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 -
Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act -

Related Stories:
Federal agent goes undercover at powwow in Texas (03/31)
Eagle feather headdress turned over for investigation (03/02)
Bald eagle faces removal from endangered species list (02/14)
Eagle feather repository has just five employees (12/09)
Iowa Tribe receives $250K grant for eagle center (09/16)
Non-Indian eagle feather case returns to federal court (07/19)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe seeks probe into feather use (08/02)
DOI to pay Apache man $50K for seized feathers (04/12)
Eagle feather ruling leaves open questions (08/06)
Appeals court upholds eagle protection laws (1/17)
Man denies crime for selling artifacts (11/16)
Indian man convicted of eagle violations (10/29)
Court to rehear eagle protection cases (8/9)
Minn. man sentenced for eagle violation (5/31)
Man pleads guilty to selling artifacts (11/2)
Undercover sting nets sacred artifacts (10/02)
Govt works to protect artifacts (6/29)
Yahoo! removes auction (6/22)
Culture for Sale: Sitting Bull (6/20)
Culture for Sale: eBay (5/23)