Editorial: National Eagle Repository moves slow

"Eagles play an important role in the religious lives of American Indians, yet a web of federal laws and bureaucracy greatly complicates the relationship.

Steps should be taken to streamline the process.

In tribal beliefs, the eagle is viewed as a relative, a link to ancestors and to the Creator.

At the National Eagle Repository, headquartered in Denver, deceased bald and golden eagles recovered by federal officials from the wild, zoos or rehabilitation centers are kept in a pair of freezers to be processed for shipment to American Indians to be used in religious ceremonies.

The repository was created under the Bald and Gold Eagle Protection Act of 1940 and it has been based in Denver since 1995.

The process is a slow one. Some American Indians wait years for eagle parts, such as the fan of tail feathers, talons, or the full bird, according to The Post's Electa Draper.

But because federal law prohibits Indians — or anyone — from collecting dead eagles they come across, they are required to endure the federal process."

Get the Story:
Indians' wait for eagles is too long (The Denver Post 9/5)

Related Stories:
National Eagle Repository has 6,000 requests to fill (9/1)

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