Media Contact: Tozier - Int. 4306 | Information Service
For Immediate Release: October 31, 1959

The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and the Department of the Interior are now in agreement on a plan developed by the Tribe for future control of its property and service functions after Federal trusteeship is terminated next year, Acting Secretary of the Interior Elmer F. Bennett announced today.

The plan was developed by the Tribe under terms of the Menominee Termination Act of 1954 and was submitted to the Secretary of the Interior on July 28. It includes six major parts.

One of these consists of two recently enacted Wisconsin State laws which set up the Menominee Reservation as a new county of the State and make special provision for managing and taxing tribal forest lands. The other parts include articles of incorporation and bylaws of Menominee Enterprises, Inc., a common stock and voting trust, a bond indenture, and a Menominee assistance trust.

While the plan was approved in principle by the Department last July 31, the Department at that time availed itself of an offer made by the Tribe to take an additional 90 days for further study of its detailed provisions. The Department's responsibility under the Termination Act has been to insure that the plan is equitable and is in conformity with law.

The Tribe agreed that changes, qualifications or refinements might be made in the plan during the 90-day period provided they were not inconsistent with the basic principles of the plan and provided tribal representatives were afforded consultation on these modifications.

“The Menominee Tribe's plan,” Acting Secretary Bennett noted in a letter to tribal chairman James G. Frechette, “has been studied intensively by many people in the Department of the Interior and the State of Wisconsin over the past three months. Then on October 26 through 29, representatives of the Tribe, its attorneys, officials of the State of Wisconsin and the Department of the Interior met for many hours in negotiations over a great many refinements in the plan. At the end, there was unanimous agreement on the basic concepts of the changes adopted, and concession by all parties that the modifications had not substantially altered the intent of the plan that had been approved in principle by the Acting Secretary on July 31.”

Several additional days will be required, Mr. Bennett said, to complete the redrafting job and incorporate the changes on which agreement was reached. Thereafter the Department will act to certify adoption of the plan as of July 31, 1959.