From: "Bear Christensen" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
via Martha
Court dates in Indian Tribal Fishing case delayed

By Renee Ruble

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) _ A federal judge's decision to postpone a trial may 
increase the chances for an out-of-court settlement in a dispute over Indian 
fishing rights. 

Chief Judge Richard Enslen this week delayed the trial to August 2000, giving 
mediator John Bickerman more time to negotiate an agreement between the state 
and five Indian tribes involved in the case. 

Trial had been set for May. 

The tribes and state are trying to develop a replacement for a tribal fishing 
policy that has stood since 1985, when Enslen approved a consent decree that 
temporarily settled a lawsuit filed 12 years earlier. 

Bickerman was hired this fall to help reach an out-of-court settlement, which 
Enslen has said he would prefer. 

The five tribes involved in the case are: The Bay Mills Indian Community, the 
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, the Little River Band of Ottawa 
Indians, the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians and the Grand Traverse 
Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. 

The state and the tribes must resolve issues ranging from the size of Indian 
fishing waters to how long the new agreement should last. 

One particularly contentious issue is the use of gill nets, which the tribes 
say is their right based upon an 1836 treaty with the federal government. 
Recreational fishermen say the nets harm their fisheries. 


 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Clinton signs water compact for Rocky Boys Reservation


HELENA (AP) _ President Clinton on Friday signed into law a bill that settles 
water rights of the Chippewa Cree Tribe on the Rocky Boys Reservation and 
provides $43 million for water projects and economic development efforts. 

The agreement is the second such water compact among Montana, the federal 
government and an American Indian tribe. The Northern Cheyenne Tribe already 
has its agreement. The Legislature earlier this year endorsed a compact with 
the Crow Tribe that is awaiting federal approval. 

The signing completes eight years of negotiations that involved the U.S. 
Department of the Interior. 

"This settlement was reached in the true spirit of cooperation. It represents 
a strong partnership among Federal, State and Tribal parties," said Interior 
Secretary Bruce Babbitt. "Through a great deal of hard work, we have forged a 
settlement that satisfies tribal rights and needs, while also recognizing the 
rights and needs of non-Indians in the region." 

The compact was signed by the north-central Montana tribe and state in April 
1997. It allows the tribe to divert up to 10,000 acre-feet of water a year 
from rivers, lakes and aquifers and to use another 10,000 acre-feet annually 
from Tiber Reservoir, about 50 miles west of the 122,000-acre reservation. 

The legislation provides $25 million for four projects to develop water 
supplies on the reservation, $15 million for future importing of drinking 
water and $3 million for tribal economic development efforts. 

The tribe needs more water storage and public works improvements to support 
its agricultural operations and to meet drinking water needs of its growing 

Bruce Sunchild, chairman of the tribe's negotiating team, stressed the 
importance of the agreement. 

"This settlement signals a turning point in the Chippewa Cree's history by 
setting the foundation for the realization of the tribe's vision of Rocky 
Boys Reservation as a self-sustaining homeland for the Chippewa Cree people." 

Chris Tweeten, chairman of the Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact 
Commission, said the compact "brings certainty to an area in which water is 
the lifeblood of the economy." 

"The real heroes are the people of the Rocky Boys Reservation and their 
neighboring ranchers who set aside years of mistrust to reach this agreement, 
and in doing so, showed great courage, leadership and compassion," he said. 

All three members of Montana'a congressional delegation sponsored the bill 
signed by Clinton. 

Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., said everyone wins and no one loses under the 
agreement. "There are only healthier families, more opportunities for 
economic growth and increasing community stability," he said. 

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., stressed the compact ensures tribal access to safe 
drinking water. "The signing of this legislation also will stimulate economic 
development, create jobs and improve the quality of life for many people in 
the area," he said. 

Rep. Rick Hill, R-Mont., said the agreement will help tribal neighbors as 
well because it contains provisions for settlement of water rights between 
landowners and communities in the region. 


 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Bear Christensen, Esq.
1510 20th Street Apt#105
Boulder, Colorado 80302  

<<<<=-=-=                                  =-=-=>>>> 
"We simply chose an Indian as the emblem.
  We could have just as easily chosen any
uncivilized animal."
   Eighth Grade student writing about his school's
   mascot, 1997
<<<<=-=  =-=>>>> 

<<<<=-=-=FREE LEONARD PELTIER!!!=-=-=>>>>

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