Sep 2, 2015 - CHIPPEWA EXERCISE TREATY RIGHTS AT HOLE IN THE DAY LAKE FOUR MEMBERS CITED BY DEPT NATURAL RESOURCES AND WILD RICE SEIZED
Gull Lake, MN — What began as an exercise of treaty rights to harvest wild rice resulted in a two-day gathering and four DNR [Department of Natural Resources] seizure citations for various Chippewa band members. On the morning of the first day DNR issued the 1855 Treaty Authority a one-day permit to harvest wild rice without a state license.
Steve “Punky” Clark, Vice Chair of the 1855 TA said “we don’t need permission from DNR to exercise our treaty rights to gather food, the Creator gave us the gift of manoomin long ago.” Clark was referring to Chippewa creation stones that tell us how the Creator guided us to where the food grows on the water.
“The people made an important step towards the State of Minnesota recognizing and understanding our rights to gather food all year round” said Archie LaRose, Chairman of the 1855 TA, adding “but we need to protect all the ricers throughout the season and across-the 1855 ceded-territory.’
In an effort to track and assist any off-reservation wild rice harvesters who may be cited by DNR this season, Anishinabe Legal Services will be taking intake from tribal members at 218-335-2223 or 800-422-1335. ALS serves all people on the White Earth Red Lake and Leech Lake reservations.
“We are thank-full tor the help from Anishinabe Legal Services” said LaRose, adding “and anyone not eligible for ALS will be part of the 1855 group representation if we need to go to federal court. But first we plan to meet with the other party to our treaties to see if the U.S. federal authorities will help with avoiding a court fight when ultimately we need to work together to share and protect our environment.
For more information about 1855 Treaty Authority activities and upcoming meetings,please contact Frank Bibeau at 218-760-1258.