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Tribe: Bald eagle permit a victory for tradition

Wyoming tribe says first bald eagle kill permit is a victory for American Indian sovereignty By The Associated Press

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) ' Members of a Wyoming American Indian tribe that recently received a federal permit allowing the killing of bald eagles for religious purposes say it's a victory for Indian sovereignty.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service earlier this month granted a permit to the Northern Arapaho Tribe allowing it either to kill or capture and release two wild bald eagles this year.

Harvey Spoonhunter is a tribal elder and former chairman of the Northern Arapahoe Business Council. He says the Northern Arapaho have always used eagles respectfully in their ceremonies.

Spokesmen for some conservation and animal rights groups question why the tribe can't meet its religious needs without killing wild eagles. They say the tribe could raise captive birds, or accept dead eagles and feathers from a federal repository.

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