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Mr. BALLINGER. Yes, sir; and I want to read that to you, so that you gentlemen will understand it: All funds derived from the sale of said lands and other property
shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota in their principal fund, except the funds derived from the sale of the property on the Red Lake Reservation, which shall be held in a separate fund and shall bear interest at the rate of 5 per cent per annum until the ownership thereof has been determined as hereinafter provided.
Now, Mr. Chairman, if this bill as proposed by the general council should be adopted, it will clean up the Red Lake Reservation. It will allot the lands and sell and dispose of all the other remaining property on the reservation, but will hold the fund to await the final decision of the court.
Mr. Elstox. Then you only object-your objection is not to the holding of the fund, as it is to the omission of any authority here to sell those lands?
Mr. BALLINGER. Well, the bill with the amendment of the general council provides for the sale of those lands, and the disposition of them, and this provision holds the funds received to await the final decision of the court. In other words, it cleans up this reservation now and makes the disposition of the fund dependent upon the decision of the court.
Mr. RHODES. What do you mean when you refer to the decision of the court? Does that mean decisions anticipated because of the pending suit ?
Mr. BALLINGER. There is another provision in this bill referring that very matter to the Court of Claims for final decision.
The CHAIRMAN. That is passed.
Mr. HENDERSON. I just desire to say that the Red Lake Band object to being cleaned up in just this way. They want to be cleaned up, but not in the way that this provision would do it.
Mr. Elston. Mr. Henderson, if any authority for the sale of Red Lake lands of any kind is kept out of the bill, would the Red Lakes still contend that they belong to the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, and claim their part of this principal fund mentioned here as being part of the general tribe?
Mr. HENDERSON. Just so much as they were entitled to under the provisions of the agreements of 1889 and 1904.
Mr. Elston. In other words, they claim that the other Indians have no participation in their reservation, but that they have a participation in the surplus lands of other reservations?
Mr. HENDERSON. Hardly that, Mr. Elston.
Mr. Elston. It looks to me like that is what it means. They claim both ends, it looks to me.
Mr. HENDERSON. They claim that the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota have a right to participate in the very large surplus of their section over that ceded to all the rest of the Indians in Minnesota put together, but that they have not the right to participate in any proceeds from the diminished reservation which they understood to be theirs exclusively at the time the agreement was made.
Mr. Elston. Did they get their proportion of the sale of the surplus part of their reservation before it was diminished to the present extent?
Mr. HENDERSON. Have they received it up to this time?
Mr. Elston. Yes; in the way of participation.
Mr. HENDERSON. I assume that in the distribution of that fund they have received their proportion.
Mr. Elston. Then to that extent they have been on a parity with all other Indians of the Chippewas of Minnesota ?
Mr. RHODES. And applying the same argument, would be entitled to participate in future disposition of the general fund ?
Mr. ELSTON. I understand Mr. Henderson says they do make that claim.
Mr. KELLY. They claim that they shall be considered part of the Chippewa Indians, wherever it benefits them, but that they should be segregated when it is to their own benefit.
Mr. RHODES. I don't think that is a fair statement. Here is the statement as I understand it. They are a part of the Chippewa Tribe when it comes to participating in the tribal property; they are to enjoy exclusively that property which has been set apart for them exclusively up to this time.
Mr. Elston. No; I want to get that thing straightened out, because there seems to be a little inconsistency there.
Mr. HENDERSON. I would like to, at the expense of a little time, try to state it once more.
Mr. Elston. I think we have got that, Mr. Henderson. I did not mean by my statement to indicate any prejudice or to commit myself on the matter one way or the other. My mind is entirely
open on that.
Mr. BALLINGER. On page 15, line 1, after the word “upon” insert the following: “and with the approval of the executive committee of the general council."
Now let me proceed and make one or two other amendments in the text, and then read it in its entirety as amended.
In line 2, reinstate the words stricken out, "or all," and after the word “all” insert the words “school equipment.”
In line 3, before the word "and" insert the words "used for school purposes.'
In line 4, after the word "Indians” insert the following: “Any school property not turned over to the State and remaining undisposed of shall be sold under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior for the best price obtainable.” So that the provision would read as follows:
That the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized to convey to the State of Minnesota, to be used as a part of the public-school system of said State, upon such terms as may be agreed upon, and with the approval of the executive committee of the general council, any or all school equipment, buildings used for school purposes, and any land or part thereof now reserved or used for school purposes for said Indians. Any school property not turned over to the State and remaining undisposed of shall be sold under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior for the best price obtainable.
The object of these amendments is, first, to give the general council some voice, or at least require their consultation so that they may make suggestions to the department with reference to the school situation, so that the Secretary may have the benefit of that; and, secondly, that the conveyance to the State shall be of the school equipment and buildings actually used for school purposes. It would limit it to that, and then provides for the sale of residue lands at present held for school purposes, but which are 'unnecessary,
at the best price obtainable. Some of these schools have as much as 160 acres of land connected with the schools, and under this provision the Secretary could hand the whole thing over to the State. The Indians want a proper limitation on that. Mr. MERITT. We object to the first amendment, “and with the approval of the executive committee of the general council,” for the reasons heretofore stated in connection with a similar item in the first part of the bill. We have no objection to the insertion of the words “or all equipment used for school purposes.” We also have no |...}. to the insertion of the amendment if one word is changed. The amendment reads: Any school property not turned over to the State and remaining undisposed of
shall be sold under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior for the best price obtainable.
We would prefer that that word “shall” should be changed to “may,” so that this language can not be construed to require the Secretary of the Interior to dispose of school buildings actually needed for school purposes for the Chippewa Indians. The CHAIRMAN. Let me make a suggestion—this is for the benefit of the opposed parties here—on the question of the executive committee of the Chippewas having the right to object to this thing— what is the word you used in your amendment there? Mr. BALLINGER. “And with the approval.” The CHAIRMAN. And with the approval. Why not say, “that the Secretary shall consult with the executive committee before” he prepares his rule for the purpose? Mr. BALLINGER. Mr. Chairman, in view of my experience with the department, that would not be sufficient. he CHAIRMAN. But you do admit here—now I am not going to go into a lengthy discussion—you do admit that the whole point of this provision is whether the Secretary of the Interior shall have the right to say what shall be done, or whether the executive committee of the tribe shall have the right to say? Mr. BALLINGER. That is not the object. The CHAIRMAN. But that is the effect of the whole thing. You can not get away from it. Mr. BALLINGFR. That may be the effect, but the object of it is to get better school facilities and better administration in that country. The CHAIRMAN. I know, but when this committee gets ready and the House gets ready to decide that question it must say which one of those two parties or bodies shall have the final say. Mr. BALLINGER. But couldn't it then be left to some other institution, a court or something else, to say whether or not it is a fair proposition ? The CHAIRMAN. I am speaking now of the thing that is before us. Mr. ELSTON. Let us go on, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. Well, proceed. What is the next 2 Mr. BALLINGER. On page 16, line 15, strike out the words in italics and reinstate the words stricken out in lines 15 and 16. Let me read one or two of our amendments and then I will read the text in its entirety as amended. In line 17 strike out the words in italics and reinstate the words stricken out.
In line 17, after the word "and" insert in his discretion other."" So as amended it would read:
That the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, authorized to, within six months after the acceptance of this act, establish a town site at Red Lake and, in his discretion, other town sites on the Red Lake and White Earth Reservations, in State of Minnesota, and upon any lands ceded under the act of January 14, 1889.
Mr. Chairman, a law of Congress was passed 10 years ago authorizing the establishment of a town site at Red Lake. The town site was surveyed and laid out, but for reasons peculiar to the department the town site has never been established. The result is that a beautiful site for summer resorts lies there idle. People can not acquire title to the land, and the Indians are without facilities for markets. for their produce. Complaint was made yesterday that Ben Fairbanks and John Morrison controlled the store situation on Red Lake Reservation. They do it because of the departmental policy. If this amendment is adopted it will throw Red Lake, a town site at Red Lake, open to the public so anybody can come in there and establish stores and provide markets for the produce of the Indians, and will develop that country. It will, in my judgment, mean an income to these Indians of from one hundred to three or four hundred thousand dollars a year in providing the market facilities.
Mr. RHODES. Is there a demand for a town site there?
Mr. BALLINGER. No, sir; the railroad runs up to Redby, about 5 miles away, but if a town site is located here and if you can once get into this reservation, there would be railroads there and the Red Lake Indians can then have public schools and all of the other advantages that will come to the people.
Mr. Elston. Don't towns grow up naturally in areas where they are needed or do they have to be provided for in this way artificially?
Mr. BALLINGER. Around through that country, gentlemen of the committee, there are several settlements that approximate goodsized towns, where the people are living and have constructed buildings, without a shadow of title upon which their buildings rest; and that is the situation at Red Lake to-day. There are stores there · worth $10,000 to $15,000 or $20,000, constructed by gentlemen under a revocable permit, and this will enable this land to be sold for townsite purposes at an advantageous price to the Indians, and will bring to the Indians public school facilities, a market for their produce, and every other advantage.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, Mr. Henderson, have you got anything to say on that?
Mr. HENDERSON. Mr. Chairman, I have not had an opportunity to confer with the Red Lake Indians largely upon this question, but I do know that they are very strongly opposed to any such provision being included in the legislation at this time. I suppose that it is based upon the theory that until allotments are made their reservation should be as nearly their own as possible, and that allotment can be very much more safely made to them before the development of town sites on their reservation than afterwards.
Further than that, I feel that I would like to reserve my explanations or reasons until I have had time to confer with the Indians at
length. I do know, however, Mr. Chairman, that they are very strongly opposed to any town-site legislation at this time.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you anything to say, Mr. Meritt?
Mr. MERITT. Except to confirm the statement of Mr. Henderson that the Red Lake Indians are opposed to this provision. It is the entoring wedge into the opening of their reservation. And there is another serious objection. If this provision is enacted, it would take the trading stores on that reservation out from under the jurisdiction of the department, and they would be in a position to charge whatever price they wanted to to the Red Lake Indians. Under present conditions we can keep the prices within the bounds of reason, but if this legislation were enacted there would be no restrictions on that matter.
Mr. Elston. Mr. Meritt, wouldn't the bureau uphold all the contentions of the Red Lake Indians that they want to remain isolated and unallotted, and not participate in what the bureau has always declared to be its policy with respect to most all reservations of opening them up as quickly as possible and following out a general rule? Now, what is there peculiar with the Red Lake Reservation that keeps it inviolated ?
Mr. MERITT. I can state that in a very few words; I have stated it more extensively in the hearings heretofore. The department does not want to allot the Red Lake Reservation at this time for the reason that a large part of the land is swamp and needs to be drained; another part of the land is very valuable for timber.
Mr. ELSTON. I think you have gone into that. I remember it now.
Mr. HENDERSON. Mr. Chairman, if I may be permitted to say that I think there is a very good legal underlying the proposition which it would take considerable time to set out now. Later I would like to have the opportunity to present my views.
The CHAIRMAN. What do you have next, Mr. Ballinger?
Mr. BALLINGER. On page 17, line 9, before the words "General Council" insert the words "Executive Committee of the." That is the same question presented in the second amendment offered.
Mr. MERITT. We object to that for the same reason. The CHAIRMAN. There is nothing to be said on that, I think. Mr. BALLINGER. On page 18, line 24, after the words “Public school” insert the words and park.”
Mr. MERITT. We have no objection to that, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BALLINGER. On page 19 reinstate section 5 with the following amendments:
In line 8, strike out the word “at;' in line 9, strike out the words “Bemidji, Minnesota”; in line 9, after the word “beginning,” strike out the word and figure "July 8." In line 9, after the word “beginning,” insert the following: “on the second Tuesday in July." So that it will read as amended:
To be held annually, beginning on the second Tuesday in July of each year, pursuant to the constitution of the general council.
The constitution and by-laws provide that each annual council shall designate the place where the next council shall be held, and that it shall be held on the second Tuesday in July. The language as it appears in the draft of the bill fixed it July 8, by inadvertence, each year, and fixed also the place as Bemidji, Minn. This merely makes the provision conform to the constitution and by-laws of the general council.