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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1883
([1883])

Reports of agents in Wisconsin,   pp. 157-160 PDF (2.0 MB)


Page 160

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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