Ojibwe demand fishing rights, cite 1885 treaty

Bemidji, Minnesota (AP) May 2011

Ojibwe band members went fishing before last year’s opener to force a treaty dispute into court, but the state still hasn’t brought charges, and the issue is ongoing as the 2011 opener approaches.

The Leech Lake and White Earth bands have been fighting for the right to fish and hunt in northern Minnesota without government interference. They say an 1855 treaty with the federal government exempts them from the state’s time limits on hunting and fishing. 

Minnesota Public Radio reports the two bands recently created a conservation code they hope will one day regulate not only those activities for band members on reservations, but across much of northern Minnesota.

Leech Lake and White Earth members set nets on Lake Bemidji before last year’s opener but have not been prosecuted. 




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