1889 - Minnesota Chippewa Commission
Chippewa Indians in Minnesota - 1890 - 51st Congress, 1st Session - House of Representatives - Ex. Doc. No. 247
 
  
Report of the Minnesota Chippewa Commission, page 17]





[ex-]pense and loss of time, they are subject to unavoidable temptations.  Many have not teams and have to employ others to take their grain to the mills, and after paying transportation and toll, leaves but a moiety for their use.  The Indians made special complaints in regard to the want of milling facilities.  At their request, with the aid of Agent Schuler, we investigated the condition of their farms, and found about 5,000 acres seeded in wheat, oats, barley, and vegetables, but owing to the want of rain not more than half a crop will be grown.  At least 2,500 acres heretofore cultivated lies fallow for the want of seed and teams.

            Hear, as well as at Red Lake, Rev. Mr. Peake, rendered valuable services.

            After completing our work at White Earth, we went to Gull Lake, where we found a small band, numbering 277, belonging to the Chippewas of the Mississippi.  Some of them had attended the councils at White Earth, and all seemed familiar with the propositions submitted to them.  We, however, went through the explanations in detail, and after consultation among themselves all singed the agreement.  They promised to make their permanent home on the White Earth Reservation as soon as they could be furnished with means to enable them to cultivate the soil and subsist until they can make a living.  This agreement was concluded on the 5th of August.

            We held the first council at Leech Lake, August 8.  We were received at this place with all the pomp and show the Indians could display.  Guns were fired and every flag in the settlement was flying.  A guard of honor, dressed in war feathers and decorated with paint, greeted us with open arms.  We were informed that this guard was for our protection, especially to keep the pillagers from giving us any personal annoyance.  Faithfully did they perform their duty, not only by day but by night.  No Indians were permitted to see us unless accompanied by a detail from this polite and considerate guard, which was master of the situation.  The party that originated and organized this body, knowing the object of our mission from the copies of the act we had sent in advance, as well as from persons of their own band who had attended the councils at Red Lake and White Earth, were fully determined that no business should be transacted between the band and the Commission until they should be satisfied that it had the authority to provide for the settlement of outstanding claims.  They were polite and courteous, but were resolved to keep us, as well as the uncertain of their band, under the restraint of the guard.  They felt that they had been grievously wronged.

            These Indians, even the most bitterly opposed, said that had we come empowered to adjust unsettled matters they would not have made any objections to the propositions, nor would they have detained us long.  Enough, however, gave us their consent as required in writing.  Others said that they would assent when they saw a disposition on the part of the Government to right the wrongs they had suffered.  We were kept there until August 22.  We had to give a solemn promise with raised hands that we would to our utmost ability urge the immediate settlement of unadjusted claims.







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