indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Health Coverage for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Lakota Country Times: New Oglala Sioux leader encourages youth (1/20)
Native Sun News Today: A new leader for Great Plains tribal group (1/20)
Native Sun News Today Editorial: It's a new era for Indian Country (1/20)
Mark Charles: Decoding Trump's bid to 'Make America Great Again' (1/19)
Lakota Country Times: Another year of big news in Lakota territory (1/19)
Native Sun News Today: DefundDAPL billboard goes up in New York (1/19)
Vi Waln: Let's kick our smoking and tobacco habit in Indian Country (1/19)
Terese Mailhot: Native women care what happens to all our sisters (1/19)
Leonard Peltier remains behind bars as Obama rejects clemency (1/19)
Department of the Army takes the lead on Dakota Access Pipeline (1/18)
Dakota Access executive confirms crude already placed in pipeline (1/18)
Bureau of Indian Affairs releases annual listing of recognized tribes (1/18)
Lakota Country Times: Rosebud Sioux Tribe opens homeless shelter (1/18)
Native Sun News Today: Northern Cheyenne focuses on foster care (1/18)
Brandon Ecoffey: Be safe and be prepared as winter hits the plains (1/18)
Disenrollment epidemic affects dozens of tribes across the nation (1/18)
New battle opens as Dakota Access disputes environmental review (1/17)
Judge declines to block publication of Dakota Access Pipeline notice (1/17)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe responds quickly to Dakota Access threat (1/17)
President Obama names first members of Native youth commission (1/17)
Tim Giago: Discovering a love for food at an Indian boarding school (1/17)
Lakota Country Times: Historic decision for Indian Child Welfare Act (1/17)
Native Sun News Today: Pine Ridge teams fight it out at the buzzer (1/17)
Delphine Red Shirt: Tournament is a testament to our Native youth (1/17)
Native Sun News Today Editorial: News for ranchers in the new year (1/17)
Gyasi Ross: Let's divest from DAPL and support Native owned banks (1/17)
Jeffrey Ostler/Nick Estes: Treaties and the Dakota Access Pipeline (1/17)
Mary Annette Pember: Bad River Band takes stand on oil pipeline (1/17)
Steve Russell: Resolutions for tribal leaders and even the Donald (1/17)
Craig Tribal Association celebrates 'historic' trust land acquisition (1/16)
Mark Trahant: Congress moves forward with repeal of Obamacare (1/16)
Native Sun News Today: Northern Cheyenne banker beats the odds (1/16)
James Giago Davies: The real power to defeat the Wasicu pipeline (1/16)
Tiffany Midge: Hollywood needs to stop stereotyping Native people (1/16)
Peter d'Errico: New book connects Native America with Palestine (1/16)
Alaska tribe makes history with approval of trust land application (1/13)
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.