Response to Sanders: Ma'Iignan as Property

5 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2014

See all articles by Matthew L. M. Fletcher

Matthew L. M. Fletcher

Michigan State University - College of Law

Nicholas J. Reo

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Natural Resources & Environment ; Native American and Environmental Studies, Dartmouth College

Date Written: December 21, 2013

Abstract

American law has long recognized the state as the owner of wild game within a state’s borders, including gray wolves (or “ma’iingan” in Anishinaabemowin), within the States of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan. However, as Anishinaabe scholar Jason Sanders forcefully demonstrates, the Anishinaabeg — indigenous people of the western Great Lakes known as the Ottawa (Odawa), Potawatomi (Bodewadmi), and Chippewa (Ojibwe) — considered ma’iingan siblings, not property. One does not hunt one’s siblings.

Sanders’s paper is a fine example of cutting edge, pragmatic legal scholarship that will allow the stakeholders, in time, to push through the adversarial rhetoric and move into a more useful cooperative mode. Federal Indian law, often through the assertion of American Indian treaty rights, has historically been a powerful engine for change. Treaty rights cases arising from Anishinaabeg treaties often do not result in a winner-take-all outcome, with either tribes or states prevailing over all opponents. Instead, the rule of law as exemplified by Indian treaty rights forces state interests to reckon with the interests of a discrete and insular minority. As such, regulation of hunting, fishing, gathering, and other activities on or near Indian country is an intergovernmental affair, dominated by cooperative fact finding and negotiation.

Keywords: ma-iingan, Anishinaabe, Anishinaabemowin, wolf hunts, Odawa, Bodewadmi, Ojibwe, treaty rights, intergovernmental cooperation

Suggested Citation

Fletcher, Matthew L. M. and Reo, Nicholas James, Response to Sanders: Ma'Iignan as Property (December 21, 2013). Wisconsin Law Review Online, p. 69, 2013, MSU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-25, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2378926

Matthew L. M. Fletcher (Contact Author)

Michigan State University - College of Law ( email )

648 N. Shaw
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300
United States

Nicholas James Reo

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Natural Resources & Environment ( email )

440 Church St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~reon/

Native American and Environmental Studies, Dartmouth College ( email )

Department of Sociology
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

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