Native American Indian and the Bald Eagle

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University of Phoenix|
The American Indian and the Bald Eagle|
Com 220|
Tamara Lowe|


The American Indian and The Bald Eagle
Native American Indians have been living in America long before the white man ever came here.  There were probably about 10 million Indians living in North America at the time the “white man” arrived.  The first Native Americans were believed to have arrived during the last ice-age.  Somewhere around 20,000-30,000 years ago and they came through a land-bridge across the Bering Sound, from northeastern Siberia into Alaska.  The name “Indian” was given by Christopher Columbus who believed mistakenly that the mainland and islands of America were part of the Indies in Asia.  Although, the ancient ways of the American Indian is lost, the religion, culture, legends and spirit will endure.  The Native Americans were very spiritual and had many beliefs: the bald eagle is connected to many stories in their history. (Rice, 2008)       Haliaeetus leucocephalus ‘ most commonly known as the bald eagle.  The bald eagle is one of the most beautiful creatures known to man.  The bald eagle typically measures from 30 -43 inches in length, and 70 to 96 inches in width with a wing span from 23 to 25 inches.  Its feathered body is white in color and on its head neck and tail, while the rest of its body is brown. (Huddleston, 2009) When the baby eagle is born until they are teenagers, (approximately 4-6 months old), they are brownish black. Their white head and tail feathers don’t show up until they are 3-5 years old.(Saunders, 2003) Although the bird is far from being bald, the taxonomic name literally means white headed sea-eagle, so bald eagle is actually a misnomer based upon its appearance.  The bald eagle in earlier times was widespread all over North America, but now mainly be found only along the Pacific.  The largest population of these beautiful birds can be found in Alaska with an impressive population of thirty-five to forty-five thousand.  The eagles were classified as endangered in 1972, but in 1995 were reclassified as a threatened species.  This makes the bald eagle one of The Endangered Species Acts biggest success stories. (Rice, 2008) Wicasa,Wandidi

The American Bald Eagle was adopted as the symbol of America on June 20, 1782.  However, the official designation of the colossal bird did not come until six years later.  During this time there were intense arguments by top politicians of that time.   Benjamin Franklin was actually one of the politicians who were opposed to using the bird as our symbol.  The people who were fighting against the eagle becoming our national symbol thought that the eagle was of bad moral character, generally poor, and often very lousy and compared it to a thief or a robber.  Some were thought to have wanted the turkey to become our symbol because it was a much more respectable bird and the turkey goes back to when the pilgrims had the first Thanksgiving.   Finally, in 1789, the same year George Washington became our Nations first President the American Bald Eagle became our Country’s official bird.(Aun,2007) John F. Kennedy once was to have said that our Founding Fathers made a wise decision when they selected the bald eagle as the emblem our nation.(Rutledge,2006) Many Indian tribes believed that the bald eagle was the closest thing to the Creator and is considered to be a messenger to God.   The Tuskegee Indians were one tribe that believed this to be so.  There legend is that before the beginning, water was everywhere.  But no people, animals or earth were visible.  There were some birds however and they held a council to decide if it might be best to have all land or all water.  Some of the birds wanted all land so they would have more food.  Other birds wanted all water because they liked it that way.  They eventually could not decide so they appointed Eagle as their chief and he was to decide for them. ...
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