Red Lake Nation Objects to DNR Plans for NW Angle Bear Hunt
The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians is opposing plans from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for a bear hunting season at the Northwest Angle.
In a letter from Red Lake Chairman Darrell G. Seki, Sr. addressed to DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen, Seki wanted to make very clear the objections that the Red Lake Nation has to such a hunt.
“As you are likely aware, approximately 80% of the land at the Northwest Angle is owned by the Red Lake Band. Additionally, many of the state parcels of land at the Northwest Angle do not have access from a public road, which necessitates the crossing of Red Lake lands in order to access the state lands,” said Seki in a statement.
“Clearly, the band’s lands would be impacted by a state sponsored bear hunt at the Northwest Angle,” continued Seki. “Unfortunately, many residents and visitors to the Northwest Angle do not respect the Red Lake Band’s land ownership. Without notice, our lands are regularly trespassed upon and used as a playground by nonmembers. This is not acceptable to the Red Lake Band, and a bear hunt would only exacerbate this problem.”
Additionally, Seki said that the Red Lake Band was informed of the bear hunt through an article in the Grand Forks Herald and stated that DNR should not have announced this publicly without consulting with the band first.
The release also said that the Red Lake Tribal Council prohibits the hunting of bears on tribal lands because there are relatively few lands at the Northwest Angle that are available for a state bear hunt, and because many of the lands have access problems, this would likely result in unauthorized uses of tribal lands by nonmembers without notice to the Red Lake Band.