indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
The University of Tulsa College of Law - Master's in Indian Law
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Opinion: Treaties support tribes in Wisconsin mining debacle

Filed Under: Environment | Law | Opinion
More on: bad river, brian pierson, mining, ojibwe, treaties, wisconsin
     


Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Chairman Mike Wiggins Jr. Photo © Associated Press

Attorney Brian Pierson weighs in on the mining bill that just passed the Wisconsin Legislature over the objections of tribes:
The Wisconsin Legislature has approved amendments to Wisconsin law intended to pave the way for Gogebic Taconite to mine iron ore in the Penokee Hills of Ashland County. Wisconsin's tribes have been outspoken in their opposition. The Bad River Chippewa, whose reservation lies directly in the path of any mine runoff, has been especially vocal.

The six Chippewa tribes have asserted that their treaties with the federal government give them special status and entitle their concerns to greater weight. They are right.

By the 1842 treaty at La Pointe, the Chippewa ceded to the United States approximately 12 million acres, including the Penokee Hills, receiving in return an amount that the Indian Claims Commission later called "unconscionable." A treaty, the Supreme Court observed in United States vs. Winans, is "not a grant of rights to the Indians, but a grant of right from them - a reservation of those not granted." In the 1842 treaty, the Chippewa reserved "usufructuary" rights in the territory they ceded, including the right to hunt, fish, trap, harvest wild rice and engage in other activities to make a living from the land.

The survival of the usufructuary rights reserved in the 1842 treaty was confirmed by the federal courts in the lengthy Voigt litigation. Pursuant to Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, federal laws and treaties are "supreme." The State of Wisconsin cannot legislatively undo them. As Federal District Judge Barbara Crabb stated in her 1991 final judgment, the state may regulate the exercise of the Chippewa's usufructuary rights "only in the interest of conservation and in the interest of public health and safety."

Get the Story:
Brian Pierson: Iron mine's fate may hinge on 19th century treaties (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 3/8)

Also Today:
Wisconsin Assembly passes sweeping measure aimed at helping company open giant iron mine (AP 3/7)
Bad River tribe prepares to fight new mining law (WTAW 3/8)

Related Stories:
Wisconsin Senate approves mining bill despite tribal protests (2/28)
Column: Mine plan would harm a way of life for Bad River Band (02/14)
Bad River Band emerges as strong opponent in mining battle (02/13)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Lawmakers take action on Native youth and Indian Country bills (9/29)
Dakota Access enlists big name law firm ahead of court hearing (9/29)
Congress goes on break again after failing to pass spending bills (9/29)
Oklahoma lawmakers push for approval of tribal water rights deal (9/29)
Documents detail settlement amounts in tribal trust fund lawsuit (9/29)
Supreme Court accepts case involving Mohegan Tribe employee (9/29)
Supreme Court accepts case linked to NFL team's racist mascot (9/29)
Lakota Country Times: Powwow, Indian relay unite for big event (9/29)
Native Sun News Today: Meet the world's only Lakota magician (9/29)
Dave Archambault Sr.: The roots of the battle at Standing Rock (9/29)
Jim Kent: A tale of two warriors comes alive in sacred Black Hills (9/29)
Mary Annette Pember: Water protectors rounded up for praying (9/29)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: A model for tribal consultation with UNDRIP (9/29)
Chukchansi Tribe schedules election for three council positions (9/29)
Seneca Nation prepares for tribal council election in November (9/29)
Donald Trump hired firm to lobby for tribal casino deal in Florida (9/29)
Bureau of Indian Affairs faced pressure to approve gaming deal (9/29)
Graton Rancheria eyes November opening for $175M casino hotel (9/29)
House approves national water bill without #NoDAPL amendment (9/28)
County sheriff announces additional arrests of #NoDAPL resisters (9/28)
Mary Annette Pember: Sheriff is looking into reports of 'gunshots' (9/28)
Ute Tribe mounts battle against 'modern day Indian land grab' bill (9/28)
Field hearing scheduled on energy development in Indian Country (9/28)
Native American Financial Services Association hires new director (9/28)
Lakota Country Times: Thank you ceremony honors Black Elk Peak (9/28)
Native Sun News Today: Northern Cheyenne Tribe election season (9/28)
James Giago Davies: Oceti Sakowin assert sovereignty once again (9/28)
Mark Fogarty: Young Native journalists cover historic movement (9/28)
Peter d'Errico: Briefcase warriors must defend original nations (9/28)
Seminole Tribe removes James Billie from chairman's position (9/28)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe granted role in casino land dispute (9/28)
Wilton Rancheria makes significant progress on casino project (9/28)
Mohawk Council of Kahnawake takes action on online gaming (9/28)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.