Location: Standing Rock Reservation

Some Debate about Leasing Indian Lands

Third session, Thursday morning, October 17 Miss Collins was invited to speak. Miss Mary Collins. The question of leasing lands has come to us at Standing Rock Agency. We had a council of our Indians to consider the question. A great cattle company wanted to hire the land, and the Indians, without a single exception, voted against it, and their speeches were very interesting and strong. They said: “If we begin renting our lands, and depending on the income which we shall receive in this way, then we begin to pauperize our young men. We old ones have had to live off the Government, but we do not want our young men to do that.” The vote was unanimous. The Indians were sent back to their homes; but we received word that there was to be another council, because the thing had to be put through, as the Indian Commissioner wanted it done. At the next council Dr. Ward and Dr. Warner of New York were present, and they heard the whole thing. Again the Indians all were opposed to leasing the lands. Before I came away I heard a man say that the thing would be put through. I said it could not if the Indians voted against it, as the Indians had treaty rights. I was answered it was a very easy thing; that the Indian agent...

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Yanktonai Tribe

Yanktonai Indians (ihanke ‘end,’ tonwan ‘village,’ na diminutive: ‘little-end village.’Riggs). One of the 7 primary divisions or subtribes of the Dakota, speaking the same dialect as the Yankton and believed to be the elder tribe. Long evidently obtained tradition from the Indians to this effect. He first apparent reference to one of the tribes in which the other is not included is that to the Yankton by La Sueur in 1700. It is not until noticed by Lewis and Clark in 1804 that they reappear. These explorers state that they roved on the headwaters of the Sioux, James, and Red rivers. The migration from their eastern home, north of Mille Lac, Minnesota, probably took place at the beginning of the 18th century. It is likely that they followed or accompanied the Teton, while the Yankton turned more and more toward the southwest. Long (1823) speaks of them as one of the most important of the Dakota tribes, their hunting grounds extending from Red river to the Missouri. Warren (1855) gives as their habitat the country between the James river and the Missouri, extending as far north as Devils lake, and states that they fought against the United States in the War of 1812, and that their chief at that time went to England. It does not appear that this tribe took any part in the Minnesota massacre of 1862....

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Blackfoot Tribe

Sihasapa (‘black feet’, so called because they wore black moccasins). A small division of the Teton Sioux. The name, like the names of some other Teton tribes, does not appear to have come into notice until a recent date, no mention being made of it by Lewis and Clark, Long, or earlier authorities. Catlin in his Letters and Notes, written during his stay among the northwestern Indians (1832-39), mentions the Blackfoot Sioux. In a note to De Smet’s Letters 11843 they were estimated to number 1,500. Culbertson 2Smithson. Rep. 1850, 141, 1851 estimated the tribe at 450 lodges, an exaggeration, and mentions five bands or subtribes, but does not locate them. It was not until Gen. Warren and Dr. Hayden visited their country that definite information in regard to them was obtained. The former (1856) makes the following brief notes: “Sihasapas Blackfeet. Haunts and homes same as the Unkpapas; number, 165 lodges. These two bands have very little respect for the power of the whites. Many of the depredations along the Platte are committed by the Unkpapas and Sihasapas, whose homes are farther from it than those of any other of the Titonwans.” Hayden (1862) says that they, the Hunkpapa and Sans Arcs, “occupy nearly the same district, and are so often encamped near each other, and otherwise so connected in their operations, as scarcely to admit of being...

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Dr. Lucien C. Warner, New York

Dr. Lucien C. Warner, New York. It has been my privilege to spend about two weeks in traveling through the Sioux Reservation, and I want to speak especially of the Standing Rock Agency, where there are about 4,000 Indians. It is a grazing country, where it is impossible to raise any crops. Grain and vegetables do not succeed oftener than once in three years. There is no water outside the river and wells, and the water of the wells is often so mineral that it destroys the grass. If you were to give land in severalty and fence off the portion next to water, the rest would be worthless. It must be used for grazing in large parcels. For the Indians to get a living by grazing is not so simple as it might at first appear. I made inquiries as to how much land it would take to keep one cow, and the very best informed men assured me it would take 25 acres. With 160 acres a man could keep 6 cows, but if he had to buy wheat and potatoes, and could raise nothing but meat, that would not be enough to support a family; it would hardly support a single person. Most of the Indians have only 2 or 3 cows, though some have as many as 20 or 30. They realize that only by...

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