- Parent Category: NFIC Columnists & Contributors
- Category: Paul DeMain
- Published: 25 September 2007
Great Lake Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. Today our guests are with driver and guide, Kenny Charette of Red Cliff. At New Odanah (Odanah meaning Town in Ojibwe), on the Bad River Ojibwe Reservation on the shores of Lake Superior is located the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. The oversee a great deal of the resource data gathering and regulation of tribes exercising their treaty rights in the Great Lakes.
Our visitors are welcomed by staff members of the commission and are led through the offices in order to get an idea of the technical capacities of the organization. They review several videos including a short one reflecting up on the potentially violent actions of anti-treaty protesters at the boat landings in the 1980's. We had already visited the Butternut Lake site, but the night time videos of the landing filled with hundreds of angry protesters shouting racial slurs moves them reflect upon human nature. They ask, "but were not these rights reserved under a Treaty with the United States?' The answer is yes, but it made no difference to those who didn't like Indians taking "their fish," nor to the obvious property law point that the treaty guaranteed the title to their own property.
The Solstice Ceremony. Our visitors are invited into an annual feast of wardens, administrators, biologist and others taking part in an annual feast. A talking feather is later passed around and participants have a change to introduce themselves and say a few words.
The Red Cliff Elderly Women lite their fires. Our visitors are once again invited by Red Cliff tribal member this time to partake in their second feast in the area. A group of female Red Cliff tribal elders. They are getting together to talk about a campaign that each year would light fires across the continent in an attempt to protest against both domestic and elderly abuse. I will try to find out more details of this event and contacts as I was not on this part of the trip.