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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 Washington,   pp. 487-511 PDF (12.8 MB)


Page 488

A       488            REPORTS OF AGENTS IN WASHINGTON. 
suits and an excellent supply of clothing. They are very fond of gambling,
playing cards being the principal game. I have talked to them quite often
rela- 
tive to this matter, and they promise they will quit; but when I am absent
they 
will commence again. 
There are only a few Indians who lounge around and do nothing; but most of
them depend upon their own efforts for a living, and are engaged in cultivating
the soil, raising stock, or performing some kind of labor. I am proud to
say 
these Indians are steadily moving forward in the paths of civilized life,
and but 
a few years will elapse until they will be in a self-supporting condition
and en- 
tirely fre3 from the help of the Government. 
Freighting.-The Indians hauled 109,567 pounds of freight for this agency
dur- 
ing the past year, and received therefor the sum of $743.25. It is to be
regretted 
that the Government freight is not received until late in the season, for
then it 
is impossible to get the Indians with their small teams to undertake to trans-
port freight from Wilbur, Wash., the nearest railroad station, to the Tonasket
school, which is a distance of over 100 miles over a rough, hilly, and mountain-
ous road. The Indians are anxious to deliver all the freight consigned t
this 
agency, and they would be able to do so, provided the freight was received
at 
the railroad station before the rainy season set in. 
Treaty.-The treaty or agreement which was made with the Indians residing
on the Colville Reservation in June, 1891, has been ratified, or the modified
agre-ement has. The original agre ment made with the Indians was nothing
more than a farce ; for when it was modified by the delegation in Congress
from 
this State the Indians were ignored. The Government evidently thought the
Indians had some right to the Colville Reservation when the Commission was
appointed to treat with them ; but after the Commission had concluded its
labors 
-       and when the agreement had been placed before Congress for final
action, then 
the question came up as to whether the Indians had a legal right to the reserva-
tion or not. The action taken by Congress in ratifying something in which
the 
Indians had not been given an opportunity to be heard would plainly indicate
that they had nothing to say as to the disposition to be made of the Colville
Res- 
ervation, and that the work of the Commission was labor and money thrown
away. 
The action on the part of Congress has in no way increased the confidence
of 
the Indians in the Government, but has, on the other hand, had a tendency
to 
lessen it. I was instructed to accompany the Commissioners and assist them
in 
making an agreement looking to the cession of a part of their reservation,
and 
did so; but I can not see wherein I distinguished myself with the Indians,
or 
gained their confidence, only at the time negotiations were being made. They
asked me what I thought of the agreement, and I told them in my judgment
it 
was a fair one, and that I thought they were realizing a fair price for the
land 
they were about to sell to the Government. They tell me now that they have
been informed that a new agreement has been made, and that their wishes were
not consulted in the matter. They are not pleased at the way they have been
treated. These Indians evidently have some voice in the Colville Reservation,
or else they have none. I regret exceedingly at having taken any part in
the 
late agreement made with these Indians, for by doing so I have gi 'en them
an 
opportunity to censure me. I have at all times been honest with the Indians,
and have never given theman opportunity to doubt my word except in this 
agreement. They have at all times put implicit confidence in what Washing-
ton, the great father, has had to say to them, but they seem to think 
something is wrong with the agreement, and many have expressed their re-
grets at having signed it. They look upon their having signed the agreement
as being binding on their part, and therefore can not see how it could be
broken 
or changed without the consent of both parties. 
Trespassers.-Much annoyance and extra work has been thrust upon me and my
employes on account of white people entering the ceded portion of the Colville
Reservation before it is open to white settlement, and making locations thereon.
This has had a tendency to cause th. Indians much uneasiness; and some of
the 
Indians living on the ceded portion of the reservation have put in much time
in traveling back and forth to the agency to ascertain the exact status of
affairs. 
Many of those who entered the reservation as boomers knew they had no legal
right to do so, and that the Indians were suspicious of their actions and
trouble 
and bloodshed might ensue. 
Whisky drinking.-Thor. is a low order of white people to b found near the
reservation under this ag'ency, who clandestinely supply the Indians with
in- 
toxicating drinks, for which they are well-paid. The Indians very rarely
give 


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