Quotes in the news

Is Mille Lacs-style ‘co-management’ planned for northern 2/3 of MN?
The plan is outlined in attorney Peter Erlinder’s “Anishinabe Nation’s ‘Right to a Modest Living’ From the Exercise of Off-Reservation Usufructuary Treaty Rights … in ALL of Northern Minnesota.”

This is the legal argument that could also make taxpayers liable for up to $420 million in back payments for not having Mille Lacs-style ‘co-management’ in northern 2/3rds of Minnesota.

Courts have affirmed treaty rights, but how they are exercised is negotiated. Expanded exercise of rights would be negotiated under threat of a $420 million lawsuit.

For example, did the US Supreme Court’s Mille Lacs decision approve gill nets during walleye spawning season? No, the DNR approved a tribal conservation code that included gillnets and shining deer over bait—among other practices outside of state law.

Who negotiates for Minnesotans? How many more lakes will end up with gillnets? Will we know anything before it’s a ‘done deal’?
From a PERM Ad in Outdoor News, August, 2010

Peter Erlinger: Ojibwe treaty rights in Minnesota

Professor Peter Erlinder from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota says the Minnesota v. Mille Lacs (1999) US Supreme Court case and other Ojibwe legal victories have paved the way for White Earth and Leech Lake bands to hunt, fish, and gather off their reservations in the ceded territory.

The law school professor thinks it may be more cost effective for the state to negotiate with the bands and establish co-management of resources in the territory, like Wisconsin, rather than fight the tribes in court.

Erlinder thinks the Anishinaabe are in a position to help save the land from mining, logging, and over development. “Ojibwe treaty rights are a device to help keep the land healthy.”
From a video produced by Nick Vander Puy | www.IndianCountryTV.com

Future of Tribal Sovereignty

Ken Davis, chairman of Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa said the right to self-governance lies directly with land, and that to expand sovereignty, the land base has to be expanded.

“To purchase land only from tribal members doesn’t expand sovereignty.”

Davis recommended buying as much land as possible whether out of or within the reservation’s boundaries.
From Indian Country Today (Oneida, NY) | September 10, 2008 | By David Melmer

Tracking the Land: Ojibwe Land Tenure and Acquisition at Grand Portage and Leech Lake

“The federal trust responsibility must be revitalized in order to become an effective method for tribal land acquisition. The Indian land tenure reality … has prompted many to prioritize land acquisition.”
From a 2008 Dissertation by Leah Carpenter for the University of Arizona

Leech Lake-White Earth Fishing Protest Key 1855 Treaty fact dodged
By Joe Fellegy (From Outdoor News, May 21, 2010)

The illegal “treaty rights” fishing on Lake Bemidji on May 14, was related to the new quest for White Earth and Leech Lake Chippewa off-reservation harvesting rights across millions of acres and multiple counties in the 1855 Treaty ceded territory. Tribal co-management authority is also being sought.
Read more …

Treaty with the Chippewa, 1855 – Full Text