Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

and passed. The selection of the committee is such that the delegation from White Earth Reservation has not its own mind and this delegation controls the Minnesota Chippewa matters. This is about the method that was used in 1918 and 1919 councils. The council of 1918 was not approved by the Indian Bureau, but 1919 was, because the Indian Bureau had committed to approve beforehand if certain conditions were complied with The Indian Bureau was honest in its efforts to have a representative council, but it is exceedingly unfortunate that it misplaced its confidence in a party who was supposed to see fair play prevail. The gentleman himself spoke to me after the White Earth delegations had been selected, in which he stated: "What happened at this White Earth election? It will be up to the general council to decide which delegation to seat.” At the time he spoke to me herein just quoted, he had not then been designated to see fair play prevail at Cass Lake. But just listen how different this talk when he came to Cass Lake with delegated powers from the Indian office. His whole attitude was to seat the White Earth contested “Lake Superior Chippewa delegation.” He told the council that if, we did not like his way—he told us to get out of the council room (Cass Lake armory), and pointing, he said, "There is the door. А great many delegates from other reservations (ceded) did not understand the English language, but Mr. James I. Coffey interpreted the ultimatum. The following Indians got up in a body: Cass Lake delegation, Leech Lake delegation, White Oak Point delegation, Nett Lake delegation (except Mr. Pequette), Winnibigoshish delegation, Mille Lacs delegation, White Earth (contesting) gation; leaving in the hall remaining (including spectators), Fond du Lac delegation, Grand Marais delegation, White Earth (contested) delegation.

It will be observed in the above list which delegation from White Earth Reservation would have been seated. The Beaulieu-Fairbanks faction, we believe, knew this; hence the arbitrary action of the Indian Bureau representation. After we left the council room Mr. Morrison conducted duties of a presiding officer.

I wish to say as to the bill, House of Representatives redraft, that on page 4, line 6 to line 13, inclusive, provides a safeguard, but this can be annulled on the provsio of page 7, line 1 to 17, inclusive.

The ignoring of all other treaties and acts of Congress in the provision of the bill, page 7, line 24 to page 8, line 3, is absolutely objected to.

Section 2 objectionable. It contemplates to destroy the playground of the United States. The Indians pay for the forests and land is provided in the act of May 23, 1908.

There should be no legislation at this session for the reason that there are to many controverted questions contained in the proposed bill.

As we understand, when the duration of the Nelson Act, January 14, 1889 (25 Stats., 642), it runs 50. years—1889 to 1939. The final act will be the distribution of funds to then living members” to share alike. What the ministerial branch of the Government does not change the time. What the Indian is made to understand in treaties or agreements with the Government governs. Yours, very respectfully,

BENJAMIN CASWELL. 400 NEW JERSEY AVENUE NW., WASHINGTON, D. C.,

March 16, 1920. (Mr. Caswell not having furnished the list of names alleged to be illegally on the Chippewa roll, it is, therefore, omitted.)

Mr. BALLINGER. Let me make a statement in that connection: Will Mr. Caswell serve a copy of that on me so that we can examine it?

The CHAIRMAN. That is up to Mr. Caswell. I don't think this committee can direct Mr. Caswell to do anything but bring his statement. You go ahead and do the best you can with that. Who is the next witness?

Mr. MERITT. Mr. Walters, of the White Earth Reservation.

STATEMENT OF GEORGE WALTERS, WHITE EARTH, MINN.

(The statement of Mr. Walters was given through William Lufkins, interpreter.)

The CHAIRMAN. Ask him to proceed in his own way for 15 minutes, and tell us why he favors or opposes the proposed legislation.

Mr. WALTERS. Gentlemen, I thank you for allowing me to speak hefore this body, as others have spoken here. I object at this time.

My objection is this, that they are going to take away this pine forest in this legislation; and I object to these men who are about to take allotments on these pine lands, and there is no more pine in the State of Minnesota-just a few left standing of pines, and I would rather see a perpetual forest made of that pine that is left in that forest. We will use them some day. It will become more valuable, and at this time you could not get as much value out of it now as you would afterwards. That is one of them.

And there is this money which we have in the general fund. We do not want that segregated at this time. Our chief signed a treaty and made this agreement, that for 50 years it was for their posterity, and at that time then it would be distributed. And we did not instruct this man [he points these out] and that man [indicating] he never seen before. Opposing this legislation he never instructed him to do that. These men who are trying to run our affairs all look just like that man (indicating) and that one there [indicating]; they want to be the boss of all our property. And we are the heirs; we are the real property owners, the real Indians. We have that right and equity in the possessions of those of our forefathers. In the past we have used them only as interpreters in our business affairs. We never proposed this legislation, and should we propose any legislation we will come here to propose it. These are merchants. These men here [he means these) are merchants, and they want this money distributed where they can get it; and if we distribute all this money we will not do right by our children. They will not have enough to be taken care of.

And I wish to say a few words regarding the General Council. These are the same men, these Frenchmen, are the ones that put that General Council up there, and are trying to take it away, even if you make any arguments or challenge their statement in the council they start proceedings against us. There was one man here, while I said something about the General Council, he said that he would have me arrested if I persisted in my talk. That is how they want to run us. That is the way they do things. This is our council, and this is ours by right, and they have no right to dictate

That is one of them. One more. I want to speak about the schools. I want to state that this closing of the schools—these mixed-bloods closing the schools, I do not know if the Indian Office Commissioner has recommended it, but we dislike that move very much. At this time the school is different from what it was, I see myself—that is, I go and

The buildings are getting bad and dilapidated. Some children do not have their noonday meal, and some of the children are not well clad, and Minnesota is a very cold State. And while the Government was running the schools and it was under the supervision of the Government, the schools were well organized; that is, they were in better condition, the children were.

Gentlemen, if we were using any of your money, and if we are wasting it, do not let us have it. Let us use our own money in educating our children. We like to see our children go to school. We believe that you white people—that it is your wish for us Indians to become educated. Of course, we did not set aside, but we would rather do it; we are reaching with both arms to have our children educated, and when we use that money in that manner, we think that the money is well spent.

to us.

see,

The first appropriation for the General Council was $6,000, and that was not enough and they asked for an additional appropriation of $10,000. We would like to know when they are going to have sufficient money to run this General Council. Is that $10,000 insufficient? That is all I want to say at this time, and I thank you very much.

Mr. KELLY. Ask him whether he represents the full-bloods on the reservation. Mr. WALTERS. Yes, sir. Mr. KELLY. Is he a full-blood himself?

Mr. WALTERS. Yes, sir; I don't know what that is, but I am an Indian.

Mr. KELLY. He means a full-blood Indian?
Mr. WALTERS. I don't feel that way; I do not feel the full-blood.

Mr. KELLY. Well, he means there is white blood in him; is that the dea?

Mr. WALTERS. He could not say that; he could not state that.

Mr. KELLY. Well, now, he made a very strenuous objection to the allotment of these pine lands. Of course, he has never had any allotments himself; ask him if he has had any allotments ?

Mr. WALTERS. Yes, sir.
Mr. KELLY. Oh, he has had an allotment of his own.
Mr. WALTERS. Yes, sir.

Mr. KELLY. Now, he objects to allotments; was there any pine land in your allotment?

Mr. WALTERS. He took 80 acres on the prairie, and he went to the agency office and placed on the map, on the place there where he was to take an allotment; it happened to be pine land.

Mr. KELLY. Then he has 80 acres of pine land; that was his allotment?

Mr. WALTERS. Yes; it happened to be pine land; that is how I got my 80 acres of pine land.

Mr. KELLY. Of course, he has that: 80 acres of pine land at the present time, has he?

Mr. WALTERS. I have the land, but I have not got the pine; I disposed of my pine.

Nr. KELLY. Does that mean that he has sold the pine land allotment?

Mr. WALTERS. All the pine off the allotment.

Mr. KELLY. How much did he receive for the pine when he sold it?

Mr. WALTERS. $14,000. Mr. - KELLY. Then the chief wants us to understand that he is opposed to anybody else having pine land allotment except himself; that he may have it and get his $14,000 for it, but he objects to anybody else having the same right?

Mr. WALTERS. I do not object; that is, to somebody getting it, but the Indians do not want it that way.

Mr. KELLY. He has had the advantage himself; he must have wanted it himself, but he speaks for others instead of himself on that ground?

Mr. WALTERS. Everybody took allotments; that is, on the White Earth-most everybody has been allotted on the White Earth. Who is the one that is going to be allotted on these pine lands here?

Mr. KELLY. Well, the chief objects to anybody else being allotted, but he had it himself.

Mr. Elston. When he speaks of pine lands does he mean on the Red Lake, or White Earth?

Mr. WALTERS. I am talking about the Cass Lake, at Pine Forest.

The CHAIRMAN. Now, as I understand the chief, he is absolutely opposed to any legislation of any kind at this time with regard to closing up the Chippewa affairs?

Mr. WALTERS. Yes; the Indians that I represent do not want legislation at this time, and I oppose

The CHAIRMAN. Does that mean that he is satisfied with the way that the Indian Bureau is handling the affairs of the Chippewa Indians ?

Mr. WALTERS. Yes; we have great confidence in the Government. The CHAIRMAN. And how many Indians does he claim to represent ?

Mr. WALTERS. Almost all the full bloods--real Indians-just a few

The CHAIRMAN (interposing). How many full-bloods does he claim there are in the Chippewa Nation?

Mr. WALTERS. Well, figuring on the dot, I would say it would be about one-third.

Mr. RHODES. Mr. Kelly seemed to raise the question that the chief had received an allotment and objected to other people receiving' allotments. Now, the chief does not mean that he is the only member of this tribe who has received an allotment; now, isn't it a fact that every member of his band also received an allotment?

The CHAIRMAN. On the White Earth Reservation ? Mr. WALTERS. Under a treaty I got 80 acres; I had the preference of staying there and taking the 80.

Mr. RHODES. Is this land subject to taxation?
Mr. WALTERS, No.

Mr. RANDALL. Is it not a fact that you are enrolled as a mixedblood ?

Mr. WALTERS. I could not state that.

Mr. RANDALL. And by virtue of the fact that you were enrolled as a mixed-blood, is the only reason that you could sell the pine land and get this allotment?

Mr. WALTERS. Well, almost every Indian has been—that is, is made a mixed-blood by the work of these men.

Mr. RANDALL. Does he claim that in fact he is not a mixed-blood, but is a full-blood Indian?

Mr. WALTERS. Yes; and I finally told them I was a mixed-blood, and I guess I was about the last one that finally got the purchase of pine; I told them I could not sell it and was not a mixed-blood.

Mr. RANDALL. But you did sell it by virtue of the fact that you were enrolled as a mixed blood ?

Mr. WALTERS. I do not know about the rolls-being enrolled as a mixed blood, but myself, it was the lumber man that finally bought this pine from me.

Mr. RANDALL. Did you, yourself, attend the Government school ?
Mr. WALTERS. A very short time.
Mr. RANDALL. About how long?
Mr. WALTERS. About three years.

Mr. RANDALL. Did you finish the course provided in the Government Indian School ?

Mr. WALTERS. No, sir; I just about learned my A B C's, and that next book.

Mr. HERNANDEZ. Chief, you certainly do not object, since the White Earth Indians, and all other Indians in the other agencies have received their 160 acres of land----you certainly do not object to the Red Lakes receiving 160 acres of land in severalty, do you?

Mr. WALTERS. I have nothing to say about the Red Lake Indians; that is their property.

Mr. HERNANDEZ. That is, he has no claim whatever-he, or his band, have no claim whatever on the Red Lake Reservation ?

Mr. WALTERS. It is my impression that it is their land, and I can not say- I would not dictate how they should dispose of their land.

Mr. Elston. Ask him if he attended the general council meeting, at which the present general council was elected, and what objection he has to the present general council as now constituted!

Mr. WALTERS. The local or the general council ? Mr. Elston. The general council. Mr. WALTERS. Yes. Mr. Elston. Well, he objects to it-oh, he attended it? Mr. WALTERS. He attended it. : Mr. ELSTON. Ask him if he voted, and if he thought it was conducted fairly?

Mr. WALTERS. Yes. The Indians had met there, and held their general council fairly.

The CHAIRMAN. They met, and had a fair election; ask him if he considered that the election was conducted in a fair way?

- Mr. WALTERS. I do not know what they done, but the agent that presided there sent us out; I don't know what they done.

The CHAIRMAN. Now, what does he mean by saying that the agent sent them out?

Mr. WALTERS. When our delegates got there the agent told them, after a little while, he told them that there was a door there that they could go out. “You fellows persist in talking-keep talking.” He says, "There is a policeman here will take you out."

The CHAIRMAN. Well, was that after they had voted, or before? Mr. WALTERS. When they were going to start the general council.

The CHAIRMAN. Then the reason that the chairman of the meeting directed them toward the door was that they were a disturbing element; is that the idea ? Mr. WALTERS. I suppose that was it.

The CHAIRMAN. Now, was the reason that they did this because . they had not been elected as delegates to that meeting?

Nr. WALTERS. I don't know, but they sent us out.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, he knows whether he and those accompanying him were regularly elected delegates to that meeting by the local council ?

Mr. WALTERS. I suppose that is why they sent us out.
The CHAIRMAN. Because they were not regularly elected delegates ?
Mr. WALTERS. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Has he, himself, the chief, been elected a delegate to that council ?

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »