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 25




must be treated as such.  The saw-mills are of the utmost importance, for at present nearly all live in single-room wigwams or huts, where privacy is unknown, without or within,  To return young boys and girls to such abodes who have been educated in refined and chaste society at Government schools in the East will be destructive to their orals and a loss of the expense incurred.
            Although the Indians have decided to take their allotments upon their reservations, it will not be well, in many cases, they should do so, and we believe that if rightly cared for, many can be induced in the near future to remove to White Earth.  For this reason it may not be prudent to urge the making of individual allotments upon other than White Earth and Red Lake Reservations at present.
            According to established custom, none but chiefs and headmen speak in council, but at various places others conferred with us by day and by night, and many as individuals expressed a desire to remove to White Earth as soon as provisions can be made for their subsistence.  Their removal should be encouraged, as it will be of the greatest benefit to the Indians and to the State.  It is now impracticable to make allotments upon any save the White Earth Reservations, and will be until the others shall be surveyed.  All but the White Earth and a part of the Red Lake Reservation, are heavily timbered and unfit for cultivation without a heavy expenditure of money and labor, and at best can not for many years be profitably farmed; and it is doubtful, now that the game has nearly all disappeared, if for several years they can raise enough for self-support.
            As 10 acres of maple timber for sugar is a large tract for one family, they requested that, in order to accommodate as many as possible, 10 acres only by legal subdivisions, should be allowed each family now occupying the same.  We promised to ask that this most sensible request be granted.
            As the four townships of pine land ceded to the Government, of the White Earth Reservation, have been surveyed, and as the timber is liable to be stolen or burned, the Indians desire an early estimate and sale of the same.
            On some of the reservations there are swamps of valuable cedar and tamarac which can not be cultivated or sold for agricultural purposes, and the land is liable to be denuded of the timber by trespassers.  The Indians request that such land be withheld from sale under the preemption laws, and that the Secretary of the Interior be authorized to cause the same to be sold in such manner and upon such terms as to him seem best for their interest.
            It is reported and believed that upon the Grand Portage, Bois Forte, and Vermilion Reservations there are valuable mines, and that if such are discovered after examination they shall be disposed of by the Secretary of the Interior so as to best subserve the interests of the Indians.  This is in accordance with their request.
            A further appropriation for surveys and examination of lands will be necessary.  The pine ceded is estimated by various parties to reach in value from twenty-five to fifty millions of dollars.  A small appropriation can be used for the purpose of defraying the expenses of Indians from a distance who may desire or can be persuaded to visit the White Earth Reservation with the expectation of removing thereto before allotments shall be taken or confirmed elsewhere.
            Provision should be made for a mill, furnishing cattle, and farming implements, etc., to enable the Red Lake Indians to commence farming and building houses the coming spring.








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