[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 85 (Wednesday, May 4, 1994)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 22953-22954]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-10885]

[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: May 4, 1994]

                Editorial note: For the President's remarks to American 
                Indian and Native Alaska tribal leaders, see the Weekly 
                Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 30, issue 

                        Presidential Documents 

                Memorandum of April 29, 1994


Policy Concerning Distribution of Eagle Feathers 
                for Native American Religious Purposes

                Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and 

                Eagle feathers hold a sacred place in Native American 
                culture and religious practices. Because of the 
                feathers' significance to Native American heritage and 
                consistent with due respect for the government-to-
                government relationship between the Federal and Native 
                American tribal governments, this Administration has 
                undertaken policy and procedural changes to facilitate 
                the collection and distribution of scarce eagle bodies 
                and parts for this purpose. This memorandum affirms and 
                formalizes executive branch policy to ensure that 
                progress begun on this important matter continues 
                across the executive branch.

                Today, as part of an historic meeting with all 
                federally recognized tribal governments, I am directing 
                executive departments and agencies (hereafter 
                collectively ``agency'' or ``agencies'') to work 
                cooperatively with tribal governments and to reexamine 
                broadly their practices and procedures to seek 
                opportunities to accommodate Native American religious 
                practices to the fullest extent under the law.

                As part of these efforts, agencies shall take steps to 
                improve their collection and transfer of eagle 
                carcasses and eagle body parts (``eagles'') for Native 
                American religious purposes. The success of this 
                initiative requires the participation, and is therefore 
                the responsibility, of all Federal land managing 
                agencies, not just those within the Department of the 
                Interior. I therefore direct each agency responsible 
                for managing Federal lands to diligently and 
                expeditiously recover salvageable eagles found on lands 
                under their jurisdiction and ensure that the eagles are 
                promptly shipped to the National Eagle Repository 
                (``Repository''). To assist agencies in this expanded 
                effort, the Secretary of the Interior shall issue 
                guidelines to all relevant agencies for the proper 
                shipment of eagles to the Repository. After receiving 
                these guidelines, agencies shall immediately adopt 
                policies, practices, and procedures necessary in 
                accordance with these guidelines to recover and 
                transfer eagles to the Repository promptly.

                I support and encourage the initial steps taken by the 
                Department of the Interior to improve the distribution 
                of eagles for Native American religious purposes. In 
                particular, the Department of the Interior shall 
                continue to adopt policies and procedures and take 
                those actions necessary to:

                    (a) ensure the priority of distribution of eagles, 
                upon permit application, first for traditional Native 
                American religious purposes, to the extent permitted by 
                law, and then to other uses;
                    (b) simplify the eagle permit application process 
                quickly and to the greatest extent possible to help 
                achieve the objectives of this memorandum;
                    (c) minimize the delay and ensure respect and 
                dignity in the process of distributing eagles for 
                Native American religious purposes to the greatest 
                extent possible;
                    (d) expand efforts to involve Native American 
                tribes, organizations, and individuals in the 
                distribution process, both at the Repository and on 
                tribal lands, consistent with applicable laws;
                    (e) review means to ensure that adequate 
                refrigerated storage space is available to process the 
                eagles; and
                    (f) continue efforts to improve the Repository's 
                ability to facilitate the objectives of this 

                The Department of the Interior shall be responsible for 
                coordinating any interagency efforts to address 
                continuing executive branch actions necessary to 
                achieve the objectives of this memorandum.

                We must continue to be committed to greater 
                intergovernmental communication and cooperation. In 
                addition to working more closely with tribal 
                governments, we must enlist the assistance of, and 
                cooperate with, State and local governments to achieve 
                the objectives of this memorandum. I therefore request 
                that the Department of the Interior work with State 
                fish and game agencies and other relevant State and 
                local authorities to facilitate the objectives of this 

                With commitment and cooperation by all of the agencies 
                in the executive branch and with tribal governments, I 
                am confident that we will be able to accomplish 
                meaningful progress in the distribution of eagles for 
                Native American religious purposes.

                The Director of the Office of Management and Budget is 
                authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in 
                the Federal Register.

                    (Presidential Sig.)>

                THE WHITE HOUSE,

                    Washington, April 29, 1994.

[FR Doc. 94-10885
Filed 5-2-94; 4:17 pm]
Billing code 3110-01-M