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American Indian Political Activism

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American Indian Political Activism
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American Indian Political Activism

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  1. American Indian Political Activism • Political Activism in the 60s and 70s • Treaty Rights in Wisconsin • Indian Gaming (Casinos, etc.)

  2. Introductory Questions • Is it fair for American Indians to spear fish and hunt deer out of season? • On the reservation? • Off the reservation? • Is it fair for American Indian tribes to own casinos in Wisconsin?

  3. Political Activism in the 60s and 70s • Indians as Sovereign Dependent Nations • The Influence of the Black Civil Rights Movement (Black Power, Red Power) • Alcatraz (1969) and Wounded Knee (1973) • AIM (American Indian Movement)

  4. Treaty Rights in Wisconsin • Precipitating Event • Treaties: Law of the Land • Federal Court Cases • Impact of Indian Spear-Fishing

  5. Precipitating Event • March 8, 1974: Fred and Mike Tribble, Lac Courte Oreilles, arrested • 1975: LCO filed suit in federal court in support of Tribbles • 1983: Federal Court activity ended with Ojibwa victory

  6. Treaties: Law of the Land • 1819 Treaty of the Saginaw (southern boundary of Ojibwa control in WI) • 1820s: series of treaties involving several groups establishing boundaries • 1830s, 1840s: Ojibwa give up northern 1/3 of Wisconsin, relocated to small reservations, retained land use rights • 1854: current reservations established

  7. Treaties, continued • Federal government and state of Wisconsin got the best end of the deal • Part of the law of the land; similar situation in other states (Minnesota, Michigan) • Only Ojibwa; only northern 1/3 of WI

  8. Federal Court Cases • 1942: Toulee v. Washington • treaties take precedence over state law • Indians with treaty rights are not required to obey state fishing regulations • state can be involved in Indian treaty rights in so far as it is necessary for protecting the natural resources

  9. Court Cases, continued: Wisconsin Cases • 1972 Gurnoe Decision (involving Bad River, Red Cliff, and Lake Superior) • 1983 Voigt Decision • Ojibwa have off-reservation rights • Western Wisconsin District of Federal Court has the responsibility to delineate these rights • 1987 Doyle and subsequent Crabb decisions

  10. Implications of Wisconsin Decisions • Hunting, fishing, and gathering rights guaranteed by treaties; commercial harvest of timber not guaranteed • damages were not owed to the Ojibwa because of past restrictions on rights • State can be involved in order to protect natural resources

  11. Impact of Indian Spear-Fishing • Operating Principles • DNR establishes a # of fish that can be taken from each lake • Ojibwa choose lakes and % of allowable catch • spearing is done primarily in the Spring during spawning • sports fishing limits are reduced on some lakes

  12. Impact, continued • Under 400 spear fishers take about 10% of the total harvest of walleye in the northern 1/3 of Wisconsin • Over 80% of the speared fish are male, and the walleye population is not harmed • Reduced limits on some lakes do not affect tourism

  13. Treaty Rights, conclusions • Pro Treaty Rights: Treaty rights are property rights based on legal agreements signed between the federal government and the Ojibwa • Anti Treaty Rights: We are approaching the 21st Century, and it is time for the Ojibwa to follow the same rules as everyone else.

  14. Indian Gaming • Indian Gaming Regulatory Act 1988 • Classes of Gaming • Negotiations over Compacts • Impact of Indian Gaming

  15. References • General Accounting Office, 1997, Tax Policy: A Profile of the Indian Gaming Industry • GAO, 1998, Casino Gaming Regulation: Roles of Five States and the National Indian Gaming Commission • Articles in NY Times Archive

  16. Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 1988 • Establishes federal standards for gaming activity on Indian lands • National Indian Gaming Commission • Excludes trust land acquired by tribes after the Act was passed, except • contiguous to reservation • tribe had no reservation in 1988 • Feds determine it is in the best interests of the tribe

  17. Classes of Gaming • Class I: social games for prizes of minimal value and ceremonial games (raffles, etc.) • Class II: bingo and certain card games • must be permitted by states as well • Class III: all not in previous classes, so includes casino style gaming • requires compacts with states

  18. Compact Negotiations • States must permit such gaming (e.g., lottery in Wisconsin) • States and tribes must reach a compact • Legislation requires states to negotiate in good faith, but recent court decisions question this • Supreme Court recognized right of tribes to have gaming: IGRA in question

  19. Impact of Indian Gaming • 1998: 281 Indian gaming operations involving 184 tribes in 28 states (554 federally recognized tribes; 1/3) • 4.5 billion dollars in revenue • a few casinos account for a large amount of the revenue • per capita v. investment

  20. Future of Indian Gaming • No one anticipated the economic impact • States are expanding their involvement in gaming • Something will give: (1) state competition; (2) further restrictions