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.
cession of 11 western townships, Red Lake Reservation, page 4


 

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trust period, after which the allotment belongs to the allottee, with the right to do what he pleased with it.    Indian reservation lands held in common by Indians cannot be sold or disposed of except to the United States; and while the fee or rested right to the lands is in the United States, the right of the Indians to the occupancy is as sacred as that of the Government to the fee.  Indians have a right to the use of their reservation and benefits of what it produces, whether from the results of their own labor or of natural growth, so that they do not commit waste.  They are therefore simply tenants for life, having free use of the lands during their lives and the same right passes down to their children and grand children, if not sooner relinquished to the Government, but as I said before they cannot sell any such lands except to the United States, which sale is called extinguishment of the Indian title, and it is for the extinguishment of your title to the western portion of your present reservation that I am now here to negotiate with you,

My friends, the surplus lands of every Indian Reservation will sooner or later be opened to settlement and it is only a question of time until such will be consumated.  It is coming as sure as the day succeeds the night, and the best course for Indians to pursue in every such instance is to make the best bargain possible in disposing of lands they do not need and provide for their wants from the proceeds. The department who has charge of Indian Affairs and even the President who is our chief executive, are, owing to the pressing demand for homes for new settlers, powerless to prevent the opening of the surplus lands of Indian reservations, which the Indians do not actually need and cannot make proper use of.   Public opinion demands it and popular sentiment cannot be overcome, and all that the department can do in the matter is to protect the Indians by obtaining for them reasonable compensation for their surplus land.  If you needed this tract of land that I am talking to you about, it would be quite different, but you have no need of it and are deriving little or no benefit from



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