Lac du Flambeau president recognized as ‘tribal leader of the year’
The Native American Fish and Wildlife Association named Lac du Flambeau President John Johnson its tribal leader of the year at its annual conference last week.
Johnson earned the recognition for his commitment to protecting treaty rights.
“Ojibwe tribes, they ceded territory for our reservations that we could hunt, fish and gather throughout two-thirds of Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota,” Johnson said. “It’s very important that we teach our culture to our kids and that we know our rights, and it’s to sustain ourselves and feed ourselves throughout our community.”
Johnson said the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe are committed to protecting nature, with the goal of enjoying and sustaining all of the natural resources of the Northwoods.
“We just want to work together with the state and the people,” he said. “We’ve already fought for our rights. That’s been settled. Now, we have to look to the future and how we’ll keep the water, the air quality, the trees, plants and animals safe as we move forward in life.”
He said the tribe is currently working with the state, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Association and local lakes associations to restore wild rice and walleye lakes.