1837: Chippewa Indians cede much of northern Wisconsin to the United States in return for annual payments of $30,000 for 20 years and hunting, fishing and gathering rights in the ceded territory.
During a meeting at La Pointe on Madeline Island, the Chippewa cede the rest of northern Wisconsin and parts of Michigan's Upper Peninsula to the U.S. for $37,700 annually for 25 years.
Tribal members agree to accept reservations in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Supreme Court rules that the state can regulate Chippewa rights to hunt on and off their reservations because Wisconsin's entry into the Union gave it the power to suspend the tribe's treaty rights.
Fred and Mike Tribble, members of the Lac Courte Oreilles band of Chippewa Indians, are arrested for spearing fish on Chief Lake near Hayward. The tribe sues Wisconsin, claiming the arrests violated the terms of the treaties.
U.S. District Judge James Doyle Sr., the father of the future Wisconsin attorney general and governor, rules the Chippewa had lost their rights to hunt, fish and gather off their reservations in the 1854 treaty. The tribe appeals to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.
The appeals court rules the tribe's rights still exist on public lands in the ceded territory and sends the case back to Doyle to define those rights.
Chippewa exercise spearfishing rights for the first time under a negotiated agreement with the Department of Natural Resources.
On Feb. 18, Doyle issues a decision defining treaty rights as "the right to exploit virtually all the natural resources in the ceded territory" that tribal members need to achieve a "modest living," subject to conservation requirements.
On Aug. 21, following Doyle's death, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb rules the state may regulate the tribe for public health and safety as well as conservation reasons.
Crabb rules that all the available resources of northern Wisconsin would not be enough to meet the modest living standard.
Crabb establishes regulations and safeguards for tribal spearfishing and netting. Mole Lake and Lac du Flambeau bands of the Chippewa reject proposed settlements with the state that would limit their exercise of treaty rights. Crabb declines the state's request to restrict tribal spearfishing. About 200 people are arrested during spearfishing protests.
Crabb limits tribal members to no more than half of the "harvestable natural resources" of northern Wisconsin. On Oct. 11, Crabb rules the Chippewa cannot collect damages from the state.
On May 20, Attorney General James Doyle, the future governor and son of the late federal Judge James Doyle Sr., forges an agreement with six Wisconsin Chippewa tribes to live by the current court rulings rather than appeal, ending the controversy of off-reservation spearing.
Source: Wausau Daily Herald archives