indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Dynamic Homes
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Non-recognized tribe in Texas hails ruling in eagle feather case

Filed Under: Environment | Law | National | Recognition
More on: 10th circuit, 5th circuit, 9th circuit, apache, doi, eagles, religion, texas
   


Members and representatives of the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas attended the Apache Alliance Summit in Arizona in June. Photo from Facebook

The non-federally recognized Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas is welcoming an appeals court decision that clears the way for its members to possess eagle feathers.

In a unanimous decision, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals said the Interior Department failed to explain why Indians who are members of non-recognized tribes can't possess eagle feathers as part of their religious practices. The ruling will help Robert Soto, the tribe's vice chairman, secure the return of eagle feathers that were seized during a powwow on March 11, 2006.

"It’s been a long hard fought battle that we just had to win,” Soto said in a press release. “Our backs were against the wall so we had to say the Lipans are still very much here and will still defend their way of life.”

The ruling said there was no doubt that Soto is an "Indian" even though is tribe isn't on the list of federally recognized entities. Denying him eagle feathers might violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act but the 5th Circuit left that to a lower court to consider in further proceedings.

"The burden on the department is a high one: they must demonstrate that 'no alternative forms of regulation' would maintain this relationship without infringing upon the rights of others," the 5th Circuit stated. "At this stage, the department has not shown that this regulation is the least restrictive means of furthering its compelling interests."

Although the case isn't over yet, the Lipan Apaches appear close to victory. In August 2001, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a member of a non-recognized Apache tribe in New Mexico could possess eagle feathers.

Non-Indians, on the other hand, have not been so successful. In July 2008, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to rehear a case involving two men who said their religious rights were violated when their eagle feathers were confiscated.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the 5th Circuit case, McAllen Grace Brethren Church v. Interior.

5th Circuit Decision:
McAllen Grace Brethren Church v. Salazar (August 20, 2014)

9th Circuit Decision:
US v. Vasquez-Ramos (June 27, 2008)

10th Circuit Decision:
Saenz v. Interior (August 8, 2001)

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:
Opinion: DOJ should make changes to policy on eagle feathers (07/15)
Non-recognized tribes excluded from DOJ eagle feather policy (2/20)
Justice Department announces policy on use of eagle feathers (10/12)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Tribe threw away late veteran's memorabilia (10/31)
Mark Trahant: The Native vote could decide the 2014 election (10/31)
Richard Peterson: Sen. Begich supports Alaska Native issues (10/31)
NCAI investigates conduct of treasurer at annual convention (10/31)
Red Lake News: Tribe welcomes Sen. Tester and Sen. Franken (10/31)
Former chairman of Chippewa Cree Tribe faces more charges (10/31)
Texas couple accused of selling fake tribal membership cards (10/31)
Moapa Band loses bid for $438M solar facility on reservation (10/31)
Passamaquoddy Tribe won't talk with tidal power developers (10/31)
Oregon tribe anticipates May 2015 opening for Class II casino (10/31)
Trial opens in case connected to Choctaw Nation casino work (10/31)
Editorial: Off-reservation gaming project unfair to other tribes (10/31)
Opinion: Menominee Nation exploits loophole to pursue casino (10/31)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux officer rejoins Rapid City police (10/30)
Mark Trahant: Native voters must be prepared on election day (10/30)
Kevin Gover: Mascot fight exposes myths about Native people (10/30)
Northern Arapaho Tribe: Newspaper got it wrong on joint council (10/30)
Peter d'Errico: Kevin Washburn honored by Indian law students (10/30)
Chris Deschene still urging Navajo Nation voters to choose him (10/30)
Tribes in North Carolina back Democrat Sen. Hagan in tight race (10/30)
NWPR: Tribes take steps to control growing herds of wild horses (10/30)
Opinion: Helping the Tongva people revive their own language (10/30)
Judge grants injunction to keep Chukchansi Tribe casino closed (10/30)
Tribes in South Dakota would benefit from gaming referendum (10/30)
Employee at Puyallup Tribe's casino gets wedding ring returned (10/30)
Editorial: Keep tribal casinos in California on existing Indian land (10/30)
Column: Menominee Nation off-reservation casino goes ignored (10/30)
Quapaw Tribe faces competition for Kansas commercial casino (10/30)
Native Sun News: Montana tribe sees cut in heating assistance (10/29)
Mark Trahant: Alaska Senate race is a real test of Native policy (10/29)
Winona LaDuke: Taking treaty advice from indigenous nations (10/29)
Vena A-Dae Romero: FDA failing to consult tribal governments (10/29)
Zachary Pullin: Native Americans overcame barriers to voting (10/29)
Navajo Nation president vetoes bill to address language issue (10/29)
Prairie Island Indian Community sues over nuclear waste rule (10/29)
County's letter on CSKT water compact talks stirs controversy (10/29)
Vice: Hip-hop artist Drezus on new journey after jail sentence (10/29)
Opinion: Overcoming stereotypes of Native American culture (10/29)
Charges sought in dispute at Chukchansi Tribe's closed casino (10/29)
Pechanga Band chair featured in ads against North Fork casino (10/29)
Grand Ronde Tribes continue fight against Cowlitz Tribe casino (10/29)
Puyallup Tribe offers reward for return of casino worker's ring (10/29)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.