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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1883
([1883])

Reports of agents in Montana,   pp. 96-104 PDF (4.4 MB)


Page 96

96 
REPORTS OF AGENTS IN MONTANA. 
anxious to remain during vacation. The teachers have enforced good order,
and 
more than ordinary interest has been shown in their studies. With the energy
and 
good management of our principal, the boys have worked well and raised such
a boun- 
tiful supply of all kind of vegetables as never had been seen here before,
and our 
school garden of five acres, besides its usefulness, is highly ornamental
and the admi- 
ration of all visitors. 
Our new school building, when finished and furnished, will give us all the
room 
necessary for many years. I think it wise to conduct the school independent
of any 
sectarian influence, as the children attending are from families of both
denomina- 
tions. 
The police force has been a strong arm this year to the agent in the enforcement
of law and order. I am sorry that men so faithful cannot receive better remunera-
tion. 
The judges of the court on Indian offenses selected from the police force
have given 
much satisfaction in the decision of cases among their own people, and have
done 
much to aid me in producing peace and harmony. 
The Indians at Red Lake are not rapid in their improvements. The soil is
not 
adapted for agricultural purposes, but on the western part of their reserve
there is 
plenty of prairie of the best quality, and they should be induced to labor
there. I 
have urged them to take up homes on the prairie lands, but the older men
are dis- 
inclined to listen to such advice. 
The Leech Lake Indians should be removed to this reserve. There is no hope
for 
much advancement while living around Leech and Winnebagoshish Lakes. Their
soil is unfit for farming purposes and scarce in grass. These Indians are
much troubled 
because there has been no settlement of damages for building the dams. They
have 
made threats as to 'what might occur if their'claims for damages were not
heeded soon. 
I think a new effort should be made, and the only feasible way in my mind
is that of 
arbitration. 
During the last winter the small-pox did much havoc with the Chippewas at
the 
head of the Mississippi River: seventy-two of their number died from that
dreadful 
disease. Dr. Walker, who was the physican at Winnebagoshish Dam, at the onset
of 
the disease began to combat it, and did so at the peril of his life. I think
the Govern- 
ment is greatly indebted to him for his valuable services. 
I have to thank the Department for the patience exercised and the assistance
ren- 
dered me in the many complex questions which have arisen during the past
year. 
Very respectfully, 
C. P. LUSE, 
United States Indian Agent. 
The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
BLACKFEET AGENCY, MONT., August 6, 1883. 
SIR: I have the honor to forward my seventh annual report of the transactions
at 
this agency, and that a correct understanding of the present condition of
the Indians 
under my charge may be had, a brief retrospect is necessary. 
These Indians are part of the large nation known as Blackfeet, Bloods, and
Piegans, 
and their reservation extends along the northern boundary of this Territory
for 300 
miles. The division line, when established, left about equal numbers in charge
of 
each government, and as children of the same family or nation the intercourse
has 
been continued and has its effects on their habits and civilization. Until
within the 
past two or three years the Canadian Government issued no supplies to their
Indians, 
and as a natural consequence the Indians from north of the line made use
of their 
family relationship to gravitate towards the agency that issued food and
annuities, 
thus swelling the number on the agency roll and drawing ftom its supplies.
Since 
the commencement of the Dominion Government to issue food and money to their
Indians this usage is reversed, and the movement is assisted by the reduced
rations 
this agency has now to give, many Indians, especially those not having houses,
artfully 
trying to belong to and draw rations from both sides of the line, but without
much 
success. From these causes a steady reduction of the numbers on our record
has been 
going on. 
AGRICULTURE. 
Since the first efforts at farming and house building were made, some six
years ago, 
the work has made moderate but steady progress. There are now nearly 200
log cab- 
ins, substantial and comfortable, with, in most cases, small patches of cultivated
ground attached. They are scattered over the reservation where there is tillable
land. 
Last fall there was a fair crop of potatoes raised, and as no Indian had
cellarage frost- 
proof, they were instructed to bring into the agency cellar a portion to
be preserved 


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