Posts Tagged ‘billings gazette’

“…They are critical and essential to our survival.”

But the wait is long for Natives seeking bald and golden eagle feathers.

There’s only one way to get them, through the National Eagle Repository.

An eagle carcass is processed at the National Eagle Repository in Denver. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)


Billings Gazette reporter Lorna Thackeray describes the process and the frustrations faced by many in her story on the long waits for eagle feathers.

    The repository, part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, receives about 2,400 eagle carcasses a year, said Dennis Wiist, a wildlife specialist there.

    The list of American Indians waiting for an eagle is twice that long.

    Eagles can’t be killed legally and their parts can’t be sold, transported, traded, imported or exported. Even possession of post-Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act eagle parts requires a permit. Eagle parts can be handed down through families or given to other Native Americans for religious purposes. They can’t be given to a non-Indian.

    “It’s an awkward situation,” said Conrad Fisher, historic preservation officer for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. “Eagle feathers have been used for thousands of years by Native Americans. They probably go back to the genesis.

    . . .

    The wait depends on whether the applicant wants a whole eagle, feathers or other parts, Wiist said. Those seeking miscellaneous feathers usually get them within three months, he said. Those seeking a higher quality of loose feathers may have to wait six months.

In other eagle news, here’s an NPR story from the Wind River Reservation, where the tribe was approved to hunt two bald eagles.

Jenna Cederberg

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Carlson “Duke” Goes Ahead is sworn in by Chief Judge Julie Yarlott as newly elected members of the Crow Legislature, friends and family gather at the Apsaalooke Center for the inauguration on Monday. (LARRY MAYER/Gazette Staff )


It’s been a full decade since the Crow people ratified their constitution for the Crow Indian Reservation.

On Monday, as the Billings Gazette reports, the tenth set of legislators were sworn in there to the sounds of a Crow warrior song.

    Master of ceremonies Robert “Corky” Old Horn told the audience that in the time before the Crow people lived on the reservation, Crow warriors would sing a similar song when they returned from battle against other tribes.

    “These were the songs that were sung by the warriors when they would come home victorious,” he said. “And it’s very appropriate to sing such a song to honor our senators that have been re-elected and a new elected senator, along with our veterans who are among the audience here.”

Veteran legislator Carlson “Duke” Goes Ahead gave the keynote speech.

    “We collectively represent all the Crow people,” he said. “And whatever legislation we pass affects all of us in one way or another. And so there’s a lot of thought and intent that goes into drafting these laws.

    Legislators learn from each other and they learn from their mistakes, Goes Ahead said. The Bible talks about a righteous man falling and getting back up, he told his audience.

    “God created us to stand up and move forward,” he said, adding that the Crow people need God to move forward.

Click here to see a photo gallery from the event by Gazette photographer Larry Mayer.

Jenna Cederberg

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Kirstyn Enemy Hunter, 9, rides her bike in the floodwater in Lodge Grass on Tuesday. At that time, the water had started to recede. (DAVID GRUBBS/Gazette Staff)


As Lodge Grass, a small town on the Crow Agency in eastern Montana, slowly recovers from a flood that washed through there this week, plans are coming together in Washington, D.C., to give tribes better access to disaster funds.

The Billings Gazette continued its coverage of the Lodge Grass floods. Today, the Gazette reports the slow cleanup begins.

    By Tuesday morning, a restoration crew had pumped an estimated 212,000 gallons of water from the basement of the Little Horn IGA here, but the ground was so saturated that more kept seeping in.

    “It was a nasty mess in there,” store co-owner Doug McCormick said. “All the floors were just covered in mud.”

Rob Capriccioso, of ICTMN, reports from Washington:

    On May 24, (Nick J.) Rahall, (D-WV) introduced legislation that he said “reinforces Indian tribe sovereignty during major disasters and emergency situations.” The bi-partisan bill would amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to authorize tribes to directly request the President of the United States to release federal resources.

    . . .

    Tribal officials noted to Rahall that under current law, tribes that face a disaster or emergency situation must rely upon a state governor to ask the president for an emergency declaration, which in turn triggers federal resources. This process is harmful to tribal sovereignty, according to Indian leaders who say that as sovereign nations, tribes should be able to have a direct relationship with the federal government in emergency situations.

Jenna Cederberg

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Dr. Janine Pease has been appointed head of the Crow Tribe's Department of Education. (BOB ZELLAR/Gazette Staff )

By SUSAN OLP, Of The Billings Gazette

Crow tribal chairman Cedric Black Eagle has appointed Dr. Janine Pease to head the tribe’s Education Department.

The Crow Legislature unanimously confirmed the cabinet-level appointment at a special session on Feb. 23.

In announcing Pease’s appointment, Black Eagle cited her extensive experience in education.

“Education for all the Crow people at all levels is a highest priority for our Crow national development,” he said. “Dr. Pease brings specific knowledge and experience of adult, vocational and college services, special programs for school-aged children, tribal language initiatives and workforce development training.”

Pease, a member of the Crow Tribe, will oversee a staff of eight. She holds both a master’s and a doctorate degree in adult and higher education from Montana State University.

Most recently, Pease was vice president for academic and vocational programs at Fort Peck Community College in Poplar for 2-½ years.
Before that, she was vice president for Indian Affairs and Planning and Rocky Mountain College for nearly five years. She also served on the Governor’s Kindergarten to College Task Group from 2006 to 2010 and on the Montana Board of Regents from 2006 until Feb. 1 of this year, when her term expired.

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