to pay the price for that??Since times long remembered,we've used feathers for ceremony and ornamentation,and we should continue to do so,and fight the legs.that keep us from doing what we need to do for the sake of tradition and in honoring those that came before us.
            The fact that we have to look over our shoulders at a Native gathering IN CASE THE "MEN IN BLACK"are around doesn't make for a good time.And yes,if they are "your" feathers,then your family should be entitled.Many of us have feathers,but I doubt we all have papers,for every little fluff,puff,or pin feather we have...and thats what sux about that.If you have one illegal feather,they have the right to take ALL of them.....
            They'd have to kill me first!!....keep smilin'1
            No, really not aimed at Indians and Indian beliefs. Many people of all races get caught, because even if Indians are the ones holding ritual importance to feathers, many others like and used feathers for other reasons. It is really aimed at mass industrial use of feathers and bird parts - it's just, once again, when they made the law and regulations they didn't give another thought to the invisible Indians and how it would affect them.

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            • #7
              There was a thread posted on here a few months ago about a guy who had his feathers taken because he let his brother in law use them.
              I'm not mean....You're just a sissy


              http://www.mytribalspace.com/tribal/...ame_ndngirl70/
              http://www.myspace.com/ndngirl70

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              • #8
                ive never seen a fed take somebodys feathers away ever,ive never heard of feds taking feathers away from indians at powwows either,if the feds are taking bustles away an roach feathers away,that like takes away a good piece of outfit to look at,just think if there were no eagle feather bustles or eagle feathers in ur roach,everyone used turkey or hawk feathers........that wouldnt even look good when ur dancing,an no trading eagle feathers for something that theyre worth,or letting ur family use some of ur feathers,an papers to show that i obtained the feathers legally,idk about that one cause all my feathers were given to me or i traded for them....all i know is this better not happen to me,aaaayes why did i have to read this thread now im all worried about my feathers gettin taken away at powwows aaaye
                teengrassdancer

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                • #9
                  I have...good luck!!! or have your papers with you prooving where you got them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I had it explained to me this way "son it's just another way for the government to control us"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ndngirl70
                      There was a thread posted on here a few months ago about a guy who had his feathers taken because he let his brother in law use them.

                      The brother in law was white and this guy was not carded.

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                      • #12
                        Cherosage, I'm really sorry to hear about how that happened to your family. I think its ridiculous. My question is to you or any others who know- say you're at a powwow and you don't have your CIB and/or eagle papers (I bet a lot of people don't bring them to dances). Then what happens? Do they just take your feathers? I've never actually seen this happen and only heard of it once or twice on here so I really have no idea. I'm just curious about the "proof". Here's another scenario. Say someone who is enrolled gets feathers from the repository and so the permit is in the first persons name. They give their daughter, also enrolled, the feathers. How does the daughter get a permit for those particular feathers? Because otherwise, she could have a permit for some feathers, go and kill a bunch of eagles, and then say all of them are under her original permit?

                        I'm obviously very confused by this....any ideas?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Eagle feathers

                          I have papers for some of mine ,however, being a stickler for tradition most about half of my feathers were earned the old fashioned way. I was reading the law on this subject and I found that feathers can legally be given to a bonafide member of a federally recognize tribe ONLY. And if you do chose to give them you must first report this to the department of interior so that the recipient will be able to acquire a legal permit.

                          The laws on this matter are inconvenient but if it is going to protect those grandfathers from greedy poachers who will kill them for the cost of there parts or contest money, I'm all for it.
                          Niin sa, Chi anung

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have my papers, or at least a copy of the originals, with me where ever I go with my feathers. This includes the feathers I have on my rear view mirror, etc.. I have been told that if you don't have the proof of purchase so to speak, your papers, you could loose the feathers until you can show proof. Meaning that the fed.s may do as they please with your feathers until you go and get your papers. JUST put a acopy of your papers with your feathers and travel that way all the time.

                            It is true that now we can't honor just anyone we wish with an Eagle feather. The one we honor MUST be a carded NDN of a Fed Rec tribe. I now know of some Tribes who have lost their Fed Rec and their membership could loose their feathers.
                            BOB

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                            • #15
                              Pretty Sad....

                              I sort of know how Sitting Bull felt when he stated...."I'm the last Indian"

                              Granted there are several answers, but why do we give so much Authority to the federal government? Who gives them the right to create and manipulate law as they see fit? Are they the great justification? Has anyone read 1984 lately?

                              Oh yes there's a flip side to that coin.....

                              Maybe it's a good thing? Maybe "Big Brother" should keep "his children' in check? Just maybe there are too many "unworthy" Eagle Feather carriers out there???

                              Although i'm a member of the "Book Club" I'm entitled to my "book"! Gimme my imaginary rights.....What's next air or water....?
                              "She also has a very soft skin. The only trouble with snake women is they copulate with horses, which makes them strange to me. She say's she doesn't. That's why I call her "Doesn't Like Horses". But, of course, she's lying."

                              Comment

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