Wisconsin History Day By Day


Related Web Sites:
Treaty Fisheries in the Upper Midwest

Indian Treaty Rights Issue Spans 155 Years

Court Closes Case on Indian Rights


Read More About It

"Chippewa Treaty Rights: The Reserved Rights of Wisconsin's Chippewa Indians in Historical Perspective" by Ronald N. Satz

"Hidden Transcripts in the Chippewea Treaty Rights Struggle: A Twice Told Story" American Indian Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 4, by Patty Loew


Vocabulary:

judgment
case
band
spearfishing


Interesting Fact:

In 1850, President Zachary Taylor orders the Chippewa Indians evicted from their lands east of the Mississippi River. The Wisconsin Legislature objects and the order is never carried out.


Study Questions:

  • Besides spearfishing, what other traditional rights did the court decision allow?
  • In what year did the Chippewa Indians cede their land in northern Wisconsin to the United States?
  • During the 16-year court case, what was the ruling in 1978 and who did it favor?


    Search these newspaper databases for additional stories about the Chippewa treaty rights:

  • Newspapers on BadgerLink
  • Wisconsin Historical Society


    U.S. historical events that occurred on March 19:

    1953: The Academy Awards are first televised.
    2003: The war in Iraq begins with the launching of air strikes on Baghdad.



  • March 19

    March 19, 1991: A 16-year-old legal battle came to a close on March 19, 1991, when Judge Barbara Crabb issued her final judgment in the case between the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Superior Indians and the State of Wisconsin. The case involved the Indians' off-reservation hunting and fishing rights. Crabb's ruling recognized the rights of the Chippewa Indians to hunt and fish in their traditional methods. The case began in 1974 when two members of the Lac Courte Oreilles band were arrested for cutting a hole in the ice and spearing fish on a lake in northwestern Wisconsin. Before the final judgment ending the case, tribal members were often harassed by rock-throwing demonstrators during the spring spearfishing season.


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