Report of the 1889 Chippewa Indian Commission, Lake Vermilion councils

In November 1889 several days of Chippewa Indian Commission meetings were held at Vermilion Lake Indian Reservation, Bois Forte Band of Minnesota Chippewa. The goal of the commission was to convince the Bois Forte Chippewa to accept individual allotment of lands to each man, allowing the federal government to sell all “surplus” lands for resource extraction.

Following are the transcripts of those meetings as they were presented to the first session of the 1890, 51st Congress, House of Representatives — Ex Doc. No. 247.

They transcripts are presented here precisely as they were presented to Congress including all vagaries of spelling, and names:

CHIPPEWA INDIANS IN MINNESOTA.
FIRST COUNCIL WITH BOIS FORTS INDIANS.

VERMILLION RESERVATION, November 9, 1889.
Present, Bishop Marty and Commissioner Whiting.

All the councils here were held on the second floor of the Government warehouse.

The council was called to order by Commissioner Whiting, followed by an invocation of the divine blessing by Bishop Marty.

Commissioner Whiting read and made an elaborate explanation of the act of Congress under which the Commission proceeded, and after a few remarks by Bishop Marty the council was adjourned until afternoon.

AFTERNOON SESSION.

Commissioner Whiting. The Commission will be glad to listen to any questions you may wish to ask, and will answer them.

Ay-dah-wah-ne-kway-be-nais. I wish to know if you have a copy of the treaty made in Washington. I was in Washington at the time.

Commissioner Whiting. What year?

Ay-dah-wah-ne-kway-be-nais. Eighteen hundred and sixty-five. I wish to know how much was given us as a reservation.

Bishop Marty read the section of the treaty which states the amount of land to be seserved for the Bois Forts Indians to be 100,000 acres.

Ay-dah-wah-ne-kway-be-nais. I can not understand “100,000 acres,” but could understand if it given in length.

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