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 23





forests thereon, but actually secured, as is believed, patents to many acres thereof.  It is possible matters can be so arranged as to give in some way protection to the well intentioned but misled whites who have made their homes upon this tract; but be that as it may, the question of right should  be settled at the earliest possible moment, for the greater the delay the more difficult will be its adjustment.
            All present assented to the agreement and signed the same.
            One council was held at Grand Marais, with a part of the Grand Portage band, October 20.  These Indians accompanied the Commission to Grand Portage, where councils were held October 23, 24, and 25.  At these councils the Indians gave very marked attention, and at the last council expressed themselves as fully understanding and fully satisfied with the terms of the act, and signed the article of agreement with much cheerfulness and unanimity.  These Indians complain that white fishermen spread so many large nets near their reservation that the Indians are unable to procure a supply of fish for food.
            Bois Forte and Vermillion councils were held November 9, 10, 11, and 12.
            At the first council the Indians seemed timid and distrustful.  Indeed, the Vermilion Lake and et Lake parties seemed to distrust each other, and declined to enter into the discussion of the subject presented to them.  Subsequently better councils prevailed, and the Indians announced that they should hereafter act as a unit.  From this time the discussion was entered into with freedom and cheerfulness, and finally resulted in their "touching the pen" with great solemnity and much formality.
            These Indians have the best hunting grounds of any of the Chippewa bands; there being contiguous to them an immense tract of timber land over which the white man seldom passes.  They seem willing to learn to till the soil, but ask for better facilities.  When asked how they cultivated their potatoes, these men of the North say they drove a stake into the ground and pried up the earth, and then make it fine with their hands.  Much of the lands on the Lake Superior Reservations is unfit for cultivation.  And it is believed that if representatives from these bands can visit White Earth, many of them will cheerfully remove there.  The Bois Forte Indians complain that they have been despoiled of a large amount of timber cut from their reservation, which is run down Little Fork River to the British possessions.  We promised to call the attention of the Department to this.
            At Fond du Lac the first council was held November 18 and continued daily until and including November 21.
            It will be seen by the proceedings that Nah-gah-nub, the head chief, did much of the talking.  He is a very old man and not in his prime, physically or mentally, but is respected by all.  Many of his band for want of work (the cutting of timber on this reservation having been suspended by order of the Department) are in great danger of suffering during this winter and coming spring.  Heretofore, while permitted to cut timber, they were well to do and contented.
            Like all of the Mississippi bands, they feel greatly grieved at the long continued withholding of the money due them from the Government.  Our positive assertions that justice should speedily be done, not only in this respect, but in the matter of a palpable error in the boundary lines of their reservation, induced them to listen attentively to the propositions submitted, and all touched the pen.
            By the fourth article of a treaty at La Ponte, September 30 1854, it is







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