The Walleye War
The Struggle for Ojibwe Spearfishing and Treaty Rights
Publication Year: 2002
Starting in the mid-1980s, protesters and supporters flocked to the boat landings of lakes being spearfished; Ojibwe spearfisher-men were threatened, stoned, and shot at. Peace and protest rallies, marches, and ceremonies galvanized and rocked the local communities and reservations, and individuals and organizations from across the country poured into northern Wisconsin to take sides in the spearfishing dispute.
From the front lines on lakes to tense, behind-the-scenes maneuvering on and off reservations, The Walleye War tells the riveting story of the spearfishing conflict, drawing on the experiences and perspectives of the members of the Lac du Flambeau reservation and an anthropologist who accompanied them on spearfishing expeditions. We learn of the historical roots and cultural significance of spearfishing and off-reservation treaty rights and we see why many modern Ojibwes and non-Natives view them in profoundly different ways. We also come to understand why the Flambeau tribal council and some tribal members disagreed with the spearfishermen and pursued a policy of negotiation with the state to lease the off-reservation treaty rights for fifty million dollars. Fought with rocks and metaphors, The Walleye War is the story of a Native people's struggle for dignity, identity, and self-preservation in the modern world.
Published by: University of Nebraska Press
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My brother Glen graduated from Ripon College with Nick Van Der Puy in 1975. By the late 1970s they had both come to live within a few miles of each other in Eagle River, Wisconsin, forty miles east of Lac...
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On October 25, 1989, the adult membership of the Lac du Flambeau band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians voted down tribal council Resolution 369 (89), a proposition that would have leased federally...
1 Cultural Topography and Spearfishing
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The Highland Lake District of northern Wisconsin is underlain by a formerly mountainous region that has been worn down to a plain and has more lakes per square mile than almost anywhere else in the...
2 Anishinaabe Culture
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The social and political conflict in the 1980s over the meaning of renewed Indian access to the living resources of the lands and lakes between their modern villages was accompanied by a cultural renaissance among western Ojibwe communities. This renewal and the ways...
3 Hunting, Fishing, and ‘‘Violating’’
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For the Ojibwe bands of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, "leadership was based upon skill as a hunter and trapper, on maturity, wisdom, guidance, articulateness, and control of supernatural power" (Smith 1973:13, paraphrasing Rogers 1962:266). Successful...
4 The War Begins
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Hunting and fishing conditions off the reservations for Indian people had been eroding for nearly a century before litigation in the 1970s altered the relationship between the Wisconsin Chippewa bands and...
5 The War Within
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The year 1989 proved to be a watershed in the Walleye War. The conflict continued to intensify and broaden, as recounted in Chapter 6. As important, the spearfishing controversy drove further wedges into...
6 Spearing in the Four Directions
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The 1989 spearing season unfolded accompanied by a complicated interplay between the leaders of two factions on the reservation at Lac du Flambeau, five other bands of Wisconsin Ojibwes who were also...
7 Anishinaabe Summer
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Within days of the end of the 1989 season, the leaders of Wa-Swa-Gon Treaty Association were caught up in activities within and beyond the borders of Lac du Flambeau to gain more support for the treaty rights...
8 The Referendum
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Ojibwe society is made up of kindreds whose extensions and alliances are constantly shifting,cont racting, and expanding (Smith 1974:9). People are related to each other in multiple ways,and kinship is typically...
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As among the Hopi (Geertz 1994), millenarian prophecy has a long history in the social thought of the Anishinaabeg. In the nineteenth century, historian William Whipple Warren noted an Ojibwe belief that the coming of the white race and the demise of the red had been...
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In the 1990 season, spearfishers were again hit by rocks andfired at with guns. Protesters began to use bullhorns, whistles, andsirens, creating a carnivalesque atmosphere at the boat landings. They chanted...
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Page Count: 245
Illustrations: Illus., map
Publication Year: 2002