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Six Ojibwe tribes sue Wisconsin to block fall wolf hunt

Six Ojibwe Native American tribes have sued the state of Wisconsin to block the state's fall wolf hunt, saying state agencies have violated treaties granting them equal share of any game hunted. File Photo by Geoffrey Kuchera/Shutterstock
Six Ojibwe Native American tribes have sued the state of Wisconsin to block the state's fall wolf hunt, saying state agencies have violated treaties granting them equal share of any game hunted. File Photo by Geoffrey Kuchera/Shutterstock

Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Six Native American tribes sued Wisconsin on Tuesday in an effort to stop the state's wolf hunting and trapping season.

The six Ojibwe tribes claim the state's Department of Natural Resources and Natural Resources Board "knowingly discriminated" against the tribes by acting to nullify their share of wolves hunted in the upcoming Nov. 6 season, violating a pair of treaties dating back to 1837 and 1842.

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The suit also states that the Natural Resources Board failed to use "sound biological principles" in establishing a quota of 300 wolves for the fall hunt, more than twice the number recommended by officials with the Department of Natural Resources.

Under the terms of the treaties, the tribes retain the right to hunt, fish and gather food in parts of northern Wisconsin that have been ceded to the U.S. government and are entitled to an equal share of any game hunted.

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The Ojibwe tribes say wolves help to enhance and maintain healthy ecosystems and elect to use their share to protect wolves rather than kill them.

In their suit, the tribes note that Wisconsin's February hunting and trapping season resulted in 218 wolves being killed, 99 above the state quota which allocated 119 to the state and 81 for the tribes.

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"In our treaty rights, we're supposed to share with the state 50-50 in our resources and we're feeling that we're not getting our due diligence because of the slaughter of wolves in February," John Johnson Sr., president of Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians said in a statement.

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Lac du Flambeau band is joined by the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Red Cliff Band of Lake SUpperior Chippewa Indians, the Sokaogon Chippewa Community and St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin in the suit.

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