Eagle Feather concerns

March 24, 2009
Hello people,
FYI, if any of you have ever found a feather or an eagle…YOU ARE A POACHER too, according to the law.
I too, had mixed feelings about sending an ndn 911 out, but when the eagle raids started spreading BEYOND poachers.  I was kind of shocked and worried that it may go further..all the way to each and every one of you.
Now, I do not defend poachers. I am also a ceremonial and spiritual person. I too respect my feathers and believe they are powerful, more than we can know. However, I also believe this is something, a message to each of us..that because of how we have misused (we means anyone, it is not directed at me or you, just all of us as Indian people for “knowing” that this was occurring and not address it on our own accord), now because we have misused the eagle, and people have openly given or traded to just “anyone” and now people have sold them for personal profit and then, this all created poaching…we as Indian people are being warned that we must pay attention or we may lose our use of eagle feathers as we know it. I know it sounds far fetched but I have a weird feeling about all of this.
Now we all know that we MUST protect the eagle, the eagle protects us, it is OUR responsibility to protect and care for these beings..have we been..NOW don’t just look at you, but have we been making it a point to MAKE one another treat these as SACRED as they should be treated???
Now, I use my fans for many things, not just powwow. I use them because they are spirits, we maintain them, we allow their blessings to carry forth with our use of them..we use them and make them come alive because this is our job..so HAVE WE..ALL OF US AS ONE been being responsible?
I’d say, on a personal note. NO.. feather trading is normal right. Someone offers you plumes for your beadwork..or gives u some center feathers for helping them in times of need..or trades you feathers for money because they are hard up…I have seen this happen. It is almost normal. I do not care if people try to get all “I AM BETTER THAN THOU”..well no we are not individuals on this..we have to address the usage of these feathers as one, we are a people.
I believe that if we cannot show that we do not want poachers to become a frame of reference for Indigenous use of eagle feathers, we must pay mind..I believe that we must also show our responsibility as a nation of Indigenous people and address how some of our peeps have been using these feathers..
now I do not believe trading is all that bad. Honestly, people have traded for ages, we cannot be charged with a federal offense for that.
But you all know, that if we do not define what we deem as unlawful trading or usage..the federal government will give us a definition.
I also believe that this message was not meant to have you take sides, but make you become aware and ponder what is occurring. That is all. Gnite and OOSE, Aho, Thank you.
Willow Jack

March 24, 2009

Hello my people,
I thank this person for using my original post to add some REAL substance. I have been waiting for someone to step forward and speak out, on a personal level. I am equally upset at the implications of the raids. But hey, we as ndn people do need to take care of how we use our feathers. This is a message to us all and also a message that we need address our own usage of the feathers on an indigenous international level. We need to be aware of what is occurring and why it is happening. Do we need to be active in how these raids need will affect our spiritual usage? I think we do because no big time law sweep does not go unaddressed by the eye of the law on a federal level. We have enough policing and paternalism affecting our ways, such as peyote, sun dance, ghost dance and even our own usage of these feathers as a people and also for those of us who dance for the people, our pray for our people.

Thanks oose,
Willow Jack

Message repost from EVA Littlebird:

Aho! My relatives, I am sending this email out to personal frens and family members. You may forward to others in your contacts. All that I am requesting that you delete all addresses before forwarding because some of us feel that the Feds/Others are tracking emails about this subject.

My name is Eva Littlebird, I am of Northern Paiute and the Arapaho Tribes, both Federally recognized tribes. I am a NAC member of local Nevada Chapters, I reside now in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I know some of the individuals that have been raided for feathers and some of these people have basically NARKED. I say narked out other people who make our beautiful prayer fans is that my uncle was among one of those people who have been questioned. Right now, the Feds are targeting NEVADA because one of the Roadman that was recently arrested told agents that most of his feathers (Eagle tails, centers, plumes, Hawk tails) have come out of NEVADA. This individual also informed agents that in certain parts of the west, Native American Church Ceremonies were being held and Roadmen do not have affiliation with NAICA. The reservations that were mentioned were Owyhee, Ft. McDermitt, Schurz, Fallon, Carson City, Nixon, Wadsworth all in Nevada. Fort Hall, Idaho was also mentioned. Relatives, if there are people out of the ordinary looking for meetings or wanting to know information please watch yourselves, out of protection for your entire family members. The Sundances were also mentioned and that Feathers were being traded or sold to certain individuals who also gave agents of names of guys that have given up feathers. Another, suggestion, is to have a church card so that if a NAC meeting is raided on these reservations you may have an easier way out. I say this because my brothers all hold Nevada Charter cards which I found have no validity and are no good if you are stopped by any police officer with your instruments on your person let alone some peyote. Be careful and pass this information to all Roadman who conduct services on these reservations and all fan makers.

March 16, 2009

Hello everyone,
I have been following this since some friends of mine were raided last week. It has been part of an ongoing investigation for two years and anyone, ANYONE who does feather work is being targeted. Other targets are those who trade or give feathers to any of these feather-workers. From what I have noticed, the main targets have been N.A.C. peeps. Now the Eagle Act says bartering of feathers is illegal, so NO-ONE TRADE any feathers. The FEDS are really watching. Don’t even openly give away any feathers.

I think those who have been involved need to contact the Native American Rights Fund. This is a form of “policing” how we handle our own sacred items. Now, I am not overlooking the fact that there were some feathers poached by individuals but many of the people targeted don’t even kill eagles, they trade.
Whoever ‘s feathers were with them people caught at the time, HAVE LOST their feathers!!!
Now if the FEDS want us to be required to carry documents, what is happening to our religious freedom and our sovereignty? What is next, peyote? More loss of sacred sites and sacred practices? I really think we should pay mind to things like this because, as one friend said “YOU WOULD NEVER SEE THEM CONFISCATING CROSSES OUT OF A CHURCH”.

So if you know of anyone involved, take a stand and perhaps file a class action lawsuit or gather leaders to advocate for their people. We cannot act like this is nothing because the decisions made by the FEDS affect each and every one of us.

THANK god I have papers for my feathers and fans, they all came from the National Eagle Repository, But what about our old old feathers? I know my fam carries a warbonnet from a battle in 1867. How do we protect feathers given to us by our elders or feathers we have gotten from family members who have passed? We don’t bury those things, they are sacred and must live on to carry them prayers out.

Anyway, sorry for the rant but so far the case has been building for two years, the FEDS have pics of powwow peeps and N.A.C. peeps. They have someone on their side who knows people and they are keeping tabs through snowballing.
They even have pics of peeps at Denver March last year!
IF YOU KNOW of anyone who has been raided, make sure they take names of officers, ask for a list of items taken and be as careful as they can. I suggest a class action law suit and I suggest action be taken by our tribal leaders. Do not allow the FEDS to tell us how to be, we know how to be and do not need more paternalism than we have as Indigenous people.

Willow Jack

Native American Rights Fund
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Boulder, CO 80302
Phone: (303) 447-8760
Fax: (303) 443-7776

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Phone: (303) 447-8760
Fax: (303) 443-7776


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