fbpx
 

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Chippewa tribal officials in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan have blasted the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for putting on what they say was a poorly planned wolf season during which state-licensed hunters blew past their quota in a matter of days.

The Chippewa consider the wolf sacred. The lead story in the spring issue of Mazina'igan, the quarterly newsletter for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, takes the DNR to task for allowing so much killing.

“After the DNR’s failure to maintain kill quotas and the poor application of scientific decision-making in wolf management, (Chippewa) tribes remain deeply concerned about ma’iingan’s future,” editor Charlie Otto Rasmussen wrote, using the Chippewa word for wolf.

The commission represents 11 Chippewa tribes across Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan that established hunting and fishing rights as part of treaties ceding territory to the U.S. government in the 1800s.

The administration of former President Donald Trump removed wolves from the endangered species list in January. The Wisconsin DNR had been planning to hold a wolf season in November as mandated by state law, but a hunter advocate group won a court decision forcing the agency to put together a season before the end of February.

State-licensed hunters killed 216 wolves in four days, nearly double their quota of 119 animals. The DNR estimated about 1,000 wolves roamed Wisconsin before the hunt.

John D. Johnson is chairman of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission's Voigt Intertribal Task Force, which advises the commission on natural resources policy. He told Mazina'igan that the hunt was poorly planned and that the Chippewa were never consulted as per treaty requirements.

The hunt was held during a time of year when female wolves are pregnant, putting an end to “entire future generations” of wolves, Johsnon said. He also lamented that hunters were allowed to use dogs.

He added that wolf pelts are in bad shape in the spring, which means the hunt was solely about killing.

“It's so disappointing, the hurried plan to kill ma'iingan,” Johnson said.

Tribal leaders expect a seat at the table as the DNR updates its wolf management plan this year.

DNR spokeswoman Sarah Hoye didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment Monday.

You’re reading the first draft of history. 

November is  Native American Heritage Month in the United States. We feel like every month — and every day — is a reason for celebrating Native Americans and our heritage. That’s what we try to do here at Native News Online, with stories each day that celebrate, inform and uplift American Indian and Alaska Native people. Over the past year or so, we have been especially busy with three important reporting projects that are having an impact across Indian Country:

  • Indian Boarding Schools. We’ve reported and published more than 150 stories and special live stream video events to help shine a light on the dark era of boarding schools — and help create momentum for change.
  • Native Health Desk. Launched in January, this reporting initiative was created to heighten awareness of Native American health inequities and spotlight pockets of progress in Indian Country. So far we’ve reported and published nearly 120 stories and launched a monthly health newsletter that reaches more than 23,000 readers.  
  • Native Bidaske. In March, we launched this live stream interview program to highlight the work of Native Americans who are making news and leading change in Indian Country.  We have hosted guests from the federal government and Native rights advocates as well as Indigenous actors, comedians, journalists and models.   

We hope you will join us in celebrating Native American heritage and history this November and invite you to consider the old adage that “Journalism is the first draft of history.” If you appreciate the voice Native News Online gives to Native American people, we hope you will support our work with a donation so we can build our newsroom and continue to amplify Native voices and Native perspectives.

Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.  Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10.  Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news. 

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.