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representative of the Chippewa Council. It would seem that both Mr. Meritt and Mr. Ballinger must have been cognizant that such action was pending, and the chairman desires to state he was at least surprised that neither of these gentlemen had mentioned the matter. Before we proceed this morning I think we should consider the gravity of that situation, for, as I see it, if there has been such
ction started and it is of the proportions explained to me, there would be little use of proceeding further with this hearing until it was determined definitely who is their authorized legal representative capable of making an agreement in their behalf. I should like to hear from Mr. Meritt as to whether he concurs with my view or not.
Mr. MERITT. Mr. Chairman, I am advised that there has been in the courts of Minnesota legal action regarding the subject matter to which you refer. That litigation will in no way interfere with the proposed legislation to be enacted by Congress and should not delay the consideration of this bill by Congress. I knew that the attorney to whom you refer was in Washington, and it was my intention to ask this committee that he might be heard later after others had been heard on this bill. There is no disposition to deprive him of the full opportunity to be heard by this committee. The attorney in question is Mr. McDonald, and I had his name on the list here to be heard by the committee later in the day.
The CHAIRMAN. It occurred to me that the committee should be advised fully as to how far that litigation has gone, and I think it would be well for us to hear from the attorney and let him tell us what steps have been taken and what attitude he believes we would be in in case we attempted to go on with this legislation before that matter is cleared up in the courts. If the members of the subcommittee who are here agree with me, we will listen to the gentleman now, if he will just give his name and address.
STATEMENT OF MR. E. MCDONALD.
Mr. McDonald. My name is E. McDonald. I am an attorney and counsellor, practicing in Bimidji, Minn. This suit was commenced, as I recall it, in August, 1919.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you start the suit?
Mr. McDONALD. I did not. The title of the case is John G. Morrison, jr., et al., against the General Council of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota (Inc.), a body corporate, Benjamin Caswell, et al. The action was brought in the district court of Becker County, the county seat of which is Detroit. Steps were taken to remove it to Itasca County, Minn., and it was removed. A demurrer was interposed to this complaint by myself. Shortly before the time for answering had expired I was retained by the representatives of the General Council of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota (Inc.).
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you right there: What per cent of the Chippewas of Minnesota do you represent?
Mr. McDONALD. About 80 or 85 per cent, if I may be permitted to include the Chippewas of the Red Lake Agency.
The CHAIRMAN. Then, do I understand you to claim that the present counsel here recognized by the bureau has been chosen by perhaps 15 per cent of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota ?
1 Mr. McDONALD. That is substantially as I understand it.
Mr. HERNANDEZ. I understand that you represent these people in the suit to which you refer in the State of Minnesota, and not here.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you any authorization, any paper, you can leave with the committee showing that you are the regularly constituted representative of these people, with authority to represent them before this committee?
Mr. McDonald. I appear in that litigation and my name appears attached to the answer. I am here to appear before your committee under a resolution passed by the council, or meeting representing the General Council of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota (Inc.), held the other day at Cass Lake, at which delegates from all the reservations, I think, but two-Grand Portage and Nett Lake
The CHAIRMAN. Have you a copy of that resolution?
Mr. McDONALD. But my retainers relate to specific matters. I am the general attorney of the Chippewa Indians.
The CHAIRMAN. About when in the ordinary course of legal events will you get a decision from the courts in this matter?
Mr. McDONALD. I will make this very brief. A demurrer was interposed to that complaint and partially argued. Owing to the fact that Judge McManahan was of the opinion that the matters involved should be passed upon as soon as possible by the Supreme Court our said demurrer was overruled pursuant to an understanding between Mr. Ballinger, Mr. Rogers, and myself. Steps were taken to perfect an appeal to the Supreme Court, but owing to the fact that Mr. Coffey, one of the principal defendants, was called to Kansas City and because of some other delay in the matter of securing of necessary bonds, that appeal could not be taken.
We then interposed an answer setting up all the facts relating to the existence of the two councils, the council represented by Mr. Ballinger, which is a voluntary association organized in 1913, and the General Council of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota (Inc.), that I represent here and represent in the litigation. That answer set up all the facts not set up in the complaint. The complaint sets up our incorporation and sets up our purposes, which is substantially correct, although it does not include the entire purpose of our organization. Now, our answer was served on the 20th day of December; the plaintiffs had 20 days in which to reply. No reply has been received. So far as the pleadings in this case are concerned the allegations in our answer with respect to the status of these two associations, one a voluntary and the other a legally incorporated association, stand admitted. Their time for replying to our answer expired January 9. The district court of Itasca County, in which this case is pending, opened a term of court the day your committee met, March 8. We had expected that the plaintiff in this case, Mr. Morrison, and his counsel would have noticed that this case was set trial at that term of court. It was not so noticed. The next term of court in Itasca County is about six months from now.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, now, just a moment. What is there in this proposed legislation that you people are opposed to ?
Mr. McDONALD. I hope that I will not be called upon to go into that until I am given an opportunity to go into the matter somewhat
at length, but directly we are opposed to any portion of this legislation which recognizes the voluntary association as being in control of the Indian affairs of Minnesota. Wherever that appears in this legislation we are opposed to it, and for this reason: In this complaint the voluntary association claim that they are recognized by acts of Congress as the organization that is entitled to come here to-day and represent all of the Indians of Minnesota. They plead a portion of your last appropriation act as evidence that they are the only organization that are entitled to be heard with reference to the administration of the Imdian affairs in Minnesota; and when I read it I will call your attention to that portion of the complaint in which they set up that their organization is recognized by an act of Congress.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you in position at this time, while here in the city, and while the council is here, to sit down with these men and you can correlate
affairs in such a way that you can all come to an agreement, so that legislation at least similar to that which we are contemplating can be brought about that would be satisfactory to all the parties concerned.
Mr. McDONALD. Mr. Chairman, I am of the opinion that there is no hope for any cooperation with those people who are dominating the General Council of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, with those people that may be designated first as the full-blooded Indians or those that are so classed, and the Red Lake Indians, and the reason is this: We are firmly of the opinion that those men who so far have been represented to your committee as representing all of the Indians of Minnesota ought not to participate in the administration of the Indian affairs of Minnesota, and much less ought they be permitted to dominate. As this bill provides that they shall dominate the Indian affairs of this State, could I but call your attention to the section there which provides—I don't know whether it is in this reprint or not-but the bill that you gentlemen were first asked to consider provided that the General Council of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota shall convey to the State of Minnesota your Indian school lands, an assumption and presumption that was violent and absolutely wrong. There are many other things in connection with this proposed legislation when you come to pass upon it that I think will be called to your attention that will demonstrate the impossibility of this bill here. There are many things which lead the Indians to mistrust, which lead them to question practically everything that those who are now active in the so-called General Council of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota are undertaking.
The CHAIRMAN. I will ask you again in a little different form: Suppose this litigation should come to a conclusion and a decision given in favor of the plaintiffs, what effect would that have upon any agreement that had been made at this time between the present council, the bureau, and this committee?
Mr. McDONALD. The effect of that decision would simply be that we would have to change our name. That is the real bone of contention. It is claimed, and we argued before Judge McManahan, that a voluntary association have the right to assume a name and that a corporation have not the right to take on that name, so that it would not defeat our organization. Our organization goes on just the same. We may, if Judge McManahan's or the Supreme Court's decision is
-adverse to our contention, be obliged to change our name so as to distinguish it from the council presided over by Mr. Morrison.
The CHAIRMAN. That would have no effect upon an agreement that had previously been made by the council which is now recognized as being regular!
Mr. McDONALD. It would have, for this reason: That the Indian Bureau had no right to recognize the general council when they knew that there had been general-council meetings with this other organization and that had elected their president, their officers, and their delegates, and all that. The Indian Bureau had been so advised. We feel that that recognition is not binding upon us and that it never ought to have been made, and that the fair thing would have been to recognize the existence of
The CHAIRMAN. What part of the 85 per cent of the Chippewas you claim to represent participated in the election or selection of officers in the present recognized council?
Mr. McDONALD. I don't think any of ours did. Ours was entirely separate meeting held elsewhere.
The CHAIRMAN. At the same time?
Mr. McDONALD. That goes back to 1918, and I would be glad to go into the history of that.
The CHAIRMAN. You are making a very strong statement here when you maintain that this present recognized council was selected by only 15 per cent of the Chippewas, and that no part of the 85 per cent that you represent took part in that selection.
Mr. MCDONALD. Well, now, it is all set up in my answer, and we gave the names of the delegates and their addresses, as I recollect it, that participated in our general council, and we claim that with the exception of the White Earth Reservation, and one other reservation, they did not have representation at all.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, now, are you prepared to state that you represent 85 per cent of the Chippewas of Minnesota ?
Mr. McDONALD. I would nor want to say exactly
Mr. McDONALD. I will put it this way, that the gentlemen who are opposed to the general council represent more than 60 per cent.
The CHAIRMAN. And that 60 per cent are opposed to continuing with this hearing until it is definitely determined who are the legal representatives of the Chippewas? Mr. McDONALD. I would not want to put it in that way.
The CHAIRMAN. I want the facts. I want to know whether you oppose this proposed legislation or whether you favor it.
Mr. McDONALD. Well, with reference to that part of it, if the chairman pleases, we had hoped to be able to lay many facts before this committee that either now or at some future time would be of assistance to it in relation to legislation.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; but we have embarked here upon a serious investigation with a broad viewpoint, with, first, the idea of having the Chippewas get together and come to us with something that we would be able to coordinate in legislation. Now, we have here on the third day of the investigation an element claiming to represent 60 per cent of the Chippewas of Minnesota who can not say whether they are in favor of or opposed to the proposition. • Mr. McDoxALD. We are absolutely opposed to this proposition. .
The CHAIRMAN. That is what I wanted, a definite statement as to your position.
Mr. McDonald. May I add one word further? Unless your committee desires to hear our presentation of some facts which are pertinent to the matter which is before your committee and the matters generally relating to it, then I really think that the hearing, so far as these proposed bills are concerned, should be ended right here.
The CHAIRMAN. Then, just one further question. If we go on with the hearing, are you prepared to come to us with testimony in an official capacity so that whatever decision the committee comes to it will know that it has either your consent or your objection, as representing at least 60 per cent of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota?
Mr. McDONALD. · As I understand it, gentlemen of the committee, we are here before this committee to-day at your invitation to assist you if possible in determining what should be done; and coming here at your invitation and laying such matters before you as we think will assist you, we of course submit to your committee's action. That would be the natural thing for us to do. In other words, we come here and submit our proposition and feel that we are leaving the matter in the hands of the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. I fail to discover whether you are opposed to everything we are doing here or not, but we are perfectly willing to listen to you later on in the hearing, when you will probably tell us whether you are opposed to it or not.
Mr. McDONALD. We are absolutely opposed to this legislation, and not only to the original legislation but to the so-called compromise bill.
The CHAIRMAN. I understood you to say that you thought there was no hope of your being able to sit down among yourselves and coming to a consolidated agreement that you all together could submit to this committee.
Mr. McDONALD. The matters involved are such that they are diametrically opposed.
The CHAIRMAN. That, in my mind, resolves itself into this, that we must go ahead and legislate here without the assent of the people whom you claim to represent.
Mr. McDonald. May I suggest that this matter is of such im tance that it should not be disposed of hastily; and I offer it as my opinion that either this committee or a subcommittee should first visit Minnesota before it is disposed of and familiarize itself with the situation there by coming in direct contact with it. Now, there will be a meeting of the incorporated council, I think, some time in July, and the meeting of the other council is fixed for some time early in July, and the representatives of this committee can appear at the meetings of both councils, and they could thus learn at first hand how many are in the voluntary association, who they are, what they represent, and what their ideas are; and they could also obtain similar information concerning the other association, if you please.
Mr. RHODES. If you feel that your faction can amass so many more of the Chippewas, why did you not get them together at the election and control the council itself? Why did you feel that you had to go off into a separate organization when you represent such a