Cultural Resources and Values

Native Americans

For Native American tribes, eagles are spiritually, culturally, and ecologically significant.

Both bald eagles and golden eagles are central to Native American cultural and religious practices; eagles are seen as relatives who represent tribal respect, humility, and strength. Because of the sacred place they occupy within tribal traditions, the health and presence of eagles is seen as essential to the survival of those cultures.

In 1782, the bald eagle was chosen by Congress to be depicted on the official seal of the United States. As the nation’s symbol, the bald eagle represents the American sense of independence, courage, and power. Additionally, the dramatic recovery of the species from the brink of extinction has made the bald eagle an icon of our nation’s ecological awareness and concern for environmental protection.

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