Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
Public Law 280, 67 Stat. 588, as amended, 18 U.S.C.S. § 1162, must be considered in pari materia with the Menominee Indian Termination Act of 1954. The two Acts read together mean to the Supreme Court that, although federal supervision of the tribe was to cease and all tribal property was to be transferred to new hands, the hunting and fishing rights granted or preserved by the Wolf River Treaty of 1854 survived the Menominee Indian Termination Act of 1954.
An 1854 federal treaty granted the Menominee Tribe of Indians a reservation in Wisconsin "to be held as Indian lands are held." Under the Menominee Termination Act of 1954, Congress provided that federal supervision over the Menominee Tribe would end in 1961, and that the laws of the several states would thereafter apply to the tribe and its members in the same manner as they applied to other citizens or persons within their jurisdiction. After 1961, some members of the tribe were prosecuted in the Wisconsin state courts for violating Wisconsin hunting and fishing regulations, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court, sustaining the right to maintain the prosecution, held that the hunting and fishing rights of the tribe had been abrogated by the Termination Act. (21 Wis 2d 377, 124 NW2d 41). The tribe thereupon brought suit in the United States Court of Claims to recover just compensation for the loss of their hunting and fishing rights, but the Court of Claims denied relief, holding that such rights had not been abrogated by the Termination Act. (179 Ct Cl 496, 388 F2d 998).
Were the tribe's hunting and fishing rights extinguished?
After reviewing the legislative history of the Termination Act, the Court held that the language of the 1854 treaty granting the tribe a reservation "to be held as Indian lands are held" included the right to hunt and to fish, and that Public Law 280 which reserved hunting and fishing rights to Indian tribes and was enacted by the same Congress which enacted the Termination Act was to be considered in pari materia with the Termination Act, and the two acts, read together, meant that the hunting and fishing rights granted or preserved by the 1854 treaty survived the Termination Act.