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 51





page 151

but your young men will be able to go where they like, as the white man does, provided they behave themselves.  Your Great Father never objected to your hunting through this country, and will not so long as you do no wrong.  Knowing you as long as I have, if I had not known it was the best thing you could do I should not have come.  But it is a very important thing, and I hope you have considered it well.

Commissioner Whiting.  My old friend (Way-ge-mah-wish-kung), I want to get it fully into your mind that by taking this $90,000 of which you will have your share, you will not interfere with the money that the Great Father owes you.  Your Great Father admits that he owes you that, and he will pay it.  The reason he has not paid it is because he did not know what you were going to do.

Nay-tah-we-gah-bow.  When the Indian is allowed to go anywhere, will that permission last forever?

Mr. Rice.  Yes.  If you misbehave you are subject to the same punishment as the white man is, and if any one disturbs your persons or property, whether he is an Indian or a white man, he is subject to the same penalty.  If one of your young men should work for a white man – there ill be a great deal of work to do – and the white man refuses to pay him, the law will compel him to do so.

Tom-bay:  All the Chippewa Indians in this section of the country appear to be blind to anything that the whites say that is worth understanding.  It seems to me as though they do not wish to understand.  The Indian can not be blamed because his perception is not is not great.  What they have in their minds is the old transactions and as to what the Government owes them on that account.  We hope you will be patient with them.

Mr. Rice. Your Great Father told us to be patient with you and to explain everything. We hope that by day after tomorrow, at 9 o’clock, you will understand it and be ready to give an answer.

Commissioner whiting:  Will 9 o’clock Monday suit them?  If so, will you please be prompt?

Council then adjourned until August 26.

Third council at Cass Lake.
August 26, 1889

Song-ge-ge-shig.  These young men do not thoroughly understand this, and ask that you may be pleased to explain matters to them.  We will then retire and consult among ourselves, and we are at liberty to do so, every man as he wishes.

Mr. Rice then repeated at length the explanations already made twice before.

Song-ge-ge-shig.  I am very much pleased to  hear the same thing here which was said at Leech Lake.  I do not know what action the young men may take, but for my part I do not intend to oppose this matter in the least.  Will you please adjourn to give us time to discuss the matter?

Council then adjourned until 2 o’clock, when it again convened.

Song-ge-ge-shig.  My action will be witnessed by the Master of Life to-day.  I am the poorest of what is called the Indian race.  If it pleases the Master of Life to have pity on me, the Great Father will have pity on me also.  I accept your act fully, and if through your efforts my Great Father takes pity on me, I shall be very glad.  I do not wish to influence any one by my action, but I take this step that others may follow my example if they should see fit.  I wish you to progress with the signing.
Song-ge-ge-shig then touched the pen.

Nay-tah-we-gah-bow.  You have heard our chief here, and the expression he ahs uttered.  He has put forth his hand and touched the pen.  What he has put before the commissioners he has had in his mind for a long time, and never let us know what his mind was, but now he has set it before you.

I know very well that the task imposed upon the commissioners and the land that the Great Father insisted you should carry through this country has been a heavy and tedious one.  You have been lightening your load every since you visited the several reservations, and you have now come around to this one.  We hope you will drop a portion of that load here, and we will help you to lighten it.  I will call on the Master of Life to witness my feeling, and to witness that I do this of my own free will, and think it will be of great advantage to myself and the tribe.  My friend (Mr. Rice) I wish you to hand the pen to me.
He then touched the pen.

Tom Bay.  What our chiefs have said expressed my opinion as well as the opinions of others.  I wish to state my convictions before I touch the pen.  I am one who calls upon the Master of Life, because I try to follow the mandates that he taught, and I hope that he will have pity on me and that this arrangement will go through, as I know it will be beneficial to me, and I hope that this contains nothing which will not be carried out.

He then touched the pen.







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