||"Chippewa Indians in
51st Congress, 1st Session - House of Representatives - Ex. Doc. No. 247.
from the country and that missionaries and school teachers be send them. They all signed the agreement, and it will be the purpose of this Department to supply and enforce so far as may be in its power the regulations so reasonably demanded. Scattered members of the White Oak Point bands were found at Kimberly, who were healthy in mind and body, unusually bright and careful of themselves, and all of whom were anxious to acquire lands in severalty and the young men eager to find work. They number one hundred, and all except one signed the agreement.
The Indians at Mille Lac were found to be intelligent, cleanly, and well behaved, and of good reputation among the neighboring whites. White men unfortunately have been permitted to rob them of their pine, and for years to settle upon their agricultural lands, to great injury and fear of the Indians. Squatters are not settling upon this reservation, as the commissioners report. The question of right should be settled at the earliest possible moment, for the greater the delay the more difficult will be the adjustment. All signed the agreement at this place.
The rights of the Indian upon this reservation have been a vexed question, full of difficulties and embarrassments, but it is hoped that this agreement will furnish a basis for its early and final solution.
At Grand Portage the Indians expressed themselves as fully understanding and satisfied with the terms of the act, and signed with cheerfulness and unanimity. They complained that the white fishermen spread so many large nets near their reservation that the Indians were unable to procure a supply of fish for food.
At Bois Forte and Vermillion Lake the Indians seemed timid and distrustful, but they "touched the pen" finally with great solemnity and much formality. They have the best hunting grounds of the Chippewas. They seem willing to learn to till the soil, but ask for assistance in the way of better facilities. Much of the land on the Lake Superior reservations is unfit for cultivation, and the Bois Forte Indians complain that a large amount of their timber is cut without compensation, and is run down Little Fork River to the British Possessions.
Many of the Indians at Fond du Lac are in danger of suffering during the winter and spring, having been denied the right of cutting timber on their reservation. Like all of the Mississippi bands, they feel greatly grieved at the long-continued withholding of the money due them from the Government. On the positive assertion of the commissioners that justice should be speedily done, not only in this respect but in the matter of a palpable error in the boundary lines of their reservation, they were induced to listen, and finally signed by touching the pen.
This claim for additional land to which the Indian insist they are entitled under the plain and unmistakable meaning of the treaty should have careful consideration and be fairly and speedily adjusted.
The Commission reports:
As the various bands decided to take their allotments on their respective reservations, the Commission told them that the $90,000 to be advanced and already appropriated would be paid pro rata as soon after the approval of these negotiations by the President as should be practicable, but not later than the coming spring.
The Commission further reports that--
The clause of the act of January 14, 1889, providing for the payment of the interest that may accrue n the permanent fund, was to the Commission obscure, and they promised the Indians that cash payment should be made per capita in equal shares.