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Non-recognized tribes excluded from DOJ eagle feather policy





Members of non-federally recognized tribes are worried about a new Department of Justice policy that applies to eagle feathers and eagle parts.

Federal law protects golden and bald eagles, as well as certain migratory birds. The new policy states that members of federally recognized tribes will not be prosecuted for using feathers of parts in connection with cultural and religious practices.

That means members of non-recognized tribes could be arrested for possessing feathers. “If it gets that bad, then I just won’t wear them,” April Locklear, a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and a former Miss Indian World, told McClatchy Newspapers.

Federal wildlife agents have been known to attend powwow and cultural events in order to investigate the trafficking of eagle feathers.

Get the Story:
Waccamaw tribe chief blasts federal rule on ceremonial eagle feathers (The Myrtle Beach Sun 2/19)
Indians say they’ll keep their eagle feathers (McClatchy Newspapers 2/17)

Relevant Documents:
Memorandum: Possession or Use of the Feathers or Other Parts of Federally Protected Birds for Tribal Cultural and Religious Purposes (October 12, 2012)

Related Stories:
Justice Department announces policy on use of eagle feathers (10/12)