Where have all the fishes gone, long time passing? (www.minnesotabound.com).
by Jeff Wilfahrt
Jul 30, 2015, 10:00 AM

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?

That childhood song comes to mind while watching white resort owners pin the blame on the Ojibwe and DNR over the loss of walleye.

Yet according to news reports 2 out of every 3 walleye are taken by the resort owners clients. That’s an easy 66%, or as commonly said, the lion’s share.

Whether you like it or not the government struck a deal by treaty. Most all of these treaties have been broken in the past.

Never satisfied to honor obligations when there is more to be had, it now appears the state will find economic relief for the businesses affected by a supply they themselves depleted via their lion’s share.

Not a peep about how the Ojibwe may be compensated for their diminished share, the one supposedly guaranteed under treaty. Tough luck First Nation, the invaders come first.

Big boats, big tackle, big business. Job creators and resource consumers need the triage. Never mind how long the fisheries may have survived in their absence.

Angry about the limits set this spring the resorts should have had the sense to see this coming. There’s an old adage about being part of the solution or part of the problem. When two thirds of it is on your doorstep it is rather pointless not to “sweep your own doorstep first” as grandma used to say.

In 1966 Paul Current wrote these words in his history of the Current family in MN:

“Now, I want to say something about the timber that was on this land. Much had to be cleared away to make farm land as the years went on and it was slow work as there wasn’t bulldozers in those days like today. This was very heavy timber, many of the trees were 3 to 4 ft. in diameter and I suppose from 100 to 200 years old, maybe more. At this time most of the timber is all cleared away, one can look to the north beyond the Minnesota river into Nicollet county[*] and what trees are left are in the ravines sloping to the river. When I look over this area now and see the beautiful fields that we think are so necessary to our living then my thoughts go back about 65 years to the beautiful trees that were there then. I am filled with apprehension and remorse for in less than 100 years what God has created for us, we have failed to take care of. Those trees were 100 to 500 years in growing yet just one generation has practically destroyed them. Now, what will the next generation (our children) have?? Yet I was one of those raiders, during the month of February and March we practically lived in the woods cutting fire wood and making fence posts.

… [later on the events of August 1962]

The question may be asked here, was it right and just that the white man drove the Indians from their homes and happy hunting grounds, and that maybe some day the same white people may be driven from their homes???”

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? Not me, couldn’t be!

It was we who stole the cookie from the cookie jar.


* As an enate descendant of the Current family it should be noted that a mere 16 or 17 months after the war of 1862 John Quincy Adams Current purchased land from another white man on the eastern edge of the reservation. Here stood the lodges of Hu-sha-sha [Red Legs], of the Wahpekute band even as the Current family occupied it. In less than a year and a half the land had already been confiscated, commericalized and the treaties broken.

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