Possession or Use of the Feathers or Other Parts of Federally Protected Birds for Tribal Cultural and Religious Purposes   [open pdf - 238KB]

"This memorandum formalizes and memorializes the longstanding policy and practice of the Department of Justice regarding the possession or use of federally protected birds, bird feathers, or other bird parts for the cultural and religious purposes of federally recognized Indian tribes. This memorandum also provides background and guidance regarding this policy. The Department of Justice recognizes that many Indian tribes and tribal members use, and traditionally have used, federally protected birds, bird feathers, or other bird parts for their tribal cultural and religious expression. Indeed, the eagle plays a unique and important role in the religious and cultural life of many Indian tribes. And in light of the important government- to-government relationship that the United States has with federally recognized tribes, the United States has a strong interest in accommodating the interests of these tribes by protecting the ability of their members to meaningfully practice their religions and preserve their cultures. In addition, accommodating these tribal interests is integral to the federal commitment to foster tribal self- determination and self-governance."

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U.S. Department of Justice: http://www.justice.gov/
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