Corrections officials are refusing to allow Andrew John Yellowbear, a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, to possess bald eagle feathers - the single most sacred religious symbol to the tribe and most American Indians.  

"The feathers are used to communicate prayers to the Creator and to receive answers to prayers. Denying Mr. Yellowbear these highly spiritual feathers is akin to denying Catholics access to a rosary or crucifix," said Stephen Pevar, attorney with the ACLU.

Current policy permits American Indian prisoners to possess three feathers, but the prison administration has singled out Yellowbear and allowed him to have only one feather. That feather was confiscated after Yellowbear filed a lawsuit challenging the prison's policy and asking that he be allowed to possess 10 feathers – the maximum number of loose feathers the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife will provide under federal regulations.  

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540 hits Rate me! Share Favorite | Flag 13 years ago by KikiPeepers

Should this imprisoned Native American be allowed to have the bald eagle feathers that are important to his religion?
Corrections officials are refusing to allow Andrew John Yellowbear, a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, to possess bald eagle feathers - the single most sacred religious symbol to the tribe and most American Indians.

"The feathers are used to communicate prayers to the Creator and to receive answers to prayers. Denying Mr. Yellowbear these highly spiritual feathers is akin to denying Catholics access to a rosary or crucifix," said Stephen Pevar, attorney with the ACLU.

Current policy permits American Indian prisoners to possess three feathers, but the prison administration has singled out Yellowbear and allowed him to have only one feather. That feather was confiscated after Yellowbear filed a lawsuit challenging the prison's policy and asking that he be allowed to possess 10 feathers – the maximum number of loose feathers the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife will provide under federal regulations.

http://www.aclu.org/religion/discri...


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13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Wednesday 7/23/08 - 7:34:41 PM EST (GMT-5)
Geez give him the feathers already and tell him to stop whining. If he's praying to his All Powerful God I don't think God is going to be dissappointed since he's stuck in Jail.
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Wednesday 7/23/08 - 7:37:35 PM EST (GMT-5)
Sure. They're no longer endangered, right? Kill a couple and he's set.
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Wednesday 7/23/08 - 8:13:17 PM EST (GMT-5)
I think they're still illegal to kill since they're the national bird
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Wednesday 7/23/08 - 8:18:51 PM EST (GMT-5)
I was just kidding anyway. I don't believe in killing animals for such purposes. Now, if he was going to eat it as well... I wonder what bald eagle tastes like.
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Wednesday 7/23/08 - 8:21:21 PM EST (GMT-5)
Just give him the feathers? What's he going to do? Fly out of prison?
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Wednesday 7/23/08 - 9:16:41 PM EST (GMT-5)
you dont have to kill the eagle to get its feathers bcuz dont birds molt
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Wednesday 7/23/08 - 9:18:40 PM EST (GMT-5)
Hes not hurting anyone.. And if he didnt kill the bird for them i dont see why he cant have them.. Their just feathers...
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Wednesday 7/23/08 - 9:46:05 PM EST (GMT-5)
yes, as long as he didn't have to kill the eagle to get the feathers.
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Thursday 7/24/08 - 2:16:47 AM EST (GMT-5)
why shouldnt they. I thought US respects all beliefs and religions and treats them equally.. or so the claim. Doesnt look like the feathers can cause any threat to anyone or help him escape in anyway :) Unless he is a genius ofcourse!
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Thursday 7/24/08 - 3:54:53 AM EST (GMT-5)
hes not killing the birds, hes praying over their feathers, I see no harm in it
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Thursday 7/24/08 - 11:41:58 AM EST (GMT-5)
i dont care about the freakin feathers off of a bird. sure, its endangered but a few piddly little feathers isnt going to kill anything
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Thursday 7/24/08 - 11:50:47 AM EST (GMT-5)
I'd like to hear the other side of the story...
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Thursday 7/24/08 - 11:01:22 PM EST (GMT-5)
native americans were here first, i think we should let them do what they chose to with the national bird.
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Thursday 7/24/08 - 11:04:05 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Thursday 7/24/08 - 11:01:22 PM kappi_8 wrote:
native americans were here first, i think we should let them do what they chose to with the national bird.

Why? They didn't start the nation.
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Thursday 7/24/08 - 11:20:14 PM EST (GMT-5)
they were a different society, it was organized to benefit their needs... because caucasion people come and start a "nation" it has presidence over the former residents culture???
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Thursday 7/24/08 - 11:25:50 PM EST (GMT-5)
No. But it's the national bird of a nation that they didn't start, so your logic doesn't fly.

Anyway, just because they were here first doesn't mean that they automatically get precedence either.
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Friday 7/25/08 - 2:44:01 PM EST (GMT-5)
um actually my logic "flys" perfectly, if I decided to go start my own damn nation in africa and overthrew a government and then preceded to make my national bird a bird that they use for important religious purposes or food, i thik it would be reasonable to give them the right to continue using the bird as they had been before I came and wiped out half of their villages and raped their women... even if i take away the right from anyone else who decides to imigrate to my new nation.
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Friday 7/25/08 - 4:36:04 PM EST (GMT-5)
Why deny him the feathers? What's the point in it?

So much for religious tolerance.
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Friday 7/25/08 - 4:37:17 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Friday 7/25/08 - 4:36:04 PM Koto wrote:
Why deny him the feathers? What's the point in it?


That's why I suspect that there has to be more to the story...
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Friday 7/25/08 - 4:37:32 PM EST (GMT-5)
Meh, let him have the feathers. Unless he's making weapons out of them.
13 yrs ago, 10 mos ago - Friday 7/25/08 - 9:15:13 PM EST (GMT-5)
give the guyy his feathers. unless a bird is killed for them then i dont see the problem. unless he is using the feathers to make a shankk or something.



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