Laramie, WY – The future of a Northern Arapaho man who shot a bald eagle for use in his tribe's Sun Dance two years ago now rides on the eventual decision of a federal appeals court.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver heard arguments today (Monday) over whether to reinstate a criminal charge against 23-year-old Winslow Friday, of Ethete, Wyoming.
Friday acknowledges that he killed an eagle with a rifle on the Wind River Reservation in central Wyoming, home to both the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes.
A federal judge in Wyoming dismissed the charge against Friday last year, saying that the federal government has shown callous indifference to American Indian religious practices.
A lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice asked the appeals court to reinstate the charge against Friday.
The federal lawyer says Friday lacks standing to argue about the permitting process because he never applied for a permit before killing the eagle.
Friday says he didn't know about the federal permit system.