Wednesday, July 12, 2006
A Minnesota fisherman on a quest to get his boat back after it was confiscated on the Red Lake Indian Reservation could challenge tribal laws. Jerry Mueller was fishing on Red Lake when he crossed an invisible eight-mile line that is the boundary between the state's property and the reservation's.State Rep. Sondra Erickson organized a meeting with the state's Department of Natural Resources, elected officials and angling activists to try to stop the practice. We're one nation under God, and I don't think we should have any divisions in our state or in our nation, so I think the state of Minnesota has jurisdiction over all the navigable waters in Minnesota, Erickson says.Erickson believes the 70 year old treaty the DNR is using is being interpreted incorrectly, and that Minnesota has ownership of the lake. Other individuals say their vehicles have been confiscated for crossing reservation boundaries. The DNR says it is following the treaty, which allows the tribe to enforce the boundary. To change the terms, the governor and the federal government would also have to become legally involved. Attendees at Erickson�s meeting say they are trying to schedule meetings to start that process.