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- Mr. WALTERS. Yes; they sent for me there and of course, I do not know where this request came from, but I was requested to be at the Cass Lake.
The CHAIRMAN. He does not know whether he was elected to go to that council or not?
Mr. WALTERS. No; I would not have them appoint me [indicating certain men in the room] as a delegate to any place. The Indians elected.
The CHAIRMAN. I think that we have gone far enough with that. I guess we can see about what the situation was. I would just like to say to the chief, in closing, that if he is not a full-blood Indian, then Mr. Remington, the celebrated painter of Indians, has been illustrating for us people who are not full bloods.
Mr. WALTERS. Just one more thing.
The CHAIRMAN. I am trying to compliment the chief that he is, according to Mr. Remington, the illustrious portrayer of Indian characters, that he is a true type of a full blood Indian, as portrayed by him. Mr. WALTERS. Will you allow me to speak a few more words? The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. WALTERS. I made a proposition that these men here allow me to have half of the delegates and half for them—a compromise; three times I have asked them that, and they have always answered me, “No; why do you ask us, you are going to help the Commissioner of Indian Affairs." That is all.
The CHAIRMAN. Who is next?
STATEMENT OF WAH BEE ZHA SHEE, LEECH LAKE RESERVA
(The statement of the witness was given through William Lufkins, interpreter.)
The CHAIRMAN. Now, Mr. Lufkins, will you qualify the gentleman and tell us who he is, and where he lives?
Mr. LUFKINS. His name is Wah Bee Zha Shee, Leech Lake Reservation, Minn. The CHAIRMAN. Can you talk English at all? Mr. WAH BEE ZHA SHEE. Not at all. The CHAIRMAN. How many Indians does he claim to represent? Mr. Wah BEE ZHA SHEE. Mostly all of them except a few.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, is he a regularly elected delegate from any local council ?
Mr. Wah BEE ZHA SHEE. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, let him tell us in his own way, if he can, why he opposes or favors this proposed legislation ?
Mr. Wah BEE ZHA SHEE. I am glad that I have the chance to state what I have been instructed to state before this committee.
What I am going to state is the opinions of the Leech Lake Indians I am going to say nothing but the true facts, and the truth as to what these Indians sent me here for. We are apprehensive about some of this legislation-of Indians at Leech Lake. Most of the Indians, a great majority of the Leech Lake Indians, would not understand this proposed legislation; that is, to read it, and that is the element that I represent. But we have been informed by those who can read that this proposed legislation is going to hurt the Leech Lake Indians; that this legislation is a proposition that has been initiated by a few doubtful members of the mixed-blood element.
Generally the proposed legislation is passed, and then after it is passed we know something about after it comes up, and then we are surprised that such legislation has passed.
Mr. RHODES. Chief, how will this legislation hurt the Leech Lake Indians
Mr. Wah BEE ZHA SHEE. Because this legislation has been started and proposed by some questionable members—that is, who continually seek to grab the property of the other Indians and us Indians there.
The CHAIRMAN. Tell him now to go ahead with his statement.
Mr. Wah BEE ZHA SHEE. And this property, this is our property and we have not held a council as to the best way to dispose of this property. Somebody else has initiated the idea of how they are going to dispose of us at Leech Lake. At this time we oppose this legislation and we wish to ask that we sit—when I get back-to think this over as to the best legislation for the Leech Lake Indians, We ask this-that is, the Leech Lake Indians have asked this because we are fearful that somebody, as in the past, is seeking to fill his pockets at the expense of the band of Indians; and I think that this committee is fair; that is, it appears as if they are interested, and I have great confidence, and I ask them to help us.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, you can say to the chief that he will have ample time to study the report that will come from this hearing before any legislation will take place, and I would be glad to hear from him and his council as to their opinion as to the legislation, in the form of a resolution or something of that sort, later on.
Mr. WAH BEE ZHA SHEE. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And we thank him for his information. Has he anything further to say?
Mr. WAH BEE ZHA SHEE. No, sir; that is all.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, there are two members of the Red Lake Band ?
Mr. MERITT. Mr. Broker, of the White Earth Reservation, wishes to be heard next.
Mr. LUFKINS. He wants to say just a'word more.
Mr. Wah BEE ZHA SHEE: The first we heard of this legislation last fall we heard that Ed Rogers was coming to Washington, and after that we heard that somebody has introduced legislation, and the Leech Lake Indians didn't know anything about the proposed legis: lation until it was introduced. The Leech Lake Indians never had a meeting with Ed Rogers or never employed him to introduce legislation for the Leech Lake Indians.
The CHAIRMAN. All right; if that is all, Mr. Broker, we will hear you.
STATEMENT OF MR. J. W. BROKER, PONSFORD, WHITE EARTH
RESERVATION, MINN. The CHAIRMAN. Give us your name in full and tell who you represent.
Mr. BROKER. J. W. Broker, Ponsford, White Earth Reservation, Minn.
The CHAIRMAN. What blood Indian are you?
The CHAIRMAN. No; who are you a representative of; any particular band?
Mr. BROKER. The Otter Tail Pillager Band.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you a representative or were you selected by that band ?
Mr. BROKER. Yes; by the council that was held at Cass Lake. This council was under the auspices of Congressman Carss, and he suggested a representative body of the Indians there, and they should select a delegation, and he would see that they would be heard, and I was selected at that meeting.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, sir, in behalf of Mr. Carss, you are now being heard. Mr. BROKER. Yes, I suppose.
Mr. KELLY. Just before you begin; were you elected a delegate to the general council at Cass Lake?
Mr. BROKER. Well, there were two contending factions of the White Earth Reservation. I don't believe anybody has touched upon that particular point. If you will permit, I want to explain that. Now, the constitution or the by-laws designate White Earth as the meeting place for the local council
, but through some arrangement here with the Indian Department that it was to be held at Pinehurst, and I believe Mr. Dickens, agent at that time, was the man designated to see that that thing was properly done; but there was some dissatisfaction there some way between the mixed bloods and the full bloods, and there was two sets of delegates elected, one by the full bloods and one by the mixed bloods.
Mr. KELLY. Who had the majority there, Mr. Broker?
Mr. BROKER.· Well, on the first ballot that was taken of course the mixed bloods were in the majority. I think they had something like 417 votes.
Mr. KELLY. And the full bloods had how many ?
Mr. BROKER. Two hundred and fifty-some odd. But the Indians contended at that time that there was a lot of those fellows that voted in there had no right to vote; that was the bone of contention for the last 25 or 30 years, that they never did have a right to vote; but they are still on the rolls. Finally, on July 8
Mr. ELSTON (interposing). What year?
Mr. BROKER. 1919. On July 8, 1919, these two sets of delegates proceeded to Cass Lake, and there a big bolt took place, and these contending factions wanted to be seated-each one wanted to be seated, and Mr. Dickens refused to consider anything but to see the credentials, and he saw Mr. Coffee, and there the bolt took place.
Mr. KELLY. Mr. Dickens acted only by what the credentials showed ?
Mr. BROKER. Yes; but when the Leech Lake delegation went out the Cass Lake delegation went out.
The CHAIRMAN. But Mr. Dickens was the proper authority to determine who were the legally elected delegates; he was the legal authority to determine who were the legally elected delegates to that council ?
Mr. BROKER. I don't understand it that way. I suppose his instructions were to see that it was done right.
The CHAIRMAN. Some one had to determine who were the delegates to that council?
Mr. BROKER. The people themselves, as I understand it.
The CHAIRMAN. Wasn't that election carried on the same as all other elections were carried on theretofore?
Mr. BROKER. Here is my understanding at that timeThe CHAIRMAN (interposing). You had attended other electionsother councils ?
Mr. BROKER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Wasn't it carried on exactly the same as they had been carried on theretofore?
Mr. BROKER. Well, they carry on elections there in different ways.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, I am asking you the question; if this was different from any others, you can say so.
Mr. BROKER. There was no vote taken on this Cass Lake Council whatever, but the bolt came before the delegates were seated.
Mr. KELLY. But you are forgetting the local council; that is where the delegates were elected.
Mr. BROKER. Yes; on the White Earth Reservation. But there was no contention on the rest of the delegates.
The CHAIRMAN. The contention was on the White Earth delegation ?
Mr. BROKER. The proposition put up to the council at that time was that those two contending delegations should be set aside and the remainder of the delegations vote on who would be seated of the contending delegations, but that proposition was turned down, and Mr. Dickens proceeded to determine on his own account.
The CHAIRMAN. I think we can understand what you mean. There were contesting delegations from the White Earth council ?
Mr. BROKER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And it was proposed that the other delegations should determine who should be seated ?
Mr. BROKER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And then Mr. Dickens decided that it should not be so done?
Mr. BROKER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Then, he seated one of the sets of delegates that came there?
Mr. BROKER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, did he seat the set of delegates that came there with a majority vote?
Mr. BROKER. I think so; yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What contest could there be over that; wasn't that fair? Mr. BROKER. The contention was that the local council
instead of an election there, it was a selection.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, that is a distinction without much difference. Anyhow, the election was held and the majority of those who were selected that is, the majority of those that were there selected that is the council that is now recognized; that is correct, isn't it?
Mr. BROKER. There was a bolt there also.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, what are you here to tell us; anything more than that?
Mr. BROKER. I want to simply now state my objections to the bill, The CHAIRMAN. That is what we would be very glad to have you do.
Mr. BROKER. This committee print is about the same as the last
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). The committee print is the thing that you want to consider.
Mr. BROKER. All right. Now, my objection to the bill
Mr. BROKER. Yes. Section 1 is the reenrollment act. Now, on page 8, that the people have no referendum whatever, and no appeal provided in case a commission should misappropriate their authority as to determining who should have a right; no appeal taken therefrom.
The CHAIRMĄN. I will suggest to Mr. Broker that if he desires to do so, he can submit a brief or a statement with regard to your objections to the bill, and whether or not you could offer some suggestions that might assist the committee in creating legislation that would be satisfactory to your people, and if you desire to do that you need not be heard any further. If you have got any definite statement that you want to make to us, go ahead and do it; you can have 5 or 10 minutes. We would be glad to give it to you, but not to discuss your objections to the bill; we much prefer to have you put that in the record.
Mr. BROKER. I desire to say that the bill itself—the administrative part of the bill-I object to entirely; it has no place alongside of the jurisdictional act. I believe what is absolutely necessary for the Indians to have is purely a jurisdictional act.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you a lawyer?
The CHAIRMAN. What do you raise on your farms?