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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the years 1921-1932

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary of the Interior for the fiscal year ended June 2, 1921,   pp. [1]-69 ff. PDF (26.8 MB)

Page 34

ments have been found in such cases under section 37 of the United 
States criminal code for conspiracy to defraud the United States. 
Action in these cases, which are awaiting trial, is the result of in- 
vestigations by United States Indian inspectors of complaints made 
by Indians and others, the evidence adduced being placed in the 
hands of the Attorney General. In a few instances, where it ap- 
peared that the person procuring an Indian's signature to a deed or 
mortgage believed the land was unrestricted, and that there was no 
intention to violate the law, a reconveyance was accepted and no 
other action taken. 
Civil suits have been filed and property recovered, of which In- 
dians have been deprived through fraud or through illegal taxa- 
tion, a recent case being the United States v. Yakima County, Wash- 
ington, et al., involving land purchased for Indians with funds 
held in trust by the United States and land conveyed with restric- 
tion against alienation. A number of similar cases will soon be 
sent to the Attorney General for appropriate action unless efforts 
now being made by the office to settle out of court are successful. 
Some counties have already refunded amounts illegally assessed 
and paid, and in one case the office has been able to recover land 
from the holder of the tax deed. 
Early in the month of June the United States district attorney 
for Grand Rapids, Mich., brought to trial a full-blood Ottawa 
Indian of Michigan, Dr. William Jones Masqueskey, alias Petoskey, 
who had been arrested and indicted for illegally and fraudulently 
collecting moneys from the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michi- 
gan while claiming to be a Government official connected with the 
Indian Service. Rt'e was placed on trial June 13, charged with using 
the mails to defraud and with impersonating a Government offi- 
cial. The evidence showed that he had collected from $1,000 to 
$2,000 from these citizen Indians while posing as an agent or officer 
of the Indian Bureau, and that he was clearly guilty as indicted. 
It was also shown that he had served 20 years in the Michigan 
State penitentiary for forgery and .other crimes; and as the evi- 
dence adduced was overwhelmingly against him, he pleaded guilty 
and ere this has probably been sentenced. 
It is hoped that his arrest and conviction will put a sto to the 
practice of a number of Indians, especially in Wisconsin anI Xichi- 
gan, in Collecting moneys from these citizen Chippewa and 4i#awa 
Indians.              *. 
During the World War, under the special need of increaed  ro- 
duction of food, a cooperative arrangement was made withhe  in- 
nesota State game and fish commissioner, working in .oxp.ection 
with the Minnesota Public Safety Commission, for th'takilng of 
fish from Red Lake within the Red Lake Indian Reservation, Min. 
By this arrangement, opportunity for employment of Indians was 
provided, the food supply to" the nation was increased, and a rev- 

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