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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1879
([1879])

[Report of agent in Minnesota],   pp. [unnumbered]-89 PDF (2.2 MB)


Page 88

88 
REPORT OF AGENT IN MINNESOTA. 
in the increased opportunity of the government to render more effective and
uniform 
the efforts of its agents and employ6s in their behalf. 
This office is in need of a large map of this reservation showing topography,
&c., to aid 
inthe selection of locations for individuals, the opening of roads, and other
matters which 
necessity requires. I also request specific instructions in relation to the
disposition of 
the lands to individuals upon points submitted in my letter of date January
22, 1879. 
The transition of the Indians of this agency from a state of itinerant barbarism
to 
domestic civilization will require for some years prudent supervision and
circumspect 
encouragement. 
Christian worship has been'maintained upon all the reservations, sustained
and en- 
couraged by different sects of the Christian faith. A general and growing
interest has 
been manifested by the Indians in the different religious organizations existing
within 
the limits of this agency, and wherever material aid has accompanied the
religious 
solicitudes of the devoted missionary, a gratifying number of proselytes
has been 
secured. I have in no manner interfered other than to encourage any and all
mission- 
ary efforts made for the conversion of the Indians to the Christian faith.
(For state- 
ment of church edifice, communicants, &c., see Exhibit D.) 
The small sum of money at my disposal for school purposes, I have found insufficient
to supply the urgent and increasing demand among the Indians for the instruction
of 
their children. The teachers in charge during the last year have been competent
and 
faithful, and the progress of the pupils has been most gratifying. The deportment
of 
the pupils and their intercourse with each other will compare most favorably
with 
those of any place. I would respectfully suggest that greater importance
should be 
attached to the industrial department, wherein the rudiments of farm and
home labor 
should be taught; it will be of great practical utility. The Indian child
is tractable 
and easily learns by intuition those elementary habits which are the foundation
of all 
civilized society. 
The new school-house is now in the course of erection, which, when completed,
will 
afford ample room for all school-going children of this agency. (Exhibit
E will give 
the number of school pupils in attendance, &c.) 
The police force has been increased, there now being 16 on this reservation,
16 at 
Red Lake, and 18 at Leech Lake. The good roads everywhere observable are
largely 
due to the efficiency of the officers and men composing this body. Their
diligence, 
faithfulness, and correct deportment at all times justly deserve the highest
commenda- 
tion. I deem the maintenance of the organization an essential aid in preserving
order 
and enforcing the regulations necessary to the welfare of the Indians. 
A commendable zeal has been manifested by the Indians upon this reservation
in 
making improvements, and so bettering their own condition ; one thousand
acres of land 
have been broken this season; 5,352 rods of rail fence and 20 houses built.
Quite an 
area has been added to the cultivated tracts at Red Lake, and same at Leech
Lake. 
The Pembina Indians, who were considered and looked upon at the time I took
charge 
of this agency as the most worthless and indolent, are to-day as prosperous
and indus- 
trious as the best. The crops at all points when cultivated in this agency
have been 
good this year. The labor for all these matters has been mostly performed
by the In- 
dians alone. 
The capacity of the flouring-mill at Red Lake, when the new machinery I have
on hand 
is set up, will be sufficient to do all the grinding for that reservation.
The saw-mill is 
sufficiently large and in fair condition. The mills at Leech Lake, both saw
and grist, 
are in fair condition and of capacity sufficient to supply the demands of
those people. 
I have had some repairs made upon the steamboat. It is now in good condition
and 
is of good service to the Leech Lake Reservation. No material change has
occurred in 
the public buildings upon the Leech or Red Lake Reservation. 
A water-mill with water-power was built upon this reservation on the White
Earth 
River last fall, and has ground all the wheat and corn, &c., raised by
these people. It 
has two run of stone, one for flour, and one for corn and feed, to which
I am soon to 
add another run of stone and a purifier, which, when completed, will turn
out flour equal 
to the best grade manufactured in the State. The water-power is excellent,
aud ample 
to supply all demands for its use. The saw-mill on the Wild Rice Riveris
in good run- 
ning order. The government buildings have been generally renovated, repaired,
and 
newly painted, and are now in good condition. 
The use of intoxicating liquors upon this reservation has been entirely stopped,
and 
but few instances of its introduction have come to my notice. A strict enforcemmt
of 
the law and the speedy punishment of those who violate its provisions have
been found 
wholesome and efficient aids in the suppression of the evil. 
During the next month an exposition of the products of the industries of
the Indians 
upon this reservation is to be held by them. Much interest is manifested
by them in, 
the undertaking, and I have given it such encouragement as was possible.
Qhite a 
competition already exists as to who shall be able to make a display of products
show- 
ing the greatest skill and progress. That the exhibition will b creditable
to their 
skill and industry I have no doubt, and 1 also believe it will tend to attract
many who 


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