This week’s fun facts to celebrate the Native American Rights Fund’s 45 Anniversary of Standing Firm for Justice
On May 7, 1979, a decision was handed down in a landmark Great Lakes Indian fishing rights case. In a 140-page opinion, Judge Fox, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, held that tribal members of the Bay Mills Indian Community and the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians have the right to fish free of state regulation in the areas of Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron, which were ceded in treaties.
In 1980, the Native American Rights Fund celebrated its tenth anniversary as a national organization working for Native American rights throughout the country. NARF held a special two-day celebration in July of that year. Approximately 200 participated in the Indian Law Symposium held the first day in Boulder. The following day, a reunion was held in the Rocky Mountains in Estes Park. Present and former staff and board members were joined by special guests active in the area of Indian affairs.
In December 1980, the Indian Corrections Project of the Native American Rights Fund, which represented Indian prisoners in a number of proceedings challenging conditions and policies of state and federal prisons, parole boards, and local county jails concluded a year-long study of Indian inmates in the Great Lakes and Northwest areas. The study, funded by the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, was designed to research and identify the unmet legal and cultural needs of Indian inmates in federal and state institutions in these two areas and to develop comprehensive plans for addressing these needs.