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Leech Lake Tribal Council urges cancellation of pre- walleye opener fishing protest

The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Tribal Council's legal department must seek approval from the Tribal Council before assisting in the organization any hunting, fishing or gathering demonstrations associated with the 1855 treaty.

In a press release from the Leech Lake Tribal Council, officials said as they seek Tribal Council approval, the legal department will assist the Tribal Council with its diplomatic negotiations with the state of Minnesota.

In a meeting Thursday morning, Tribal Council members made it clear they seek a diplomatic solution over advocating a demonstration the state might label as a violation of state law.

"The Council understands the desire of the Leech Lake people to exercise hunting, fishing and gathering rights under the 1855," said Tribal Chairman Arthur "Archie" LaRose. "However, we need to sit at the table with the state and do our best to resolve the issues presented by the 1855 treaty in a diplomatic process."

The notion of a fishing protest was an idea discussed by a group meeting on the 1855 treaty, facilitated by the Leech Lake, White Earth and Red Lake Reservations. The group considered the idea as one that would heighten public awareness of the band's 1855 treaty. However, the group never had the opportunity to seek official support for the proposed demonstration from the elected leaders of Leech Lake.

Meanwhile, the Band urges individuals involved in any planned demonstrations to cancel such plans, and let the negotiations and diplomatic process with the State of Minnesota run its course.