Outdoors: Minnesota Dakota seek to enforce treaty rights

"Advance notification to the media that a group of Dakota would net Cedar Lake in Minneapolis on the day before the state's fishing season yielded a predictable throng of reporters lakeside, also Department of Natural Resources conservation officers and of course the Dakota, who had themselves sent the advance notification. This is how the news game works sometimes: cut, dried, staged.

The Dakota are Sioux, and this group, in staging its fishing protest in violation of state law, claims an 1805 treaty with the federal government gives it the right to hunt and fish largely free of state regulation on 155,000 acres, the centerpiece of which, the Dakota say, is the Twin Cities area.

"We're just asking the U.S. to honor its treaties with the Dakota people of Minnesota,'' Chris Mato Nunpa, 70, a Dakota and retired professor from St. Paul and Granite Falls, told Doug Smith of the Star Tribune. "We think we have the right to hunt, fish and trap as we formally did. These aren't special rights. These treaties are the supreme law of the land.''

Mato Numpa added: "I would say Minneapolis and St. Paul aren't paid for. We'd like to get land reparations into court, too.''"

Get the Story:
Outdoors by Dennis Anderson: Treaties stir up the peace (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 5/21)

Related Stories:
MPR: Dakota activists stage fishing protest in Minnesota (5/13)

Join the Conversation