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 cession of 11 western townships, Red Lake Indian Reservation, "council" proceedings, page 35

 

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that all the territory in the United States is the property of the United States, the land in the Indian reservations, the Military reservations and all Government reservations are properties of the United States in a certain sense.   The Indian, reservations are reserved for the Indians to occupy, that is, it is their land so long as they live and so long as their children live after them, but they cannot dispose of it.  It is simply the right of occupancy.  But as I told you the other day, and as you will understand, the demand for land is increasing in this country.  As the population increases lands become scarcer, and the more land is required.  And when I say the Government in this respect, I mean the people, all the people of the United States are the Government.  They elect members to represent them in Congress and those members make the laws and represent the people, who are a part of the Government, and the demand of the people of the country is so great for more land that the representatives in Congress are obliged to listen to them. And remember, as I told you the other day, that Congress enacts the laws and the President and the heads of Departments execute them, but they cannot do any more than execute the laws that are enacted by Congress.  Now I hope that I have made this question of Indian title to land understood by you.

I will say that the statements that you have made here today in conjunction with those that you made yesterday please me very much.  They have been stated in very plain manner.  As I stated to you yesterday I fully believe that there is merit in many of your claims that you have presented, and I promise you as I did yesterday that they will be forwarded by me and submitted to the Department with strong recommendations for action as promptly as possible.

I will say my friends, in regard to the matter of the boundary line as described by you, the boundary lines are fully defined by the treaties and whatever they are in the treaties are the only lines


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