Treaty Rights Statement From Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe
This blog has been a supporting voice for Native American treaty rights and is pleased to distribute this statement:
Tribe Responds to Reporting of Treaty Rights
Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe Tribe Reacts to Treaty Media Coverage
LAC DU FLAMBEAU, WI–March 26, 2013—The Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians responds to recent media coverage regarding the Ojibwe tribe's declaration of its spring walleye harvest. Several weeks ago, Wisconsin's Ojibwe tribes announced its spring harvest causing disparaging media coverage to influence a wide variety of negative responses including a State Republican lawmaker proposing to introduce a bill that will block the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe from receiving a $250,000 grant.
“The State of Wisconsin has a longstanding trust and treaty responsibility to accept the Wisconsin Ojibwe Tribes' declaration of its natural resource harvests,” said Lac du Flambeau Tribal Chairman Tom Maulson. “The response on behalf of the media and some of the State's officials indicates it isn’t fully accepting of its agreement with Wisconsin’s Ojibwe tribes. We compromised when the treaties were signed in the 1800's to continue a way of life that our ancestors fought and died for. To read such disparaging responses on behalf of some of the State's officials is extremely harmful to our longstanding partnership.”
Wisconsin's Ojibwe tribes were the center of a highly publicized treaty rights controversy that made national headlines in the late 1980's and early 1990's when several tribal members began fishing off their reservations. Thousands of Wisconsin citizens staged protests and demonstrated frustration to prevent Ojibwe tribes from harvesting off the reservation causing great turmoil for local communities. Ultimately, the tribes took their case to court and reserved their right to hunt and fish off the reservation putting dissidence to rest.
Recently, the State’s largest distributed newspapers have been highlighting the Ojibwe tribes’ announcement of its anticipated spring harvest of walleye suggesting that the announcement is influencing the State to respond. A significant response by the State’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to limit the daily take on walleye for non-Indians is influencing wide public distress with the Ojibwe tribes’ announcement. In addition to the DNR’s response, a State Republican recently announced plans to introduce a bill that would block the Lac du Flambeau tribe from receiving a state funded $250,000 grant that would contribute to cultural preservation on the reservation.
“With the State’s largest newspapers presenting such one-sided and damaging information, it forces our community to defend ourselves and our rights once again,” said Lac du Flambeau Tribal Member Darren Thompson. “With the State responding as it has, it only demonstrates the fact that when American Indian tribes exercise their sovereignty they will be dealt with – harshly. We are dealing with damage control. When you have state officials who are in positions of influence voicing their disappointment in our rights, it puts our small community in the spotlight to deal with engendered dislike for our people. The fact that this is making headlines again with our State’s officials making comments influences people who may not understand – or care about – this issue at all to dislike us as a people.”
The Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa are a federally recognized American Indian tribe with an Indian reservation lying mostly in the Town of Lac du Flambeau in south-western Vilas County, and in the Town of Sherman in south-eastern Iron County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin.
This statement should be forwarded to the Pulitzer Board. The Board should know that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other Wisconsin publications have under and mis-reported the facts regarding current and developing news.
I have to admit, you have done well here. Your coverage and grasp of the mining and treaty rights issue has (IMHO, yes I realize i am not an authority) far outpaced other non-tribal sources. Unless there's something I'm unaware of, when it comes to this issue on WI blogs and news sources - you da man.
I also have to admit, that I have believed I could not get more cynical about our political processes (and the characters of folks so involved) than I already am. However, I was wrong, and I am not immune to disappointment, even now.
I had HOPED that a positive side-effect of the horrible Gogebic mine issue would be that it brings attention to a MORE REALISTIC awareness the people of Northern WI in general, and perhaps induce a kind familiarity between tribes and non-conservatives/liberals/environmentalists throughout ALL of WI. We have common goals and values, we would be stronger together. This is not happening.
What seems instead to have happened as a result of the mine issue, is that the scab has been ripped off, the illusion of "healing" and "acceptance" between "whites" and native populations has been deflated. The light turned on by the mine issue has revealed the emotional cockroaches that have been running around in the dark this whole time. And some of these are angry, angry little cockroaches. Of course, that IS good, since painful truth is always better than happy delusion. Even so. Boo freakin' hoo, humans are still idiots.
Anyways - Go Tom.
Oh yeah, and Go James.
To anonymoustoxin - - Thank you, and thanks for being a reader.
America abhors the thought of a privileged class of citizens. The miscarriage of justice by an activist liberal judge will not stand the challenge which is approaching and sanity will eventually prevail. There is no more pathetic person on the face of this earth than those who have been indoctrinated into believing that they are due special privileges due to their heritage rather than their achievements, and there is no group today who has accomplished less.
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