The Herrera Case

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Mike Dwyer

Mike Dwyer is a former writer and contributor at Ordinary Times.

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5 Responses

  1. Avatar Slade the Leveller
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    says:

    As far as I’m concerned, Indians can do whatever they damn well please out there. Drive through any reservation. It’s heartbreaking.Report

  2. Avatar Oscar Gordon
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    says:

    I remember the spear fishing BS in WI back when I was a kid, about how sport fisherman got really pissed that the tribes could spear fish and they couldn’t. I remember thinking they were being silly, that their weren’t enough tribe members left to seriously affect the fish stocks in the lakes and rivers (like every tribe member would have to be out there 12 hours a day spearing fish left and right before anyone would notice an even minor dint).

    And I was right, it wasn’t about the fish stocks, it was about the fact that they could spear fish and no one else could. And there were claims about equal protection blah blah, totally ignoring the fact that these were a sovereign people.

    Anyway, long way to say that I suspect the reason anyone bothers to bust the tribes for stuff like this is because there are sportsmen who get all butthurt over the fact that tribes can hunt and fish in ways and at times and in places they can’t. And people need to just tell those guys to shut up and read a history book.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      says:

      I go back and forth in my head on this one. I have always supported tribal rights to engage in historic hunting practices (Inuit hunting of whales, using spears, hunting animals at stream crossings, etc). I also support them not having to purchase hunting licenses or even more liberal bag limits, etc and even special off-season hunts. On the other side of the argument, specifically in Herrera, is that they interpreted the treaty as they saw it and appear to have violated state law. Not so happy about that. I’m glad SCOTUS is going to clear this up.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Mike Dwyer
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        says:

        I’m of the opinion that as long as the tribes are not hunting or fishing for profit (selling the meat or other parts as part of a business venture), they should be allowed to take what they want from any public land or water. If the feds want to get into it, they’d need to show that the tribes are taking more than they could possibly be using.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Oscar Gordon
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          says:

          I think the fair argument against this is that with the reservation system they are trying to have their cake and eat it too. If they are US citizens, subject to all the same laws, then it seems like game laws would also apply. They aren’t currently required to have a hunting license to hunt on the reservation but they still benefit from conservation dollars. It seems fair to ask them to follow all game laws when they are off the reservation, just like they aren’t allowed to break criminal laws (speeding, murder, whatever).

          The only way I could really be okay with them having extra hunting rights would be if we all decided it was some kind of affirmative action thing. Having spent some time on several reservations out west, it seems like that’s a pretty weak gesture considering how much more we could be doing.Report

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