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Law
Northern Arapaho Tribe argues for religious rights


The Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming has entered a court case in hopes of clarifying the religious rights of Native Americans.

The tribe filed a friend of the court brief in favor of Winslow Friday, an Arapaho man accused of breaking federal laws by shooting a bald eagle on the reservation without a permit. The tribe argues that Native Americans have a right to use eagles for religious ceremonies.

At a court hearing on Monday, tribal elders said their religious rights are being infringed by federal laws. The Interior Department has a repository that distributes eagle feathers and parts but the process moves very slow and the waiting list is very long.

One man said the government sends rotting carcasses that are unacceptable for ceremonies. "How would you like a rotten bible sent to you?" Nelson White Eagle said, The Casper Star-Tribune reported.

An attorney for the tribe said subjecting the tribe and Native Americans to the system is unfair and offensive. He said the tribe has not applied for a permit to take eagles for those reasons.

Get the Story:
Man didn't apply for permit to kill eagle (The Casper Star-Tribune 5/23)
Tribe backs man accused of illegal eagle shooting (AP 5/23)

Relevant Links:
National Eagle Repository - http://www.r6.fws.gov/law/le65.html
Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act - http://laws.fws.gov/lawsdigest/baldegl.html

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