Posts Tagged ‘Winslow Friday’
A Northern Arapaho man who shot an eagle for use in a sun dance has pleaded guilty in tribal court.
Winslow Friday shot the eagle without a permit, but says the reason justifies his actions, according to this story by the AP’s Ben Neary.
He feels no guilt, Friday has said, “because of what I did with the bird. I participated in our Sun Dance. No, because that made me feel good in my heart.”
Friday was fined $2,500 and had his hunting privileges suspended for a year, Kathy Dresser, a public defender for the Shoshone and Arapaho Tribal Court, tells Neary.
The case drew national attention when U.S. District Judge William Downes in late 2006 dismissed federal charges, saying they represented a “callous indifference” to American Indian religious practices.
Downes referenced the fact that it takes Indian people years to get the necessary permit to shoot an eagle or even to receive eagle carcasses from the National Eagle Repository in Denver that stores the dead birds.
The ruling was later reversed and Friday faced up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine before the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cheyenne agreed this year to transfer the case to tribal court.
Steve Moore, lawyer with the Native American Rights Fund, in Boulder, Colo., says that was appropriate.
“In this modern era of tribal sovereignty, more and more authority for regulating these kinds of activities needs to be turned away from the United States and to tribes,” Moore said.