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Thief River Falls and the other would tow logs on the lake, and that any Indian who wanted to ride on that boat could do so without paying his fare. He could ride between here and Thief River Falls, and the other É. would be used for towing logs on the lake. All the Indians that lived down at Thief River Falls could come up here after their annuity o: and ride on the boats and would not have to pay any money in going from here to their homes, riding on the steamboats. And there is lots of boats on the lake and the river now running between here and Thief River Falls. ME CAH KE BE NAIs. Well, my friend, you say that you are an inspector. I understand that you are in a position to help us; what we present to you about our grievances is our wishes. Well, my friend, what we have said to you is what we have been thinking about, and any white man that comes to us we shall never step over what we have presented to you. Now we are ready to hear you, all that you have to say that you come to see us for. We want you first to give us some answer in regard to these grievances that we have placed before you. Mr. McLAUGHLIN. My friends, I am very much pleased with this statement that you have presented to me. I feel that many of your statements are well founded, and it is even known by the Department officials that you were very badly treated b the estimators that were sent out to appraise your land. And I am very muc pleased that you have given me in regular order and in concise form the different
grievances and claims that you have. It will enable me to report and present them
to the Department officials in the exact words that you haye given them to me, and anything that I can do toward helping you in the matter I will do it with pleasure. Now there are some matters that I wish to speak to you of, things that I noted down as your statements were being made. he first is that of the 13 townships which you speak of as having been opened in Polk County, near where Fosston is; that is something that I am not familiar with. But the stenographer's notes here will bring it to my attention, and when I reach Yoon I shall ascertain how that land came to be opened, and have you a CIVIseoi. ' Now, as to your treaty line that you speak of; I notice that it is given by the agree: ment of 1863 as commencing at the point you stated and runs through to the Wild Rice River, and ceded all the lands lying west of that line through to the Red River; also the valley of the Red River over in §. Dakota. In regard to your timber that you claim was cut on this side of your boundary line within your reservation, I shall also ascertain what was done with the proceeds. I have the reputation of telling the Indians the truth, even if my words are sometimes unpleasant to hear, as it is better that they know the truth; better than honeyed words—more pleasing to the ear, but not true, and misleading—which eventually brings disappointment. In regard to the navigation of your streams and lakes. The agreement that you made in 1889 clearly provides that all waterways within the reservation therein described are to be free for commercial purposes to all citizens of the United States. Nothing is said about number of boats, whether there is to be 1 boat, 2 boats, 50 boats or 100 boats. The waters are free to navigation. Free transportation on the boats that are navigating these streams should have been provided in the agreement, to entitle you to it, but there is no such provision. If the commission negotiating with you promised you free transportation, they exceeded their authority. I have read the agreement carefully, and there is no mention of such in the act that you accepted. There is nothing binding on the United States except what appears in the agreement that is signed. I always make it a rule to make plain and truthful statements to the Indians when negotiating with them, for the reason that it is very wrong to tell Indians that which it is impossible to do for him or to make any promise that can not be fulfilled. Any promise that I make to you here is taken down in shorthand, and after it is transcribed I will leave a copy of the proceedings of our councils with you, and you will learn later on that every word that I have said to you will reach the Department and receive attention. And I promise you that every statement that you have made here with regard to your grievances o claims will appear in my report in the order that you have presented them, and I will make a special report in reference to them, separate from my regular report, in case we enter into an agreement for the proposed cession, which special report will be in reference to your claims as stated to me, and I will follow them and see that they receive the attention of the Department. I expect to return to Washington from here and will make it a special point to call these things up whilst there. I am well aware that the matters you have been speaking of are somewhat complex; that is, they are puzzling; as I stated the other day,
they are perplexing, and it is the desire of the Department to have them straightened out as soon as possible, and your talk with me here regarding them will aid and assist the officials in bringing about an adjustment of the matter.
This paper that I have here in my hand is the proceedings of our last council, and I will simply repeat a portion of what I said to you during our last meeting in relation to these claims: “Any agreement that we may enter into for the western portion of your reservation will in no way affect the claims that you speak of, other than to aid in bringing them before the Department more forcibly.' Each of those individual claims that you speak of will be settled and determined upon its own merits, and any agreement that we may enter into for a portion of your reservation will contain a provision to that effect, by incorporating in the agreement words something to this effect: "That nothing in this agreement shall be construed to deprive the Indians of any benefits to which they are entitled under existing treaties or agreements.”
The cession of the western portion of your reservation is an independent proposition and entirely different from what your last agreement was. This is something in which you people of Red Lake Agency alone have any interest; that is, provided you take advantage of my presence here and my readiness to meet you on common grounds and a fair proposition, and you don't want to keep your ears closed so as not to hear what I am going to say. You have an opportunity now to protect yourselves in a way that there are no other Indians in the country that can be better protected. Your agreement of 1889 does not protect you as a tribe and as an agency fully: There has been a certain tract of land described, and certain boundary lines within which you may take allotments, and under that agreement, which this book contains (indicating], the Government could at any time order allotments made to you, and all the surplus lands would be declared open for settlement under the same conditions that your other ceded lands are; that is, the pine-land portions that were appraised and sold for less than their appraised value, and the agricultural land opened to settlement under the homestead acts at $1.25 per acre.
I am in a position at this time, having been sent here by the Secretary of the Interior, to negotiate with you, to make a bargain that will protect you and establish your undisputed right to the possession of this reservation, and no other Indians would have rights to the proceeds of this reservation but yourselves, while under the act of 1889 the surplus lands of this reservation, not required for allotments for yourselves and your families, may be thrown open to settlement, in which case every Chippewa Indian of Minnesota would have a share of the proceeds arising therefrom. In case we conclude the agreement that we are talking about for this tract of land of 256,152 acres, all of the proceeds of that tract goes entirely to the Indians of the Red Lake Agency. It would be so provided in the agreement. Another clause will provide that the remaining portion, after that is ceded, will belong to the Indians of the Red Lake Agency alone. You can see the way your lands have gone and the proceeds of the lands that you have ceded. There are too many persons of different agencies interested in it. Your present condition is unsatisfactory and tenure uncertain.
Bear in mind that I am talking to you of the cession of this piece on the western side, and I assure you that you would still retain your interests in the ceded lands that were disposed of by that cession of 1889, and that by entering into an agreement for this piece of land you forfeit no rights to those claims that you have presented to me to-day. They will be adjudicated regardless of any agreement we may conclude, and each will be determined upon its merits, and you will each receive your proportionate share of the money that has been derived, and will be derived, from the land ceded in 1889. Now, my friends, in the proposition that I make to you, you have nothing to lose and a great deal to gain. You will lose none of the proceeds of the ceded portion that is still unpaid, and if anything can be gotten out of the claims you present it will aid in having it brought about. You gain a very important matter by securing yourselves in your reservation, which will then remain intact, and I am prepared to allow you a very liberal price for that tract of land.
My friends, I told you the other day that the President of the United States, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs have your interests at heart and the interest of all the Indians, but that they are powerless to stop the tide of emigration and stop the opening up of the surplus lands of Indian reservations. All persons connected with the Department of the Interior, having charge of the Indians, are very desirous that I conclude an agreement with you for that tract of land, so that you may thus secure the residue that will be left, that is your reduced reservation. As I told
you the other day, the entire reservation, as defined by that agreement of 1889, contains about 800,000 acres of land, the cession of that western portion which we desire would leave you about 544,000 acres, which would allow about 400 acres for every man, woman, and child belonging to your reservation.
The only object in the past for Indians to have large tracts of land was the advantage of having hunting grounds, but game is not only steadily but rapidly disappearing. When I first went among the Indians west of the Missouri River the plains were covered with buffalo. To-day there is not a buffalo in the country except a few that are in parks owned by cities and private individuals. The bear, otter, beaver, fox, and even the wolf are disappearing from the country. The people are very fortunate here in having a magnificent lake, which affords you a great many fish, but in a few years more there will be no game in the country. Therefore this tract of land that I ask you to cede is of little value to you as it is; that is, you derive very little benefit from it at the present time. The game will soon disappear and there is nothing there that you can realize anything from except to locate upon it and cultivate the land, but you have a much better country for your homes right here, within the proposed diminished reservation than you would out there, and you would be very much happier to remain here. You have a big lake to procure fish from and dense woods to hunt in near your home, while the tract that we ask you to cede must be cultivated to produce anything
A reduction of your reservation to a reasonable area, such as a cession of that tract would leave you, would be comparatively safe. You would not be asked for any additional cession in the future—at least, not in the lifetime of some of you old people whom I see before me--and after the young men grow up and find that they have more land than they need they may offer to dispose of it, but that is in the distant future. With your reservation remaining as it is without reducing it by the cession of that western portion, you can rest assured that it will be opened up to settlement without your being consulted. It may not be this year, it may not be next year, it may not be year after next, but it is sure to come within a few years. The growth of this country is such that there is a great rush for land. More land is needed for homes for settlers, and the Department that has charge of the Indian affairs is powerless to prevent its being opened, as public sentiment demands it. And the public, through their members in Congress, their Senators and Representatives, demand that where Indians have more land than they require for their own use that they be paid a reasonable price for it and open it to settlement. That is why I say the President, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs are powerless to prevent it.
You are now in a position to protect yourselves in a way that very few Indians are; also to receive a large per capita payment for years to come.
And if we agree upon a price for the land, there is no question but that we can agree upon the terms——that is, for the number of years that the payments shall continue. There are a number of you people before me that are getting old like myself, and by having something to provide for your declining years, the next ten years--would be a great benefit not only to yourselves, but to your families. Now, I want to have these notes prepared and have them reduced to writing so that I may read over carefully the claims that you have presented this afternoon. While I am having the notes transcribed I wish you would consider this matter in regard to the cession of that piece of land that I have spoken to you about. You have been very patient and have remained here under trying circumstances; the room is very crowded, and it is not the most desirable place for so many to be huddled together; but this is a matter to you, my friends, which is of sufficient importance to have you remain here a week, if necessary, and, as I said to you the other day, you don't want to close your eyes and say you won't look at the proposition, nor close your ears and say you won't listen to it, but you should consider the matter well and look at it from all sides.
Now, I have anticipated the continuance of this council, and I have procured two quarters of beef, which will be a change of rations for you this evening. I want you to remain here and discuss this matter fully, and from all sides, and meet me tomorrow at 10 o'clock; by that time I will have these notes prepared and have studied them over carefully
I ain very much pleased with our council this afternoon, and we will adjourn until to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock. I wish to add that I am talking now to the people of Red Lake Agency, and you are the only persons that are interested in this matter, and I don't wish you to be influenced or prejudiced in this matter by persons who don't belong to this reservation. It is to the interest of the Mississippi Chippewas, and those of Leech Lake and Cass Lake to influence you against consenting to any cession of lands in order to have you reject this proposition. If the lands were opened under the act of 1889 the Chippen as of Minnesota would all share in the benefit of these lands with you, and that being the fact they very naturally try to influence you against entering into a new agreement which would exclude them.
I know tħat you have received letters from parties advising against any cession.
Before I left Washington I learned that there were letters coming out here telling you not to consider any proposition presented for the cession of any portion of your reservation. Those people are not your friends in this matter. They have a selfish object in view, something in the back of that that you don't see. They want to get your lands opened under the act of 1889, by which the surplus money will all go into the common fund, and they receive a portion of the proceeds; but the proposition that I offer you is for you alone; you are the only ones that will get any benefit from it.
We will now adjourn until to-morrow.
Mr. McLAUGHLIN. Well, my friends, we meet here again. You have sent for me to give your answer. I am now ready to listen to anything that you have to say to me.
ME ZHAH KE BE NAIS. My friend, you told us that you are an Indian inspector. We want to tell you that we are going to meet you as friends. We have put on paper all that the Red Lake Indians want to say to you. Now we will state all that was put down in writing by us.
P. C. Roy (reading). The Red Lake Indians omitted some of their claims in the last session of our councils, in regard to the treaty of 1869. They are the following: The townships that are in question that we want to speak to you about is township 159, range 34.
There are people who took homesteads on this land. There is a homesteader, that took a homestead, by the name of Katie McCarthy, and the estimate of her homestead was that it contained 1,200,000 feet of standing pine.
Another man by the name of Olaf Thompson has got a homestead in the same township, same range, that contains 250,000 feet of standing pine on his homestead.
Another man by the name of Tom Carey, has a homestead in the same township, same range, that contains 250,000 feet of standing pine.
Another man, Levi White by name, has got a homestead in the same township, same range, that contains 500,000 feet of standing pine.
There was another man who took a homestead in the same township, same range, Fred Sibley by name, that contains 800,000 feet of standing pine.
Another man that took a homestead in the same township and range, Charles Louis Hemming, and his homestead contains 1,500,000 feet of standing pine.
Another man, by the name of Samuel F. Beals, has got a homestead in the same township and range that contains 600,000 feet of standing pine.
There are also 15 more homesteaders in the same township that have pine standing on their homesteads. Their land contains all the way from 150,000 to 200,000 feet of standing pine on each homestead.
There is another township also--township 150, range 33—where there are 8 homesteaders located in the same town, and the aggregate of those 8 homesteaders is over 2,700,000 feet of standing pine on their claims.
There is another township-township' 149, range 34. There are 55 homesteads taken in the said township, and they contain all the way from 150,000 to 1,000,000 feet of standing pine on each homestead.
In township 149 of range 33 there are 27 homesteads taken. That township contains about the same amount of timber; that is, each homestead has all the way from 150,000 to 1,000,000 feet of standing pine to each claim.
There were also some homesteads in the Battle River country that were classed as agricultural land, that estimated about 20,000,000 feet of pine on said homesteads...
There is another place, called Shotley Brook, where there are homesteads taken, all of which had pine on them; but we only know of the amount that stood on three of said claims.
There was a man named Cowan who had a claim in that section of country that had 1,800,000 feet of pine standing on his homestead.
In that same section of country'another man took a homestead, Dan Shaw by name, and there was 1,300,000 feet of standing pine on his claim.
There is another man who took a homestead in the same district, Pat Milan by name, that got over 2,000,000 feet of pine from it.
All these that we have mentioned as having contained so much pine timber were classed by the appraisers as agricultural lands and were thus secured by the settlers at only $1.25 per acre.
This is all that we can put down on paper. It would take us two days, perhaps more, to figure up and state all the cases of like character. The claims we speak of were all upon the ceded Red Lake Reservation.
There is something that we want to ask you about what you said to us day before yesterday. The Red Lake Indians understood you to say that they owned simply half of their reservation and that the whites owned the other half, and this is a
question that we want to place before you, and we would like to find out the reason our Great Father takes in stepping on some of his own promises. What step has the Government taken to base its rights for a claim to our reservation? That is what the Red Lake Indians want you to make plain so that they can distinctly understand. In our councils last night we made up our minds fully to place before you to-day in this session the minds of the Chippewas of Red Lake Reservation in regard to your visit here among us. The western portion of our reservation is the most valuable piece of property that our reservation contains. The reason we think that this is the most valuable piece of property we have is because there is no other land that we can call good farming land. In the course of ten years there will hardly be a standing pine tree to be seen in the State of Minnesota, also the game and fur will be ver scarce in the course of ten years. It is all that the Red Lake Indians get their livelihood from, and after the game is all gone out of the country, all the fur, we don’t know what we are going to live upon. We are sorry to state that we don’t know of anybody that we can place any confidence in to help us out in our troubles, although we are wards of the Government and the Great Father looks upon us as his children. You can easily see for yourself from the statement that we have placed before you what our treatment has been from former treaties. This is why we are obliged to take this stand: We think that it is best to protect the rising generations. We are told that we are looked after and protected by the Great Father as children, and we therefore mean to touch upon the tender part of his heart. That is why we have placed before you our grievances growing out of the past treaties, and we want our past grievances adjusted, at least some of them. And we want to tell you that our leading men of the Red Lake Reservation have made up their minds that they are not willing to pledge their words for the cession of the lands that you have been sent here to treat for. All that we can say is that we want our Great Father to adjust our past grievances before we negotiate any more treaties with him. We have also heard on the outside that you are going to offer us $2.50 o acre for the western portion of our reservation. And we want to state to you the way we look at this—just like if we were going to buy money from you, all the money you had, and was going to offer you 12% cents for every dollar that you had. If the leading men of the reservation consented to let any of their land go, they would like to have the right to place their own price on it. SHAH weuM AH cum IG Ish KUNG. Well, my friend, you, see that the room is full - of Red Lake Indians. All of the Indians that are in this room, that you see here, say as it is written in this paper that has been read to you. KAY GAY GAH Bow OINCE. Now, my friend, I am telling you that in your visit you make me. I have said all that I will say before you. What I have said now ends our councils about the land that you have asked us for. Mr. McLAUGHLIN. My friends, you have asked me a question. You desire me to explain the status of Indian reservations. I explained that very carefully, and, as I thought, very plainly, at our first council, but I will state it again, so that it will be clear to you. The title to Indian lands, Indian reservations, not only this Red Lake Reservation, but all other Indian reservations in the United States—the title of the Indian is simply the right of occupancy—that is, to use it—and the same right passes down to his children, but they can not dispose of the land to any person other than the United States. That is become of sovereign right, the general right in the United States Government in all the country. The Government don’t want to take your land from you for nothing. There is no country on the face of the globe that has treated the people found in the country when the country was discovered, or taken by conquest, as our Government has treated the people found in the United States of America. All other nations, when they discovered a new country and conuered the people, have simply let them retain their homes; they have never given them large tracts of land nor treated them as a sovereign nation. When you drove the Sioux out of portions of the country that you now occupy, you didn’t give them a reservation within its borders. When the Sioux drove the weaker tribes out of that portion of the country west of the Missouri River they did not give them any land. But the United States have been very liberal, and have given every tribe of Indians homes on the land acquired by conquest or by purchase. There was set apart for each tribe rich tracts of country called reservations, over which the Indians have absolute control, and no white persons are allowed to come upon it without authority of the Government. And it has been the practice of the Government, from its first establishment, to treat with the Indians for any portion of their reservations that is desired to have opened up to settlement, and when the demand for more land is heard near any reservation, requiring the opening of land that is not needed by the Indians, treaties have always been negotiated with the