MINUTES OF GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING 1920 September, 30
Minutes of a General Council of the Lac Courte Oreilles Indians held at Reserve, Wisconsin, September 30, 1920.
Council called to order at 2:00 PM by R.C. Craige, Superintendent, with William A. Obern acting as interpreter.
The Superintendent stated that the Council had been called by him at the request of representatives of Wisconsin-Minnesota Light & Power Company, because it had a proposition to present to the tribe to obtain flowage rights on certain tribal lands within the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation, and then he called upon Mr. Charles McPherson, representative of the Company to present his proposition.
Mr. McPherson presented his offer by which his company agreed to deed the United States in Trust for the Lac Courte Oreilles Indians 2,000 acres of land for the perpetual flowage rights on approximately 300 acres of tribal land. In this proposition the land the Company proposed to give are described, but Mr. McPherson stated that they were subject to acceptance or rejection by the Indians and an equal quantity of other lands owned by the Company could be selected for any land that might be rejected.
The Superintendent then explained to the Indians the Act of May 18, 1916 (39 Stat., L 125-157) and especially that part which required the consent of the Indians before any flowage privileges can be granted. He also explained those portions of the Act of June 10, 1920 (Public Law 280), which affect Indian reservations and advises the Council that the Flowage Company could not flood their tribal lands under the former act without their consent, but the Company could obtain flowage rights over their tribal lands through the Water Power Commission, without their consent; that under the first act the Indians were permitted to name their consideration, but under the second, the (the Indians) would have to accept whatever rental was charged by the Commission. He invited members of the Council to express their views freely.
Peter Wolf asks the Superintendent was has been done with reference to allotting the remaining tribal land, as that was one of the things he promised to take up when he first came here. He expressed the opinion that those persons who had not received allotments had more interest or should have more interest in this matter than anyone else.
The Superintendent replied, that he made a list of all persons enrolled with the Band who were entitled to lands and who had not yet received allotments, that this list had been presented to the Indian Office for consideration and it was decided that nothing would be done to complete the allotting on the Reservation until after the settlement or the swamp land controversy with the State.
Charles Oshogay told the Superintendent that he had heard that a great many selections for allotments were being made and that someone had selected and received the land on which the Catholic Church, Mission and Cemetery are located at Reserve. He told Mr. McPherson that the Indians did not want to make any kind of deal with the Flowage Company.
The Superintendent replied to Mr. Oshogay, that he had been misinformed; that no selection for allotments were being received by him and that instead of anyone selecting the Catholic Church land for an allotment, it had only recently been patented in fee to the Board of Catholic Indian Missions in Washington.
Dick Potack told Mr. McPherson that all the full bloods and all the Indians want these lands and did not want to give them up.
Thomas Bracklin suggested, since there were only about 50 persons present at the Council which was far from being a fair representation of the people of the Reservation, that the Council should adjourn until October 9, 1920, when a larger number would doubtlessly be present and that no action should be taken by this Council on such an important matter. Ira Isham expressed that October 16, 1920 would be a better date than October 9th because so many people would be out picking ‘greens’ and they would all be back to the reservation by the 16th. Motion made by Thomas Bracklin and seconded by Gabe Demar that the Council be adjourned until October 16, 1920.
The Superintendent stated that no further notice of the Council would be sent out and requested that each person present notify everyone he might see of the date of the next meeting so that there would be a large number present, and then adjourned the Council until 1:00 pm, October 16, 1920.