The Walleye War Analysis

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The author of the novel The Walleye War: The Struggle for Ojibwe Spearfishing and Treaty Rights is Larry Nesper, an assistant professor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, as an understudy for Raymond Fogelson, a well-renown American Indian ethnographers. Nesper specializes in the Ojibwe or Chippewa tribes of Northern Wisconsin. As a result, the whole scope of his career is based on the social injustices and struggles that the Ojibwe face, creating this very in depth ethnography. He has collected evidence through field work, participant observation, and interviews over a span of 9 months in Lac du Flambeau, in the heart of the Indian reservation. Nesper’s stance achieved through participant …show more content…
The treaties of St. Peter and La Pointe in the early 19th century ceded the Native Americans land to the U.S. government in exchange for allowance to still hunt, fish, and gather in the ceded territory, along with a set time period of paid provisions. This produced no problems until January of 1983, when a case was brought to the U.S. Appeals court, resulting in affirmation of the treaties and the Ojibwe tribes rights to utilize the ceded land. In turn, violence ensued between the Ojibwe and non-Indians, specifically structural violence. Structural violence means that the basic needs of Indians are inhibited due to the non-Indian social structure, as well as causing a dramatic change in lifestyle and means of living. The treaty about rights was unclear and therefore left to interpretation, on which both sides differed opinions. For example, certain added prefects didn’t “apply” to the Indians when it came to state law (49). They stated since they were on their own private reservations that they were a separate entity or nation-state. A primary illustration of this is spearfishing for walleyed …show more content…
However, I do believe that there was some author bias as there are no accounts from the non-native side to counter. As a result, he only knows the Ojibwe story and not the locals. Overall, I would include this ethnography in the syllabus in place of Comaroff Ethnicity, as it exhibits a more relatable example of ethnicity and culture. If I had to assign one chapter it would be “The War Begins” as it encompasses all the main points of the story and ties into our class, including structural violence, ethnicity, and culture. The resolution of the conflict was at the referendum vote Lac de Flambeau in 1989, after 6 long years of conflict. Tribal Council 369 offered a 10-year grant of hunting and fishing rights as well as governmental and economic programs, valued at $50 million. The Chippewa Indians voted to keep their rights due to pride and culture, allowing them to maintain their current lifestyle. In summation, I think Nesper provided support to illustrate the suppression of the Ojibwe, but failed to offer insight from and outside perspective. I enjoyed the book and enjoyed hearing the story from the opposite side. I would rate this book a 8 out of

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