National Eagle Repository has 6,000 requests to fill

The National Eagle Repository in Colorado has its hands full with about 6,000 requests for eagle feathers, eagle parts and whole eagles.

Orders are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Workers at the center make 100 to 150 shipments of loose feathers a week and about 30 whole eagles a week.

"Some just want the tails. Some just want the wings. A lot of people are holding out for the perfect whole bird. Perfect is hard to come by," supervisor Bernadette Atencio told The Denver Post.

The wait for loose feathers is about six months. The wait for a whole bird can be up to four years.

"There is a lot of red tape for Native Americans to practice their religion using eagles. It is a very big hindrance," Myron Pourier, a cultural-affairs official for the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, told the paper.

Getting a permit to possess eagle parts takes time too. The wait can be months or years.

"Everyone in Indian Country agrees the whole process needs to be streamlined," said Don Ragona of the Native American Rights Fund. "It's an outrageously long wait."

Get the Story:
Eagle bodies, parts for Indian rites are collected, sent from Colo. morgue (The Denver Post 9/1)

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