United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1883
Reports of agents in Wisconsin, pp. 157-160 PDF (2.0 MB)
160 REPORTS OF AGENTS IN WISCONSIN. FOND DU LAC RESERVATION Is situated upon the Saint Louis River in Carlton County, Minnesota. The Indians of this band have had no Government employ6s located among them for a number of years, and have derived little benefit from the agency, with the exception of the an- nual distribution of annuity goods. I have erected during the past summer, by authority of the Department, upon this reservation a building designed for a school-house and teacher's residence, but have not as yet foiund a compnl)etent person to accept the position of teacher at the salary allowed ($600 per annual). The lands upon this reservation have hitherto been held in common, the Indians being opposed to taking allotments in severalty. There has, however, of late been a change of opinion upon this subject. Since my visits to them during the months of May and June they have become desirous to select allotments and seem deeply inter- ested in the school. I traveled over and inspected a large part of the settled portion of their reservation, and found that many of them had erected for themselves com- fortable houses and that they had considerable land under cultivation. Their reser- vation has upon it some valuable pine timber and much of the soil is of excellent quality for farming purposes. I believe these Indians, if they could be assisted by a practical man located among them, could be rapidly advanced in civilization. Their subsistence is principally procured from labor performed for lumbermen, manufact- urers, and others located in their vicinity, and from the cultivation of the soil. X small number of thmn still depend chiefly upon hunting and fishing. The number of this band who have received annuities from the Government during the past year was 431. GRAND PORTAGE RESERVATION Is situated upon Lake Superior, in Lake County, Minnesota, adjacent to the Canadian boundary line. The reservation is barren and rocky and is of very little value either as timber or farming laud. There is upon this reservation a day school supported by the Government, under the charge of Mr. L. E. Montferrand; the attendance is very small, owing to the fact that the Indians of the band are scattered at long distances from the school, rendering it impossible for the children to get the benefit of regular attendance. The Indians of this band derive their subsistence from fishing, hunting, and labor for whites located upon the northern shore of Lake Superior. They are a docile, tractable band, and I regret my inability to give them more assistance and instruction in the cultivation of their lands. The members of this band who received annuities fiora the Government during the past year were 236. A reservation of one township of land upon Deer Creek, in Itasca County, Minne- sota, has been set apart by Executive order during the present summer in conformity with the treaty of 1866 for the occupation of a portion of the Bois Forte band, who have improvements at that point. In general the improvement of the Indians of this agency and their progress in the arts of civilization are very satisfactory. There is an increasing ambition among them to make for themselves comfortable homes, and the system of giving to them homesteads and allowing them to avail themselves through their own labor of the proceeds of the natural timber productions of those homesteads is opening to them a prospect of accumulating a little proptrty, of which many will avail themselves, and I believe this to be the most important step for their advancement which has been made for years. Where the results of the day's labor are barely sufficient to supply the family with food, it is difficult to educate an Indian to thrift or desire to accumu- late property; he literally takes no thought for the morrow, but with the sums real- ized from the sale of his timber made into saw-logs, and delivered upon the bank by his own labor, comes the possibility of a better manner of living and an accumulation of property which has never been open to him. There have been no serious troubles or disturbances among them, but they have been more orderly, peaceable, and law-abiding than any white community comprising the same number of individuals within my knowledge. A glance at the map showing the different reservations in this agency, their dis- tance from this office, and the want of facilities for reaching them, will show that the agent has to depend almost entirely upon his employds for information regarding the condition of the Indians, and that a sufficient compensation should be allowed to secure competent, reliable men for the different positions upon these reservations. To make the work of the agent effective a large portion of his time should be devoted to visiting the reservations, where his influence, if properly directed, would be bene- ficial both upon the employds and the Indians. Very respectfully,W.RDUFE United States Indian Agent. The COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.
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