Long-expected appeal to be heard September 19
Joe Fellegy asks some great questions to keep in mind about the attempt to expand 1855 Treaty rights. This case may have far more consequences than the Mille Lacs 1837 Treaty case. This decision could bring Mille Lacs style co-management to most of Northern Minnesota lakes.
PERM stands by all treaties with the tribes as they are written.
Gull Lake netting, 1855 treaty rights case
By Joe Fellegy Outdoor News August 16, 219
Several years have passed since the on-purpose violations of state laws by tribal gill-netters on Gull Lake and by tribal wild rice harvesters on nearby Hole-in-the-Day Lake. Along the way, three judges recused themselves. The cases were narrowed to one defendant, James Northrup.
Naturally, as intended by tribal attorneys and treaty-rights proponents, the found-guilty violator of state law claims 1855 treaty rights.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has taken the case. Briefs have been filed. A three-judge panel has been appointed. Oral arguments will be heard Sept. 19.
The 1855 treaty ceded territory (land sold by the Chippewa to Uncle Sam) covers a huge area of Minnesota–from Mille Lacs to the Canadian border at one point. Think Aitkin lakes, Brainerd lakes, Grand Rapids, Park Rapids, Leech Lake, Big Winnibigoshish, and so much more. Possible impacts on state agencies? State resource-management authority? Our fishing and hunting communities?
Big stuff! Will Gov. Tim Walz, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, and their DNR commissioner, Sara Strommen, do everything possible, legally, and politically to defend state and citizen interests? Attorney General Keith Ellison?
During the 2018 gubernatorial campaign, the Walz-Flanagan ticket pledged support for treaty rights. Hmm. Do they embrace the present quest by tribal interests and their attorneys to secure treaty rights across the vast 1855 ceded territory? Surely Minnesotans have a right to know. We’ll see.
And watch those power words like “treaty rights.” The era of Indian treaties ended in 1871. No treaty signers in 1837, 1855, or in other ancient years intended or envisioned any of the nutcake playing-out of treaty rights in the 21st century.