ODANAH, Wis. (AP) — Authorities in Vilas County have arrested a person suspected of opening fire on Ojibwe spear-fishers.
The Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission said in a statement that the incident took place Saturday night on Little Saint Germain Lake. The spear-fishers reported they had been harassed and shots were fired.
GLIFWC law enforcement personnel and Vilas County Sheriff's deputies responded and one person was arrested for being armed while intoxicated. GLIFWC spokesman Dylan Jennings said Wednesday that he had no further information and did not know if the person taken into custody was a man or a woman. A message left at the sheriff's department wasn't immediately returned.
Treaties the Ojibwe signed in the 1800s that ceded much of northern Wisconsin to the U.S. government grant the tribes the right to hunt, fish and harvest wild rice in the territory. The treaties permit the Ojibwe to spear-fish, angering white fishermen who fear the practice depletes fisheries. The 1980s and early 1990s were marked by violent clashes between the tribes and white fishermen and the animosity hasn't completely faded.
Lac du Flambeau tribal police arrested a man in May 2019 for allegedly shooting at Native spear-fishers on Gunlock Lake in Vilas County.