Tuesday, May 1, 2012
In the March 28, 2012 edition of The Independent, Dan Brown’s story featured the sad demise of a magnificent bald eagle. The article stated that James Elliott of Birds of Prey was notified, in hopes of the animal being saved. However, once it was apparent that the eagle was dead, I did not see where anyone contacted the Catawba Indian Nation (the only federally recognized tribe in South Carolina), or the Santee, Waccamaw, Chicora or Edisto Tribes, just to name a few. Not only are the eagle feathers used in headdresses, but they are also used in spiritual and religious ceremonies, and are treated with the utmost care and respect. While attending the 90th Annual Mashpee Wampanoag Powwow last year, I witnessed the reverence bestowed to this majestic bird and its plumage. In the middle of a dance competition, an eagle feather fluttered to the ground from a headpiece. All action stopped immediately and a sacred ceremony was performed. In light of recent news where a tribe asked permission to kill two bald eagles, I was wondering if Birds of Prey and other such organizations notify the nearest North American Tribe when they are called to the site of a fallen eagle.
T. Douglas Summerville