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The Mooz Hunt

4 October 2009

By Wayne Dupuis, FDL Resource Management

Treaties negotiated between the Anishinaabe (Chippewa) and the United States Government during the 1800s established the right to hunt, fish, and gather within the ceded territories. Our ancestors who negotiated these treaties knew the importance of being able to sustain our lifestyles with the resources that were provided by the creator.

Time has elapsed since the signing of the treaties and many rights have been eroded by efforts to repress the bemaadizid (lifeways) of the Anishinaabe. There was a long period of time that state conservation officers imposed state laws over giiyosewin (hunting) of key natural resources. As a result, many guns and even more meals of fresh meat and stores of wild rice were confiscated.

Since the mid 1980s, and after much deliberation and legal action, the states have been persuaded to recognize our rights – known as usufructuary rights – to hunt, fish and gather within the ceded territories. Since 1989, the Fond du Lac Band has co-managed the giishkashkizhigewin (harvest) of mooz (moose). The Band’s wildlife biologist, Mike Shrage, has shared some interesting statistics on mooz hunt, presented in the graph below.

So to the mooz,we say migwiitch. To those who have come before us and inendamowin (thought) of our ability to sustain ourselves in this life we say mikwendaagoziwag (they are remembered). Migwiitch.

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