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has recently completed a compilation of a comprehensive report covering development of the Missouri River Basin. We feel that report provides not only for flood control but also for navigation, irrigation, power, domestic and municipal water supply, stream polution abatement, recreation uses, wildlife conservation, and maintains the ground water levels in inland lakes.
Senator OVERTON. What is your suggestion, that we drop consideration of the projects recommended by the Army engineers and take up the projects recommended by the Bureau of Reclamation ? Mr. WATHEN. Not at all. Senator OVERTON. What is your suggestion? Mr. WATHEN. We believe
Senator OVERTON. Let me ask you a question : Do you suggest that we disapprove the projects recommended by the Board of Army Engineers ?
Mr. WATHEN. Not at all.
Mr. WATHEN. Our recommendation is that before any specific projects are approved that careful consideration be given to the development of the basin as a whole.
Senator OVERTON. In what way!
Mr. WATHEN. To coordinate the Army engineers' plan with the Bureau of Reclamation.
Senator OVERTON. That we adjourn these hearings and let the matter drop; is that your suggestion?. I want to get at just what you are proposing
Mr. WATHEN. No; our suggestion is that if H. R. 4485 could be amended so as to make possible the development of the basin in line with the principles laid down by the Bureau of Reclamation report
Senator OVERTON. That would mean taking up the Bureau of Reclamation report and going through with the project. You just now said you didn't care for us to do that. Specifically, what do you suggest that we do?
Mr. WATHEN. Our suggestion is specifically that some integration between the Army engineers' report and the Bureau of Reclamation report be had before any projects are authorized.
Senator OVERTON. That is very general. How is that integration process to be handled ?
Mr. Wathen. Well, the Bureau of Reclamation report, we believe, is a very comprehensive report.
Senator OVERTON. Well, you just now said you didn't care for us to consider the Bureau of Reclamation report.
Mr. WATHEN. We would like to see the Bureau of Reclamation report considered at the same time and along with the Army report and integrated with the Army report.
Senator OVERTON. Well, now, you are sufficiently acquainted with the law with reference to flood control to know what has to be done, aren't you, in that connection? We would have to direct another survey and investigation by the Army engineers and a report thereon. That is what we would have to do. We couldn't authorize this project simply on the Bureau of Reclamation report, because the law says we cannot do it.
Mr. WATHEN. Our thought is that if H. R. 1485 could be amended in line with the amendments submitted by Senator Millikin before this committee on June 9, that it would permit such integration, that it would make the bill flexible enough to result actually in a real study of the entire basin problem and its integration.
Senator OVERTON. All right.
Mr. WATHEN. We are in effect agreed that some amendment should be made to H. R. 4485, and we agree that the three amendments offered by Senator Millikin will provide the necessary flexibility. I have here and will be glad to submit for the record, if you care to have it, a tabulation showing the Indian reservations, their population, and area broken down by States.
Senator OVERTON. Very well.
Senator OVERTON. Is that all, Mr. Wathen?
Senator ROBERTSON. I would like to ask a question. You have heard sufficient of these hearings to realize that the actual difference in engineering between the Army engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation engineers is such as to bring the two plans fairly close together. The difference of opinion is probably one that if they were to join it could be very easily ironed out. As I understand it from your statement you would favor such a joint consideration of the whole project by the Army engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation engineers ?
Mr. WATHEN. That is correct, sir. My personal opinion is that in all probability what differences now exist might easily be ironed out within 60 or 90 days if a real effort were made to get together.
Senator CORDON. I would like to make one inquiry, Mr. Chairman. Senator OVERTON. Very well.
Senator CORDON. You stated that there were ten or fifteen thousand acres of potentially irrigable land in the Fort Berthold Reservation
which would be inundated by the Garrison Dam. Would that result if what was described here as a low Garrison Dam were built ?
Mr. WATHEN. Yes. Most of it would be inundated anyhow.
Senator CORDON. The only way you could save that ten or fifteen thousand acres would be by building no Garrison Dam?
Mr. WATHEN. That is the only way you could save it. Ten or fifteen thousand acres. However, if a well coordinated plan were worked out for the upper basin that would include resettlement of those Indians elsewhere or secure additional irrigable land for their use, it would be entirely satisfactory to the Indian Office,
Senator CORDON. That brings up the next question. Within the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation are there any other potentially irrigable lands that could be used if these were flooded out!
Mr. WATHEN. Not without crimping.
Mr. WATHEN. Some acreage could be irrigated by pumping. The exact lift we haven't determined,
Senator CORDON. Would the lift be greater or less by virtue of the fact you had the Garrison water pool in there?
Mr. WATHEN. The lift would probably be less on account of the Garrison Reservoir.
Senator CORDON. Can you estimate about the acreage that would be susceptible of irrigation under that plan?
Mr. WATHEN. No; I am sorry, we don't have those figures here. Our office now is in Chicago and most of our data is there. I would be glad to offer it for the record if you would care to have it.
Senator CORDON. It would seem to me an important item in connection with that Garrison question. I think it should be in the record if we could get it.
Mr. WATHEN. We can send it on from Chicago within the next 2 or 3 days.
Senator OVERTON. Very well. You may do so.
Senator ROBERTSON. I would like to call Robert Yellowtail, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Yellowtail is the agent and superintendent of the Crow Indian Tribe.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT YELLOWTAIL, AGENT AND SUPERINTEND
ENT, CROW INDIAN TRIBE, CROW AGENCY, MONT.
Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, the Crow Indians are interested in the question being discussed here today. Only on last Tuesday the Crow Indians met in tribal session and asked if we would not come up here and listen and see what is being said, and if we thought it was appropriate and necessary that we sụbmit our views, so that the chairman and this committee here will have the benefit of our views and carry them to Congress for us. That is the only reason we are here.
I am not going to discuss the merits of the bills that have been introduced. I haven't had the time to read H. R. 4485, any of it except the amendments that have been offered, the O'Mahoney amendment and the Millikin amendment, as combined, and I read those on the train coming down. So that I am simply not in a position to go into the questions raised or into the merits of these two bills. I will shy off of that. I don't care to be cross-examined on that because I just simply won't know. Not having read these two bills, I don't care at this time to discuss, as I said a while ago, the merits of those bills.
Let me begin, if you will gentlemen, by suggesting that we live on the Big Horn River, one of the main tributaries of the Yellowstone River, the Yellowstone being the most important tributary of the Missouri River.
Senator OVERTON. Will somebody point out on the map just where that reservation is!
Senator ROBERTSON. Just inside of the Montana line.
(Mr. Yellowtail indicated the Crow Indian Reservation on the map.)
Mr. YELLOWTAIL. Now, as I look at the map and listen to the discussion here, I cannot help, Mr. Chairman, just by way of deviation, but tell you that the entire area you are discussing here not long ?go was Indian territory. The Big Horn River and the Little Horn River are still on the Crow Indian Reservation. The Big Horn River is one of the main stems of the Yellowstone River and flows into it at the town of Big Horn, northeast of Billings about 30 miles. As I look at the map I am reminded of the fact that in 1868, and before that in 1851, if you please, the Crow Indians entered into a treaty with the Government. The north half of Wyoming and the south half of that part of Montana up to the Missouri River was all Crow territory. The Indians by cession reduced their tremendous empire of thirty-eight million five hundred and some-odd thousand acres to two and a half million acres, in round numbers. And what we now occupy is the last piece of territory that we hold by treaty. In the treaty of 1868 the Government and the Crows agreed-concluded an agreement whereby the waters were reserved to the Crow Indians. That treaty still stands today.
Senator OVERTON. That is the waters of the Big Horn ?
Mr. YELLOWTAIL. The waters of the streams on the Crow Indian Reservation. When we ceded those areas, those waters went along with it, the Yellowstone River. Our friends from Cody, Wyo.—that was Crow Indian territory. Yellowstone National Park was Crow territory. The Crows have done their share toward giving everybody, all their neighbors, a chance to carve out good homes, with land, water, timber, coal and gold, and all those things. Yellowstone Park was part of our donation. So that I think, as far as the record of the Crows, they have done their part and are still doing it right now; our boys are in the Army in all parts of the world, and in the invasion that is going on in France. I think that the Indian record in general is tops; our boys are doing everything to protect our flag; and here is what I wish to suggest, in return surely the Indians expect at least from the Congress here—this is one of our courts of last_resort—we expect when Congress considers legislation in which Indian rights are involved they are going to treat the Indians kindly and with some consideration, bearing in mind what the Indians gave up. I wish to put that thought over and leave it with the Senators here, so that when you discuss this on the floor of the Senate you are not going to lose sight of that friendly suggestion on the part of the Indians and the white men of the United States.
Now, then, those waters being reserved by treaty, we came along up here and afterward in a Montana case, Winters v. United States
Senator OVERTON. Can a copy of that treaty be obtained and admitted to the record?
Mr. YELLOWTAIL. The treaty of 1868!
Mr. YELLOWTAIL. No; but I will have Senator Wheeler give it to you if that will suit you.
Senator OVERTON. Well, I suppose the State Department has it. Mr. YELLOWTAIL. The Indian Department will have it. Mr. Wathen will get it for you.
Senator OVERTON. Is it a very lengthy treaty?
Senator OVERTON. All right. If it is too long, some reference can be made to it and it will be accessible.
Mr. YELLOWTAIL. I think you can just print probably in the record those parts that are applicable here. I think it will be only a paragraph or two, so that it won't take much space.
Now, then, we come along secondly with what is known as Winters v. United States, that is, 207 U. S., page 564. The question of water arose as it is arising here today, in connection with use by the Indians and the cities on the Milk River, and the court decided then that the water was reserved to the Indians sufficient to irrigate their agricultural lands, et cetera. That is an old case that is being cited regularly in questions of water disputes as far as the Indians aro concerned. The Supreme Court came along, in Winters v. United States, to support the stand of the Indians that the water was impliedly reserved for the Indians whenever they needed it for agricultural purposes. It was theirs forever. It was pointed out at that time that the Indians didn't know much about irrigation. The Court said, very true, the Indians cannot be expected to know the arts of animal husbandry and farming in all of its technical phases as the white man does and it is necessary that the Government give support and protection to the Indians. It stands today as one of our basic decisions whenever cases of this kind arise.
Then we come to a Crow Indian case which was decided in the October term of the Supreme Court in 1938, a rather recent case, known as United States v. Powers. At that time the United States Supreme Court said, in sum and substance, that the rights of the Indians to the waters flowing through a border of the reservationthat the Indians enjoyed a superior right-I will put it that way, to the streams on the reservation for irrigation purposes.
Second, that the land and the water belonged to the Indians all the time by the treaty of May 7, 1868; third, that that was a grant