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The fact we dont have a seat at the table so to speak is a joke.
We have had plenty of discussion regarding Consent Decree in past posts. A real lightening rod issue with a lot of emotion.
The reality is that the Feds assigned area's to the natives for exclusive fishing and hunting rights. Thus the 1836 agreement and related Consent Decree. Back in the day the Federal Government has a long history of taking back what they given away. In today's culture along with Federal Courts siding with the Natives, we can only hope the negotiations don't hurt us too much.
I have stated many, many times that the "enforcement" of the new Decree must be specifically defined in the new rulings. I fish a lot in Northern MI including the UP and Canada. I know a few Natives, some radical and others understanding. The 2000 Decree had no teeth, the Tribal courts do nothing to stop infractions, the State Courts had their hands tied and the Fed's do not want to stir the pot.
Some natives feel they have been screwed and net and keep whatever they want and sell them in their stores.....nobody does nothing.
We the fishers and somewhat the DNR, as explained in the memo can only be "listeners and not talkers" in the re write.
Lets hope we don't get hurt too bad.
 

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Challenge it on what basis?

The Treaty gave the tribes the authority to do as they choose in their waters. End of story.

Unless of course we want to use the argument that the world is a much different place than it was in 1836 and therefore the Treaty is outdated and should be revoked or altered…..

That’s probably a pretty valid argument, but just keep in mind there are a few amendments in a document that’s even older that many in our society say the same thing about….. tread carefully.
Today, addressing all the social injustice, it's highly unlikely that the courts would reverse long standing treaty rights. With all the past failures out west regarding treaties, along with all the watchdog organizations, the courts especially the Federal would not change a thing. They would want the Consent Decree negotiations to remedy any conflict. The best thing we, the recreational fishers/hunters, can do is compromise and hope for the best.
 

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Reneging on a treaty in your own countrymen sends a very bad message to the entire world. If the US won’t honor a treaty with its own citizens means the US won’t honor a treary with any country in the world. Bad idea all around. I’m sure a monetary agreement can be reached and paid for by those who use the resource instead of tax payers as a whole. There is room for another sticker on every boat fishing in treaty waters of the Great Lakes.
My understanding, having had many conversations with the Treaty involved Natives is that they don't give a squat about money. The Fed's wanted to buy them out years ago and they said take a hike.
Most important is their hunting/fishing rights, their traditions and festivals. Money is way down the list for MOST Natives. You are not going to buy them out, maybe supply many fish for them to net.
 

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Treaty sounds fine….using 1836 practices…
I think the courts have ruled that subsistence living changes with the times. Boats, motors, 4 wheelers, snowmobiles are necessary for subsistence living today. Hell, the treaty had a provision for trap netting rather than gill netting. The governments bought the nets, reconfigured the boats and taught the Natives how to use the nets.
 

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Because they advise the state on the wants and needs of the sports fishing community and also aid in legal expertise to nail down the results of the negotiations. If the State totally screws the pooch the Coalition actually knows what went down during the negotiations vs the story the State,Feds, and tribes may try to forward.
Feel free to throw your hands in the air. I'll choose to fight in any way I can. Throwing $100 is equivalent to a days gas bill. Seems like a good deal to me to support the group who is our hope for an outcome that is not disastrous.
Throw your 100 dollar bill at the tribes rather than the Coalition. The tribes are in the drivers seat, the coalition can do very little if anything. Need to convince the Tribes to your way of thinking.
 

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Can someone give me a Cliff Notes version of what the treaty allows natives to do that has people so worked up? I really have no idea, having lived in Michigan only a few years.

But I’ve fished and hunted everywhere on all the Great Lakes, and I’ve never run into a situation where I wasn’t able to do what I wanted.
Commercial fishermen were the ones impacted by the Consent Decree. The natives have exclusive netting rights and subsistince living rights in certain zones within the treaty zones. I heard of one "white man" commercial netter that had to move his boats 40 miles to get outside of the exclusive zones. Most people complain that the natives don't deserve special treatment and that the times have changed. The fact is that we are the intruders in those 1836 defined area's. I am tired of hearing/reading that our fishing tax dollars are funding the stealing of OUR fish by the natives. Didn't someone post on here that the Natives reared and planted over 40 million fish into the Great Lakes and inland waters.Maybe the recreational anglers should pay a tax to the natives whenever they catch a fish in THEIR exclusive zones.
I don't think the recreational anglers got impacted much with the declaration of the Consent Decree. We can fish wherever we want on public water and and hunt on public land.
I'm not trying to start a pro vs con fight, just making what I believe to be the reality of this situation. Lots of emotion going on whenever you discuss Native fishing rights.
Most reporters on M-S are attune to to the 1836 Treaty, but I wonder how many Joe Fisherman, recreational anglers, knows that the Tribes plant so many fish?
 

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..and target the species that were native fish stocks then. Lake whitefish are not doing well. Annual recruitment continues to lag...oddly at highest rates where they are being exploited by tribal commercail fishers in both Lakes Michigan and Huron. So much for CORA manager's oversight and species management...
Cork, no way do I have the detailed knowledge on this subject like you have. I know you have your agenda, everyone has, so I will ask this question in lay men language

Didn't the Consent sorta kinda make a promise to the Natives that the State and Fed's will PROVIDE enough fish for them to net and provide a living? There are all kinds of data showing certain fish populations going up and down which may limit the take of the Native netters. Didn't the DNR and Fed's increase planting of certain species to accommodate the Natives.
Didn't the Consent sorta kinda dictate fish for the Natives to catch? Sadly, the way I see it, the recreational anglers and non Native commercial netters will suffer with reduced catch allowances.
Under the 2000 Consent, quota's mean little to the Natives. They will catch whatever they need to make a living. I found this out when talking with Leblanc's grandkid at the fish market. The Native netters don't give a hoot what CORA and the oversight managers have to say. They just need fish to catch.
 

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Didn't the CORA managed tribal commercial fishery kinda, sorta, conisistently violate the Consent Decree of 2020 agreement by exceeding their catch quotas for lake trout in four statistical discricts for multiple years in sequence, ignoring the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) values set by the Sustainable Fishery Model that boat signatories originally agreed to use as a guiding document to set those annual quotas? Now, let's take a look at lake trout recovery in the three broad assessmment untis of Lake Michigan: the southern basin has roughly 42% of its lake trout stocks of wild origin; the middle basin is running at 28-32% wild origin fish; while the northern basin is running at 13% whild origin lake trout. Yes, the Consent Decree of 2020 specifies a set amount of lake trout plants be make in Treaty waters in Michigan.

'Need fish to catch'. That, on its face, is an interesting comment that ties well with the three judge appeals court panel that heard the LDBN subsistance fisher''s appeal for their four year effort to sell walleye and yellow perch to the Jensens for them to resell them as "by-catch" from their tribal commercial nets. Subsistance fishers are allowed 75lbs. round weight per week that cannot be bartered, sold, or traded. That is about thirty pounds of fillets...per week. They are allowed to fish 350' nets, not gang-rig them to a thousand feet to fish under-ice. When the judges asked Tom Gorenflo, CORA head biologist, whether CORA biolgists had ever turned-over any catch reports that evidenced discrpencies since the inception of the CORA managed fishery in 2000, His eventual answer was NO. Kinda, sorta begs the question of who is complicit ....

One of my recent "favorite" quotes was the Odawa tribal biologist who presented at the Great Lakes Fishery Commission Lake Committee meetings recently. He complained about the impacts of too many lake trout in tribal gillnets and trap nets in Treaty Waters because it has resulted in a net decrease in commercial netters because they have to handle of these fish...to catch the dwindling stocks of whitefish... Say, aren't these lake trout the ones the Consent Decree requires the State of Michigan to plant annually?

Yup, they just 'need fish to catch'. Sadly, both of us well know that that desire comes at the expense of the fishery and its constituent species. So, tell me again how they have a right to fish in any way they deem personally acceptable?

I also recall the one year follow-up from the 2015 USFWS fake fish wholesale sting operation run in L'Anse/Baraga. In that follow-up, agents identified an additional 6,430 violations by Treaty of 1842 and Treaty of 1836 tribal fishers that totaled just under 700,000 lbs of illegally caught and sold Great Lakes fish; fish caught from closed zones, illegally caught species including lake sturgeon, etc. Gordon, that is 350 tons of fish that somebody 'just needed to catch'. What was the response of the tribal governments who fish under the Treaty of 1836? They sent a battery of lawyers to Washington to point-out to the Dept. of Interior officials, the parent agency of both Indian Affairs and the USFWS, how much of a "black eye" further convictions would give the agency....

Gordon, I have fished salmon off Fairport in the midst of a tribal fishery since 2002. I have seen some ridiculous stuff occuring over that interval...
Cork, you are replaying the same song you have been singing the last few years regarding the state of the Consent and tribal fishery. I believe every word you typed for the umpteenth time. Everyone knows the tribes abuse the system as defined by the Consent....openly without repercussion by anyone including the DNR, Tribal courts and Fed's. Some Tribal members believe that fish and wildlife solely belong to them in the Treaty zone. On a rare occasion, the Tribal courts levy a pittance fine, maybe just to satisfy those people that are watchdogs of the goings on. You written, in detail, some of the laughable fines and hand slaps of violators.
Again, the consent means NOTHING if there are no teeth in the new agreement. They will continue to do what they are doing currently. Words mean absolutely nothing without enforcement of violations.
 

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Didn't the CORA managed tribal commercial fishery kinda, sorta, conisistently violate the Consent Decree of 2020 agreement by exceeding their catch quotas for lake trout in four statistical discricts for multiple years in sequence, ignoring the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) values set by the Sustainable Fishery Model that boat signatories originally agreed to use as a guiding document to set those annual quotas? Now, let's take a look at lake trout recovery in the three broad assessmment untis of Lake Michigan: the southern basin has roughly 42% of its lake trout stocks of wild origin; the middle basin is running at 28-32% wild origin fish; while the northern basin is running at 13% whild origin lake trout. Yes, the Consent Decree of 2020 specifies a set amount of lake trout plants be make in Treaty waters in Michigan.

'Need fish to catch'. That, on its face, is an interesting comment that ties well with the three judge appeals court panel that heard the LDBN subsistance fisher''s appeal for their four year effort to sell walleye and yellow perch to the Jensens for them to resell them as "by-catch" from their tribal commercial nets. Subsistance fishers are allowed 75lbs. round weight per week that cannot be bartered, sold, or traded. That is about thirty pounds of fillets...per week. They are allowed to fish 350' nets, not gang-rig them to a thousand feet to fish under-ice. When the judges asked Tom Gorenflo, CORA head biologist, whether CORA biolgists had ever turned-over any catch reports that evidenced discrpencies since the inception of the CORA managed fishery in 2000, His eventual answer was NO. Kinda, sorta begs the question of who is complicit ....

One of my recent "favorite" quotes was the Odawa tribal biologist who presented at the Great Lakes Fishery Commission Lake Committee meetings recently. He complained about the impacts of too many lake trout in tribal gillnets and trap nets in Treaty Waters because it has resulted in a net decrease in commercial netters because they have to handle of these fish...to catch the dwindling stocks of whitefish... Say, aren't these lake trout the ones the Consent Decree requires the State of Michigan to plant annually?

Yup, they just 'need fish to catch'. Sadly, both of us well know that that desire comes at the expense of the fishery and its constituent species. So, tell me again how they have a right to fish in any way they deem personally acceptable?

I also recall the one year follow-up from the 2015 USFWS fake fish wholesale sting operation run in L'Anse/Baraga. In that follow-up, agents identified an additional 6,430 violations by Treaty of 1842 and Treaty of 1836 tribal fishers that totaled just under 700,000 lbs of illegally caught and sold Great Lakes fish; fish caught from closed zones, illegally caught species including lake sturgeon, etc. Gordon, that is 350 tons of fish that somebody 'just needed to catch'. What was the response of the tribal governments who fish under the Treaty of 1836? They sent a battery of lawyers to Washington to point-out to the Dept. of Interior officials, the parent agency of both Indian Affairs and the USFWS, how much of a "black eye" further convictions would give the agency....

Gordon, I have fished salmon off Fairport in the midst of a tribal fishery since 2002. I have seen some ridiculous stuff occuring over that interval...
You posted that subsistance fishers are allowed 75 pounds per week. Is that per individual or family? Husband, wife and 2 adult children in the household would allow the catch of 300 pounds of potentially contaminated fish. Apparently the law states they cannot give away or sell their catch.
That is the most asinine mandate in the Consent! Only the most naive person would believe they would not sell those fish.
 

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I saw one year where the Indians reported zero lake trout caught in MH2 on Lake Huron when I saw with my own ey3es lakers in their catch at least once that year. They are supposed to report lake trout thrown back to, but they reported catching zero in a area loaded with lakers. I have also witnessed Indians selling gill net caught fish (subsistence) in MH1 too.
Lying, violating and illegal selling are all part of the Consent....mis management and enforcement.
 

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I don't believe the tribes deserve anything. They lost.
Furthermore, as every day passes more and more archeological and DNA evidence comes to light that there are no definitive "1st or Native People". Archeologists now know that people came to America at different times and in different places and FROM different places. No one group can claim some "Native Privilege" here because no one knows which group was even first. For all ANYONE of them knows their ancestors killed off someone else when they came here.
Sounds like a hell of a good argument you can use when you are called upon to present your case in front of the Federal Courts. Do you think you have a good chance of success?
 

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The now dead Soo band fisher used to have a line of locals who came each morning to buy fish from him when he was a subsistence fisher.


Gordon, the 'same song' as you choose to label it, still remains to be the truth of multiple violations of the Consent Decree agreement, nearly all of which where initiated on the tribal side of the ledger. Enforcement? Per a conversation with two of MDNR Coservation Officers who were involved in the LBDN subsistence gillnetting case, the violations came to light on a joint patrol with MDNR/CORA Enforcement personnel examining catch records. The CORA Enforcement officeer refused to act or do any follow-up when the big jump and consistently higher volume of by-catch was noted when they were going through the purchase records at the Garden Fishery. Tribal courts opted to refuse to fine any violator convicted of a crime while haresting fish more than $100 becaise that was the maximum penalty the State could levy in their antiquated Commercial Fishing regulations...which where never approved for update, despite an extended effort to do so.

The appeals hearing for the LBDN netters was actually funded by the State because the Soo Band had no money to pay for it.

You live in the Soo, check out how long the gillnet tug that sank near the ramp about the Soo Locks was allowed to sit under water by the Brimley Band's Council who voted repeatedly to do nothing. The USCGS investigated twice and each time took no action beyond contacting DEQ. The State ended up salvaging the vessel after is sat nearly two years underwater. The then editor of the Soo Band tribal paper attempting to run an investigative report on this story. She was instructed to table it by her employers...

When I worked for the USFWS at Hammond Bay at the Sea Lamprey Research Laboratory we were out working at the compound's boat ramp just afte ice-out moving debris and large rocks deposited from the retreating ice cover off the ramp. A group of tribal netters arrived from open water and cruised past us asking "any DNR around?:" The four of use were all in our USFWS uniforms partially covered by our waders, but still quite evident. They proceeded to land the boat at the ramp, grab a WWII parachute storage bag and start offloading steelhead and salmon into it while it was laying on their truck engine with the hood up. When they finished, the lowered the hood after tucking everthing inside the engine compartment and began offloading their catch. Eventually, they loade their boat, moved the bag and took off. When we reported what was going on to the laboratory director he called Washington. The next morning we were instructed to look the other way. I contacted the MDNR Enforcement Division who caught them a handful of days later. I also reached the decision I no longer wanted to work for the USFWS or USGS and started my job search...

It states within the Consent Decree that either party may declare the agreement null and void based on their documentation of repeated violations. The State knows quite well the the Feds will provide them no support at any level should they move to act. This lack of consequences has conditioned the CORA kids to ask for it all
This is why we are where we are, no actual biological management that is actually focused on sustaining the resources that are open to their exploitation, no effort to enforce their own regulations (A friend of mine who works for the Environmental side of the MDNR has a Soo Band tribal girlfriend. She is over a year late in filling out and returning here subsistence permit catch records. She is now being told that she can;t get a new one issued unless she submits her paperwork...eventually.)


I attended a presentation by the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission presentation on the Treaty of 1842. They started with an Ojibwe history lecture given by some guy who majored in tribal studes someplace in Wisconsin. He made specific points that Anishnabe tribal society had no actual Chief, just individuals who were deemed elders who gave advice when it was sought out from their fellow members. He made a point that the treaty signatories had no legal right to represent the Ojibwe nation in the negotiations. So, if I take him at his word, their actions should not be binding in terms of what the ceded to Western Man. He also made a point of repeatedly focusing on their lack of written records and tribal history both of which were 'forced on them' by Western settlers who took their lands. When he finished I asked him about the Great Migration, which he willingly acknowledged as a part of the Anishnabe tribal history/legend. Basically, the Anisnabe people spent a two hundred year interval migrating sequentially up the St, Lawrence River valley to spread-out and colonize the Great Lakes, ceasing their westward expansion via an agreement struck with the Dakota Sioux to remain on Lake Supeperior's shoreline. Now, I would be willing to hazard a "guess" that much like Western Man, Aboriginal Man readily recognized the worth and extended value of water frontage for the advantages it readily lent the holder in terms of climate, freshwater, access, fish and game availability, ease of travel for a indian culture that developed into some of the best canoe builders in the Americas. Given all the benefits of shoreline property ownershipe for aboriginal peoples, I would also be willing to bet my net worth that these verdant lands were not vacant either. I asked this tribal historian how the Anishnabe dealt with the prior inhabitants they encountered as they moved ever northwestward among the Great Lakes shores. He told me they likely assimilated these tribes... How did they do this? He could offer me no definitive answer since theirs was an oral culture with no written records or written tribal history over that two hundred plus year interval of the Great Migration prior the initial contacts with Western Man. When I asked him whether his definition of assimilation likely included death by stone axe, spear, or arrows, or enslavement within their new culture, he became quite beligerant. When I encouraged him to access the antropological evidence that supported armed conflict with the original Original Peoples occurring at a pretty routine rate as the Anishnabe acquired the "dirt" that he had stated that the White Man stole from them via treaty documents, he refused to discuss the matter any further...

So, basically WE stole their lands, which they stole Previously from other indians who occupied them prior their arrival. The big difference? Western Man left a written record of their actions and specific documents outlining their promises for conveyance of the lands that WERE granted the Anishnabe as theirs and the rights that were theirs, after they stole them fair and square from the previous occupants via "assimilation".

The second big question is that many of the fish species that the 1836 Treaty signatories are asking for an equal share of, don't remain within Treaty of 1836 waters for extended periods of time...do they have rights to all fish that move in and out of Treaty waters or just those that spend sizeable lengths of time within the boundaries?
Your testimony just reinforced the fact that the Consent violations are being overlooked. Expect the same result with the new Consent if enforcement issues are not addressed.
 

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The now dead Soo band fisher used to have a line of locals who came each morning to buy fish from him when he was a subsistence fisher.


Gordon, the 'same song' as you choose to label it, still remains to be the truth of multiple violations of the Consent Decree agreement, nearly all of which where initiated on the tribal side of the ledger. Enforcement? Per a conversation with two of MDNR Coservation Officers who were involved in the LBDN subsistence gillnetting case, the violations came to light on a joint patrol with MDNR/CORA Enforcement personnel examining catch records. The CORA Enforcement officeer refused to act or do any follow-up when the big jump and consistently higher volume of by-catch was noted when they were going through the purchase records at the Garden Fishery. Tribal courts opted to refuse to fine any violator convicted of a crime while haresting fish more than $100 becaise that was the maximum penalty the State could levy in their antiquated Commercial Fishing regulations...which where never approved for update, despite an extended effort to do so.

The appeals hearing for the LBDN netters was actually funded by the State because the Soo Band had no money to pay for it.

You live in the Soo, check out how long the gillnet tug that sank near the ramp about the Soo Locks was allowed to sit under water by the Brimley Band's Council who voted repeatedly to do nothing. The USCGS investigated twice and each time took no action beyond contacting DEQ. The State ended up salvaging the vessel after is sat nearly two years underwater. The then editor of the Soo Band tribal paper attempting to run an investigative report on this story. She was instructed to table it by her employers...

When I worked for the USFWS at Hammond Bay at the Sea Lamprey Research Laboratory we were out working at the compound's boat ramp just afte ice-out moving debris and large rocks deposited from the retreating ice cover off the ramp. A group of tribal netters arrived from open water and cruised past us asking "any DNR around?:" The four of use were all in our USFWS uniforms partially covered by our waders, but still quite evident. They proceeded to land the boat at the ramp, grab a WWII parachute storage bag and start offloading steelhead and salmon into it while it was laying on their truck engine with the hood up. When they finished, the lowered the hood after tucking everthing inside the engine compartment and began offloading their catch. Eventually, they loade their boat, moved the bag and took off. When we reported what was going on to the laboratory director he called Washington. The next morning we were instructed to look the other way. I contacted the MDNR Enforcement Division who caught them a handful of days later. I also reached the decision I no longer wanted to work for the USFWS or USGS and started my job search...

It states within the Consent Decree that either party may declare the agreement null and void based on their documentation of repeated violations. The State knows quite well the the Feds will provide them no support at any level should they move to act. This lack of consequences has conditioned the CORA kids to ask for it all
This is why we are where we are, no actual biological management that is actually focused on sustaining the resources that are open to their exploitation, no effort to enforce their own regulations (A friend of mine who works for the Environmental side of the MDNR has a Soo Band tribal girlfriend. She is over a year late in filling out and returning here subsistence permit catch records. She is now being told that she can;t get a new one issued unless she submits her paperwork...eventually.)


I attended a presentation by the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission presentation on the Treaty of 1842. They started with an Ojibwe history lecture given by some guy who majored in tribal studes someplace in Wisconsin. He made specific points that Anishnabe tribal society had no actual Chief, just individuals who were deemed elders who gave advice when it was sought out from their fellow members. He made a point that the treaty signatories had no legal right to represent the Ojibwe nation in the negotiations. So, if I take him at his word, their actions should not be binding in terms of what the ceded to Western Man. He also made a point of repeatedly focusing on their lack of written records and tribal history both of which were 'forced on them' by Western settlers who took their lands. When he finished I asked him about the Great Migration, which he willingly acknowledged as a part of the Anishnabe tribal history/legend. Basically, the Anisnabe people spent a two hundred year interval migrating sequentially up the St, Lawrence River valley to spread-out and colonize the Great Lakes, ceasing their westward expansion via an agreement struck with the Dakota Sioux to remain on Lake Supeperior's shoreline. Now, I would be willing to hazard a "guess" that much like Western Man, Aboriginal Man readily recognized the worth and extended value of water frontage for the advantages it readily lent the holder in terms of climate, freshwater, access, fish and game availability, ease of travel for a indian culture that developed into some of the best canoe builders in the Americas. Given all the benefits of shoreline property ownershipe for aboriginal peoples, I would also be willing to bet my net worth that these verdant lands were not vacant either. I asked this tribal historian how the Anishnabe dealt with the prior inhabitants they encountered as they moved ever northwestward among the Great Lakes shores. He told me they likely assimilated these tribes... How did they do this? He could offer me no definitive answer since theirs was an oral culture with no written records or written tribal history over that two hundred plus year interval of the Great Migration prior the initial contacts with Western Man. When I asked him whether his definition of assimilation likely included death by stone axe, spear, or arrows, or enslavement within their new culture, he became quite beligerant. When I encouraged him to access the antropological evidence that supported armed conflict with the original Original Peoples occurring at a pretty routine rate as the Anishnabe acquired the "dirt" that he had stated that the White Man stole from them via treaty documents, he refused to discuss the matter any further...

So, basically WE stole their lands, which they stole Previously from other indians who occupied them prior their arrival. The big difference? Western Man left a written record of their actions and specific documents outlining their promises for conveyance of the lands that WERE granted the Anishnabe as theirs and the rights that were theirs, after they stole them fair and square from the previous occupants via "assimilation".

The second big question is that many of the fish species that the 1836 Treaty signatories are asking for an equal share of, don't remain within Treaty of 1836 waters for extended periods of time...do they have rights to all fish that move in and out of Treaty waters or just those that spend sizeable lengths of time within the boundaries?
Cork, does the consent address the issue of allowable by catch. Can they keep the catch. You know they are going to sell them in their stores.

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