Two charges of wild ricing and illegal fish netting were brought against Natives challenging the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). These are uncharted waters because it is a treaty rights dispute that has not been heard in any level of the judicial system so far.
A group of Ojibwe tribal members pushed the envelope to bring attention to what they say are their treaty rights from the 1855 pact with the United States. The DNR interprets the treaty differently. The DNR says hunting and gathering rights for tribal members, off the reservation, are not provided by the treaty.
Dozens of Natives spent the last two days harvesting wild rice and netting fish on Gull Lake without getting licenses to do so. All confrontations were averted on Thursday (August 27th) when the DNR gave tribal members an unsolicited, one-day permit to rice and net. On the following day, Jim Northrup III, a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, was ticketed for netting.
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