The Federal government and Indian tribes have a unique relationship that is “government-to-government”. The basis for this is in the constitution of the United States (Article 1, Section 8) which recognized tribes as sovereign. The Forest Service is committed to this relationship with federally recognized Tribal governments.
National Forests have important historical, spiritual, and cultural significance for Tribes. Forests often serve as a source of traditional medicines, food, firewood, and basketry materials. Consultation with tribes provides an invaluable means of obtaining expert advice, ideas, information, and diverse opinions from Native Americans in an effort to work together collaboratively to achieve positive outcomes for ecosystem health and cultural values.
The Forest Service and 10 Chippewa Tribes of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission entered into an agreement December 1998. The agreement deals primarily with the exercise of the Tribes' treaty rights to gather wild plants on National Forest lands within the areas ceded in those treaties. Information about the agreement can be found on this web page.
Memorandum of Understanding (entire document without campground listings)
MOU Campground Listing - June 2009 (updated yearly)
Map of Treaty Ceded Areas
and National Forests in the Lake States
How to Comment on the MOU
As part of the MOU, the Forest Service and the Tribes have agreed to meet annually to review progress made on implementing the MOU, and to discuss issues that may affect the MOU. The following documents will provide assistance in reviewing the implementation progress on the MOU.
The Forest Service and Tribes have provided some explanatory materials to help people understand the MOU. They can be viewed by clicking on these links:
Various laws, regulations, and policies direct the Forest Service to develop relationships with federally recognized Indian Tribes.
For additional information or questions, contact Mary Rasmussen, Tribal Liaison, 715-479-2827, ext. 19, email firstname.lastname@example.org