Airport Agents To Get Training After Native Church's Lawsuit

Feb 8, 2018

A Transportation Security Administration employee, with arm patch and shield, at Los Angeles International Airport on February 20, 2014.
Credit KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/REUTERS

Security agents at more than a dozen airports nationwide will be trained on how to screen Native American religious items.

That's the result of a lawsuit filed by the Native American Church of North America. The church alleged the Transportation Security Administration roughly handled ceremonial items and rejected requests to allow only a church member to touch them.

The two sides recently settled the case, with no one acknowledging fault.

Former church president Sandor Iron Rope says the TSA has policies to protect Native American religious items but agents weren't trained properly.

The TSA will collaborate with the church on a webinar and other guidelines for screening things such as gourd rattles, eagle feathers and fans.

The TSA didn't respond to requests for comment.