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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1884
([1884])

Reports of agents in Dakota,   pp. 20-63 PDF (21.1 MB)


Page 53

REPORTS     OF   AGENTS IN     DAKOTA.                    53 
TRIBES AND POPULATI )N. 
The Indians of this agency, comprising 1,170 famil ies, number 4,721 persons,
and are 
composed of the Upper and Lower Yanktonais, Hnkpapa, and Blackfeet bands
of 
Sioux, and, as required by section 9.of the act appr wed July 4, 1884, making
appro- 
priations for the Indian service for the fiscal year ei ding June 30, 1885,
the classifica- 
tion hereinafter given of the respective bands, takc n from the census rolls,
carefully 
revised up to and including the 31st ultimo, is an v ccurate census of the
Indians at- 
tached to this agency; and, as also required by sarie section, the number
of schools 
in operation and attendance at each, together with the names of teachers
employed 
and salaries paid, is. given under the head of "chools and educational,"
which 
data is also contained in the statistical reports herewith. The intermarrying
and frequent changes from one band to another m ke it difficult to determine
their 
true status in this respect, but the present classific tion is from the enrollment
made 
July 31, 1884, and is as follows: 
Name of band.                     e I                ,t 
Cd0 0 
Upper Yanktonais ........ 152   158   223    138    112   631     71    64
    135 
Lower Yanktonais--.---363     357   452    290    248  1, 347  130    115
   245 
Runkpapa................  475  483   689    417    387  1, 976  218    246
   464 
Blackfeet ................  160 173   232    132    117   654    71     86
    157 
Mixed blood............... 20   26     29    28     30    113    16     17
    33 
Total.............1,170  1,197  1,625  1,005   894  4,721   506    528  
1,084 
AGRICULTURE. 
The Indians of this agency occupy what is said I o be the best agricultural
portion 
of the "Great Sioux Reservation," and in seasons fuch as the present,
when there is 
sufficient moisture, barley, oats, peas, and wheat, together with corn of
early flint 
varieties and vegetables of an excellent quality, can be successfully grown.
This 
section of country, however, is subject to drought, with occasional hot,
dry winds, 
somewhat similar to the simooms of Arabia, w lich are here usually of three
days' duration, and which parch everything in the r course, and when coming
early 
in the season, before the crops are matured, as w 1s the case last year,
destroy all 
cereal and root crops. The present summer, ho- ever, has been free from such
blighting'winds or drought and the season has bee] all that could be desired;
there 
has been an abundance of rain throughout the s mimer, and crops that have
been 
properly cared for promise bountifully. 
Every family of the agency is engaged in cultiv tting individual fields or
garden 
patches, and nothing is held in common by them, b it it is difficult to have
them per- 
sist in properly caring for their fields throughout tI e growing season.
They usually 
start in very well, but it exhausts our persuasive -,owers to have them continue
to 
give the growing crops the care and attention reqi isite, and with all that
could be 
done in this direction a number of fields have beer neglected by the owners.
This 
careless indifference, so peculiar to the Indian, is perpetuated by the "free-ration
system," and can only be remedied by compelling -11 able-bodied Indians
to render 
an equivalent in labor for the subsistence and cloth ing issued to them.
The patches and fields, ranging in extent from I alf an acre to 20 acres
each, will 
aggregate 1,900 acres planted by Indians, which, - ith about 100 acres at
the board- 
ing-schools and agency farm, will approximate 2,00,) acres cultivated and
in crop this 
year, proportioned about as follows: Corn, 1,400 tcres; oats, 200 acres;
wheat, 40 
acres; potatoes, 100 acres; rutabagas, turnips, oni(us, squash, and other
vegetables, 
260 acres; which is an increase of about 25 percent., ver last year's cultivation.
Hav- 
ing not yet completed our harvesting, approximate figures of the amount of
products 
raised can therefore only be given; but an exceller t yield is promised,
and I believe 
the following to be a moderate and fair estimate: Wheat, 550 bushels; corn,
10,800 
busbels ; oats, 7,500 bushels ; potatoes, 10,750 bushe s; turnips, 5,150
bushels ; onions, 
565 bushels ; beans, 515 bushels ; together with a lai  e quantity of melons,
pumpkins, 
squash, &c. ; and the hay cut will approximate 2,61)0 tons. 
The late hostiles or followers of "Sitting Bull" have been quite
industrious, and 
have performed their proportionate share of all woi k done at this agency
during the 
past year. 


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