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Tribal Treaty Hunting and Fishing Rights

The United States Constitution’s Treaty Clause authorizes the President to make treaties, with the concurrence of two thirds of the Senate. In total, the United States has ratified approximately 374 treaties with Native nations. Through these treaties, Indian Tribes ceded land and natural resources to the United States, while retaining all rights not expressly granted. The United States Supreme Court has affirmed this principle of reserved rights, explaining that treaties are “not a grant of rights to the Indians, but a grant of rights from them, a reservation of those not granted.” United States v. Winans, 198 U.S. 371, 381 (1905). These rights often include the right to hunt, fish and gather plants both on and off reservation. The Indian Resources Section brings affirmative litigation and participates in negotiations to protect the treaty-guaranteed rights and resources associated with Tribal lands, including Tribal treaty hunting, fishing, and gathering rights.

Updated September 11, 2023