MINUTES OF GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING 1919 May, 6
Minutes of the Proceeding of the Council held at Reserve May 6, 1919
An Official Council was called to order by Superintendent
Craige, Mr. Obern of Odanah (Interpreter), Government Farmer Cross and
L. Dennis, Secretaries. Superintendent Craige then explained that an Act
was passed giving the flowage rights and only the tribal land would be
acted on, not on individual allotments, and to be determined by you Indians
giving the right to flowage also given, and settling the price of it. We
will take up three questions:
1. Do you want to sell your rights? (A vote of Yes or No)
2. At what price?
3. Whether it should be in Land or Money?
If you vote Yes in the First question then we will take the Second and Third questions to a vote. You have been on this question one or two years, so you have had time to think it over and at this council we will only take up the dam question, of course other questions we will take up later, everyone has a voice in this matter and it would be a good thing to limit the time to talk to ten minutes with the time kept by Mr. Cross, only 10 minutes! I will ask Father Gordon to make a short address. Father Gordon said his speech and will go on records: (typed copy of his speech with minutes) - To the Lac Courte Oreilles Indians Assembled in General Council;
Father Gordon: As your best friend and your well wisher and your priest, I wish to make a few statements. Your are gathered together under your new Agent. He has come here in his official capacity to help you. He comes here with nor prejudice towards any Indian of this Band, he comes here the good friend of all. Listen to his words and trust him. For my own part, I am glade to pledge to him here my hearty co-operation in everything he may do to help our Indians. I give him my hand and my head to help him. Now about the present business. White men have come to make a business proposition to you. Treat them fair and be reasonable with them. Don’t be like children that don’t know the value of things, but like gentlemen in everything you say here and do here. The white man is looking at you today and will say, either the Indian is foolish or the Indian is wise. Be wise and considerate today. Forget all personalities. Talk business and nothing else. If you say no to the white man’s questions, do so loudly, but kindly. If you say yes, say so, give your reasons, sit down and smoke, I will furnish the tobacco. One last word of advice, I believe the Indian ought to make some sort of deal. The Indians should relinquish tribal lands for some consideration. Between money and lands in payment, I would prefer lands, well known, chosen and located here and there. The amount, speaking for myself alone, I would make a trade for no less than $15.00, and would try to get as high as $20 or $25 a piece or in lands between 2,000 and 3,000 acres. I speak here in no way to influence you, this is just my own, private opinion on a business proposition. I won’t argue with anyone that disputes my judgment on land deals as I am no land dealer and most of you know more about land than I do. I thank all of you and shake hands with all of you.
Superintendent Craige thanks Reverend Gordon and his speech is from the heart. This business is important and I think you have studied the matter, and should give your yes or no, and if so we will attend to business. I am not prejudice against anyone and have no interest in this matter, but I have to carry out my instructions, be careful and consider this matter before you say no, In the first place I have not seen anyone, Red or White be able to stop a public utility. I have personally seen this question, in different places, I am not making any threat, but my duty is to tell you these facts. Several years ago the Unite States Supreme Court gave Congress authority to dispose of any surplus lands on any reservation. I was on the Cheyenne Reservation 1½ years ago and saw the same thing, to be open to settlement; the Indians were against it and sent delegations to Washington, but it did not good, it was then opened and the Indian had no voice. Maybe it will be the same if the company can convince Congress it is better for development; they will get a bill through. I know four different reservations that the Indians lost out, it would be the best for you to make some settlement, rather than Congress takes its course; either accept or reject, I am telling you for your interest, do not take it as a threat.
We are now ready to take the First Question: Are you ready to take it up? Do you want to sell providing you agree on the price? And are you willing to trade?
Grover: I have a question. You say, do you want to sell, that the Indians will have use of the land that isn’t flooded.
Craige: The tribal land that is not flooded can be to your use and benefit, it is just the land that will be under water.
Cloud: I ask you fellow Indians, our village at
the Post will be flooded, do you want to trade or not. He asks for permission
to address McPherson and the Superintendent.
Cloud will say a few words… You ask for the land I am living on at the Post. You came and asked for this and the answer was no, and it is still no till this day, that is why I do ask the Indians of Reserve what they have to say. You see I am an old man over 50 years and you have tried to move me from my reservation. The Treaty of 54 conclude that we shall have a home and that is the reason our answer is no. We received a letter from the Department saying that the land is yours, the reservation is yours, and you all give your consent to trade. You go to Washington to fight this case, I will go with you in the same (C. Oshagi), I will help the old man a little, this is an Indian of the same blood, the Indian says no for a good many years; I am addressing the Superintendent, if anything troubles me I will go to you for protection. It was never until the question of the dam came up, I am surprised there are any men in Washington, who can do anything they please. Many of our young men went to the front to fight for freedom, why did not Congress do that alone?
Motion made by Gabe DeMars, seconded by Joe Gubber, to put forward the question for a vote, to sell or not to sell, motion accepted. 45 vote to sell, 32 vote not to sell.
Question: Do you want Land or Money?
William Wolf would prefer to trade for land.
Ira Isham: We have a majority to sell now, its up to whether we sell for money or trade for land, which shall we take? I understand we would receive 3000 acres, 5 acres for 1, it is not enough for those that have allotments to file on it. Try and get more land, if we get money it won’t last long.
C. Oshiga: The full bloods said no, but the half-breeds are not with us.
P. Cloud: You talk of the full and mixed blood, I speak to the Superintendent. You are to protect us on the dam question, so why don’t you send them away, its your work and the Farmers. I am a chief, why did you not leave this business to them?
Grover: The White man, Half-breeds and Indians… I am all lost, since the Indians looked and appointed a chief and always took part for the full blood, I feel the Indian should be owner of the land, but giving the flowage, I think we would get a good price. I know the white man is smarter than I am and feel it is better for me to close the deal. Suppose the white man and red man both go to Washington, to see what kind of settlement can be made.
Superintendent: Mr. Grover, you are out of the track, lets settle the second question first.
A motion made by T. Bracklin to settle the second question, seconded by G. Demars to put this to a vote. Motion carried to vote on the second questions, resulting in 43 for money 31 for land.
Superintendent: We will have Mr. McPherson to give you the amount of money he is willing to give the highest and best offer. It is up to you to accept or reject.
Mr. McPherson: Before I make you an offer, I will tell you what I get from you. 640 acres of partially overflowed land. 301 acres will be flooded, 297 will not be flooded, in addition there is one 40 acre tract, which is claimed by the State, swamp land, 9 acres of it to be flooded, if you count that 40, then the total is 310 acres to be flooded. With a population of 1276, at $15.00 per person, or $20,000, which would be a rate of $66.00 per acre in addition to furnish the damages to buildings, etc. We will have to make arrangements for the Catholic Church, with all expense put together I cannot revise the price and offer only $15.00 per head. In conclusion, I would advise you it would be better to accept the land.
Superintendent Craige: I understand Mr. McPherson gives you $20,000, about $64.00 per acre at $15.00 per head would amount to $19,140, that leaves a surplus for children to be born, leaving $860 in your credit.
We will vote on: will you accept $20,000 for the flowage of 310 acres, we will vote on this question on the same principle as before.
Joe Kingfisher: I ask you to leave it to P. Gubbard to show the figures of damages that will be done by the flood.
Superintendent: No objection.
P. Gubbard: I have talked with a few Indians and it seems that $20,000 is not enough and will ask our Agent for advice. Who owns the rice beds, and what rights have we off the reservation and on the reservation waters? Three years ago I was ricing at Bear Lake and a Government man came from Washington to inspect the rice beds, and the Indians made about $300 out of their rice, and that will be spoiled, and I think that thousands of dollars would be lost. At least $10,000 damages each year. Those rice beds off the reservation, were sowed by the Indians, therefore I leave the question to you and the Superintendent.
Superintendent: Mr. Gubbard, question, it seems to me that by the Treaty of 1854 you lost all rights off the reservation. I am not certain, I may be wrong, so you must consider this before you vote at all this time. If you are not willing, vote no.
Superintendent: The vote stood 45 to 17, the sum rejected.
Now it is up to the council to set the sum it wants. Are you prepared to give the amount you desire. Then it is up to Mr. McPherson to reject. Your offer? The Council said they were prepared to give their figures. We find that the 301 acres to be flooded and damages will be, if left to Charles Oshiga, to bring out the wishes, in the last council we asked for $100 a head, and this is what we ask today. $127,600 the total amount, this is our price.
Mr. McPherson’s answer was no, rejected.
Superintendent Craige: Is this the least you ask?
No, this is final, we want $100 per head and the difference is quite large.
Superintendent: I do not see that any settlement can be made and therefore we will adjourn and in conclusion, this is my first meeting with you and I enjoyed it. This will not be the last, and you have handled the council.
Louis Dennis – Secretary
VOTE TALLEY Question #1 Whether to grant Flowage Rights
1. P. Gubbard 38. L.V. Corbine Not Voting
2. P. White 39. F. Batiste 1. Jim Coon
3. W. Taylor 40. J. King 2. H. Thayer
4. C. Smith 41. C. White 3. S. Grover
5. P. Corbine 42. C. Shim Sr. 4. G. Barber
6. G. Summers 43. D. Belille 5. J. Martin
7. L. White Voting No 6. P. Cloud
8. W. Quarderer 1. A. Rouscan 7. Anji gesis
9. Ira Isham 2. W. Wolf 8. Martin
10. B. Dingley 3. C. Coon 9. Bill Boy
11. A. LaRonge 4. Martell 10. J. Curby
12. L. Quarderer 5. B. Grist 11. L. Quarterer
13. J. Bentlea 6. S. Coon 12. Curfat
14. C. Benton 7. B. Thomas
15. L. Belille 8. C. Jones
16. W. Potnek 9. R. Butler
17. J. Crefelt 10. P. Belille
18. J. Bracklin 11. J. Mustache
19. Louis Dennis 12. P. Martin
20. J. Mink 13. H. Sheretter
21. M. Gokey 14. J. Kingfisher
22. Alex LaRock 15. J. King
23. Frank Setter 16. E. Link
24. J. Isham 17. J. Cadotte
25. S. Grover 18. J. Oshiga
26. G. Comigo 19. L. Martin
27. J. Cloud 20. J. Dandy
28. T. Bracklin 21. C. Ford
29. L.J. Corbine
30. J. Redman
31. C. Isham
32. C. McKense
33. J. Gubbard
34. M. Cinto
35. G. Corbine
36. J. Quarterer
37. G. Denasha
VOTE TALLEY Question #2 Whether to grant rights for land or money.
Voting for Land Voting for Money
1. P. White 1. C. Smith 38. F, Martin
2. D. Belille 2. P. Corbine 39. Billy Boy
3. P. Gubbard 3. G. Summers 40. B. Batise
4. W. Wolf 4. J. White 41. Charles Belille
5. C. Coon 5. Ira Isham Jr. 42. D. Homesky
6. Martell 6. Charles Benton 43. Masinanikwad
7. B. Thomas 7. Bill Dingley
8. M. Taylor 8. A. LaRonga
9. P. Martin 9. L. Dennis
10. H. Sherette 10. J. White
11. J. Cadotte 11. A LaRock
12. J. Dandy 12. W. Potneck
13. H. Thayer 13. L. Quarderer
14. L. Quarderer 14. C. LaRush
15. J. Curby 15. M. Gokey
16. J. Bracklin 16. W. Quarderer
17. N. Bracklin 17. J. Cotey
18. C. Cingree 18. G. Comingo
19. P. Wolf 19. J. Cloud
20. J. Crockadock 20. L. J. Corbine
21. L. Coons 21. Joe Redman
22. F. Setter 22. Charles Nickense
23. Ira Isham 23. Mitchell Cinto
24. J. Bennette 24. George Corbine
25. J. Carfelt 25. L.V. Corbine
26. S. Grover 26. F. Batise
27. T. Bracklin 27. John Kekek
28. C. Isham Jr. 28. Charles Isham Sr.
29. J. Gubbard 29. Paul White
30. J. Quarderer 30. Alex Rouseau
31. G. Demarrah 31. B. Grent
32. L. Belille
33. J. Kingfisher
34. Ed Link
35. John Oshiga
36. Charles Ford
37. Anji gesis
VOTE TALLEY Question #3 To Accept $20,000
1. B. Batiste 38. Billy Boy 1. H. Thayer
2. B. Mike 39. P. Belille 2. C. Belille
3. P. White 40. W. Billy Boy 3. L Cotey
4. J. Martin 41. P. Wolf 4. D. Homesky
5. Maqinanikwad 42. L.V. Corbine 5. N. Martin
6. B. Thomas 43. C. Coon 6. J. Curby
7. L. Quarderer 44. F. Smith 7. Bedod
8. J. Cloud 8. J. Redman
9. J. Mike 9. B. Grist
10. Ed Buk 10. C. Nickense
11. J. Oshiga Sr. 11. J. Gubbard
12. G. Gokey 12. H. Sherette
13. L. Martin, Jr 13. J. Kingfisher
14. T. Bracklin 14. J. King
15. L.J. Dennis 15. M. Cinto
16. George Cemago 16. J. Mike
17. Charles White 17. F. Batice
18. A. LaRock
19. H. White
20. A. Oshim, Jr
21. A. LaRonge
22. J. Quarderer
23. M. Gokey
24. C. Ford
25. L.J. Corbine
26. J. Birder
28. L. Coon
29. F. Setter
30. Ira Isham.
31. J. Crockadock
32. P. Wolf
33. P. Gubbard
35. G. Grover
36. G. Corbine