Minutes of councils held by James McLaughlin, United States Indian Inspector, with the Indians of Red Lake Agency, Minnesota, from March 4th to March 10th, 1902, for Cession of land.
1902 Red Lake land cession negotiations, page 3

 

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abundance of fuel for settlers, also some material for log houses, but the chief value of that portion of your reservation lies in its being agricultural land.

I am not talking disparingly of that tract, for I regard it above the average quality of land in such a low and comparatively level section of country,- I simply say that it is not all good land, contain­ing as it does, some marsh and damp land, and that the timber upon it is of very little commercial value, so that in considering the price per acre that the entire tract should bring, these facts should not be over-looked.

In the first place, I desire to ascertain your wishes, as to whether or not you are willing to dispose of this tract and if you consent to its cession we will then take up the question of price and manner of payment.

Now, my friends, I am here to get an expression from you as to and your wishes in this matter, and having some discretionary powers vested in me by the Secretary in negotiations of this character, I will meet you fairly as to price and conditions of payment, but I desire to impress upon you that any agreement concluded by us has to be ratified by Congress before it is binding upon either the Indians or the United States, and must therefore be in accordance with the policy of the Government.  Many of you doubtless understand the status of Indian reservation lands, but that all of you may know, I will explain to you the nature of the Indian title to lands.  The right of Indians to their reservations is that of occupancy alone; the vested right is in the United States, subject only to the right of occupancy by the Indians. This applies to reservation lands that are unallotted and held in common as your Red Lake reservation lands are; allotted lands are different; they belong to the allottee, and are held in trust for him or her by the government for the period of twenty five years from the date of allotment, and are exempt from taxation during the


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