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Indians took that over thembselves and the Indians constituted the greater number of people in that county took it over, and established a public school, and the children now have the best educational facilities they have ever known in that country. I want to say in that connection, because the matter may come up in connection with the appropriation bills, and I am vitally interested in this matter here because those people have gotten pretty close to me during the course of my work. They have, for instance, a mission school at White Earth. That mission school is a splendid educational institution; I make no complaint in the world against it, but it is filled up largely with the children of the better class and children who have public school facilities at their homes. The tuition of those children and the expenses are being paid for out of tribal funds.
Miss ROBERTSON. May I ask what denomination ?
Mr. BALLINGER. It is of the Catholic denomination and I want to say, Miss Robertson, that most of the members of the general council are members of the Catholic Church, but they insisted that every child that is in that mission school that has public school facilities at his home ought to be in the public schools and that those children who are without public school facilities at their homes ought to have access to that institution if it is to be paid for and supported out of the tribal funds. I think that is a fair proposition, and when those matters come up in the form of appropriations, I would be glad to have the committee look into them.
Mr. BURTNESS. You just mentioned the White Earth. I would like to know at what other places besides the White Earth are there many of these Chippewa Indians in Minnesota ?
Mr. BALLINGER. They are scattered over a large area in the northwest part of Minnesota.
Mr. BURTNESS, White Earth is the center?
Mr. BALLINGER. White Earth is the large reservation. Upon the White Earth Reservation were allotted something like 7,000 Indians.
Gentlemen, the school situation has been immeasurably improved. The children have been to a very considerable extent gotten out of the Government boarding schools and the mission schools and are being placed in the public schools, and the general council has been working with the State authorities for the extension of the public-school system of the State. I want to advert here to a matter, because I have been trying to get an amendment to the Indian appropriation bill, and I hope that may be secured, that you gentlemen, when the bill comes up, may take it up and consider it. Last year the Indian appropriation bill contained an item of $20,000 for the establishment, construction, and maintenance of additional public-school facilities contiguous to the Indian children. At that time I insisted that the amendment should be put on so that they would be operated under the public-school system of the State. At that time I insisted that the amendment should go on, providing for the conveyance of sufficient land to the State upon which to construct the schools. The department thought that was unnecessary and that portion of it was eliminated. This year, when that came up—the appropriation being immediately available and when we came to utilize that appropriation we found not a dollar of it could be expended for the purpose for which it was appropriated, because there was no authority of law by which the Secretary of the Interior could pass title to the land upon which the schoolhouse was to be built, and the State would not take it without that. I have been trying to get an amendment to the Indian appropriation bill this time that will give the Secretary of the Interior that authority. What would have been the effect of it?
The CHAIRMAN. You know you can not get that from the Appropriations Committee.
Mr. BALLINGER. I hope that some way can be provided.
The CHAIRMAN. That authority would have to come from this committee; not from the Appropriations Committee.
Mr. BALLINGER. What would have been the effect of that little amendment? With $20,000 there could have been at least three or four schoolhouses constructed in that country. Those three or four schoolhouses could have taken care of 150 children that are now in the Government boarding schools and the mission schools at a cost in the mission schools of $115 per annum, and in the Government boarding schools of $250 per child per annum.
The CHAIRMAN. Just what did you have to do with bringing that legislation into existence and getting that appropriation ?
Mr. BALLINGER. I drafted the amendment and followed it up.
Mr. BALLINGER. I did draw it so as to provide for the conveyance of the land, but the department struck that out and stated they had authority under existing law to do it.
The CHAIRMAN. How did they come to find out afterwards that they did not have authority?
Mr. BALLINGER. After the law was on the statute book and we called upon them to commence the construction of the buildings, they looked into it further and then concluded they did not have the authority. I never thought they had authority.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you doing anything now to get that matter straightened out?
Mr. BALLINGER. Yes, sir. I have submitted the matters to the department. The department has agreed to recommend a provision when the appropriation bill gets over to the Senate that will cure that defect.
The CHAIRMAN. You had better advise the department that they should get that legislation approved here if they expect it to get through.
Mr. BALLINGER. Mr. Chairman, there are so many things needed in connection with the Chippewa matters it is a pity that the department can not submit some general bill that will include all of this and let you take it up in an intelligent and systematic way and dispose of it.
The CHAIRMAN. We can take up everything in this committee except appropriations, and we can authorize those.
Mr. BALLINGER. I found hospital conditions bad, and this is another matter upon which they need further legislation. I found three hospitals in that country. One at Fond du Lac, one at White Earth, and one at Red Lake. Those were constructed out of Indian moneys in 1912, 1913, and 1914, expressly for the purpose of treating tuberculosis and trachoma cases. I found that in the administration of those hospitals not a trachoma nor a tubercular case was admitted to the hospital. These classes of cases received treatment at the dispensaries. A recent survey of the health conditions among the Indians in Minnesota has shown that as high as 17 per cent of the Indians and also about a similar per cent of the white people in the various localities there are afflicted with tuberculosis or trachoma diseases. The general council and myself have been in communication with the public health authorities of the State of Minnesota. A representative came down here to inquire into the matter and see what arrangements could be made. It is necessary that those hospitals be turned over to the State, because it is a State matter and the State works in conjunction with the Public Healh Service of the United States in the treatment of tubercular diseases. Now, last year we got a provision in the Indian appropriation bill authorizing them to turn over the hospitals that were not necessary in connection with the Indian Service to the State authorities, but again there was no provision for land. I insisted at that time that it should go in, but the department said that it was unnecessary, so that the hospitals can not be turned over to the State for operation. The State will not take them without title to the land.
Gentlemen, that is a situation that calls for prompt action somewhere. The State authorities are ready to act. The State authorities are ready to do everything they can, and in the treatment of these diseases there seems to be the necessity for authority to be lodged somewhere where both the whites and the Indians can be treated, because it will not do to treat Indians alone and leave the whites there to further spread these diseases.
Mr. BURTNESS. How many of these hospitals, if any, are within the limits of the reservation proper ?
Mr. BALLINGER. There is, in fact, only one reservation remaining in Minnesota ; that is the Red Lake. The White Earth Reservation has been practically all allotted and is an open reservation to-day.
I found a large army of useless employees. It requires some time to set out in detail all of the things I found, but it required several years of hard work, as hard work as I ever did in my life, and as conscientious work as I ever did.
The CHAIRMAN. Don't you think you have covered, in the way of argument. about all that is necessary, or is there any particular point to which you want to call the committee's attention?
Mr. BALLINGER. I want to call your attention to a fact.
The CHAIRMAN. I would like you to come down now to the specific items and make them just as concise as you can.
Mr. BALLINGER. I shall endeavor to do that. Complaints were made of the conditions existing in that country to the Indian Bureau, and an investigation was made by two special agents upon complaints specifically filed by the general council. I drew these complaints and they were signed by the Indians An investigation was made, but the general council was denied the right to appear by its attorney and prove its charges.
Mr. Roach. Does the general complaint, which you say you drew, specifically cover in a general way the matters you have been relating to this committee in relation to lands, timber, schools, hospitals, etc.?
Mr. BALLINGER. Yes, sir; that culminated in a report submitted in 1918 or 1919, in which there was a recommendation of dismissals or transfers of about 75 employees, and the correction of various conditions, such as new superintendents, new doctors in charge of the hospitals, new nurses; for transfer or dismissal of various employees.
The CHAIRMAN. We had a very intensive hearing on that at that time and it was a close proposition whether or not what those people recommended ought to be done, and it was finally decided to let the matter ride as it was.
Mr. BALLINGER. I am going to just advert to one other matter that I did that I am quite proud of. In 1917 or 1918 there came to my attention that the Indian Bureau was denying to the Indian children born off of their allotments, or outside of the limits of the reservations, any share in the tribal funds; that is, for instance, if two Indians living at White Earth inored to St. Paul and there had children, their children born in St. Paul were denied any right to participate in the distribution of tribal funds. I concluded that that was in utter disregard of the terms of the trust providing for the distribution of the funds. I found that a large number of these children had been denied either when their applications were submitted, or where their applications had previously been allowed, an order had gone forth to strike their names from the rolls. I filed petitions in a number of those cases, reopened them and finally agreed with the department that we would take one test case. That was finally submitted to the solicitor for the department. It was carefully briefed, carefully argued, and submitted, with the result that the solicitor sustained the contention of the general council. I have in my hand a copy of the Tomahawk, under date of April 24, 1919, containing the decision in full, and headed, “ General Council wins in the new-born children case.”
That affected the rights of not less than 1,000 children then in being and the children thereafter born outside of the Indian country. The rights of those children are variously estimated at from $2,000 to $4,000 per child. That was a recovery for those children of from $2,000,000 to $4,000,000 worth of property. I want to say that if I had done nothing else in all my work than to handle that one case, I earned the fee that I am asking several times over, because many of those people applied to me and wanted me to take up their cases individually and offered me 25 per cent of the amount they would receive. I told them that as a tribal attorney I could not accept individual employment and I would bring the matter to the attention of the general council and ask instructions. The general council instructed me as attorney for the tribe to represent those people, and I did. There was recently authorized a per capita payment of $100. These children will receive $100,000 out of that payment.
Mr. HAYDEN. The money they receive is merely taken from one group of Indians and given to another,
Mr. BALLINGER. That is true absolutely, and yet, if it had not been for my services, one group would have been denied entirely and the other would liave been the sole beneficiaries, contrary to law.
I am going to pass over further discussion of the consideration of the work done. I want to come now to the question of the validity of the authorization given me to represent these people. I have before me a certified copy of the record and proceedings of the general council held in July of this last year, and I have a resolution, resolution No. 5, that was introduced, considered, and unanimously adopted. I am going to ask that this resolution and the report of the committee of the council be included in the record. I will just state the substance of it.
The CHAIRMAN. How voluminous is it?
(The statements referred to are as follows:)
NINTH GENERAL COUNCIL-RESOLUTION No. 5—IN THE GENERAL COUNCIL OF THE
CHIPPEWA INDIANS OF MINNESOTA, JULY 12, 1921.
Mr. Rogers introduced the following resolution, which was read in open council and referred to the committee on resolutions: A RESOLUTION For the payment of moneys due Webster Ballinger, attorney for the
Chippewa Indians of Minnesota. Whereas the Seventh General Council of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota
convened and held at Cass Lake, Minnesota, commencing on July 8, 1919, adopted a certain resolution (resolution No. 5), in words and figures as follows:
“Be it resolved by the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota in general council assembled, That the legislative committee of the general council be, and it is hereby, instructed to secure an appropriation of twelve thousand five hundred dollars out of the trust funds of the Chippewa Indians to defray the expenses of all litigation and proceedings instituted by direction of the general council prior to July 1, 1919, and to settle in full all such accounts contracted prior thereto," the reasons therefor being set out at length in an explanatory statement
appearing in the minutes of said general council; and Whereas the attorney regularly employed to conduct said litigation and pro
ceedings paid all the expenses incident thereto and has been unable up to this time to receive a dollar of said amount for his services and expenses
incurred; and Whereas the same council adopted a resolution (resolution no. 6) in words and figures as follows:
“Resolved by the Chippeura Indians of Minnesota in general council assembled, That Webster Ballinger, attorney at law, of Washington, D. C., be, and he hereby is, appointed attorney of the general council for a period of one year with full authority to represent the general council and the committees thereof in all matters pertaining to the affairs of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, his compensation to be fixed by the executive committee of the general council, and to be paid, so far as practicable, out of the appropriation
made for the support of the general council"; and Whereas the executive committee did, pursuant to said authority, at a meeting
called pursuant to proper notice and held July 12, 1920, at Red Lake, Minnesota, by resolution unanimously adopted (resolution No. 1) fix the salary of the said Webster Ballinger, attorney for the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota,
for the year ending July 1, 1920, in the sum of six thousand dollars; and Whereas the general council, out of the appropriation made by Congress for
its support, was able to pay the said Webster Ballinger only the sum of three thousand five hundred dollars on his salary for the year ending July 1, 1920, and leaving a balance due on said year's salary for that year of two thousand
five hundred dollars; and Whereas the eighth general council convened on July 13, 1920, at the city of
Bemidji, State of Minnesota, adopted a certain resolution (resolution No. 2) in words and figures as follows:
“ Resolved by the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota in general council assembled, That Webster Ballinger, attorney at law, of Washington, D. C., be, and he is, hereby appointed attorney of the general council for a period of one year commencing July 1, 1920, with full authority to represent the general council and the committees thereof in all matters pertaining to the affairs of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, his compensation to be fixed by the executive committee of the general council, and to be paid, so far as practicable, out of the appropriation made for the support of the general council" ;
and Whereas the said executive committee, at a meeting regularly called and held
on the day of July, 1921, at the city of Detroit, State of Minnesota, by resolution unanimously adopted, did fix the salary and compensation of the said Webster Ballinger for services rendered during the year ending July 1,
1921, in the sum of six thousand dollars; and Whereas not a dollar of said amount has been paid the said Webster Ballinger
for services rendered the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota for the year ending July 1, 1921; and
Whereas, there is now due and owing the said attorney the sum of twenty-one
thousand dollars for services rendered and moneys expended by him for the
benefit of said Indians to which he is justly entitled ; and Whereas the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota believe in paying their just obliga
tions and have the money with which to pay the same: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota in general council assembled, That it respectfully requests the Secretary of the Interior and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to assist in securing the payment of the sum of $21,000, out of the funds of the Chippewa Indians now standing to their credit in the Treasury of the United States, to the said Webster Ballinger; respectfully request the Congress of the United States to make said appropriation; and instruct the legislative committee of the general council to exercise its best efforts in securing said appropriation, to the end that the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota may be enabled to pay their honest obligations to their attorney, who has rendered them faithful services of great value.
REPORT No. 5.
[Referred to the Committee on Resolutions.)
Mr. Rogers, from the committee on resolutions, submitted the following report:
[Referred to the committee on resolutions.]
JULY 12, 1921. Your committee on resolutions have had under consideration resolution No. 5, providing for the payment of moneys due Webster Ballinger, attorney for the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota.
The acts of Congress annually appropriated $10,000 from the tribal funds “to pay the expenses of the general council
in looking after the affairs of said tribe.” In the proper performance of its duties it became absolutely necessary to secure the services of an attorney. The services of Mr. Webster Ballinger, an attorney at law, of Washington, D. C., were sought and obtained. The services he has rendered have been of incalculable benefit to the Indians. The appropriations for the general council were inadequate to meet the expenses of the councils and to compensate him for his services. The services were regularly contracted for, and the amount agreed to pay him is inconsequential when the results attained are considered. He has faithfully, and at great personal sacrifice, performed the duties intrusted to his care and is entitled to the $21,000 now due and owing him.
Your committee accordingly unanimously report the resolution back with the recommendation that it be adopted.
Resolution No. 5 (pp. 24–27) was read and, upon motion by Mr. Rogers, seconded by Mr. Morrison, carried. Resolution No. 5 was duly adopted.
Mr. BALLINGER. As I stated to you yesterday, gentlemen, when I first commenced in the winter of 1913–14 I merely had the authorization of the representatives of the general council who came here to Washington. That was organized in May, 1913. From the time of its organization down to July 1 of last year the general council that employed me was recognized by the Department of the Interior and the Congress of the United States as the only legally constituted council of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota.
Mr. HAYDEN. If that was the case, why did not the department recognize you as the attorney for the tribe and approve your contract?
Mr. BALLINGER. I am very glad you asked me that, and I want to be perfectly frank with you I did not ask the department for the approval of the employment at that time because under the practice of the department it would not approve a contract with an attorney who did not do practically as the department directed.
Mr. HAYDEN. You never asked to have your contract approved ?
Mr. BALLINGER. I never asked to have my contract approved. Let me go one step further. In the acts of Congress making appropriation for the general council—I will read one of them to you--at first, in 1914, you appropriated only $1,500 for the council. That was gradually increased until in 1917-18 you gave them $10,000. I have the bill here for the year ending June 30, 1919. The same provision was in the 1918 bill: