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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1892
([1892])

Reports of agents in Montana,   pp. 279-303 PDF (13.5 MB)


Page 279

REowT        &(M r    IR -MONTANA.               279) 
W- ~t7-The buildings and -surroundings. ha~ve been at all timesi kept In
a&healthy Condition, 
-behi~n~shed twice, and semetimea-_ottener ee ,-week, and swept throughout
from three t 
In enra te ~s yarisconsldere , byj thosejbest acquainted with the facts,
to have been. 
oneeqf the most-prosperous, since the organization -of the sc hool Ntighsocre
omr 
thesoarmy-or good will among any of the ,eploy6s. The school has been very
materially 
aSsisted in tbe making of repairs and additions by both agent a-u overseer.
The people and 
-parents especially frequently express satisfaction with the school. 
Very respectfully, 
-     ~WE. WnUsos, 
Maj. B. P. SHuLdRe, 
U. S. Indian Agent. 
-REPORTS OF AGENTS IN MONTANA, 
REPORT OF BLACKFEET AGENCY. 
BLACKFEET AGENCY, MONT., August 31, 1892. 
SIR: I have :the honor to submit herewith my second annual report: 
Stock-raising and agriculture.-Although the Indians of this reserve have
been 
considered behind many other tribes in civilized pursuits, I will say that
they 
now display greaterinterest in their work than ever before. Sinceearly spring
ty have (outside of ration days) kept themselves away from the agency at
work putting in their spring, crops; then, after they were through with that,
they went, as you might say, in a body to the mountains in order to get poies,
posts, and logs for fencing corrals, stables, cattle-sheds, etc. They have
since 
sping made more improvements for the protection of their stock than ever
heretofore, and some of their sheds, built with logs and poles, would do
credit 
to a white man. The possession of cattle and the realization that the proper
care and protection of this stock will eventually make them self-supporting
and. 
really, rich, seems to be the great inducement for the exertion displayed.
Then 
the pride of ownership makes the man out of the Indian as much so as it does
of 
his civilized brother. Since the 1st of Augusti everybody upon the reserve
has 
been hard at work putting up hay, and this work will be kept up for the next
month. As grass near the mountains continues green until late in the season,
I 
do not fear but that they will all get the necessary amount to fully p-otect
them- 
selves from any loss in stock during the coming winter. These people are
will- 
ing and anxious to work in haying. In regard to plowing and endeavoring to
raise crop§, they have worked better this year and seemed willing to
try again, 
but, really, they have made so many failures that it is no wonder they do
not 
take to farming. This country is not an agricultural section; one-year crops
are a failure because of drought and another year they suffer from frost,
and so 
it goes that if you are favored you may have one crop in three. The season
of 
1890 the crops were a complete failure from drought. In 1891 a very fair
crop was 
raised. This season (1892) crops are the next thing to a failure; the spring
months were so very cold and backward that nothing would grow. We had 
snow on the 22d- June; then July 28 and 29 the frost was so heavy that in
many 
places the potatoes were entirely ruined. On the ground where they were 
planted hardly a vestige of them can to-day be seen. These people will have
to 
place their whole dependence upon raising stock for their future livelihood;
but 
this is as it should.-be; they are natural herdsmen, andt this being a grazing
2 vountry the conditions are well blended. I have faith in their ultimate
success. 
There were 40 new mowing machines and 40 horse rakes issued this summer.
With  this additional machinery it is a much easier task -than heretofore
in get- 
ting the necessary amount of hay. 
In the month of June I put the farmer out to go over the reservation for
the 
purpose of branding the increase of eattle belonging to the Indians; 1,489
calves 
were branded. This will again have to be gone through with about the middle
qf October, when the whole number of increase for the year will be known.
This" second branding will cover calves which were too small to brand
in the 
summer branding and those that may have come between spring and fall. You
can see that while these Tndians are not doing mich in their farming operations
I find enough to keep the farmers busy in assisting them in the care necessary
in raising cattle. This industry Will have to be closely watched, and that
duty 
Will have to be given to the farmers to perform. The statistical report here-
with does not include the cattle, 1,575 head, issued to the Indians in the
past 
month of July, but shows their holdings at the end of last June, 6,827 head.


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