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Winnibegoshish, 13 from Leech Lake, 4 from Cass Lake, 12 from White Oak Point, and 5 from Bois Fort or Nett Lake, or in all, 115 deleagtes. That said delegates of said general council were unanimous in their opposition to the efforts of the said John G. Morrison, jr., Ben L. Fairbanks, Paul H. Beaulieu, and others, to have them recognized as the representatives of the General Council of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota.
That after the said delegation had left the front of the city hall to go to the Elko Theater, John G. Morrison, jr., and others acting with him appeared at the city hall and held, what they claimed to be, a meeting of the general council of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota and pretended to elect officers and appoint committeemen the same as had been done by the other meeting held at the Eklo Theater. That the general council held in the Elko Theater became known and is now usually referred to as Council of Chippewa Indians and the council meeting held at the city hall and presided over by John G. Morrison, jr., is usually referred to by the Chippewa Indian, as the council of mixed or half breeds. That in May, 1919, James I. Coffey, as president of the general council of Chippewa Indians, usually referred to as the council of Chippewa Indians, issued a notice or call for election of delegates and also of the annual general councils of Indians. That thereafter and on or about the 2d day of June, 1919, there was suggested by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs the advicibility of taking some steps to illiminate the factional controversy between the so-called Chippewa Indians represented by James I. Coffey as their president and the so-called mixed bloods or half breeds represented by John G. Morrison, jr., as their presidents and it was suggested that the next general council should be held at Cass Lake, Minn. That while James I. Coffey, president of the council of Chippewa Indians, knew that such would be in violation of the laws of his organization, but yielder to the suggestion of the commissioner and thereafter there was issued an order or call, under the direction of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for a meeting to be held at Cass Lake in which it was suggested each faction should participate. That in reference to the meeting held on White Earth Reservation to elect delegates to such general council the rules and regulations of the general council of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota were not observed or followed in any particular. Nor was it held according to the customs of the Chippewa Indians upon their reservation.
That said meeting was packed and absolutely under control and domination of Ben L. Fairbanks and his associates and was not a fair election and the delegates selected were not the choice of the Chippewa Indians of that reservation. That said packing of said meeting and the control and domination thereof was protested against as being illegal, but without any avail or effect and thereupon 262 Indians arose in a body and left the meeting place and organized another meeting and selected 62 delegates to attend the meeting called for Cass Lake. That thereafter and on the 9th day of July, 1919, the delegates assembled at Cass Lake, were called to order by Walter F. Dickens, who had been designated by the Indian commissioner to conduct such meeting. That said action was in violation of the constitution, by-laws, and custom of the general council of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota. That the said Walter F. Dickens, acting as representative of the Indian commissioner, assumed unto himself the right to determine who were the qualified delegates from the different reservations and announced that fact and the result of his determination. That there were then present two delegations from White Earth each contending to be the duly elected and qualified delegates to that meeting. Delegates sitting in that meeting uncontested insisted upon the appointment of a committee on credentials and that the question of which of the contesting delegations from White Earth should be alļowed to set at this meeting be submitted to it. This was in strict conformity with the by-laws adopted by the general council and recognized by the organization and Mr. Dickens presiding, refused to recognize the uncontested delegations and declared them out of order and refused to allow them to speak and announced that the delegates from White Earth represented by the Beaulieu and Fairbanks faction would be seated and ordered the rest to leave the room. Thereupon all of the contesting delegates as well as delegates from other reservations withdrew from that meeting place and proceeded to the city hall, adjoining there, and they organized with a chairman, secretary, and interpreter. That there were then present in the said meeting, at least 97 delegates that had withdrawn from the other meeting. That they proceeded to elect their officers, to pass resolutions and transact such business as pertained to the affairs of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota. That Benjamin Caswell, the gentleman who has appeared before your council for the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, as its president, John Broker of White Earth Reservation as vice president were elected as was also an executive committee as provided for by its constitution and that this organization now represents over 80 per cent of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, and about 10 to 15 per cent of the so-called mixed bloods or half breeds. Your committee will recall that Mr. Frank H. Beaulieu in his statement to your committee the
other day said that when he was told by Mr. Dickens of the program of holding a joint meeting, that Dickens stated to him that the mixed bloods ought to be able to overpower the Chippewa Indians by marshaling a sufficient number of their friends, What followed this suggestion was in keeping with the political tricks of Tammany Hall, Chicago or St. Paul.
That at the opening of this hearing it was represented by Mr. Ballinger that he spoke for all of the Indians of Minnesota. This statement was made in the presence and hearing of Mr. B. L. Fairbanks and others supporting Mr. Ballinger. We know that Mr. Fairbanks, Mr. Morrison, Mr. Beaulieu, and others supporting Mr. Ballinger, and we believe that Mr. Ballinger well knew that on the 13th day of July, 1918, the delegates from the Red Lake Agency consisting of Nathan J. Head, who has appeared before your committee, Peter Šitting, John English, Joseph C. Roy, Peter Graves, who has also appeared before you, Pay she ge shig, Ah je dum o, Joseph Jourdain, O dah waunce, No din, and Kay gway dub e tung withdrew from said council then being held at Bemidji and addressed to them this communication:
RED LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION,
Red Lake, Minn., July 13, 1918. To the GENERAL COUNCIL OF MINNESOTA,
Chippewas in session, Bemidji, Minn. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: This communication to your council now in session in the city of Memidji, Minn., is to advise your council that the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians of the State of Minnesota, through their delegates of whom have signed this notice, that they have decided to sever their relations to your council and do not further recognize your said council as a medium for the transaction of their tribal matters and affairs before the Indian Department and the Congress of the United States. They without doubt having more confidence for justice and fair play from the Government than they would expect from your council, which is controlled by men who are fully competent as white men, and who seem to ignore the real conditions of lesser competent Indians of the different bands of the Minnesota Chippewas, and who have assumed to take advantage of the Red Lake Band by attempting to have Congress enact laws inconsistent to present laws enjoyed by the Red Lake Band. We, the undersigned, therefore, without any regret whatsoever for ourselves and in behalf of the Red Lake Band, have caused this to be a matter of written record for your information and that of the protector and refuge of the Red Lake Indians, the United States Government.
That the said Fairbanks and his associates and Mr. Ballinger well knew that on the 18th day of July, 1918, that there was held on the Red Lake Reservation a general council of Indians of the Red Lake board to consider matters involved and the action of the said John G. Morrison, jr., Fairbanks, and Beaulieu, and the withdrawal of that delegation of the general council of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota. That notwithstanding their knowledge of said action said John G. Morrison, jr., as president, Gus Beaulieu, as secretary, Ben Fairbanks, and others as other officers, and the said Webster Ballinger, have insisted that they are representatives of all the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota. That it must have occurred to your committee that these representations were made for the purpose of misleading it. That action is now pending in the district court for Itasca County, State of Minnesota, brought by John G. Morrison, jr., to determine whether the organization of which he claims to be the president or the organization of which Mr. Benjamin Caswell claims to be president shall be permitted to use the name of General Council of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota. That the Caswell organization is duly incorporated.
That in said action an answer was interposed on the 20th day of December, 1919, setting up all the facts relating to the organization of the general council of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, of which Mr. Benjamin Caswell is president. That no reply has been served to their answer and all allegations remain admitted.
That the committee reprint of H. R. 12103, as now converted in the two bills, H. R. 12972 and H. R. 12973, are objectionable amongst other things as follows: Section 1 of H. R, 12973 is objectionable for the reason that it provides for the appointment of a commission, one of whom will be named by the so-called general council of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota. This bill was drafted by Mr. Ballinger and his associates, and they intend that their general council of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota shali: be thus recognized and that they shall appoint one commissioner and that the general council of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota (Inc.), who represent more than onehalf of the whole Indian population, shall have no representation. Relating to the appointment of that commission there are now from 200 to 500 persons seeking to be placed upon the rolls of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota; many of these are not entitled to such enrollment. We charge the fact to be that the so-called Morrison general council will appoint members upon the enrollment committee favorable to
placing upon the rolls persons who are not entitled to be placed there and that such conduct is part of their present scheme and motive of their efforts, and it is in keeping with the manner in which the mixed bloods overflowed the White Earth Reservation and made possible the great Indian frauds there. Practically all of the 1,400 Indians on the Red Lake Reservation are absolutely against the Morrison, Fairbanks, and Beaulieu factions having anything to do with naming a member of the enrollment commission provided for in section 1.
Section 1 is also objectionable for the reason that it recognizes blocd status as basis of classification as competent or incompetent mixed persons. The Chippewa Indians believe that there are many incompetent mixed bloods who should not be on the rolls of competents, and that they believe that there are some full-bloods that should be on the rolls of competents. They believe that the classification of competents and incompetents should not be based upon blood status, but should be based upon education, knowledge, judgment, competency, fitness, and environments. The Chippewa Indians fully believe that if section 1 is enacted into a law frauds and sharp practices will result in the loss to the Indians of three-fourths of the property that may be distributed to the Indians or mixed bloods under this section 1. The Morrison, Fairbanks, and Beaulieu faction have held out to the Indians that if this bill becomes a law they will receive large quantities of money. As the old Indian from Leech Lake who appeared before your commission was about to take the train at Federal Dam to come to Washington, a relative of Ben L. Fairbanks accosted him and urged him to support this legislation, for the reason that he would get a large amount of money. This may influence some of the Indians. Many of them understand, however, that getting money and keeping it are two different things. Instead of passing section 1 Congress should pass legislation providing for the purging of the present rolls of these illegal names thereon. It may be contended that the matter has been settled. We do not so understand either the decision of the Secretary of the Interior or the decision of the Court of Claims referred to by the council for the Morrison faction.
Section 2 is objectionable, among other things, for the reason that there are many Indians allotted in the neighborhood of the lands set apart as forest reserves, such Indians receiving an allotment of about 80 acres. The White Earth Indians receive allotments of 160 acres. It is proposed to give Red Lake Indians allotments of 160 acres. It is only fair to the Indian living in and adjoining to the forestry lands that if these lands are restored to the Indians those living in that locality who have received but 80 acres should be permitted to take of these lands an aditional 80 allotment. This section of this bill would commit an outrage upon the Indian so situated. This is also objectionable for the reason that it recognizes the mixed bloods or half-breeds general council of Indians and permits it to designate appraisers to appraise lands that are to be sold which ought to be allotted to the neighboring Chippewas. This section is also objectionable for the reason that the terms are such. as to invite speculators instead of actual settlers. The State of Minnesota sells adjoining lands on at least 20 years' time, with interest at 5 per cent or less, and the lumber companies sell their lands on 20 years' time, with interest at 5 per cent. Those who drafted this bill evidently had in mind creating by legislation conditions where many men could, to the exclusion of others, secure the cream of the Indian lands.
Section 3 is objectionable for the reason that there is no occasion for the conveyance by the Secretary the Interior or by the general council of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, as provided for in section 3 of I. R. 9924, of any lands now reserved or used for school purposes for the Indians. These lands that are reserved and not used should be sold or leased as other Indian property. These lands used for school purposes should certainly not be conveyed to the State. The Chippewa Indians whom I represent, as well as the Chippewa Indians of the Red Lake Reservation, are firm in their belief that they should, and they insist upon retaining the Indian schools at Leech Lake, White Earth, and Red Lake Reservations until conditions change and better schools are otherwise provided. The Indians I represent, as well as the Red Lake Indians, denounce as wrongdoers the persons who drafted section 3 of H. R. 9924, which provided that the general council of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota would be authorized to convey to the State of Minnesota property held by the United States Government in trust for the Chippewa people. We feel that the men who conceived this idea are worthy of a most complete condemnation.
Section 4 is a most objectionable provision. It_applies to only the Leech Lake and Red Lake Reservations, as I understand it. Recently action was suggested to require the Indian Bureau to cancel the licenses or permits of the Chippewa Indian Trading Co., of which John G. Morrison, jr., is president, and B. L. Fairbanks to trade upon any portion of the Red Lake Reservation. As I understand it, the Chip
pewa Trading Co. has permits for two stores, and Fairbanks the same. Many of the Red Lake Indians desire that they be removed from off the reservation. If this section 4 becomes a law, it will permit these people to acquire the lands upon which their buildings are now situated and ply their trade with the Chippewa people in utter defiance of any supervision, restraint, or control of the United States Government. In other words, if section 4 becomes a law, these traders can rob the Indians to the fullest extent possible and remain upon the reservation and defy the Government.
Section 5 is objectionable for the reson that it grants to the general council of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota the right to appoint one or two competent surveyors to survey and examine swamps or other lands with a view of securing evidence to be used before the Court of Claims. A great majority of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota do not want the so-called general council of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, headed by John G. Morrison, jr., to have anything to do with the Chippewa Indian affairs.
Passing now. to H. R. 12972, sections 1, 2, 3, and 4 have been so rewritten as to be free of the principal objections that were held against similar sections in H. R. 9924, or the committee reprint. Section 5 confers jurisdiction upon the Court of Claims to entertain all and determine claims against the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians. The Red Lake Indian Reservation and the money held by the Government in trust for it is the fat lamb the wolves have in sight, and when I speak of the wolves, I have in mind these men now active in urging this legislation who were also active in connection with frauds against the Chippewa people on the White Earth Reservation.. We repeat briefly what we said before, that under the treaty of 1855 all these Indian people now urging passage of this act, ceded, sold, and gave away all of their rights to the present diminished reservation. (See last part of sec. 1, treaty of Feb. 22, 1855.) The Nelson Act of 1899 expressly provided that the Red Lake Chippewa Indians reserved that portion of the Red Lake Reservation which, in the judgment of the commissioners, under their act of 1899 should be required for the purpose of alloting the Red Lake Indian. And the commissioners determined that the area found in the diminished Red Lake Indian Reservation was necessary for these purposes and the present diminished Indian Red Lake Reservation was reserved to the Red Lake Indians alone and no part of that has ever been ceded to the Government to be sold for the benefit of other Indians as contended by Mr. Ballinger. In addition to this, these Indians whom I represent and these mixed bloods whom I represent are absolutely opposed to any legislation which will permit the Morrison faction or anyone else instituting a suit in the Court of Claims or anywhere else against their brothers and their friends, the Red Lake Indians, with a view of taking from them one iota of property or one cent of money that is now and has been recognized as their own.
In conclusion, these Chippewa Indians and these persons of mixed bloods whom I represent and for whom I speak and whose rights I am endeavoring to preserve for them, denounce this whole scheme of this so-called General Council of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota proposed by John G. Morrison, jr., B. L. Fairbanks, Gus Beaulieu, and others as an attempt to commit more violent frauds and outrages upon the Chippewa Indians and thereby secure for themselves in the aggregation of one to two million dollars of the Chippewa property. Your committee is again reminded that should the decision of the case brought by John G. Morrison, jr., against the generas council of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota (Inc.), result in a final decision against the John G. Morrison, jr., Beaulieu, and Fairbanks faction and in favor of the general council of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota (Inc.) of which Mr. Benjamin Caswell is president, this legislation which now may be said to recognize the Morrison, Beaulieu, Fairbanks council might be said to apply to the council represented by Mr. Benjamin Caswell. We then may be asked the question whether or not under this situation we would be opposed to this legislation and our reply is this: No legislation should be passed recognizing either faction under the circumstances that exist where the factions are diametrically opposed to each other upon principles that can not be compromised. If any is to be passed it may be such that will recognize the existance of these two factions and if possible give each recognition and representation to insure the protection of their rights.
The CHAIRMAN. Who is the next witness? Mr. MERITT. Mr. Head, a Red Lake Indian, is here. Mr. HENDERSON, I would rather have Mr. Graves heard first. Mr. MERITT. Peter Graves, a Red Lake Indian, will now be heard. Mr. HENDERSON. Mr. Chairman, on behalf of the Red Lake Indians whom I represent here, I ask the indulgence of the committee in the
hearing of these two witnesses who are all the witnesses that the Red Lake Indians will offer, and whose knowledge is extensive on this subject, but they may not be as fluent as some of the other witnesses, and I ask for just as much consideration as the committee can possibly give them so that there may be a full and clear portrayal of the attitude of the Red Lake Indians on this subject. . As attorney for the Red Lake band, I will promise the committee to abstain from all remarks if necessary, and if I do have anything to say it will be very compact.
The CHAIRMAN. We have remaining 2 hours and 10 minutes to spend upon the debate on this question, and it is quite immaterial to the committee who it will hear during the balance of that time, and whatever time these two gentlemen take up, of course, will leave a balance that someone else will have the privilege of using, whomever you decide you want to wind up the argument.
Mr. MERITT. Mr. Chairman, we are very anxious to have Mr. Henderson make a legal argument on the question of the ownership of the Red Lake Reservation, and I hope that sufficient time will be given for that purpose.
The CHAIRMAN. Suppose we give Mr. Henderson the last hour. I am willing to discuss the question now of who shall use the last hour.
Mr. BALLINGER. The general counsel had less than two mornings; the other side have now had three days last week and this will be two more days, making five full days. We would like to have a little time in which to reply to all of this matter, and then take up the bill.
The CHAIRMAN. It is the intention of the committee to discuss this bill, and it hopes to have with it Mr. Ballinger and at least Mr. Meritt and perhaps Mr. Henderson, if he desires to be heard to-morrow, but it will be an executive session so that we can try to learn something about the proposed legislation ourselves, and use such information as we have received to assist us in that matter.
Mr. BALLINGER. Can't we have, then, three-quarters of an hour or an hour, this morning, in which to make any reply?
The CHAIRMAN. Suppose we divide the hour between Mr. Ballinger and Mr. Henderson, the hour from 12'to 1 o'clock, if Mr. Henderson wants that much time.
Mr. HENDERSON. I will try to accommodate myself to whatever the pleasure of the committee may be.
The CHAIRMAN. I thought we could get through with the other witnesses before 12 o'clock.
Mr. HENDERSON. We think, Mr. Chairman, that the value of the testimony of these witnesses is so much greater to the committee than any address that counsel might offer, that we prefer to have you hear them.
The CHAIRMAN. Then if there be no objection we will give Mr. Ballinger three-quarters of an hour and your side can have the balance of the time from now till a quarter after 12. Is that agreeable ?
Mr. BALLINGER. That is agreeable.