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Mr. HENDERSON. Of late years, they did not.
Mr. HENDERSON. They formally withdrew from the general council. Let me say, Mr. Steenerson, that my information is there have been, I should say, selfappointed delegates who have appeared at the general council, and I think perhaps the records of the general council would show a state of facts different from my statement in regard to the matter, but I have made careful investigation and it would show there were no authorized delegates.
Mr. STEENERSON. How are you employed as attorney for this tribe?
Mr. HENDERSON. I am employed under a regular contract made with the authorities of the tribe and submitted to and approved by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and the Secretary of the Interior,
Mr. STEENERSON. Are the matters of which you have charge in that tribe in harmony with or in disagreement with the interests of the other members of the Chippewa Nation?
Mr. HENDERSON. They are distinctly opposed to the claims of the general council. Mr. JEFFERIS. That is, the Red Lakes? Ir. HENDERSON. The Red Lakes. Mr. STEENERSON. And it involves large timber tracts and agricultural lands? Mr. HENDERSON. It does; yes, sir.
Mr. STEENERSON. It also involves a fund in the Treasury of some considerable amount, does it not?
Mr. HENDERSON. Several millions of dollars, I should say, Mr. Steenerson.
Mr. STEENERSON. And if the contention of the general council representing all the Chippewas should be successful the Red Lakers would lose?
Mr. HENDERSON. Very heavily.
Mr. STEENERSON. And this work of Mr. Ballinger has been, at least in part, hostile to the interests of the Red Lake Indians ?
Mr. HENDERSON. I would so understand it; yes, sir. I consider it to be hostile to their interests.
Mr. STEENERSON. Well, the bill introduced on behalf of the general council seeks to appropriate these lands for the benefit of all the Indians ?
Mr. HENDERSON. Yes; and I think the hearings before this committee will show that is true.
The CHAIRMAN. There can be no question about that.
Mr. STEENERSON. I think that is all I want to ask Mr. Henderson, Mr. Chairman,
Mr. BURTNESS. Just one more question, unless you will tell us, Mr. Steenerson: Has this council officers that serve from year to year?
Mr. STEENERSON. Mr. Meritt knows about that. You have copies of the articles of association of the general council in your office, have you not?
Mr. MERITT. Yes, sir.
Mr. STEENERSON. Do you remember how many signatures there were to the original articles of incorporation ?
Mr. MERITT. I do not think there was any incorporation of the mixed-blood faction, but there was an incorporation of the full-blood faction.
Mr. STEENERSON, Was it not put in evidence when you had the hearing a year or two ago?
Mr. MERITT. That was the incorporation of the full-blood faction.
Mr. STEENERSON. My recollection is there were only 15 or 20 that signed that, but can you furnish this committee with a copy of the articles of incorporation ?
Mr. MERITT. A copy of the articles of incorporation of the full-blood council is not on file in the Indian Office, and, so far as I recall, it has not been printed in any hearing.
Mr. JEFFERIS. I want to ask a question: In other words, the so-called “ General Council ” of the Chippewas and the so-called employment of Mr. Ballinger, is seeking to obtain funds that the Red Lakes claim belong to them exclusively, and properties which the Red Lakes claim to belong to them exclusively?
Mr. HENDERSON. Funds and properties; yes, sir.
Mr. HENDERSON. They hold it first by aboriginal possession and later by reservation set apart under treaty and later by an agreement made by the United States with them, known as the McLaughlin agreement, 1904.
Mr. JEFFERIS. How many Chippewa bands are supposed to be represented in this Chippewa General Council that is making this claim against the Red Lakes?
Mr. HENDERSON. I will enumerate them. There are seven or eight of them. There is the Fond-du-Lac
Mr. STEENERSON (interposing). Are they against the Red Lakers, Mr. Henderson?
Mr. HENDERSON. No; he said outside the Red Lakers.
Mr. STEENERSON. I understood him to ask for the tribes making the claim against the Red Lakers.
Mr. JEFFERIS. Yes.
Mr. HENDERSON. I did not understand the question. So far as I know the only bands that are making the claim against the Red Lakers are a part of the White Earth bands—and there are quite a number of bnds on that reservation—and perhaps a part of the Fond-du-Lac. The White Earth reservation is the largest reservation in the State of Minnesota, I believe, and on that are located a number of the bands which constitute the Minnesota Chippewas—but not all of the White Earth bands, as I understand it, are setting up this contention with reference to the Red Lake property.
Mr. JEFFERIS. They set it up through the general council.
Mr. HENDERSON. They set it up through the general council, but they are not in accord with the general council always. For instance, I think I might say that the Pillager Bands, located on the White Earth Reservation, are not at all in accord with the contention of the general council. Perhaps a majority of the Fond-du-Lacs are; I do not know with reference to them; but I think I'could safely say as to the others, the majority of them are not in accord with the contention of the general council with reference to the Red Lake claim.
Mr. STEENERSON. How about the full-blood faction?
Mr. HENDERSON. I should think the full-blood faction, as a class, are with the Red Lakes, rather than against them, throughout Minnesota.
Mr. STEENERSON. You were one of the attorneys for these 89 members of the Chippewa tribe that they sought to strike from the rolls some years ago?
Mr. HENDERSON. I represented all but one of them, I think, Mr. Steenerson.
Mr. HENDERSON. I represented all but one. I think 86 was the exact number, and I represented 85 of the 86; or, if there were 89, I represented 88 of the 89.
Mr. STEENERSON. And the money or property that was gained by your victory in that proceeding diminished the property and funds of the other Chippewas outside of those 89?
Mr. HENDERSON. Proportionately, as a matter of course.
Mr. STEENERSON. It was a proceeding that was hostile to all the other Indians so far as their money interests were concerned ?
Mr. HENDERSON. So far as the amount of money they were each to receive.
Mr. HENDERSON. I beg your pardon, sir. I was paid, so far as I was paid, by the individuals who were claiming the right to enrollment, but very few of them paid me.
Mr. STEENERSON. And you never did bring a bill to Congress to compel those who lost the case to pay the fees of the Indians who won?
Mr. HENDERSON. No, sir; I could not have done that, of coursé.
Mr. STEENERSON. That is the reason you have not collected all the fees that you ought to have?
Mr. HENDERSON. Well-
Mr. STEENERSON. I think that is all. I would like to ask Mr. Meritt a question.
Mr. MERITT. Mr. Steenerson, before you leave with Mr. Henderson, I think it would be proper to state to the committee that Mr. Henderson was not em
ployed as attorney for the Red Lake Indians until after the mixed-blood council and Attorney Ballinger had attacked the title to their lands, and then Mr. Henderson was employed at the request of the Red Lake Indians, and he was paid out of the Red Lake funds, and not out of the general funds of the Chippewa Indians.
Mr. STEENERSON. I have here a photostatic copy of the amount of money paid to the general council, not only to Mr. Ballinger but to the general council, that was sent me by you. I suppose you recall that?
Mr. MERITT. Yes, sir.
Mr. MERITT. That letter is dated December 20, 1919, and there have been additional funds paid to the council since that time.
Mr. STEENERSON. But so far as it goes, it is correct?
Mr. STEENERSON. I will read it a little later. I think that is all, Mr. Henderson.
Mr. LEATHERWOOD. I would like to ask Mr. Steenerson a question, if I may. Do I understand, Mr. Steenerson, it is your position that when the general council is called and convened by various factions of the tribe it is once convened and then dissolved and that is the end of it?
Mr. STEENERSON. Yes; that is my understanding of it. I will go into that a little later.
Mr. LEATHERWOOD. I just wanted to know what your position was. Is that your position?
Mr. STEENERSON. Yes; I do not think this organization here can properly be called a general council.
The CHAIRMAN. Notwithstanding the fact it has been recognized as such by the bureau for several years?
Mr. STEENERSON. That is the misfortune of it. Congress has recognized it. It should not have done so,
The CHAIRMAN. We have to deal with it as it is.
Mr. McCORMICK. Does not the majority rule apply there the same as in other places ?
Mr. STEENERSON. I will go into that later.
STATEMENT OF MR. R. S. COLLINS.
Mr. STEENERSON. You are one of the Assistant Attorneys General ?
Mr. STEENERSON. Did you look up the records in regard to the amount of money collected from various individuals under these suits which were brought some years ago?
Mr. COLLINS. Yes.
Mr. STEENERSON. Those that were paid under the Clapp Act? I think those were the cases, some thousand cases. Now, this letter to me was prepared under your directions?
Mr. COLLINS. Yes, sir; prepared by me.
Mr. STEENERSON. And you verified these amounts which were collected from these various individuals named ?
Mr. COLLINS. Yes.
Mr. COLLINS. Well, they represent amounts that persons have paid-at least, those two persons there have paid to the Government, who brought claim against it on behalf of the White Earth Indians, amounts they claimed were due from a man who has purchased an allotment from an Indian and paid an inadequate consideration.
Mr. STEENERSON. And these are the sum's paid by these individuals because they had paid the Indians an inadequate sum?
Mr. COLLINS. Yes.
Mr. STEENERSON. I would like to read this:
DECEMBER 20, 1919. Mr. HALVOR STEENERSON,
House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. STEENERSON: In compliance with your request of December 2, there are inclosed herewith detailed statements showing appropriations and expenditures on account of the General Council of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota subsequent to July 8, 1913, and including expenses of the council of July 8, 1919, paid to date. Very truly, yours,
E. B. MERITT, Assistant Commissioner. Mr. BURTNESS. Is that the lawyer, Beaulieu ? Mr. STEENERSON. No; I think that is his uncle.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, what is your purpose in putting that in the record, or do you want that to go in the record ?
Mr. STEENERSON. Yes, sir; I do.
I also want to read some of these items. Here is a statement, a photostatic copy prepared in the Indian Office, showing the amounts paid not only to Ballinger but to the other officers of this so-called general council. I will simply read the summary and attach this. Statement of expenditures from the sum of $10,000 appropriated by the Indian
act for 1919, approved May 25, 1913 (40 Stats. L., 572), for council expenses, etc., of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota.
Statement of expenditures during fiscal year 1919 from the general fund of
the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, appropriated by the Indian act approved May 25, 1918 (40 Stats. L., 573), on account of Chippewa delegates.
Statement of expenditures from the sum of $1,500 appropriated for 1915 by
the act approved Aug. 1, 1914 (38 Stats. L., 591), from the tribal fund of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota for council and delegation expenses already incurred.
Statement of expenditures from the sum of $1,500 appropriated by the Indian
act approved Aug. 1, 1914 (38 Stat. L., 592), from the tribal fund of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota for council and delegation expenses.