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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1884
([1884])

Reports of agents in Montana,   pp. 106-117 PDF (6.0 MB)


Page 106

106               REPORTS OF AGENTS IN MONTANA. 
At Raven's Point on this lake there are It families, all having flue gardens.
These 
few families feel no anxiety, as they will have plenty the coming winter.
These In- 
dians all speak in favor of moving to White Earth Reservation, if the Government
would make some provision for them, as they say they will have no home when
the 
reservoir is full. 
MILLE LAC. 
The Mille Lac Indians, numbering 950 souls and included within the supervision
of 
this agency, are living on their old reservation ceded to the Government
in 1863. The 
right granted them to occupy the land unmolested during good behavior has
been, in 
my opinion, the source of all the evil that has arisen in that ever-dissatisfied
and much 
to be pitied community of Indians. Living 130 miles from the agency, where
no funds 
can be lawfull' expended for them, and being estranged from the beneficial
influence 
of missionaries and teachers, without the aid extended to other Indians living
at es- 
tablished agencies and under the immediate care of the agent, is it surprising
that 
the condition of such Indians should be taken advantage of by designing and
pre- 
tended friends (?) who misrepresent to the State executive and through him
to the au. 
thorities of the Indian Department the condition of such Indians ? 
WHITE OAK POINT. 
The Indians commonly called the Sandy Lake bands number about 580 souls.
They 
are. still living on the same reservation which they ceded to the Government
in 1863. 
They roam all over the country from Aitkins on the Northern Pacific Railroad
to 
White Oak Point, which place they were removed to in 1863 and to which place
they 
have a great antipathy. 
GULL LAKE, 
The Gull Lake band numbers 106 persons. They occupy the country around Gull
Lake and vicinity. These Indians never complied with the order for their
removal in 
1868 to White Earth Reservation. 
I would rec mmend the removal of the Mille Lac, Sandy Lake, and Gull Lake
bands 
to White Earth Reserve, and, with the aid of the Government, settle them
perma- 
nently where they could receive benefit from the Government through the appropria-
tions made by Congress from time to time in aid of their advancement towards
civil- 
ization. Their condition at the present time is a deplorable one. Still adhering
to 
their nomadic propensities, while the country is filling very rapidly by
the hardy 
pioneers of civilization, the time is not far distant when the inevitable
conclusion 
maust be arrived at, namely, will the Government allow the Indians to roam
at will over 
the whole country, committing depredations against the property of the white
settlers, 
without taking immediate action to remove them on their own reservations,
or will 
they compel the settlers to take the matter in their own hands for their
protection ? 
Under the circumstances, I would state that owing to the scattered condition
of the 
several bands of Chippewa Indians belonging to this agency, covering an area
of 300 
miles in length by about 150 mile$ in width, and the modes of travel being
difficult 
and precarious, it is almost impossible for the agent to exercise the lawful
and pater- 
nal care which the condition of these Indians require, or to rectify any
clerical error 
which may transpire during ti e payment of annuities without waiting until
another 
year passes and another payment takes place, to meet the parties whose presence
is 
necessary to correct errors which may have been made and exceptions requiring
im- 
mnediate explanation. These are additional arguments in favor of the removal
of these 
Indians to White Earth Reservation. 
Respectfully, yours, 
C. P. LUSE, 
United States Indian Agent. 
The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
BLACKFEET AGENCY, MONTANA, 
August 14, 1884. 
SIR: In response to official circular I herewith submit my first annual report
of af- 
fairs at this agency. As I assumed charge April 1, 1884, this report, as
far as made 
from my own knowledge, can cover but a few months. 
CONDITION OF INDIANS. 
/   When I entered upon the duties of agent I found the Indians in a deplorable
condi- 
:   ion. o Their supplies had been limited and many of them were gradually
dying of 
starvation. I visited a large number of their tents and cabins the second
day after 
they had received their weekly rations, looked through them carefully and
found no 


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