There is an ongoing disagreement between some tribal members and the MN DNR on natural resources—including hunting, fishing, and wild harvesting things like rice.
A group of Ojibwe/Chippewa occasionally exercise what they say is their legal right to harvest wild rice on ceded land outside of reservation boundaries as interpreted in the 1855 treaties.
The DNR interprets the treaty differently and says the tribal members must have permits to harvest wild rice off reservation boundaries.
Unlike the 1837 treaty between the federal government and the Mille Lacs Band, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in 1999 and covers a different territory, the 1855 treaty doesn’t explicitly say anything about off-reservation hunting, fishing and gathering rights. But a group of Chippewa contend the treaty, backed by case law and federal statutes, guarantees those rights. Members of the 1855 Treaty Authority say they want an agreement with the state of Minnesota that recognizes their rights to hunt, fish and gather without restraint by state law inside the 1855 treaty area that runs from about 40 miles west of Duluth to the North Dakota border, and from near the Ontario border to near Brainerd.
So Thursday the DNR gave out a one-day “group” wild rice license to tribal members in an attempt to avoid having to cite those harvesting without a permit. Today, other tribal members were cited for net fishing on Gull Lake.
Other Anishinaabeg Today natural resources current topics, pipeline concerns, law enforcement, management of Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge in addition to the 1855 Treaty authority.