Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

'Stand up for our rights': Indian treaty tensions run deep in Minnesota


Curtis Gagnon still holds the summons from 1984, a small piece of paper ordering him to court for shooting a moose off reservation land — a mistake, he said, that triggered "four years of living hell."

He'd shot the animal but it ran. He followed its bloody trail for miles but never found it. That night, Gagnon told the Grand Portage band's game warden where he'd shot the moose. "He said, 'Curt, you weren't on the reservation.' I said, 'What? No!'"

Gagnon knew hunting off reservation land, outside the state's sanctioned hunting seasons, was illegal. He also knew that when his ancestors sold the federal government 5 million acres of what's now northeast Minnesota, the 1854 treaty included language stipulating that Ojibwe people would have the right to hunt and fish on that land.


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