forests thereon, but actually
secured, as is believed,
patents to many acres thereof. It is
possible matters can be so arranged as to give in some way protection
well intentioned but misled whites who have made their homes upon this
but be that as it may, the question of right should
be settled at the earliest possible moment, for the
delay the more difficult will be its adjustment.
assented to the agreement and signed the same.
was held at Grand Marais, with a part of the Grand Portage band,
20. These Indians accompanied the
Commission to Grand Portage, where councils were held October 23, 24,
and 25. At these councils the Indians gave
marked attention, and at the last council expressed themselves as fully
understanding and fully satisfied with the terms of the act, and signed
article of agreement with much cheerfulness and unanimity.
These Indians complain that white fishermen
spread so many large nets near their reservation that the Indians are
procure a supply of fish for food.
and Vermillion councils were held November 9, 10, 11, and 12.
first council the Indians seemed timid and distrustful.
Indeed, the Vermilion Lake and et Lake
parties seemed to distrust each other, and declined to enter into the
discussion of the subject presented to them. Subsequently
better councils prevailed, and the Indians
they should hereafter act as a unit. From
this time the discussion was entered into with
cheerfulness, and finally resulted in their "touching the pen" with
great solemnity and much formality.
Indians have the best hunting grounds of any of the Chippewa bands;
contiguous to them an immense tract of timber land over which the white
seldom passes. They seem willing to
learn to till the soil, but ask for better facilities.
When asked how they cultivated their
potatoes, these men of the North say they drove a stake into the ground
pried up the earth, and then make it fine with their hands. Much of the lands on the Lake Superior
Reservations is unfit for cultivation. And
it is believed that if representatives from these
bands can visit
White Earth, many of them will cheerfully remove there.
The Bois Forte Indians complain that they
have been despoiled of a large amount of timber cut from their
which is run down Little Fork River to the British possessions. We promised to call the attention of the
Department to this.
At Fond du
Lac the first council was held November 18 and continued daily until
including November 21.
It will be
seen by the proceedings that Nah-gah-nub, the head chief, did much of
talking. He is a very old man and not
in his prime, physically or mentally, but is respected by all. Many of his band for want of work (the
cutting of timber on this reservation having been suspended by order of
Department) are in great danger of suffering during this winter and
spring. Heretofore, while permitted to
cut timber, they were well to do and contented.
Like all of
the Mississippi bands, they feel greatly grieved at the long continued
withholding of the money due them from the Government.
Our positive assertions that justice should
speedily be done, not only in this respect, but in the matter of a
error in the boundary lines of their reservation, induced them to
attentively to the propositions submitted, and all touched the pen.
fourth article of a treaty at La Ponte, September 30 1854, it is