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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1855
([1855])

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,   pp. [1]-21 PDF (9.4 MB)


Page 3

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
boundaries of their reservations, to provide them with the means of 
education, and in all other respects to fulfil the beneficial stipulations
of their treaty. 
From their remote position, either to the Michigan, or to the agency 
on the Mississippi, they are almost entirely destitute of the advice, 
counsel or assistance of an agent, which is indispensable to their peace
and interests ; and provision should be made to supply them with thej 
services of a faithful officer. 
A change for the better seems to be taking place in the condition and 
prospects of the Indians of Minnesota. The Chippewas of the Mis- 
sissippi appear to understand and appreciate the policy and objects of 
the treaty made with them in February last, by which the different 
bands are to be concentrated on small reservations in suitable locali- 
ties-the lands to be divided among them in severalty-and where 
they are required to devote themselves to industrial pursuits. Their 
hereditary chief, Hole-in-the-Day, who headed the delegation to this 
city with which the treaty was made, has set them a most excellent 
and commendable example, having, on his return home, gone earn- 
estly to work, and practically demonstrated to his people the ad- 
vantages of personal exertion and industry. He raised not only an 
abundant supply of grain and vegetables for his own family, but 
had a considerable surplus to dispose of, at the annuity payment, to 
those who had been less provident. The assembled tribe there saw 
and understood, in the case of one of their own people-a leading and 
influential man among them-some of the advantages and benefits 
of a settled and industrious course of life. One of the most marked 
evidences of the commencement of a spirit of improvement among 
these people is seen in a growing disposition to dispense with the pecu-
liar dress of the Indian and adopt that of civilized life. 
A new treaty with the Winnebagoes, embracing the same policy, 
was also made in February last, by which they were assigned a new 
and more suitable home on the Blue Earth river, south of the Min- 
nesota, with which they were well pleased, and where nearly the 
whole of them have quietly and contentedly settled down. They 
have been more temperate and orderly than heretofore, and have 
manifested an encouraging disposition to give up their unsettled 
habits and devote themselves to the cultivation of the soil. 
The Sioux of Minnesota consist of four bands of the great Dacotah 
family-the Med-a-wan-kan-toan, Wah-pay-koo-tah, Se-see-toan, and 
Wah-pay-toan, the great body of whom are now concentrated on their 
reservation on the Upper Minnesota river. A small portion of the 
first yet linger about their former homes below; but it is expected 
they will soon be induced to join and quietly settle down with their 
brethren. -A more orderly and peaceful spirit is beginning to prevail 
among those people. There has been but one case reported of depre- 
dations committed by any of them, and but one difficulty with the 
Chippewas, which was occasioned by the misconduct of a party of the 
latter. It is gratifying to believe that the arrangements with both 
these tribes, respecting their location and concentration, and for their
future management and control, will effectually tend to put an end to 
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