On this episode of Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa, Erik Redix has a conversation with Don Wedll, former Commissioner of Natural Resources for the Mille Lacs Band, about the landmark 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision that reaffirmed the off-reservation hunting and fishing rights of Ojibwe Bands in the region.
Don Wedll worked for the Mille Lacs Band in Onamia, Minnesota from 1974 to 2008, serving in a number of capacities, including Commissioner of Education, Chief of Police, Commissioner of Natural Resources, long-range planner and advisor to the chief executive. He was educated as a mathematician and a teacher. As Commissioner of National Resources, Don was the Mille Lacs representative to the GLIFWC's Board of Commissioners from 1985 to 2001. He also served as the tribe's representatives to the Commission's Voigt Intertribal Task Force from its inception in 1983 to 2001. Wedll was instrumental in achieving recognition and implementation of treaty rights in the 1837 to 1842 ceded territories and particularly in achieving successes realized in the U.S. Supreme Court case State of Minnesota versus Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.