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 26





            The head chief of the Pillagers, Flatmouth, has for several years resided in Canada, his sister, Ruth Flatmouth, is in her brother's absence the acknowledged Queen, or leader of the Pillagers; two other women of hereditary right acted as leaders of their respective bands, and at the request of the chiefs were permitted to sign the agreements.
            In taking the census, which was a tedious work, we took unusual pains to see that all rightful persons were included, and in every case not only submitted it to the chiefs and leading persons of the tribe, but secured their presence and assistance.  After having explained to them the importance of accuracy, they fully and earnestly gave their best efforts to insure its correctness.
            United States Agent B.P. Schuler accompanied us to each and every band within his jurisdiction, and gave us most valuable official as well as personal assistance.
            M.A. Leahy, United States agent at Ashland, joined the commission at the fond du Lac Reservation and rendered us material aid.
            Father Aloysius, O.S.B., was with us at Red Lake, White Earth, and Leech Lake, and at all times used his influence in the interest of our work.
            In no instance did we encounter opposition from the traders or white men, husbands of Indian women; on the contrary all readily gave such assistance as they could.  We feel warranted in saying that there was not an Indian who was not fully informed of the purport of our mission, and that the assent of all would have been obtained had authority been given us to put in the way of adjustment unsettled claims.
            In the expenditures incident to the long distance traveled, the length of time consumed, the number of Indians we were compelled to subsist, and the large force we had to employ as messengers in taking the census and aiding in securing the signatures of such only as were authorized to sign the agreements, and in making in duplicate said agreements, and in triplicate the census rolls, we have had constantly to view the injunction of "observing and practicing the utmost economy."
            Among the Indians are many well-educated mixed-bloods, who will be of great assistance in leading the unenlightened onward.
            In Michigan, Wisconsin, and elsewhere we know there are persons of Chippewa blood that will claim, and no doubt many are entitled to, the benefits under the recent negotiations, who were, from their higher education and associations, forced to separate from their bands and seek an living and more congenial society elsewhere, who, now that they can hold lands in severalty and come under the protection of the law, will return to their old homes; for such consideration should be given hereafter.  We think, however, that the safe rule to be observed will be to consult the chiefs and head men as to the justice of their claims.
            To enable the Indians to commence their new life in such as way as will, without the loss of time, encourage them to follow all industrial pursuits possible, it is evident a sum should be advanced by the Government sufficient to enable them, with their labor, to put as much land under cultivation and to build as many homes as practicable.  At each and every place, either in open council or in private consultation, they were urgent in requesting such aids as are indispensable to white man.  Especially, all not pagans expressed a decided preference for mission schools, deeming it essential that the morals of their children, as well as their education, should receive careful attention.
            If this shall be done and the Indians are properly guided, the most happy results may be expected to follow.
            Give the Indian justice, kind and patient treatment, and his confi-







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