The Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission is commonly known by its acronym, GLIFWC. Formed in 1984, GLIFWC represents eleven Ojibwe tribes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan who reserved hunting, fishing and gathering rights in the 1837, 1842, and 1854 Treaties with the United States government.

     GLIFWC provides natural resource management expertise, conservation enforcement, legal and policy analysis, and public information services in support of the exercise of treaty rights during well-regulated, off-reservation seasons throughout the treaty ceded territories

     GLIFWC is guided by its Board of Commissioners along with two standing committees, the Voigt Intertribal Task Force and the Great Lakes Fisheries Committee, which advise the Board on policy.

GLIFWC News & Upcoming Events


Current News

Whitefish dinner

In partnership with Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and tribal fishermen, GLIFWC is studying the diets of Lake Superior whitefish to pinpoint their primary food sources. Baseline data on whitefish (adikameg) diets will help biologists better evaluate the impact of invasive species on the fishery. Significant disruptions in the food webs of other Great Lakes are attributed to quagga and zebra mussels, aquatic invasive organisms that originate from the Black Sea region of Eurasia. Over the coming years GLIFWC researchers plan to analyze whitefish stomach samples provided by tribal fishermen on an annual basis. Lake whitefish are a cold-water staple for both commercial and home-use harvesters. 


Ogichidaa Storytellers video series

The first video in this series is entitled "Crossing the Line" and highlights Lac Courte Oreilles' very own Mike and Fred Tribble and the struggle for Anishinaabeg to retain treaty reserved havesting rights throughout the ceded territory. Be on the lookout for the next short video about the Gurnoe decision.


Educator survey

Attention all educators, please take a few minutes to take this survey about American Indian Studies in the classroom. In an effort to develop new materials and revise existing publications, GLIFWC is looking for input and feedback about classroom practices and the materials being utilized to teach about Native American history and culture. Miigwech for your time.


Judge Crabb gives a go-ahead for a treaty night hunt in Wisconsin

     On October 13 Judge Barbara Crabb issued an order in favor of a highly regulated night hunting opportunity for treaty hunters in Wisconsin’s ceded territory.
      GLIFWC and its member tribes welcome the night hunt as an additional opportunity for members to put meat on the table. However, the hunt also has strict requirements, including, but not limited to, taking an advanced hunter safety course, passing a marksmanship test at night, and completing a detailed site plan.
      Dates and locations for taking the safety course and the marksmanship test will soon be posted at tribal registration stations. Regulations also will be available within the next few days on GLIFWC’s website.




Earth Economics St Louis River Project Factsheets

Earth Economics St Louis River Project Report


Tribes night hunt case returns to District Court

     The plaintiff tribes in the treaty night hunting case are pleased with the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of Wisconsin’s petition for review, a decision which came down April 20. This denial is favorable to the tribes because it will return the case to District Court for further consideration. In its petition to the United States Supreme Court, the state attempted to convince the Court to reverse a Seventh Circuit Court decision on the tribes’ night hunting case that was favorable to the tribes. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals found that sufficient circumstances had changed to warrant another look at the original 1990 deer night-hunt decision in the Lac Courte Oreilles v. Wisconsin case. The case will now go back to Judge Barbara Crabb in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, for further consideration.
      “The tribes are actively seeking more opportunity for our members through a highly-regulated, treaty night hunt for deer,” states Mic Isham, Lac Courte Oreilles tribal chairman. “For me the justices have ruled for tribal sovereignty, our continued ability to exercise sovereignty through self-regulation. We also continue to work with the state to address legitimate safety issues in our night hunt plan. We are hopeful that the final order will give our communities the opportunities we seek.”
      Colette Routel, professor at William Mitchell School of Law, has served as lead attorney on behalf of the plaintiff tribes.


Freshwater Fish Preservation

Updated mercury maps February 2016

Under funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GRLI), GLIFWC updated the mercury maps for its member tribes with the most current mercury data available.The updated Mercury Maps. Physical copies of the Maps were provided to tribal registration stations and other locations on reservation for the spring harvest.


Now available:  Map and description of analysis GLIFWC recently completed to determine what streams could be filled given the provisions of AB1/SB1. In particular, the analysis looked at the effect of Amendment 9 to AB1/SB1 on the ability of an iron mining company to fill streams with mine waste. What GLIFWC found was that many upper watershed stream segments could be filled given the provisions of Amendment 9. Those streams are indicated in red on the attached map.

Notes and Methods Used in Development of Vulnerable Stream Analysis

Surface waters potentially filled by iron mining given provisions of AB1/SB1



GLIFWC's Focus Areas


     GLIFWC is actively involved in a broad spectrum of resource related activities aimed at protecting and enhancing the natural resources and habitat in the treaty-ceded territories while also infusing an Ojibwe perspective into its work.


Affirming and implementing the rights

Climate Change



Forest Pests

Great Lakes fishery

    - Report Ghost Net

          + Avoid The Trap

    - Report Tagged Fish

Inland fishery

Inland lakes mercury levels

Invasive species

Language & culture

    - Nenda-gikendamang ningo-biboonagak

      (We Seek to Learn Throughout the Year)

Wild plants

Wild rice (Manoomin)

    - Canoe Safety Survey

    - Manoomin Harvest Information