Conserving this Nation’s fish and other aquatic resources cannot be successful without the partnership of Tribes; they manage or influence some of the most important aquatic habitats both on and off reservations. In addition, the Federal government and the Service have distinct and unique obligations toward Tribes based on trust responsibility, treaty provisions, and statutory mandates.
Ojibwe Treaty Rights: Connections to Land & Water
GLIFWC’s member tribes signed treaties in 1836, 1837, 1842, and 1854 with the United States government. In those treaties they ceded (sold) land in northern Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, but retained the rights to hunt, fish and gather in the ceded territories.
In the mid-1900s tribes began to seek legal affirmation of the treaty rights. Several positive court decisions ensued both in the Northwest and in the Great Lakes region that affirmed the treaty rights and ruled for tribal self-regulation.
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