Tribal activists seek citations for another Mille Lacs-style lawsuit
Tribal activists from the White Earth and Fond du Lac Bands last are using the illegal harvesting of wild rice to assert off-reservation harvest rights. They claim such rights were preserved for Native peoples in the 1855 Treaty between the United States and the Chippewa.
It is a reprise of a 2010 effort by tribal members to trigger a court battle, via illegal gill netting, that could affirm heretofore “undiscovered” or “undeveloped” treaty rights. That effort died after no charges were brought.
Behind the public demonstrations is a much larger concept, that of “usufructuary property rights.” Protection of these rights will have land-use management implications far beyond wildlife harvest.” Arthur LaRose, chairman of the “1855 Treaty Authority,” says “If the group can establish off-reservation rights in those areas, it can more forcefully assert management or regulatory rights on larger environmental issues such as the burying of oil pipelines or the relaxation of mining-related sulfate standards for wild rice.”
No basis for FABRICATING new 1855 Treaty rights
Before getting caught up in the activists’ narrative, Minnesotans should consider the plain language of the 1855 Treaty in which the Indians “do further fully and entirely relinquish and convey to the United States, any and all right, title, and interest, of whatsoever nature the same may be, which they may now have in, and to any other lands in the Territory of Minnesota or elsewhere.
Minnesotans should also consider the Timeline making the case for NOT FABRICATING new 1855 Treaty rights.