Robert Jarvenpa

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Ojibwa Indians; Wild rice--Minnesota


ABSTRACT - Immunity from both state ricing regulations and the competition of white harvesters characterizes the protective legal niche occupied by Ojibwa Indians who gather wild rice in the Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota. Since 1937 the economic benefits of the Rice Lake rice beds have become restricted to an increasingly exclusive membership of socially and genetically interrelated harvesters from several nearby Indian communities. It appears that this relatively favorable political-economic situation has enhanced the sensitivity of Rice Lake harvesters to current ricing problems encountered by Indians throughout northern Minnesota, and the institution of a rice auction has become an ideological arena in which the opposing political attitudes and economic interests of Indians and whites clash, but without upsetting business transactions.

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