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.
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.
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.
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?