Image from “The Walleye War: The Struggle for Ojibwe Spearfishing and Treaty Rights” book cover. Viewed online.

The Ojibwe bands of Wisconsin retained hunting, fishing and gathering rights in what would become northern Wisconsin when they signed treaties with the Federal Government in 1837, 1842, and 1854. When a federal appeals court upheld these rights, conflict erupted between the Ojibwe bands and some of their non-Native neighbors. Protesters and supporters gathered at boat landings of lakes being fished, and Ojibwe spearfishers were shot at, stoned and threatened.

Learn more about this conflict with The Walleye War, including spearfishing’s historical and cultural significance to the Ojibwe. Also discover why the Lac du Flambeau tribal council and some tribal members disagreed with spearfishers and pursued a policy of negotiation with the state to lease off-reservation treaty rights for fifty million dollars.

Contributed by Larry Nesper