Topic: Standing Rock Sioux

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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