Great Lakes Consent Decree

On August 24, 2023, Judge Maloney, of the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, approved and ordered the implementation of the Great Lakes Consent Decree. 

Little River, along with the other Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA) Tribes (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians, Bay Mills Indian Community and the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians), the state of Michigan and the federal government have been negotiating for more than five (5) years to come to an agreement that ensures the preservation and protection the treaty rights of signatories to the March 28, 1836 Treaty of Washington and the Great Lakes. 

The negotiations have had their ups and downs, but the stipulating parties are proud of the Decree that has been put forward to the Court. The Decree creates more flexibility, provides more opportunity and access, and considers the changes to our Great Lakes over the last 25 years. 

I want to take the opportunity to thank the Natural Resources Department team, including Frank Beaver, Sgt. Robert Robles and Archie Martell have assisted the negotiations team since day one. 

Although the Court has issued an order, the work is not done.

Over the next few months, the CORA Tribes will be working to make updates to the regulations, increasing opportunities for Little River fishers and implementing the new online electronic reporting system. In addition, Little River will be working to increase access to the Treaty waters. 

I will continue to keep you all updated and look forward to announcing the official signing of the Decree. It will be a celebration. With the signing of the Great Lakes Consent Decree, Little River is ensuring treaty rights are sustained for the next seven generations. 

08.23.2023 Ogema Romanelli Update