Official 1855 Treaty Authority Press Release
May 11, 2018
FISH OFF-RESERVATION: CHIPPEWA GATHER TO PROTECT TREATY RIGHTS AND RESOURCES AT LAKE BEMIDJI
Ball Club, MN – The 1855 Treaty Authority has authorized a one day FISH OFF Reservation at Lake Bemidji, the day before Minnesota State fishing opener. The 1855 Treaty Authority opened a similar season the day before Minnesota State fishing opener in 2010. Following the Hole-in-the-day RICE OFF reservation treaty rally in 2015, the Legislature made a law that deems tribal members from Minnesota reservations as having a state license.
“The state deeming us to have their license is not respect for or recognition of our Chippewa rights to hunt, fish and gather by the state of Minnesota. This is like the one day permission-slip DNR gave us in the morning at Hole-in-the-day that we tore up” said 1855 Chairman Archie LaRose. Steve “Punky” Clark, Vice Chair added “And about an hour later we held a special 1855 meeting roadside on 371 to come back the next day and pick rice again on our authority. Self-determination is as essential as our rights to gather food.”
The FISH OFF 2018 Reunion treaty rights rally is in Bemidji because of Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline abandonment plans and new route project through new wild rice lakes, rivers and aquifers mostly in the 1855 territory. “The ALJ Report is using the same arguments DNR and the state made pre-Mille Lacs Supreme Court 1990s which told Minnesota see what the Chippewa understood at the time of the treaties” said Frank Bibeau, Executive Director for the 1855 Treaty Authority, “we understood our rights to hunt, fish and gather included earning a modest living, today it’s the same uses of food, clothes or sell. Leaders like Flat Mouth understood we too would do our best to protect our rights and resources for the next generations.”
The FISH OFF will start at 10 AM at the downtown public landing near the bridge. Everyone is welcome to come out and support clean water, clean air, clean-up your pipeline mess, NOT BUILD more.
The one day season is open from 10AM to 2PM, tribal members ID cards are the permit and you may use any method to take fish including fishing pole, net and spear. Tribal members using boats and canoes are required to have safety floatation devices on board for each person. Fish harvests will be monitored by 1855 Board members. A 3PM fish-fry is planned at a different location to be named.
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