« PreviousContinue »
of food supply and income for the Indians. About 1,500 Indians harvest rice there annually. The annual rice crop, depending upon the season, is worth to the Indians from $50,000 to $100,000. During the past year Indians sold approximately 50,000 pounds. The price ranged from 14 cents to 20 cents per pound, depending upon the quality. This represents a substantial sum to these Indians. in addition to which the Indians harvest large quantities for their own personal consumption during the winter months.
The area of the reserve described in the act of June 23, 1926, supra, exclusive of the lake bed, is approximately 4,500 acres. Part of this land was allotted to individual Indians. Since allotment, with the exception of a very few tracts, it has become unrestricted. Most of it, however, passed to the State of Minnesota, under its swamp-land grant of March 12, 1860 (12 Stat. 3). A large part of these lands were sold by the State. Much of it is now subject to delinquent taxes and unpaid purchase installments. At the present time, pursuant to the authority of the 1926 act, condemnation proceedings are pending in the Federal courts against certain privately owned lands within the lake area. Some question exists concerning the scope of the act which makes it desirable to amend the act so as to remove any question of doubt as to the authority granted by Congress in the establishment of this wild-rice reserve for the Indians.
The State authorities are also desirous of acquiring the lands within the exterior boundaries of the reserve. They are interested in the establishment of Indian camp sites and controlling duck hunting for public benefit. This Department, however, is of the belief that the interests of the Indians require that the Government procure this area for them. Any reserve established under this act will remain under the control of this Department, but it would appear desirable to enter into an agreement with the State for the administration of the reserves upon a cooperative basis. If our plans for cooperation are carried out, all matters pertaining to conservation of the rice bed and rice crop, fishing, hunting, and the establishment and maintenance of Indian camp sites are to be under the supervision of the State conservation commission, subject to their paramount use for Indian benefit. Such camps, however, would be established for the exclusive use and benefit of the Indians.
There are several other lakes similar to Wild Rice Lake where, for similar reasons, the lake beds and surrounding lands ought to be acquired for the Indians. The previous legislation should, therefore, be amended also to permit the acquisition of lands at other desirable places. The costs of establishing the reserves, acquisition of the lands, and construction of dams to regulate the water levels of the lakes are to be paid out of tribal funds. This is a matter in which the Indians are vitally interested and they have always expressed their desire to have tribal funds used for such purposes.
I, therefore, recommend that the act of June 23, 1926 (44 Stat. 763), be amended as proposed in the attached draft.
Under date of March 4 the Acting Director of the Bureau of the Budget advised this Department that the proposed legislation would not be in conflict with the financial program of the President. Sincerely yours,
T. A. WALTERS, Acting Secretary of the Interior. O
AMEND AN ACT ENTITLED "AN ACT SETTING ASIDE
“ RICE LAKE, ETC., FOR EXCLUSIVE USE OF CHIPPEWA INDIANS OF MINNESOTA"
JUNE 10, 1935.-Ordered to be printed
Mr. RYAN, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the
[To accompany H. R. 6963]
The Committee on Indian Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 6963) to amend an act entitled "An act setting aside Rice Lake and contiguous lands in Minnesota for the exclusive use and benefit of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota”, approved June 23, 1926, and for other purposes.
In compliance with paragraph 2a of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, changes of the law made by the bill are shown as follows: Existing law proposed to be omitted is enlcosed in black brackets; new matter is printed in italics; existing law in which no change is proposed is shown in roman.
"SECTION 1. That there be, and is hereby  created within the [limits of the White Earth Indian Reservation in the] county of Clearwater, State of Minnesota, a permanent reserve to be known as Wild Rice Lake Indian Reserve', [for the exclusive use and benefit of the Chippewa Indians of Minneaota,] which reserve shall include Rice Lake and the following-described contiguous lands (to wit]: Beginning at the northwest corner of the northeast quarter [of the] southeast quarter [of] section 8 in township 145 north, range 38 west, and running due east to the northeast corner of southeast quarter [of] section 9; thence south to northeast corner of northeast quarter [of] section 16; thence due east to northeast corner of northeast quarter [of] section 14, township 145 north, range 38 west; thence due south to southeast corner of northeast quarter [of] section township 144 north, range 38 west; thence due west to southwest corner of northwest quarter [of] section 3 of said township and range; thence due north to southwest corner of northwest quarter [of] section 15, township 145 north, range 38 west; thence due west to southwest corner of northwest quarter [of] section 16; thence due north to northwest corner of northwest quarter of said section 16; thence west to southwest corner of southeast quarter [of] southeast quarter section 8; thence north to point of beginning, which, excluding the lake bed, contains approximately four thousand five hundred acres.
"SEC. 2. All unallotted and undisposed-of public or Indian lands held in trust by the United States within the area described in section 1 hereof are hereby permanently withdrawn from sale or other disposition and are made a part of said reserve; and the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to [acquire by purchase any lands within said area now opened by the State of Minnesota or in private ownership at a price not to exceed $5 per acre, and to acquire from private owners by condemnation proceedings, in accordance with the laws of the State of Minnesota relating to the condemnation to private property for public use, any lands within said area which cannot be purchased at the price herein named; the purchase price and costs of acquiring said lands to be paid out of the trust fund standing to the credit of all the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota in the Treasury of the United States upon warrants drawn by the Secretary of the Interior.] (a) accept in the name of the United States voluntary conditional grants, conditioned only upon the continued permanent use of said lands for the purpose hereinafter stated, and none other, of any lands within said reserved area now held in public, private, State, or Indian ownership; (b) acquire by purchase any of said lands not so conditionally granted at such price as he may deem fair and equitable; or (c) acquire by condemnation any of said lands not acquired by conditional grants or by purchase, so as to vest in the United States for the purposes of this Act good title lo ail land included in any such reserve.
“Sec. 3. The Secretary of the Interior is authorized, in his discretion, to establish not to exceed three additional wild-rice reserves in the State of Minnesota which shall include wild-rice bearing lakes situated convenient to Chippewa Indian communities or settlements, including all lands which, in the judgment of said Secretary, are necessary to the proper establishment and maintenance of said reserves and the control of the water levels of the lakes. The Secretary is authorized to withdraw and acquire, on the same terms provided in section 2 hereof, all lands which, in his judgment, may be necessary for the proper establishment, control, maintenance, and operation of any reserve established under this section.
“Sec. 4. [The] Any reserves [hereby created] established under this Act, including the water levels therein, shall be maintained and operated under the supervision and control of the Secretary of the Interior, in conformity with such rules and regulations as he may prescribe for the primary purpose of conserving wild-rice beds for the exclusive use and benefit of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota [under the supervision of the Secretary of the Interior and under rules and regulations to be prescribed by the said Secretary]. The said Secretary, upon such terms and conditions as he may deem proper, may enter into an agreement in writing with the State of Minnesota, through its Department of Conservation, or other proper State agency, for the administration of any reserve created under this Act, and for its use for other or different purposes, conditioned only that such other and different uses shall not impair the primary purpose for which said reserve was created and its administration in strici conformity with said rules and regulations prescribed by said Secretary.
“Sec. 5. All costs of establishing the reserves herein authorized, including the acquisition of the lands, and the construction of dams or other structures to regulate the water levels, are hereby authorized to be paid by the Secretary of the Interior out of the trust funds of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota in the Treasury of the United States."
COOPERATIVE SCHOOL BOARD, QUEETS, WASH.
APRIL 9, 1935.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state
of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. AYERS, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the
(To accompany H. R. 6651]
The Committee on Indian Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 6651) to provide funds for cooperation with the school board at Queets, Wash., in the construction of a public school building to be available to Indian children of the village of Queets, Jefferson County, Wash., having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it do pass.
For several years it has been the policy of the Indian Department to provide for education of Indian children, wherever possible, in public schools of the State. This policy has prevailed whether the public schools be located on Indian reservations or on adjacent lands. Where permitted by the public schools, this policy has proved eminently satisfactory for the education of the Indian children and in many places it has led to the abandonment of previously established Indian schools.
In Washington, where the school involved by this bill is located, all of the public schools on Indian reservations and adjacent thereto have displayed a commendable spirit of cooperation with the Indian Department in putting this policy into general effect in that State. Commissioner Collier said, "There has been the utmost assistance and cooperation by citizens and school officials." However, in many instances the burdens assumed by the local school districts have become greater than their carrying capacity, and additions to the present buildings or new buildings must be constructed if the district is to carry on under this policy.
Naturally, by reason of Indian-owned lands or reservation lands, the schools, utilized to the greatest extent by Indian children, find themselves without available funds and without security to raise funds to build additions to present buildings or to construct new buildings. This is caused by the fact that neither the Indian-owned lands nor the reservation lands are assessable, and in most instances the district is now bonded to its State constitutional limitation.
These school districts had provided buildings and equipment sufficient for accommodation of the white patrons before taking on the Indian patrons, and now, by reason of the increased attendance brought about by their cooperation with the Indian Department, they are totally inadequate to pursue this policy further without help. Additions and new buildings must be had. In many instances, basements, shed and other nondescript buildings are being used for school purposes, when, in fact, they are unfit for such purpose.
In all instances the feeling between the white people, who are the taxpayers and who have borne the burden with reference to buildings, and the Indian children and Indian population of the districts has been very amicable. Indeed, there has been no evidence whatever of racial prejudice. The Indian children have been accepted and retained in these schools upon exactly the same basis as white children.
Because of the importance of this and other similar bills before this committee, a subcommittee was appointed to consider all of these Indian educational bills. The subcommittee reported that it found that in defraying overhead expenses for Indian attendance in these schools, the Government is paying a tuition averaging 40 cents per capita per school day for the Indian children attendants. Assuming that a school year is 9 months of 20 school days each, the Government is paying $72 per capita per year.
The subcommittee found that this average tuition is less than the average per capita cost for such overhead, leaving a condition where the district is compelled to bear the burden of the overhead shortage in addition to bearing all the burden for buildings and maintenance.
The subcommittee also reported that the average per capita cost for elementary and secondary education in the United States is $87.67 per annum-this varied in different States. This makes an average daily per capita cost throughout the Nation of 48% cents per day as against an average of 40 cents per day paid by the Government for Indian children attending public schools.
The Commissioner of Indian Affairs appeared before the committee and recommended passage of this legislation. He advised that there were at present 33 white children and 28 Indian children attending the Queets School. From this report it appears that by reason of the Indian attendance at this school, both white and Indian children are now prohibited attendance because of the overcrowded condition of the school.
The per capita cost for elementary and secondary education in the State of Washington is $98.64 per annum. This reduced to daily per capita amounts to 54 cents; hence, the payment of a tuition of 45 cents for the Indian children attending this school is $17.64 per capita per annum under the actual cost, or 94 cents per day under actual cost.
The enactment of this legislation is in effect an economy move. The Federal Government by closing the Indian schools formerly maintained and assigning the Indian children to State schools has already effected economies greater than the expenditure proposed, which expenditure would not be a recurring item but in the nature of capital investment. According to the bill, the State schools must continue to take Indian children the same as white children and the expenditure