May 03, 2012

Eagle killing divides tribes

Killing of bald eagles divides Native American tribes

By Laura ZuckermanA plan by a Native American tribe to kill two bald eagles for use in a religious rite has drawn the ire of a fellow tribe, which says it doesn't want any eagles sacrificed on the Wyoming reservation they share.

An attorney for the Eastern Shoshone tribe told Reuters on Thursday that killing bald eagles on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming would violate its religious beliefs, threaten tribal sovereignty and was "unacceptable."

"To the Eastern Shoshone, the eagle is our messenger to the creator. There's a very spiritual relationship between eagles and the creator, and to harm eagles in any way is unacceptable," the tribe's attorney general, Kimberly Varilek, told Reuters.

The other tribe, the Northern Arapaho, hopes to capture the eagles on the 2.2 million-acre reservation rather than on public lands elsewhere in Wyoming as spelled out in a federal permit.

The fact that two tribes do not share the same beliefs about the handling of a bird sacred to both speaks to the complexity of two sovereign nations inhabiting a single reservation.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Fox News Protests Eagle Killings.

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