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1854 Treaty Authority Conservation Court

Like any natural resource management agency, 1854 Treaty Authority has rules. The establishment of our organization in 1989 required the creation of a Conservation Court to hear cases involving Band members who while engaged in harvest activities violate the ceded territory conservation code.


The court has exclusive civil jurisdiction to hear matters arising under the 1854 ceded territory conservation code enacted by the governing bodies of the Bois Forte and Grand Portage Bands acting jointly as the 1854 Treaty Authority.


The Code provides the framework for setting seasons and limits, and also defines the methods and other restrictions that Band members must adhere to while exercising their treaty rights in the 1854 ceded territory.

Only a few cases are heard by the court each year due to the court’s limited jurisdiction, the small number of Band members that exercise treaty rights for the purposes of traditional subsistence, and the even smaller number found to have done something that violates the Code. If a member contests a violation, there is a hearing at which the Authority must present evidence to prove the violation. The court is empowered to impose civil remedial penalties, natural resource assessments and order the forfeiture of game taken and/or equipment used in a violation, levy court costs and revoke, suspend, or limit the hunting, fishing and gathering privileges of Band members found to have violated code provisions. In the event a fine is not paid in the time ordered by the court, the violator’s privileges are suspended until the fine is paid.

Court Administrator: Elyse Lawrey
Judge: Honorable Tadd Johnson
Prosecutor: Benjamin Pachito