Indigenous Freedom NOW sign now

The Hinhan Owl Feathers have been utilized for celebration and spiritual purposes by Indigenous Red Indian Nations and Peoples for millions of years. The old Lakota dance bustles are a mixture of many different feathers including the Owl. They are wakan (mysterious/sacred) just as the Eagle Feather.

In the last couple hundred years, boarding school christian teachings have contaminated Indigenous thought process by instilling a misbelief that the Owl is bad luck or a bad sign. However, this religious fervor is false. The Owl People are good. They are a messenger to whoever sees or hears one; or who is fortunate enough to find a feather or an old Owl that has passed into the spirit world and fallen to the ground.

Recently, a full blooded Indigenous man, Mr. Matthew Cordes, originally from "Canada" but now a "u.s. citizen" (of Dakota and Ojibwe heritage) was fortunate to find a full Grey Horned Owl lying dead after being struck by an Americans car on the side of the road in Knox County Indiana last July of 2004. He considered this a blessing. To his family of the Dakota, the owl is a symbol of something out of the ordinary; possibly a visitor not seen for many years, an unexpected trip, or even a loved one making that circle of life completion journey to the world of our ancestors. The owl spirit is a known to Mr. Cordes as a night watcher who protects and watches over the family during the nighttime sleeping hours.

On September 2, 2004, Mr. Cordes got a phone call from a USFWS agent named Paul Baringer. He told Mr. Cordes that USFWS had to check out his status and verify the details of who he was, where he was born, what his tribal affiliation was, and what his reasons for wanting the owl were - he saw no reason why Mr. Cordes would be denied a permit. On December 1, 2004, Mr. Cordes got a FedEx package from USFWS. He thought he had finally gotten his permit - only to open it up and find a citation in the amount of $1000.00 for illegal possession of an Owl!

Mr. Cordes subsequent court date of January 20, 2005, at the Crane Naval Base in Crane, Indiana, was not needed as his case was dismissed (without prejudice but with prejudice) but they denied him his Owl that he found on his land on his Grand Mother Earth! The Owl currently sits as hostage prisoner in at the repository it is believed in Colorado and rallies to Free The Cordes Owl may need to be scheduled to bring awareness to the American people of this nazi-esque treatment of Indigenous peoples.

This lack of religious freedom cannot be allowed to go unchecked by the good people of Great Turtle Island (misnomer western hemisphere). Mr. Cordes also discovered that USFWS officials are currently ignoring Pow-wows and dance regalia and not charging Indians for possession of sacred, ancient items they have used forever. They seem to be waiting for the day when they can next start arresting Indians at Pow-wows for dancing.

Please notify your tribal councils, city councils, state and federal legislators, and force them to pass resolutions supporting Mr. Cordes and his spiritual freedom. Write your area politicians and raise heck with them about this issue (ask them to write a bill for you see if they really like Indians or not). A full-blooded Indian or an Indigenous person with one drop of Indigenous blood - not being allowed to possess feathers is a travesty.

We support the efforts of Mr. Cordes and his family and our hearts go out to the trauma set against them by an evil, thoughtless system.

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Coleen MaloneBy:
City LifeIn:
Petition target:
u.s. congress

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