CNN reports that the U.S. Justice Department announced a new policy on Friday to allow tribes to "possess, use, wear or carry" federally protected birds or bird feathers. However, they can not buy or sell the feathers or other bird parts.
Justice is trying to strike a balance between the use of bald eagle feathers by Native American tribes and federal protection of the nation's symbolic bird.
Eagle feathers are of great religious and cultural significance to many tribes. The bald eagle has been the national symbol since 1782.
"The Department of Justice is committed to striking the right balance in enforcing our nation's wildlife laws by respecting the cultural and religious practices of federally recognized Indian tribes," said Attorney General Eric Holder in announcing the policy.
Read more. http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/12/new-u-s-policy-seeks-to-end-legal-battle-over-eagle-feathers/?hpt=hp_t3