Page 30 - Visitors Guide 18
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name “Duhamel” on the front pages of newspapers, including the Leelanau Enterprise. The Duhamels ran aground of conventional thinking when they started setting gill nets
in Lake Michigan in hopes of starting a long-term commercial  shing enterprise.
At the time, the state of Michigan asserted that only
it could regulate the  sheries. Hard feelings resulted when the state and sportsmen opposed the Duhamels.
Shots were allegedly  red in the direction of the Duhamels’ boat in the 1970s, and in
the late 1990s Skip Duhamel was accused of “mooning”
a Leelanau County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol deputy. Retired Tribal attorney Bill Rastetter fought local prosecutors and the state Attorney General to prevail over several issues on behalf of the tribe. He later defended Skip Duhamel in at least four criminal prosecutions and civil cases over use of marinas in Northport and Leland by Tribal  shermen.
“These cases and a criminal prosecution ultimately led to
a 1995 federal court decision that was upheld on appeal in 1998 that is now in textbooks as a ‘landmark’ victory for India treat rights,” Rastetter said in an earlier Enterprise story.
Although both Duhamels have died, they passed a torch to a new generation.
“If it weren’t for Skip Duhamel and his dad, I would be nowhere,” said Bill “Bear” Fowler, one of the Tribe’s
most successful commercial  shermen and head of the 1836 Fish Company. “Like his dad, Skip always stood up
to the state and others who threatened our  shing rights. His legacy lives on.”
All Americans are protected by the Bill of Rights, which does not include a right
to commercially  sh Lake Michigan.
But that right was recognized for Indian tribes in Michigan
by a federal judge who found legal foundation embedded
in federal treaties signed in the 1800s. The treaties led to white settlers moving their civilization into northern Michigan.
Like most rights, though, those for Native Americans didn’t come easily.
Two names are often associated with the long struggle by members of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians to regulate their own hunting and  shing activities, and both end with “Duhamel.”
You may have seen that name on a sign. The tribal commercial  shing marina in Peshawbestown is named after the late Arthur Duhamel. He was frequently accompanied by his young son “Skip” in
the 1970s when they began asserting Native American rights to  sh commercially with gill nets in Lake Michigan waters surrounding Leelanau County.
Or you may have seen the
Helen Soule of Shorewood, Wis., offers a grin during a visit last season to the Eyaawing museum in Peshawbestown. – Photo by Ron Kramer
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Woodland Indian Culture
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surrounding communities. Two percent of electronic gaming revenues is cycled into the community, ful lling the requests of schools, local government agencies and a variety of nonpro ts.
Try your luck at Leelanau Sands Casino while you’re
in town. The venue offers family-friendly entertainment and dining options for all to enjoy. The Polka Party, held
on Tuesdays from noon to 4 p.m., always attracts a friendly crowd.
Bryan Beckwith
511 E. Front St. Traverse City Michigan 49686
Linda Leppek
Leelanau Visitors Guide 2018

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