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American Indian Political Activism Political Activism in the 60s and 70s Treaty Rights in Wisconsin Indian Gaming (Casinos, etc.) Introductory Questions Is it fair for American Indians to spear fish and hunt deer out of season? On the reservation? Off the reservation?

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American Indian Political Activism

  • Political Activism in the 60s and 70s

  • Treaty Rights in Wisconsin

  • Indian Gaming (Casinos, etc.)


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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?


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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)


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Treaty Rights in Wisconsin

  • Precipitating Event

  • Treaties: Law of the Land

  • Federal Court Cases

  • Impact of Indian Spear-Fishing


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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.


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Indian Gaming

  • Indian Gaming Regulatory Act 1988

  • Classes of Gaming

  • Negotiations over Compacts

  • Impact of Indian Gaming


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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