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CONGRESS,

ALLOTMENT OF LANDS TO INDIANS OF LA POINTE OR

BAD RIVER INDIAN RESERVATION, WIS.

FEBRUARY 4, 1907.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.

Mr. Brown, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the

following

REPORT.

[To accompany S. 2787.)

The Committee on Indian Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (S. 2787) relating to allotment of lands to Indians of La Pointe or Bad River Indian Reservation, Wis., which passed the Senate April 13, 1906, report it back with the recommendation that it pass with an amendment.

Amend by inserting after the word “reservation,” in line 9, the words “ whether born before or after the passage of said act.”

S. 2787 is identical with H. R. 9308, which was reported by this committee April 13, 1906 (Calendar No. 174, Rept. No. 3207, 59th Cong., 1st sess.), and was drafted by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, with the exception of the amendment referred to above, which is acceptable to him.

The report on H. R. 9308 is appended hereto and made a part of this report:

The Committee on Indian Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 9308) amending the act of February 11, 1901, allotting lands in severalty to the Indians of La Pointe or Bad River Reservation, in the State of Wisconsin, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass.

The object of this bill is to correct a condition caused by the act of February 11, 1901, above referred to. This act authorized the allotment of lands to Indians of La Pointe or Bad River Reservation then living and residing and entitled to reside on that reservation, and who had not received allotments prior to that date. This legislation, as stated by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in the letter appended hereto and made a part of this report, was the result of agitation among these Indians, and was designed to enlarge the right to allotment as defined in the third article of the treaty of September 30, 1854 (10 Stat. L., 1109), which prior to the act of February 11, 1901, was the law controlling allotments on the Bad River or La Pointe Reservation.

Under a construction given on June 8, 1905, to the act of February 11, 1901, by the Department of the Interior a number of full blood Indians of the Bad River or La Pointe band of Lake Superior Chippewas were denied allotments because the act specifically confined the right of allotment to "each Indian now living and residing on said reservation and entitled to so reside." These Indians at the time of the passage of the act were not residing on the reservation, but they were undoubtedly entitled to reside thereon, and have been deprived of their right to an allotment through the insufficiency of the language of the act referred to.

As the act of February 11, 1901, was in furtherance and to carry out the obligation of the Government imposed by the treaty of September 30. 1854, of furnishing to the Wisconsin bands of the Lake Superior Chippewa lands for their use and benefit for ceding to the United States their right and title to certain lands, it is only just that these Indians, who were deprived of their right to allotment by the construction given to this act, should be allowed now to secure an allotment. In regard to this the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, among other things in the letter appended hereto, says:

“The object of the act of February 11, as has been stated, was not to restrict the right of allotment, but rather to enlarge it, and as it has had the effect of unjustly cutting out many who were formerly entitled, and who, in good faith and fair dealing, should be permitted to take allotments on the Bad River Reservation, I have caused a draft of a bill to be prepared amending the act responsible for the present situation, and submit it with the hope that it may meet with approval and recommend that it be transmitted to the proper committee of the Congress with a favorable recommendation."

The draft of a bill referred to is the one under consideration (H. R. 9308).

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

Washington, December 13, 1905. SIR: I transmit herewith a copy of a communication of the 4th instant from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, submitting a draft of a bill to amend the act of February 11, 1901, entitled "An act providing for allotments of lands in severalty to the Indians of the La Pointe or Bad River Reservation, in the State of Wisconsin."

The object of the amendment, as set forth in the Commissioner's report, is to authorize allotments on the reservation to full-blood nonresident Indians, who by the terms of the act of February 11, 1901, and the decision of the Department of June 8, 1905, have been barred from receiving such allotments.

The proposed legislation meets with the approval of the Department, and I have the honor to recommend that it receive the favorable action of your committee and of the Congress. Very respectfully,

E. A. HITCHCOCK,

Secretary. The CHAIRMAN COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS,

House of Representatives.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS,

Washington, December 4, 1905. SIR: The act of Congress approved February 11, 1901 (31 Stat. L., 766), authorized the allotment to Indians of the La Pointe or Bad River Reservation then living and residing and entitled to reside on that reservation, and who had not received allotments prior to that date. . This legislation was the result of agitation among these Indians, and was designed to enlarge the right to allotment, as defined in the third article of the treaty of September 30, 1854 (10 Stat. L., 1109), which prior to the act of February 11, 1901, was the law controlling allotments on the Bad River or La Pointe Reservation.

After the passage of said act a number of schedules were prepared and submitted to the Office, and these schedules were approved by the President and patents issued. During the year 1904 a schedule of 407 names was prepared, but before it was transmitted to the Office several complaints were received, and finally the matter was investigated by Special Agent Thomas Downs. Mr. Downs found a number of full-blood Indians who were entitled to allotment under the treaty above mentioned, but who had never received lands or, indeed, any benefits with the Chippewas of Lake Superior.

Mr. Downs found that these Indians were deserving people, and in his judg. ment they should be allotted rather than the children of former allottees. He submitted their case to the Office and the matter was reported to the Department under date of March 29, 1905.

The Bad River Reservation was created for the Bad River or La Pointe band of Indians and all other Chippewas of Lake Superior for whom no special reservation was set apart by the treaty of 1854.

The question presented was whether these nonresidents should be allotted, as they were entitled under the treaty, or did the act of February 11, 1901, bar such rights? Under date of June 8, 1905, the Department decided that the act of February 11, 1901, confined the right of allotment to "each Indian now living and residing on said reservation and entitled to so resirle," and therefore tbe full-blood nonresident members were not entitled to allotment. It was further held that relief for these Indians should be sought at the hands of Congress. This decision and its result were reported to the agent, and great dissatisfaction was thereby created among the Indians, as there were a good many whose names were on the schedule who were not entitled to allotment under the law.

The object of the act of February 11, as has been stated, was not to restrict the right of allotment, but rather to enlarge it, and as it has had the effect of unjustly cutting out many who were formerly entitled and who in good faith and fair dealing should be permitted to take allotments on the Bad River Reservation, I have caused a draft of a bill to be prepared amending the act responsible for the present situation, and submit it with the hope that it may meet with approval, and recommend that it be transmitted to the proper committees of the Congress with a favorable recommendation. Very respectfully,

F. E. LEUPP,

Commissioner. The SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.

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CONGRESS

ENLARGEMENT OF MILITARY RESERVATIONS.

FEBRUARY 4, 1907.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the

state of the Union and ordered to be printed.

Mr. Dixon, of Montana, from the Committee on the Public Lands,

submitted the following

REPORT.

[To accompany H. R. 24366.]

The Committee on the Public Lands, to whom was referred the bill H. R. 24366) authorizing the enlargement of military reservations by the exchange of lands, having had the same under consideration respectfully submit the following report and recommend that said bill do pass with the following amendments:

In line 10, after the word - exchange," strike out the words “an equal area of."

In line 12, after the word “entry," insert the words “ within the same State or Territory."

After the word “ for," in line 13, add the following proviso: Provided, That not more than twenty thousand acres of public lands shall be exchanged in the aggregate under this act: And provided further, That each particular exchange shall be certified and described at the time the exchange is made.

The present method of acquiring private lands for the enlargement of military reservations is found by the War Department to be very expensive and unsatisfactory. The present law provides that it be done by condemnation proceedings, which is often long and tedious as well as expensive.

The method provided for in this bill would in some instances result in a direct trade between the private owner of land that may be needed for military purposes and the Government for public lands of equal value and perhaps in some cases of equal area.

Owners of private lands adjacent to a military reservation would in some instances prefer to exchange their holdings for other lands beyond the reach of modern rifles that are used in target practice.

It is this target practice and military maneuvering that renders it necessary in these modern days to enlarge some of the military

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