Document Type



Wisconsin Law Review




In this Article, adapted from his Oliver Rundell Lecture delivered at the University of Wisconsin Law School in April 1990, Professor Charles Wilkinson explores the historical and contemporary conflict arising out of the Chippewa people's assertion of nineteenth century treaty fishing rights. A key to comprehending the Chippewa's position is a realization that they are governments whose sovereign rights predate the United States Constitution and are preserved in federal treaties and statutes. The Chippewa's survival as a people depends upon a recognition of their sovereign prerogatives, an understanding of their history, a respect for their dignity and a just application of the rule of law. To this end, Professor Wilkinson advocates a strategy of cooperative management that would uphold the government's treaty obligations and ensure the continued health of the state's fisheries.