On Tuesday, November 1st, a representative from Sia, the Comanche Nation Ethno-Orthithological Initiative will be coming to speak at the OAS Cleveland County chapter meeting. This is going to be exciting! They are planning on bringing a live bird to share with us. Come join us at 7pm at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History to learn about this fascinating program. To find out more about their organization, visit http://comancheeagle.org/home.html
Waha Thuweeka a.k.a. William Voelker is a proud member of the Ohnononuh band of Numunuh - Comanche People. The progeny of a full blood Comanche mother and a raptor researchist father, Mr. Voelker has worked for over four decades to bring the disciplines of ethnology together with ornithology in a holistic manner dedicated to the preservation of the Eagle in history, science and spirit. Mr. Voelker is the first Native American ever to hold US Fish & Wildlife Service permits for the care and breeding of Bald and Golden Eagles in captivity and the only individual in America to have succeeded in propagating both species via artificial insemination. The world's first Bald Eagle to be produced artificially is one of over three hundred native eagles produced in captivity by Mr. Voelker since 1974; most of which have been released to the wild. In addition to native species, Mr. Voelker's work involves field study, captive behavioral research and propagation with sixty-eight species of eagles and other raptors representing five continents. Mr. Voelker is chairman of the Comanche Nation NAGPRA & Historic Preservation Board of Directors.
In 1999 Mr. Voelker incorporated his life's work under the Comanche Nation political umbrella and founded Sia: The Comanche Nation Ethno-Ornithological Initiative as an official program of the Tribe. Through Sia, many first time authorizations pertaining to the traditional, cultural interactions between Native People and our avian resources are addressed. Most exciting of the newly issued authorizations is that which establishes The Sia Essential Species Repository as the first tribally administered Native American feather acquisition and dispersal program. This effort is dedicated to the concept of Native Americans meeting the feather needs of Native Americans in partnership with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The repository provides the legal and ethical means for non-eagle migratory bird feather acquisition and possession for members of federally recognized tribes while adhering to sound conservation protocol.