Native Americans can now possess, trade and wear eagle feathers - a federal crime under the Migratory Bird Act and other legislation - without prosecution. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the new policy is an attempt to balance recognized Native American tribes' sovereignty with the wildlife laws that protect these powerful raptors, and leaders from a number of tribes were consulted when the policy was being developed.
While this new policy will permit greater use of the feathers for religious and ceremonial purposes without the need to go through federal feather repositories, disturbing nests or harming the birds is still a crime, and selling the feathers is not permitted.
Do you agree with this new policy? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Photo © Liam Quinn