Tribes Fight Grizzly De-Listing
Written by Andrew-Rossi on July 10, 2017
Native American tribes from seven states and Canada say the U.S. government’s recent decision to lift protections for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area violates their religious freedom.
The plaintiffs argue that trophy hunting for grizzly bears goes against their spiritual beliefs. A lawsuit filed June 30 asks a federal judge to rule that the US Fish and Wildlife Service must consider the Native Americans’ beliefs and consult adequately with them before removing grizzly protections that have been in place since 1975.
They are suing to block the government from allowing Montana, Wyoming and Idaho to hold grizzly bear hunts, as the tribes consider the grizzly sacred. Ben Nuvamsa, a former chairman of Arizona’s Hopi Tribe, said Thursday that the grizzly is both a deity and uncle to his clan. He says he does not trust the states to prevent the bears’ extinction through hunting.