MN DNR Warns Chippewa Against Treaty Rights Test

DNR Warns Chippewa Indians Group They Risk Prosecution for Wild Rice Harvesting

The Dayton administration has warned a group of Chippewa Indians who plan to harvest wild rice without state licenses later this month that they risk prosecution and seizure of their rice and equipment.

Supporters of the 1855 Treaty Authority, which is independent of the state’s tribal governments, plan to gather wild rice on Hole-in-the-Day Lake in Nisswa on Aug. 27.

Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr said in a letter Tuesday to the group’s chairman that members are welcome to harvest wild rice off their reservations within the territory ceded under an 1855 treaty, but they must purchase state licenses like everyone else.

Landwehr says the state’s position continues to be that the bands have no special hunting, fishing or gathering rights off their reservations within the ceded territory.

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