Ojibwe Ceded Lands Fishing Rights

Lecture given October 20, 2009 to
The University of Kansas, Center for Indigenous Nations Studies
INS 874 (BIOL 420) Natural Resource Management from an Indigenous Perspective

The materials in this unit provide background for understanding the issues covered in the book discussed in class; The Walleye War: The Struggle for Ojibwe Spearfishing and Treaty Rights, by Larry Nesper (2002 University of Nebraska Press).

The six Bands of Chippewa in Wisconsin discussed in this unit are Mole Lake, Lac du Flambeau, Lac Courte Oreilles, Red Cliff, Bad River, and St. Croix


Lecture Outline

1. The socioeconomic setting.

a. What was happening to the economy and social environment of northern Wisconsin in the 1980's that helped to fuel the conflict?

b. What has happened to land values and regional planning over the past 20 years?

2. The biological setting.

a. Walleye biology, population dynamics, the ecology of northern lakes.

b. How were Walleye fisheries managed in the 1980's?

c. Comparison of sportfish harvest and Tribal harvest-- what has happened during the past 25 years?

5. Treaty rights, relevant court cases, and a discussion of reserved rights.

a. What Treaties are relevant to this case study?

b. What specific clauses in the Treaties were under examination?

c. What is the relevant case law leading up to the conflict?

d. What were the court decisions in the case study?

6. Development of Tribal fisheries management.

a. Change in agency responsibilities for management and enforcement after the end of litigation.

b. Capacity development for management of natural resources on Reservations and Ceded Territories.

7. New threats to the fishery.

a Mercury accumulation in fish tissues and the issue of coal-fired power plants.

b. Potential impacts of Global Climate Change to northern lakes.

c. Impacts from invasive aquatic nuisance species.