On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a permit to the Northern Arapaho Tribe that will allow them to kill up to two bald eagles. The permit, issued for religious purposes, is the first of its kind.
Last year, the Arapaho filed a lawsuit that stemmed from a legal battle after tribal member Winslow Friday was prosecuted in 2005 for killing a bald eagle for the tribe’s Sun Dance. The lawsuit filed against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stated the agency’s refusal to allow them to kill a bald eagle was a violation of the tribe’s religious freedom.
While all American Indians are eligible to apply to get eagle feathers or carcases from a federal repository for use in their ceremonies, one tribe member stated at a court hearing in 2007 that the birds that the American Indians have been getting from the repositories were rotten.
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