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each 100, or 63 delegates to this general council, and the same with Red Lake. Red Lake has something over 1,100 Indians. They would be entitled to 11 delegates to the general council. Leach Lake has 800 or 900. They would be entitled to 9 delegates.
Mr. KELLY. How often were those delegates selected by the local council'? o - * BEAULIEU. They are elected each year, on the second Tuesday 1In ejune.
Mr. KELLY. Is the response on the part of the local tribes general in electing delegates?
Mr. É. Yes, sir; I might say that last year there had been statements, as you have heard to-day, that we fellows—the able men, the intelligent men of the tribe—are running things and are maneuvering things and hold this majority through improper practices. We were here last winter before 8. and the minority in our council was here also, and things were of course in a very chaotic state, as Mr. Meritt knows; so on account of this conflict between the two delegations, the minority and the majority of that council, we were unable to get anywhere very much. The Indian Office would not recognize any recommendations that we made; so it was agreed upon that we would have one general council, or one local council to select delegates to the next general council held in July, 1919, and particular care should be taken that every Indian on each reservation should attend this council and make his wishes known. This proposition was agreed to between the contending factions, who were here last year. One of our members agreed to it and two of the others agreed to the same proposition, that they would hold the proposition on a certain date and whichever faction won should be recognized. Pursuant to that we held a council on the 17th of June. I might say for the mixed breeds, as we are termed up there, and the progressive faction, the wealthiest, whichever you may call it, we of course took every pains to see that every one of our people who were people that favored the progressive tendencies, were there, and Mr. Dickens, who was superintendent at the agency at White Earth, told us that he Yo. see every full blood and very nearly every full blood would be there.
Now, he said it would be poor politics if you did not do the same. It is a test this time. Whoever wins will be elected. I want to settle this question for once and all time. Anyhow, I think that nearly every old Indian and nearly every full blood—the fellows that represented the minority on the White Earth Reservation—were there. They had camped there for four or five days in advance of our holding the council and were having dances, and of course, as is always done in Indian gatherings of this kind, rations were given out by the Government. The result was that our people in the majority were over 200. I think the votes was something line 427–455 to 217. Consequently we were chosen as delegates to go to this council at Red Lake.
Mr. KELLY. The other tribes had the same experience?
Mr. BEAULIEU. The other tribes had the same experience, and the superintendent was notified to get every indian there at this local election, so as to insure a proper election of the delegates to the general council, and insure against any crooked practices or anything
w of that kind. Now, Mr. Dickens, the superintendent at White Earth, presided at this council held on the White Earth Rresėvation, and I think that this committee ought to have the complete reports of that meeting. I think that not because I am stating it, but I think it is pretty near what I
say: Mr. KELLY. After those local elections were held in the various tribes that elected delegates, as you have stated, they came to the general council ?
Mr. BEAULIEU. At Cass Lake.
Mr. BEAULIEU. Yes; however, the fellows that lost out at the local council at White Earth, they went out into a gathering of their own and elected a council, that they said they would call a general council. They came to Cass Lake and tried to get in. They were not recognized, because they had been beaten at their local reservation, and Mr. Dickens, following instructions, told them they could not be recognized, so they went out, and they had a minority on each reservation get together and they elected Mr. Caswell Where their president and they incorporated under the laws of the State of Minnesota.
Mr. KELLY. What percentage of all these Indians does this real general council you have spoken about represent?
Mr. BEAULIEU. I do not know. It represents the majority, but I am not prepared to state the percentage. I knew that from the election.
Mr. RHODES. Mr. Kelly, for your information, if you will permit it, I think that the history of these meetings was gone into fully at a hearing some time last fall, was it not, at which you appeared and made a statement, Mr. Beaulieu, or did some former member? Is this the first time you have ever given a statement ?
Mr. BEAULIEU. This is the first time I have ever given
Mr. HERNANDEZ. There has been the same information given to a committee prior to this.
Mr. BEAULIEU. Yes. Mr. Chairman, I think the committee ought to have the report of Mr. Dickens on those elections. We have asked for them, but we have been told that they are confidential. I don't know what they contain. We are willing
Mr. KELLY. When the chairman returns he will take that matter up. Mr. HERNÁNDEZ. They are filed with the bureau, are they not? Mr. BEAULIEU. Yes.
Mr. HERNANDEZ. The proceedings that you speak of are filed with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, are they not?
Mr. BEAULIEU. Yes; they are here.
Mr. RHODES. Mr. Beaulieu, may I ask you how many of the bands were represented in the council to which you belong?
Mr. BEAULIEU. Well, last year, on account of the trouble on account of the defeat of the older fellows the so-called full-bloods, the near full-bloods, some of them, would not come to the council.
Mr. RHODES. How many members does your council consist of ?
Mr. BEAULIEU. Our council would probably consist, if they were all attending, of possibly 120 delegates. Last year I think there were some 97-nearly 100. We have the proceedings of our council here—a certified copy-and we would furnish it if the committee wants it. It will give the exact figures.
Mr. KELLY. It is a hopeless task, Mr. Beaulieu, to get this minority to realize that government means majority rule?
Mr. BEAULIEU. Yes; it has always been that as long as I have lived on the White Earth Reservation. That has been my experience. They don't realize that, and when our strength at the local council at White Earth last June was manifest to these old fellows, they insisted that we give them half the delegates to the general councis, without voting. Of course, we would not consent to it. It was not representative government.
Mr. KELLY. You think that as far as the full-bloods and the old men on the reservation are concerned, they do not realize what representative government means?
Mr. BEAULIEU. I do not believe they do.
Mr. KELLY. I will state, Mr. Chairman, that Mr. Beaulieu asks that the proceedings of the general council at which Mr. Dickens was present, in July, be printed in the record.
The CHAIRMAN. Is the copy at hand ?
Mr. KELLY. He stated the copy was available at the Indian Office, but had been considered confidential.
Mr. MERITT. Mr. Chairman, the commissioner considers reports of inspector's—inspecting officials—as confidential information as a usual thing, and we do not give out these reports to inquiries from general sources. However, I am quite sure that if this committee wants those reports they will be available.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, the committee will consider that at an executive session, whether it requires it or not. Who is next?
Mr. MERITT. Mr. Caswell was referred to and he is here.
STATEMENT OF MR. BENJAMIN CASWELL.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you kindly state to the stenographer who you are and whom you reprezent.
Mr. CASWELL. My name is Benjamin Caswell. I belong to the White Earth Reservation, but reside-my residence is at Cass Lake. I represent the people who we call full-blood Indians, but they compose both full-bloods and mixed bloods. I don't know just where to begin--where the committee would like me to begin--but if you will allow me to make a statement, I think if I get my wits about me—I am new to appear before distinguished bodies like this.
The CHAIRMAN. Just proceed in your own way and be as free as you see fit. If you prefer to sit down
Mr. CASWELL. All right. Well, I will stand a little while. It seems to me the committee wants to know the bone of contention of these two factions, and it has not been touched on from my own point of view up to this date. Mr. Ballinger read a treaty, and one of the treaties he read was the treaty of 1854, September 30. Prior to that treaty we were one nation. We were known then as a nation. In that treaty we were separated and known as the Chippewas of
Mississippi and the Chippewas of Lake Superior. The Chippewas of Lake Superior are to-day known as the Wisconsin Chippewas, and the Chippewas of Mississippi are the ones now opposing the Chippewas of Minnesota. In that treaty it provides that all our rights as the Chippewas of Mississippi are relinquished on the Wisconsin side, for the interest of the Lake Superiors, and in return the Chippewas of Lake Superior relinquish all the rights on the Minnesota Chippewa Fo Now, who are those people? That is the main point. In that treaty, article 2, in section 7 referred to, it provides that all Indians of mixed blood, over 21 years old, shall have 80 acres of land, or the head of family—that is for mixed-bloods—and a lot of E. availed themselves of that right, and thereafter they became known as the mixed bloods, descended from all other Indians, and we have a document here. Now, these people went to work and they were Lake Superior Chippewas before they received those lands, and they got it with proper witnesses, and they then identified who they were and where they belonged. The CHAIRMAN: Whom do you mean by “these people?” Mr. CAswell. The mixed bloods, as described in that article 2, section 7; and we have here a House document—I think it is numbered House Executive Document No. 193, Forty-second Congress, second session. Now, that disposes of that matter who these people are, and in the course of time—they were not then as bright as they are to-day. They sold and disposed of their property, and since their act of taking that advantage they relinquished their rights as members of that particular tribe—that is, the Wisconsin Indians—and by siding in with them they have relinquished all of their rights on the M. side, but since they could not go back on the Wisconsin side, they roamed about different sections of land, employing themselves at various occupations. The majority of them—I think those I am speaking of now—are employed among the traders. When they are trading, they go to the }. with those people that go to the Minnesota Indians, and they live there among them, and these people who we call the mixed bloods got in on the Minnesota rolls some time later—we don't know just when, but here is the book that tells those people's family names. That can be easily identified, and those are the ones that have got control of our Minnesota affairs to-day. Mr. KELLY. You mean they have the general council? Mr. CAswell. Yes; the gentleman that stood here belongs to one of those people here. His ancestors have relinquished all of their rights. This is one of the reasons we can not consent. Those people have no legal rights to manage our own affairs to our detriment. Here is a book or volume that tells the whole history, how we were turned over once to their way of thinking, how we were committed. It is their instanced—the same people that laws were enacted—that is, gave misleading information so that Congress enacted those laws, representing that every Indian was competent to manage his own affairs. That is abundant proof that they can not manage their own affairs to advantage. The CHAIRMAN. Then you maintain that Mr. Beaulieu, who has just spoken here, is not a legal member of any of those bands up there? Mr. CASWELL. Minnesota bands; yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And that he is illegally in that respect a member of the recognized council?
Mr. CASWELL. Yes.
Mr. KELLY. And you further maintain, Mr. Caswell, that such illegal members of these bands have exerted influence enough to control a majority of the votes of all the tribe?
Mr. CASWELL. Not majority. I will explain that now, when we speak of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota from our point of view we speak from the-as governed by the treaty of 1854, 1855, 1856, 1863, 1864, 1867, and 1889. Speaking under those treaties, we call ourselves the Minnesota Chippewas, but the gentleman who stood there, and some of the fellows that he represents, we do not speak of them as such. They are Chippewas, Indians of Minnisota as residents, not as members of the Chippewas of Minnesota, according to these treaties I have cited.
Mr. KELLY. How did these men get placed on the rolls ?
Mr. CASWELL. Yes, sir; be very glad to tell you that. The treaty of 1855 provides that any employee of the Government who resides among the Chippewa Indians who has, will not be permitted to reside among the Chippewa Indians without a family. That is to protect the moral conditions among the Indians, and some of those Indians of those mixed bloods, I think probably his ancestors were employed as employees. Of course, they would have to take their families with them when they were employed, as interpreters or as farmers or as a policeman, and they remained there until this date; and we don't know when they got in on the rolls. We even-I have seen the white man signing the pay roll once. At least, we consider him to be a white man. The Indians protested.
Mr. KELLY. Were these employees of the Government, under the Indian Bureau, residing on the reservation ?
Mr. CASWELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. KELLY. So that really the ancestors of these men were Government employees from Indian reservations?
Mr. CASWELL. Well, some of them did take allotments too. All of these things are backed by records. I don't want to make any statement that is not backed by records. I don't want to reflect on their personal character. Of course, those people are not responsible for the conditions that exist. Perhaps they don't know they are of that status, and I gather my information from the old Indians in their talk, and I have verified it by reading the treaties as I have cited.
Mr. RHODES. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman give the stenographer the title of this book, or those two books that he offers there?
Mr. CASWELL. That is the Graham investigation.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, a reference to it is in the record. Gentlemen, the time for intermission has arrived, and unless there is objection on the part of the committee, we will not convene again until Monday morning at 10.30, and the committee will stand in recess until then.
(Whereupon, at 12.30 p. m., an adjournment was taken until Monday, March 15, 1920, at 10.30 a. m.)