« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
you are. It has been thirty-one years now since you had an opportunity to be allotted, and no allotments have taken place; nothing has been done except in a very recent period to assist you looking toward citizenship. Now, without regard to how this legislation may affect the Red Lakes, this committee will not slacken its efforts to assist the bureau in bringing the Red Lake Indians toward citizenship as quickly as possible, because that is the theory, that is the policy, I believe, w; should be followed and I think that is the policy of this committee. Mr. GRAVEs. That is what we would like to have followed out just for the time being until the Red Lake Indians want otherwise. Our school system is sufficient there. The CHAIRMAN. I think we can consider that the gentleman has given us full information. Mr. KELLY. He has said several times, Mr. Chairman, that he observes the value of being property owners. Now how can those Indians be property owners? Mr. GRAVEs. These Indians are holding that land in union, and in union there is strength, you see, and if we were allotted, unscruFo persons would come one by one, and pretty soon we wouldn't ave any land. Mr. K. Of course, that argument applies for communism, you know. The CHAIRMAN. You can't stop the wheels of progress because some fellow is going to be defrauded of his land here and there. Mr. HERNANDEz. I notice they got rid of 250,000 acres very readily. They got rid of a good portion of their reservation. Mr. GRAVEs. That is the biggest price we ever got for land, too. Mr. HERNANDEz. That is not holding it. Mr. KELLY. What do those Red Lake Indians do, Mr. Graves? What is their occupation? What occupation do they follow % Mr. GRAVEs. They are gardeners. #. have been gardeners a long time before the other Indians were gardeners. They have been raising their own corn and they are known as corn eaters. Mr. KELLY. The majority of them are farmers and gardeners? Mr. GRAVEs. Yes, sir; they are corn eaters. They have to raise their corn, while the other Indians are living on wild rice. The CHAIRMAN. Now, if there are no other direct questions we will proceed with the next witness. Mr. MERITT. May I take just a moment to explain the citizenship question? The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Mr. MERITT. Section 6 of the general allotment act approved February 8, 1887 (24 Stat. L., 388), permits Indians to become citizens by their own act. An Indian who leaves a reservation and goes out among white people and takes up his home and adopts the ways of civilization becomes a citizen without further act of Congress or the department. We are glad to have Indians on all of these reservations leave the reservation and go out among the white people and make their home. In fact, we advise them to do that. Any Indian in the United States can become a citizen, under section 6 of the act of 1887, by his own act; that is, leaving the reservation and going out among white people and taking up the ways of civilization.
Mr. KELLY. Do they thereby lose their rights on the reservations? Mr. MERITT. No, sir; they do not.
Mr. KELLY. They can be allotted just the same as though they were on the reservation?
Mr. MERITT. Yes, sir.. Therefore, the son of Peter Graves, who has left the reservation, is entitled to his allotment, and at the same time he can become a citizen of Duluth, if he so wishes.
The CHAIRMAN. Several people are shaking their heads around here with regard to that statement.
Mr. MERITT. That statement is correct, and I can read the law into the record to prove it.
The CHAIRMAN. Now wait a minute. You can have time in your three quarters of an hour to answer that if you see fit.
Is there any other witness for the Red Lakes who desires to be heard ?
Mr. MERITT. Mr. Head, of the Red Lake Reservation, wishes to be heard.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Head has already qualified as a witness in the hearing.
STATEMENT OF MR. NATHAN J. HEAD, CHIPPEWA INDIAN.
Mr. HEAD. I will not cover as much ground as Mr. Graves has with the Red Lakes, but I will go over the history of the Chippewa Council a little bit.
I was an active member when the first organization was initiated. I was the first secretary. Mr. Rogers of Cass County was our president. We didn't do anything to further the intention of the county for a number of years, which I thought was the intention to protect the tribe in their property rights, especially for the Red Lake Tribe, as I understand it later. There has been several resolutions introduced in that general council, but nothing in any way would interfere with the rights of the different bands of tribes which they may have the prior right before the act of 1889, which has been explained in here when consolidation was made among the Chippewas of Minnesota. Then it came about later, after we went out of office, a new control element stepped in, employed an attorney, which now sits there, Mr. Ballinger, and takes the stand just like he has explained in here, insisting on the rights of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, and there was nothing for us to only step out of the council, thinking that our rights had been encroached upon. It seems that there was something in there that he wanted to get and they introduced the legislation in 1917 whereby the Red Lakers would have suffered if that had become a law. It was only just here lately, you know, the amendment you suggested in this proposed legislation where the Red Lakers would be entirely protected.
There have been questions asked in here why the Red Lakers object to allotments, and it has been ably explained by the commissioner, Mr. Meritt, and some of the membersMr. Graves-that even in the commission making this treaty with the Indians they had stated that lands that wasn't fit for allotments, in order to get an equitable allotment under the act of 1904, so that it could be equitably made we made the proposition—this came from the Indians themselves—we made the proposition to Congress here that
the timber be first sold, as part of that proceeds be used for draining those lands, the Red Lake lands. That is now being carried out, is now in process of operation. The land has been laid out by the department so that an equitable allotment shall be made to the Red Lakers.
Mr. SINCLAIR. How long will it take to complete that plan?
Mr. HEAD. It has been stated by the commissioner in here, we have sold part of the timber accumulated, in the neighborhood of half a million dollars in the Treasury now, and shortly after that, of course, some of the land, I will admit, is suitable for allotment for those who want to take allotments.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you agree with the statement of the assistant commissioner that when this land is drained and the lumber is off that there will be plenty of proper land then for all the allotments ?
Mr. HEAD. Ample enough; yes, sir.
Mr. SINCLAIR. You have an allotment in the Red Lake Reservation?
Mr. HEAD. I haven't any.
Mr. SINCLAIR. You don't want to be allotted until the drainage proposition is completed ?
Mr. HEAD. I have to follow just the contention of the tribe. Now, you know that construction as it has been explained to me, you couldn't possibly allot an Indian justly in that way. You know, and many people know, that nature having provided that timber on that property, there are tracts of that land that have more timber than others, and if that law became operative there would have to be a portion of the Indians that would be unjustly discriminated against, thereby the Red Lakers pray the Congress to have this law enacted which created the forest reserve, and also authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to sell for the benefit of all the members of the tribe and drain the lands. It was the intention that the bureau when they asked that legislation to drain those lands, so that they would make equitable allotments; so that they could be made.
It seems to me on Mr. Ballinger's contention that there is a barrier to go on and complete the adjustment of all the different bands of the Chippewas of Minnesota; I don't believe that is in the way, only it is just cleaning the way for something that we know might be a barrier to his intention to carry out his plans.
Mr. RHODES. What plans? What are his plans?
The CHAIRMAN. What do you mean by his plans ? That is the best question, I think.
Mr. HEAD. Well, I may say that he has this object of becoming the attorney of the Chippewas in Minnesota. That has been the whole contention of the fight the way I can figure it out.
Mr. KELLY. As I understand it, you say you don't want to be allotted ? | Mr. HEAD. I would take an allotment when these things are completed as the department has planned out.
Mr. KELLY. You think that will be some years yet?
Mr. HEAD. It would not be very long if Congress gives us authority to do what we want. It would be in the course of four or five years.
Mr. RHODES. Are you in favor of this legislation proposed, or are you against it?
Mr. HEAD. This legislation here? I am opposed to it.
Mr. HEAD. I am just like I stated here before. I came in under my own accord.
The CHAIRMAN. He has been a witness previous to this in the hearing
Mr. SINCLAIR. You belong to the Red Lake Band of Iņdians ? Mr. HEAD. Yes, sir. Mr. RHODES. Are you half blood, or less than half blood ? Mr. HEAD. Less than half blood. Mr. RHODES. Then it is not a fact that it is only the full bloods who are opposing the management by the present council ?
Mr. HEAD. No; it is not. It is unanimous against the present council having anything to do with the Red Lake Band of Indians.
The CHAIRMAN. By the so-called band of Red Lake Indians ?
Mr. HERNANDEZ. Then the Red Lake Indians have no representative in that council ?
Mr. HEAD. No, sir; not for the last two years.
Mr. RHODES. What I am getting at, it is not a question of a fight between full bloods and the mixed bloods, so far as you are concerned ?
The CHAIRMAN. So far as the Red Lakes are concerned ?
The CHAIRMAN. Now whom do you understand Mr. McDonald represents here?
Mr. HEAD. I don't know anything about that, until he appeared here. I suppose that delegation they had between the Chippewas of Minnesota, and the other factions in Minnesota, in pursuit of the lawsuits. Mr. McDonald represented the full-blood faction.
The CHAIRMAN. Of the Red Lake Indians ?
The CHAIRMAN. Of all of the Indians ? Of all the Chippewa Indians! He claims to represent, according to your understanding, the full-blood Chippewas, I take it?
Mr. HEAD. According to what I have heard; yes, sir. I think that closes my statement to the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, Mi. Henderson, you have seven minutes, if
you desire to make any statement on your own account. STATEMENT OF MR. SAMUEL P. HENDERSON, WASHING
TON, D. C.
Mr. HENDERSON. Mr. Chairman, and gentlemen of the committee, seven minutes is rather a short period in which to cover the subject.
The CHAIRMAN. But the fact that you have only seven minutes is not entirely the fault of the committee. You could have had more time if you had asked for it.
Mr. HENDERson. I would very much rather have had the time taken up by the witnesses than in making the statement myself. I will ask the Chairman, however, to allow me some liberty in the way of inserting a brief into the record if it is deemed desirable, or if I can add any information to the knowledge that the committee has gained during this hearing with reference to any matter.
The CHAIRMAN. You might state just whom you represent, Mr. Henderson.
Mr. HENDERSON. I represent the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, of the State of Minnesota, under a contract made with the authorities of the band pursuant to council resolutions, which contract has been approved in accordance with the provisions of the act of Congress, sections 21.3, 4, 5, and 6 of the Revised Statutes.
Mr. Chairman, I think, in view of the prospects that there seem to be of legislation along certain lines, it would be undesirable to go very largely at this time into a statement of any questions that wift have to be passed upon by the Court of Claims. For that reason, whatever I might like to say for the benefit of the committee, for the information of the committee, in regard to the title to the Red Lake Reservation, I would prefer to submit in a more carefully prepared short brief.
he CHAIRMAN. I would like to ask you a question. How can
any legislation of an administrative kind that would be lasting, be enacted at this time, until the titles have been cleaned up It seems to me there is in this whole matter a question which ought to be settled first. We can go on, as I have said a dozen times in this hearing, and create legislation here which will perhaps tend to straighten out some of the seeming inequalities, but it doesn't get you any nearer to a final adjustment of these matters until the question of rolls has been cleared up; until the question of lines, of different reservations are cleared up; and until we know who owns the land, so that it can be allotted. It seems to me that those are things which ought to be first cleared up. At present it doesn’t seem to me that legislation can be created here at this time which will be much of any improvement over that which exists to-day.
Mr. HENDERson. Mr. Chairman, in response to that inquiry I should say that there was serious danger of making the condition more difficult than it is at the present time by further legislation, except as to these three propositions; that the Red Lake band, in the interests of the Red Lake band and the Red Lake Reservation, should be excluded entirely from the other legislation. No matter, Mr. Chairman, who is at fault or whether anyone is at fault, the facts are that to-day the Red Lake Reservation stands apart from all the other Minnesota Chippewa Indian property so distinctly, and is governed in such wise that it must be evident to everyone that it is not only to the interest of the Red Lake band to have themselves segregated, both as to their lands and funds from the rest of the Chippewas, but that it is the only practical way to accomplish anything that these gentlemen who represent the general council are seeking to do. I can not imagine, Mr. Chairman, a greater anomaly than for the general council of the Chippewas of Minnesota to want to have to do anything, much less to insist upon it, to want to have