Fred Tribble: Treaties Preserve a Way of Life

by Nick Vander Puy
Reserve, Wisconsin (IndianCountryTV)

Back in early March 1974, two Wisconsin game wardens busted Mike and Fred Tribble from Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe reservation for illegally spearfishing through the ice on Chief Lake in the ceded territory of Wisconsin. Land and lakes that once belonged to the Ojibwe.

Having taken a treaty history course from attorney Larry Leventhal at St. Scholastica College in Minnesota earlier that year, the Tribbles showed the wardens a copy of the 1837 Treaty. They were given citations anyway.

But the arrest made it's way through the federal court system and the treaties were affirmed by the US Supreme Court in 1999 inĀ  Mille Lacs v. Minnesota.

Tribble thinks, after being denied gathering rights for more than a century, the tribes through the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission are now caring for the land better than the State of Wisconsin.

"Our forbears who signed these treaties were thinking about (us) the Seventh Generation."

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