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Keweenaw Bay Indian Community of L'Anse and Ontonagon Bands of Chippewa, Michigan

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Two members of the Upper Michigan tribe were properly charged with illegally hunting deer in 1999, a state appeals court ruled Sept. 5 in a case reviving the issue of off-reservation treaty rights in Wisconsin. A 17-year legal fight that ended in the early 1990s established that the Chippewa retained certain hunting, fishing and food-gathering rights in treaties signed in the 1800s that ceded millions of acres of what is now northern Wisconsin to the federal government. In the recent hunting case, the 3rd District Court of Appeals said Marinette County Circuit Judge Tim Duket properly refused to dismiss the illegal hunting charges against Adam Matthew and Jeremy Husbeck. The men argued the state had no power to regulate how they hunted. Assistant Attorney General Tom Dosch said the ruling clarifies and begins 'establishing the framework' of how Wisconsin can regulate the treaty rights of members of other Chippewa bands who come to the state to exercise them.