Henry Buffalo: Tenacity for Ojibwe Treaty Rights

Produced by Nick Vander Puy
Reserve, Wisconsin (IndianCountryTV)

For more than a hundred years the State of Wisconsin illegally enforced fish and game regulations against the Lake Superior Chippewa. Many hunters went to jail for trying to feed their familes, while the people suffered from not getting deer meat and fish.

Through out the struggle many Ojibwe maintained the validity of treaty rights established in the nineteenth century with the United States government.

Back in 1850 Ojibwe Chief Buffalo, who was then ninety years, travelled in a canoe with other headmen to Washington to persuade President Filmore to not remove his people from Wisconsin.

Buffalo was successful and a subsequent treaty signed in 1854 guaranteed Ojibwe homelands in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Eventually, the US Supreme Court in Mille Lacs. v. Minnesota in 1999 affirmed the right of the Ojibwe to hunt, fish, and gather in the ceded territory.

Buffalo's great, great, great grandson, Henry Buffalo, now a Minneapolis attorney, speaking in July at the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission's twenty-fifth anniversary in Odahah, Wisconsin  talks about Ojibwe resilience. 

"The people's resilience is reflected in Chief Buffalo's 1850 journey to Washington DC." 

 

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