Giving context to controversy

Paul DeMain has more on protecting treaty fishing rights for tribal citizens. Holly Cook Macarro is back to share a political rundown of Washington, D.C. And Melissa Olson gives us an idea of what it’s like in Minneapolis after the Chauvin verdict.
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Ojibwe hunting and fishing rights are guaranteed by treaties. However, there has been conflict on many of the lakes between tribal citizens and non-Native residents over fishing rights. Paul DeMain, Oneida and Ojibwe, is the former editor of News from Indian Country. DeMain joins us to give context to the controversy.

Plus joining us today is Red Lake Band of Ojibwe citizen Holly Cook Macarro, a partner at Spirit Rock Consulting and she's worked for tribal nations for more than 20 years. She’s a regular contributor to Indian Country Today explaining what’s going on in our nation's capital.

Melissa Olson, Leech Lake Ojibwe, is the director of partnerships and operations for MIGIZI in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Today she'll be sharing her own reaction to the verdict of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

A slice of our Indigenous world

Find more details on these at the top of today's newscast.

Some quotes from today's show

Paul DeMain:

"This was a case that worked its way through the tribal, uh, not tribal courts, the US court system for a number of years leading up to decisions in and around 1984, 85, in which a federal district court, a conservative federal district court in Chicago overturned the liberal judge James Doyle's decision, which said that the treaty rights reserved in the treaty of 1854 were no longer valid. The conservative seventh district court overturned that decision remanding it back to trial for further deliberations."

"And that became the beginning of what is known as the Voigt case or the Lac Courte Oreilles tribe versus the state of Wisconsin, which certified that off reservation hunting and fishing rights still existed. And that Ojibwe citizens had a right to access those resources on public lands in Northern Wisconsin at a rate of a 50 percent of anything that could be allocated out."

Holly Cook Macarro:

"The $4 billion dollars that you're referring to is from the Indian Health Service. As you know, part of the 31 plus billion that was in the American Rescue Plan, 20 billion of that went to tribal governments. The remainder went out to the federal agencies. And as we talked about a couple of weeks ago, the Indian Health Service did consultation with tribes, took that information and have now announced how they're going to invest the $4 billion in Indian Country."

"The need is great. The $4 billion dollars is going to go towards testing, prevention. And really, I think very importantly that I think was a sign that the folks at HHS ,secretary Becerra and his terrific staff there were listening, is that they're also covering the loss revenues from Medicare, and lower patient loads, during the pandemic. And that is going to be a critical piece of replacing those funds as well."

Melissa Olson:

"I think the Native community in reacting to this verdict is really just satisfied. There is a sense here that justice for George Floyd has been served, but justice is more about reform. And for some that means abolition for others, that means police reform, but that accountability for what has taken place has happened in the space of this verdict."

"We were visiting yesterday at the community center that is the small coffee shop on Franklin, where everybody sort of meets and gathers. And I talked with leaders there and one who told me that he had never been so happy as he was yesterday to of heard this verdict nd that for him it was both happiness and relief. Because I think we here in Minneapolis we're all bracing for impact. And so I think there's a great deal of satisfaction. I think there's some relief that's being felt here."

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Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock, is editor of Indian Country Today. On Twitter: @TrahantReports Trahant is based in Phoenix. 

Patty Talahongva, Hopi, is executive producer of Indian Country Today. Follow her on Twitter: @WiteSpider

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