The magnificent ridge between Ear Mountain and the South Fork of the Teton River Canyon deserves a name. The proposed name "Metis Ridge" comes from the late 1800's to early 1900s heritage of this region of Teton County. Many Metis sought refuge in the canyons along the Rocky Mountain Front between Cascade and the Canadian border. They lived there in peace except for the times that the U.S. Army "rounded up" the Cree and escorted them to the Canadian line. The South Fork of the Teton River was the home to 100 Metis. They lived there and some are buried in the cemetery there. Watch for more information on the proposal to officially name Metis Ridge. On July 31, 2009, the Bureau of Land Management Lewistown Field Office installed a sign about the Metis along the Rocky Mountain Front at the Ear Mountain Outstanding Natural Area trailhead along the South Fork Road.Photo courtesy of Ralph Thornton. Metis Cemetery established about 1890 near the south fork Teton River. Cemetery aintained by Al and Elaine Wiseman of Choteau.Map of Montana Metis settlements in 1900.
The following excerpts were gleaned from the local newspapers in Teton County. Some stories are full of racism and mark a sad period of our local history. If you have information on the people who lived on the South Fork email the Webmaster Nancy Thornton.
Unknown date. John Demary, who has been a resident of this section for a number of years, died at his home north of Choteau and was buried Wednesday afternoon. He was a Canadian-French half-breed and was about 70 years of age.
May 29, 1884. Sun River Sun. The Hostile Crees. Maj. Allen Dispatches a Courier to Ft. Shaw After Troops to Defend the Piegans Against the Crees.
Major Allen, Agent of the Blackfeet, sent a courier to Fort Shaw, who arrived on Saturday, with a letter asking that troops be sent to the Agency to defend the Piegans against their old time enemies, the Crees.
It appears that the Crees have been stealing horses from the Piegans, and in a recent fight, (noted in our Agency correspondent's letter last week) the Crees had on or two of their number killed. It is probable that the Crees are now bent taking some Piegan scalpes, much to on the dissatisfaction of these semi-tamed aborigines.
The Commanding officer dispatched a detachment to their aid Monday.
The Crees are well armed and mounted and range at will from Slave Lake, of the North, to the Missouri. As a tribe, they are cowardly, and not to be compared with Sioux. They never commit depredations on any one who can or will retaliate. We can remember when the name of Piegan or Blackfeet, was a terror to them. But since Uncle Sam has cooped up and starved all the ambition and energy out of this once powerful tribe, the Crees find them an easy prey.
As soon as an Indian consents to live at an Agency, and receives his daily rations, he becomes like a beast and hangs around waiting for his food, and after he has received it, goes and look for a comfortable place to sleep. We have made them what they are, and whether the modern is any improvement over the ancient Indian, is a question, with many, many aspects.
June, 12, 1884. Sun River Sun. Louie Reil.
June 19, 1884 Sun River Sun. About two weeks ago, (the news only came in on Wednesday), three Cree stole some horses from the South Peigans, and to avoid pursuit went up into the thick timber in the mountains, back of Cut Bank. The Piegans followed and shot one Cree. The other two got away but not with the horses, which remained in the possession of their rightful owners. Six war parties of Piegans have started for Medicine Hat and Maple Creek, ostensibly to get even on the Crees, but in all probability to pick up any loose stock they may strike.-Macleod Gazette.
June 26, 1884 Sun River Sun. The Peigans. (to be copied)
Suggestions. Offered by Dupuyer for the Abolishment of Indian Horse Stealing.
Dupuyer Creek, Montana. June 24th, 1884.
Ed. Sun: People living near the borders of Indian reservations are much troubled by loss of horses due to the incursions of Indians from distant agencies. From here the Peigans go to the Crow, Assinaboine and Cree reserves for the purpose, almost solely, of stealing horses. If they can get animals belonging to the Indians they take them, perhaps, in preference to those of white men, but if the tribe happens to be on their guard and no chance is had at the Indian herds it is a settled fact the raiders will take horses belonging to white men.
Indians believe in stealing horses honestly if they can, but if they can't get them honestly they take them from the whites. Now if the stealing were confined to Indian herds and the taking of scalps to Indian craniums I know of no one who would object to such display of aboriginal energy and fun.
I take it that the policy of the Indian Department (to be finished.)
July 31, 1884 Sun River Sun. A crowd of the Mission Cree halfbreeds passed through town Tuesday for a visit to Red River. They are Swan's family and relatives, who have not been to that country since the rebellion. They probably think that they can visit their old stamping ground with safety now, since their chief, Louis Riel in there.
April 25, 1885. Sun River Sun.
This morning the Cree Indians who have been camped all winter in the South fork [Sun River] country living off the charity of the people there and what little our legislature voted them last winter, passed through town on their way north. There are 113 of them and a sorry looking lot they were. They were in charge of Scout Roenche of Fort Shaw. [Rising Sun June 8, 1887]
Dupuyer. The assessor found a squatter settlement of northern half-breeds at the head of Dupuyer creek. They have built houses and fenced in land, and to all appearances have come to stay for awhile. They cheerfully gave lists of their property and will doubtless pay taxes without grumbling.1887-07-09 Choteau Calumet.
The Cree Indians who were sent by the military commander of Fort Assinaborne last winter to prey upon the settlers in the northern part of this county, and for whose support the Territorial legislature appropriated $500, have returned to the Bear Paw mountains and are again employed as woodchoppers. After they have earned their money, and squandered it at Assinnaborne they will doubtless be turned loose to exist through another winter at public expense. It was understood that an order had been issued to send these Indians north of the line, where they belong, but there is evidently no intention of ridding the settlements of the pests, and we can only hope that next fall they will be sent across the Missouri, where their scalps are worth a hundred dollars each to the Judith country cowboys and horseowners. [July 16, 1887 Choteau Calumet.]
Godas, the murderer of Embody, was caught on the Flathead reservation and has been taken to Helena for trial. He is said to be a half-breed Cree. [Sept. 10, 1887 Choteau Calumet.]
A half breed named Montana lives four miles above Burd's place on Dupuyer, lost 27 head of horses last Friday night. The thieves are supposed to be either Crows or Blackfeet Indians. He tracked them northward to near the old Healy road and then abandoned pursuit and is now to get soldiers to assist him in recovering his horses. [Rising Sun Sept. 21, 1887]
Monday a small outfit of Cree halfbreeds passed through town on their way north. Our northern neighbors need not fear - Gabriel Dumont is not with them. [Rising Sun Nov. 2, 1887]
Old Montana who lives on Dupuyer creek, is in town ([Sun River] today on his way to the Crow Agency whence he goes expecting to recover some 20 odd head of ponies that were stolen from him sometime last fall [Rising Sun May 9, 1888]
Broke jail - Half Breed Cree [not copied] [Rising Sun July 18, 1888]
Louis Riel nativity. [Rising Sun Dec. 12, 1888]
Gabriel Dumont, Larra Finley, mentioned. [Rising Sun May 22, 1888]
On Saturday 62 Cree Indians with their camp equipage, passed through town [Sun River] bound for Assinaboine and the Northwest Territory. These are the Indians mentioned some time since as being gathered up by Scout Reonche, preparatory to being escorted out of the country. The appropriation for their support having been exhausted and no orders received regarding their removal they were allowed to pass on toward the British possession without escort. They will probably join another remnant of their band near Assinaboine and then go home. [The Rising Sun, May 15, 1889.]
A general cry is being sent up against the Cree Indians from across the boundary line, who are roaming around through Choteau county without any visible means of support. A small outfit passed through town [Choteau] yesterday presenting a disgusting sight. Their presence this side of the line should not be tolerated by the government as it has a bad effect on the Indians who belong on the reservation, causing the old longing to roam, to return and making them dissatisfied with the restraint put upon them, while the stranger is allowed to do as he pleases. Oust the Crees. [The Montanian May 30, 1890]
Grand Jury Report May Term. 1890.
[Excerpt] Would also like to call the attention of the court to the fact that certain renegade half-breed Indians, called Crees, are in our county, and are a source of continual annoyance to our settlers, and their presence has been for many years a very heavy expense to the county. They are not tax payers although they receive the benefits of our courts. They are a roving community and a source of trouble, wherever they go. The records of the county show a large amount of expenditures on their account with very little satisfaction to the citizens of this county. E.H. Combs, foreman, James M. Arnoux, Clerk. Fort Benton, May 24, 1890. [The Montanian May 30, 1890.]
A lively scene was enacted at the mouth of the Teton canyon about the middle of May, between a Cree Indian and his two women. The row occurred over a distribution of money obtained by the women. Being unarmed, they fought with their fists, or rather their hands, pulling hair and scratching one another until neither had a rag on them. [Montanian, 1890-06-06.]
Wild Boy, chief of the Cree Indians who have been loafing in this vicinity for some time past, has gone to the Flathead Reserve to make some arrangements with the Indians there whereby the Crees may find a home. If satisfactory arrangements can be made, Wild Boy will dispatch a runner with tobacco for his people here who will then pull up stakes and follow after their chief. May he send the tobacco. [Montanian 01-04, 1890-06-06.]
Kin-ne-ke-cote, or Sharp-nose, a Cree Indian, came into our office yesterday and desired to have his request for the government to give him and his people a reservation or permanent place on which to reside the balance of their days, published in this paper. He desires to settle down on this side of the line because the United States affords better opportunities for the civilization of the Red Man than does the Dominion of Canada. He wants to be put on a reservation, and will stay there. [Montanian 01-04, 1890-06-06.]
Locals. Helena Journal. The Montanian Requests the British authorities to look for the band of Cree Indians, who have crossed the border and are now roaming around Choteau County. The request is reasonable, and if not complied with the United States soldiers will chase the strays over the line. Montana has about all the Indians needed for ornamental purposes. [the Montanian June 6, 1890.]
Scout Roench, of Fort Shaw, has been here looking after the Cree Indians who are loafing around this vicinity. He went from here to the head of Dupuyer creek where complaints have come regarding these renegades frightening the settlers families. This may be unintentional on the part of the Indians but it's tough on the white woman and children to be scared out of their wits every time the husband and father leaves home for a few hours. [Montanian 01-06, 1890-06-20.]
Article about trial of three half breeds. MONT01-07, 1890-06-27.A Cry From the North.
(River Press)[Fort Benton newspaper]
---Our Northern neighbors are according to the Macleod Gazette, compelled to swallow a little of the medicine they have forced upon the stockmen of Northern Montana. Indians are killing a large number of calves upon the ranges and the Gazette is demanding that something be done to stop the outrages. Now what can be done?
If the Dominion government fail to provide for its Indians they must starve or help themselves to the products of the range. Hunger has no conscience and a fat calf or steer is as tempting to a starved savage as it is to a famished white man, and he will have it if his powder be dry. There is no longer available game for the red man. The buffalo is a back number; antelope and deer and elk and moose have fled to the mountains or gone the way of all earth. The Indian is left and he carries his stomach with him.
---If the government fail to fill it he will stop its gripings on the first calf or steer he runs against. Now who is to blame; the Indian or the government?
---The government has appropriated his lands and the whites are cultivating fields where once the antelope and deer quietly grazed. The ranges are covered with short horns or Polled Angus where buffalo fed by the millions. The United States government recognized the change in the condition of the red man and has made ample provision for him. He is kept upon reservations where he is clothed and fed and schooled and otherwise cared for at the expense of the nation. What does the Dominion government do for its Indians? The complaints which are being made upon both sides of the international boundary line by stockmen answer the question. The Crees are roaming at will in Northern Montana. They are fat and sleek and oily looking savages but they toil not, neither do they spin. The bleaching bones of stockmen's cattle tell how they live. And it seems from the cry of the Gazette that the veal is as tender and the steak is as juicy to the hungry maw of the lazy vagabonds.
---The River Press joins with the Gazette in demanding that something be done to prevent the Indians from raiding the ranges of the country. And it would suggest as the first move in the right direction that the Dominion government call in its savages from Northern Montana; place them upon a reserve and feed and clothe them until they become self-supporting. Teach them the way they should go and impress upon their savage minds that the 49th parallel of latitude is a dead line which they can cross only at the peril of their lives. It matters not to the people of this country what else they are taught but let this very important lesson be instilled into their thievish hearts. [The Montanian July 18, 1890]
The Crees! Fire!!
Some two weeks since a fire broke out in the mountains on the South Fork of Birch Creek, raging for a week and destroying great quantities of timber. The fire worked south along the eastern foothills as far as the Blackleaf, where it was arrested by the persistent efforts of the settlers. The Clark Brothers took a hand in the fight and by putting their large force of men at work back-firing, etc., the fire was finally extinguished, but not, however, until much timber and feed had been destroyed, besides some ranch property belonging to settlers.
This fire is reported to have been much fiercer and more destructive than those of last summer.
It is believed that these fires were started by the Cree Indians and Half breeds, who have been roaming around this country for some years past, for the purpose of clearing out pole timber. It has been noticed that when mountain fires start that a Cree Indian or Half breed is not far away, and never comes around at the finish. There is certainly a connection between these people and the fires, as well as between them and the timber. The military at Fort Shaw will probably be invoked to evoke these would be refuger from across the boundary and the sooner the better for salt petre - [The Montanian Aug. 8, 1890]
Monday. Last evening a half breed known as Will and who has been working for Mrs. Nat Collins at the Muddy on the Great Falls and Canada railroad, met with a serious accident. While attempting to board a flat car his foot slipped and was caught by a wheel and horribly mangled. The unfortunate man was taken to the house of Mrs. Collins, where the good woman dressed his wounds and made him as comfortable as possible. He will certainly lose his left leg below the knee. [The Montanian Aug. 15, 1890.]
Wednesday. Mrs. Collins was up from the Muddy today. She reports that the half breed injured there Sunday evening died on Monday evening. At 2 p.m. a morphine powder was administered to alleviate pain and on going to his room at 4 o'clock he was dead. It is supposed that death resulted from an overdose of that drug taken by his own hands. [The Montanian Aug. 15, 1890]
The fact that the Canadian government has not only granted amnesty to the halfbreed rebels but gives them land scrip to the amount of $240 should be sufficient inducement for those who now infest western Choteau County to return home and stay there. [The Montanian Aug. 29, 1890]Locals. Since the removal of our deputy sheriff by the county commissioners, an act entirely unwarranted, things have been growing a little worser and worser in that drunken half-breeds are getting a little too numerous about town. For a half-breed to get intoxicated there must be an infraction of the law somewhere, either on the part of the half-breed or someone else. And then it is not so much that these men howl about town, but they go out into the country whooping and yelling and frightening women and children. Allowing these half-tamed savages whisky should not be tolerated because they will sooner or later kill some one during their drunken sprees and then --. [The Montanian Oct. 30, 1890 S.M. Corson editor]
Last Saturday evening Francis Pambrun was practicing the grand pistol twirl, when the weapon was discharged, the ball striking Eli Guardipee in the leg, below the knee. Dr Wamsley was summoned and on examination found that the ball had struck the shin bone, ranging around the inside and through the calf to within three inches of where it entered, where it came out and sped on its way. No bones were broken. [Montanian Dec. 26, 1890] On Wednesday morning another of Francis Pambrum's children died, and was buried yesterday. This is the second child this family has lost within the past fortnight from spinal meningitis. [Montanian March 20, 1891]
There are more fence poles and posts brought into Choteau every week than any other town in the state. Cree half breeds are a terror among timber, and when it is plentiful and the demand good they do not suffer for even some of the luxuries of this life. Montanian April 24, 1891
Last Sunday evening as Sheriff Hamilton was attentively listening to the words of Rev. Reed at the school house where religious services were being held, he was interrupted by a call for assistance and the complaint that Frank Fiddler and several other half-breeds were raising Cain in and around a cabin in the vicinity of Mrs. Nat Collins' residence. Hastening to the scene with a deputy, the sheriff collared one of the disturbers but the others ran away and failed to halt, even when fired upon. The sheriff, however, recognized two of the culprits, and on Monday morning lodged them in jail. Fiddler, turned states evidence and was let off by Judge Dunlap, but who fined the others $5 each and costs. A few days after one of these fellows slapped Fiddler in the face for his pains. He was arrested and the judge found him $10 and costs. Being unable to ante up he was returned to the county jail, but in the morning he was given a new trial before a jury and let go and the costs put onto Fiddler. [the Montanian March 24, 1893.]
A marriage license has been granted to Frank Fellers and Harriett Gray. [Montanian 6-30-1893.]
A few days ago Clerk of the Court Cockrill, at Great Falls issued first papers to three Cree Indians, who desired to become citizens of the United States. This was on the authority of United States District Attorney Weed who said that Canadian Indians could become citizens. When Mr. Weed however, learned of the kind of applicants that were presenting themselves he instructed the clerk to refuse to issue papers advising that if the Indians insisted upon having them that they institute proceeding in the proper court for a mandamus. It is safe to say that no more Cree Indians will receive their papers. [The Montanian July 28, 1893.]
How They Get In. From information received from points along the Canadian border it appears that the customs officials have reason to believe the Chinese have adopted a new method of getting into this country. It is no more or less than the dressing up of the celestials as Crees and running them in. At first the idea seems fishy, but it is vouched for by those who claim to know.-River Press.
We are inclined to believe there is some truth in the above item, particularly since our local Washee man has taken to himself or his wash house, a certain Cree woman, and is making himself thoroughly acquainted with those people. Besides this, every once in a while we have noticed strange faces around and about Lee Waugh's joint. We are also inclined to the belief that a scheme for smuggling opium into this country is being carried out by this combination of Chinese and Cree. It might not be amiss to watch them a little more closely and see. [Sept. 8, 1893 Montanian.]
Pursuant to an order of the county commissioners, Coroner Drake, accompanied by Gus Momberg as guide, left town on Saturday morning for the Cree camp on the head of Dupuyer creek, where, it was reported, there were several cases of small pox, or rather, that the Indian woman, who was reported to have that dread disease on the reservation had caught it there. The doctor returned Monday afternoon, having visited the camp and people in that neighborhood without finding the least sign of small pox, but on the contrary he says he never saw a healthier set of people. There was not one even ailing. So ends the small pox scare in Teton county. [Montanian Jan. 5, 1894]
Wednesday. The Choteau Cornet band has been invited to play for the Cree sun dance at the Great Falls fair grounds next month.
--The Cree Indians have exhausted the buffalo horn business as a source of revenue, and are now working the sun dance racket for all it is worth. One of these entertainments will take place near Havre, about June 20th, and contributions are being solicited in advance. Tickets can be secured for one pound of sugar, a bar check, or a small donation in cash. If the purse is made big enough, a number of Indians from across the line are anxious to take part in the festivities.-River Press. [May 18, 1894. Montanian.]
Rickards and the Crees. Governor Rickards issued the following proclamation prohibiting the Cree sun dance which was to have come off at Great Falls next week:
The executive office is in receipt of reliable information to the effect that a wandering band of Creek Indians have arranged to give what is known as the sun dance in the county of Cascade, Montana. Investigation into the character of this festival convinces me that it is not only inhuman and brutalizing, unnatural and indecent and therefore abhorrent to Christian civilization, but that its aims and purposes are a menace to the peace and welfare of communities in as much as it is the initiative ceremony that inducts the Indian into the ranks of recognized warriors. My information respecting the sun dance, gleaned from official reports concerning it, as well as the testimony of prominent gentlemen who have witnessed it, lead me to regard the proposed exhibition as wholly inconsistent with Christian civilization and to respect the petitions presented to me praying for its suppression. On account of the revolting ceremonials of the dance and its tendency to stimulate and inspire a warlike spirit in the hearts of the red men, the federal government has strictly prohibited the festival upon the various reservation occupied by its wards. The Cree Indians however are not the wards of the federal government being refugees from Canada therefore do not come within the restrictions imposed by the authorities on reservations. Whatever steps are taken to prevent the Crees from repeating the sun dance in the near future must, under the circumstances, be by direction of the authorities of the state of Montana, and to this end law and precedent can be invoked. Enough is known of this festival as given by the Crees in times past, to warrant prompt and effective measures for its suppression. Therefore I, John E. Rickards, by virtue of authority vested in men, as governor of the state of Montana, do hereby prohibit within the limits of this state the festival known as the sun dance, and the local authorities of the several counties are directed to take such steps as may be necessary in their respective communities to enforce this inhibition. [June 8, 1894 Montanian.]
Governor Rickards has set his seal against the Cree sun dance. You can dance by the electric light or the light of the moon, but the sun dance don't go.-Fergus County Argus.
--The Cree sun dance and the races at Great Falls, have both been declared off. The result of the whole matter may be that the Crees will be deported, put on a reservation, or gotten rid of in some such way. [June 15, 1894 Montanian.]
(1894) The Cree sun dance and the races at Great Falls have both been declared off. The result of the whole matter may be that the Crees will be deported, put on a reservation or gotten rid of in some way. [The Choteau Montanan 6-19-1914 (20 years ago column)]
That Sun Dance. The governor shut off the Cree sun dance at Great Falls because it was barbarous and immoral, you while he stopped the dance at the Falls, the Crees were planning to have their dance at another point, and they had it. It was at Havre.
Certain parties at the Falls were indignant at the governor and at those who were instrumental in procuring his proclamation against their scheme, claiming that there were no such barbarous practices as alleged connected with the affair.
At the Havre dance there were several newspaper correspondents who sent out reports as to what the Crees did at the dance. Some say it was not; yet in enumerating their different performances they told of the dancers cutting deep gashes in their flesh and inserting ropes in the cuts, the same as generally characterize the sun dance of the Indians of the plains.
Probably the greatest attempt to put the governor and the people who opposed the Cree sun dance in a wrong light was that of Z.T. Cason, of the New York Recorder.
Mr. Cason says he saw all that was to be seen and to the best of his knowledge there were none of those barbarous features which an associated dispatch from Havre accredited to the dance. They he goes on to describe the main feature of the dance in the following language:
The Sun pole was merely the center pole of a big tepee. It was a fresh cotton wood tree which the Indians had cut along the banks of the Milk River. At the base of the pole the space was divided into several compartments by hanging skins and blankets to the height of an average sized man's breast. In these compartments the braves danced and chanted almost continuously for three days. A part of one side of the Sun tepee was cut away about five feet from the ground to afford a view of the proceedings to outsiders. The only approach to cruelty was given when five of the dancers fastened to their breasts as many ropes hanging from near the top of the sun pole. These were fastened to the dancers in an ingenious and apparently harmless manner by making an incision just above the right nipple and winding the lower end of the rope about the two ends of a little piece of wood which was stuck through an opening in the flesh. As said before only five of the young bucks were tied to the sun pole in that manner, the rest of them dancing without such attachments. One of the five went a little farther and had an extra rope tied to him in the same manner just above the right should blade. With the ropes thus tied they danced and howled for hours at a time doing penance to the sun by such acts of alleged bravery which were more disgusting than any thing else. Only one of the many braves had a buffalo skull fastened to the fleshy part of his back, as reported in the dispatches, but his actions were not encourage by the rest. [June 29, 1894 Montanian.]
The Cree sun dance may not be considered barbarous by such men as J.P. Dyas et al, Z.T. Casen included, but according to other people's ideas of barbarity and Mr. Cason's description of the dance around the sun pole, it is the facts and what the Crees claim are at variance. [June 29, 1894 Montanian.]
In the house Hedges of Fergus, introduced a memorial praying that the general government remove the Creek Indians or give them support in some way consistent with the peace, safety and rights of our own people. [Jan. 25, 1895. Montanian.]
The ranchers living near the mountains are complaining because the game laws are not being properly enforced. The Cree Indians who live along Birch creek are slaughtering large numbers of deer. The Indians, so we are informed, are not killing them because of a scarcity of food, but for the heads and hides alone, leaving the carcasses to be devoured by wild animals. This is all wrong and should be stopped by the authorities.-Dupuyer Acantha. [Great Falls weekly tribune, Feb. 1, 1895.]
John Larance had a leg broken yesterday while today, up near the mountains, by his horse falling. [Montanian March 29, 1895]
Joe Boucher, better known as "John Chinaman" a demented half breed Chinaman and Cree Indian died at Dupuyer this week. [Montanian 5-17-1895]
Last Saturday a Cree Indian by the name of Whilestone was given 30 days for trying to steal a horse from Myron Burd. [he Montanian 7-12-1895.]
(1895) Last Saturday a Cree Indian was given 30 days for trying to steal a horse from Myron Burd. [20 years ago column, July 16, 1915]
Joe Howard died. check. Dec. 20, 1895. Montanian
RICHARDS, or GOLDCHAMPS, Oliver, "Oliver Twist", 18 miles from Fort Benton, Henault ranch on the Teton, June, MONT06-07, 1895-06-21 and MONT06-10, 1895-07-12, MONT06-36, 1896-01-10.
Governor Rickards goes to Washington to interest the general government in the Cree Indian depredations in Montana. [Jan. 3, 1896. Montanian.]
CADOTTE, Joseph, 26, Fort Benton, 1895-12-27, MONT06-36, 1896-01-10.
Cadotte's Last Statement
Story of his life and how he came to be bad.
Joseph Cadotte, the young half-greed who killed Oliver Richards last June at the Henault ranch on the Teton and who was hung for he crime at Fort Benton on Dec. 27,  made a written statement the night before he was hung.
Cadotte was born in Choteau country some 26 years ago.
His father was a Red River half-breed and his mother a Piegan woman. Both died when Cadotte was quite young and for 15 years the youngster lived with the Indians. Later, he came amongst the whites, went to school and learned to read and then drifted out for himself, forgetting the good things and retaining the bad until too late.
Following is his statement written by himself and in his half Indian style. It is dated at Fort Benton, in the Choteau county jail, Dec. 21, 1895:
It is only a few days between me and the grave. I sincerely hope public will have deep sympathy toward me and my poor victim. I humbly beg all who may have a chance to read this statement, I asked the public to believe me, I am telling an honest truth. I have mo doubt there is considerable man have prejudice against me. I do not blame nobody for having hard feelings towards me. Every one knows my crime which I am about to pay my life is beyond pardon. Bit I did not committed my crime over a girl. I was not jealous of Oliver Richards. The reason we got into trouble he want to take everything I had away from me. I was doing my best to prevent him from carrying out his intentions, which I fail at every point. Of course it made me to get angry at him. I warn him before all his own folks. Here is what I said, Oliver if you compel me to fight you, remember you shall never get best of me.
We had two separate quarrels first one I made him put up his knife away, which he was intend to use on me, at point of my rifle. Second one put climax to our fate.
Now I hope the public will believe me and not to blame poor 'Miss Mary Henault.' I swear to god she is not cause of it. She had nothing to do with the trouble in any shape or form that I know. 'Oliver Richards' and myself are to blame for everything and no one on the outside is to blame.
Now I have you all the cause of our trouble. I hope the public will believe me. This is not the first time I got into trouble of this kind. I know when everybody hears of my past life they will have a sympathy towards me. I have lead rough life in my time on this world. My father and mother both died when I was young. I did not remember of ever seen them. I was with the Indians in my early childhood. There I was teach by those savages to be brave and fear nothing. And when I come among the whites everything I had learn ever since I could remember it was all reversed. I went to school in Benton and other places.
When a little fellow I leave my people and started out into the broad world all alone, no one to guide me. Every temptation was in my way, but I never see nothing. I though I was happy.
I was on the roundup and many other places. I was among the roughest class of white men, and had follow there many wicked ways. No one to tell me I was doing wrong. I never was any place where I could learn anything good. I would get into trouble very often fighting with some one and get punish for it every time, and when I began to see the ways of the world it was too late. I have gone too far to improve. I have never forgot the lessons I received from the red mans when a child, and take it on general principal I was not afraid of anything. I would dare anything others are afraid of, but never thought time would come I would have to face a doom which require every nerve I was trained from a child. But my main support is Rev. Father Follette, to help me to bear my misfortune.
Now I ask the public to study my past life, and to forgive me, and I advice my friends not to follow my example, and I bid them all farewell. I deserve my fate. I feel as if I was paying a great and burdensome debt. I am relieved. I shall die a good Christian. respectfully Yours, Joseph Cadotte. [Montanian Jan. 10, 1896.]
Word was sent down to Jim Lee yesterday to the effect that his wife had died at the home of her parents near the Teton canyon and that his presence was required. He left for there this morning in a much more pleasant mood than ordinarily to be expected under the circumstances. He remarked while the coffin was being loaded in the wagon that he was glad his wife was dead and that when he got her nailed up in that box, she could not run away from him again. Jim Lee is an example of the true character of a Chinaman. He is without emotion, calloused to all the more tender feelings that belong to a civilized people and without all those qualities that make good society. He has often expressed a wish that his wife could die in order that he might marry some other woman and this regrettable circumstance leaves him to carry out his intentions. His wife was a Cree Indian about 14 years old. [Montanian April 10, 1896.]
Crees to be deported. Canadian Authorities agree to look after their Indians. Helena, Mont. April 11 1895. Finally Canada has taken official action in regard to Cree Indian matters and the present outlook is that all Crees in the United States will be deported within the next four weeks. Governor Rickards has received a letter from A.T. Traiget, commissioner of Indian affairs for the Northwest Territories of the Dominion of Canada, to the effect that the same be delivered to him not later than May 1. As a matter of international affairs, Governor Rickards sent Traigets communication to Secretary Olney, with the request that he accept the Canadian governments proposition.
This Indian matter has been under consideration since 1885, when Mr. Blaine was secretary of state. He made special efforts to have the Indians deported. The Cree Indians are charges of Canada, having no reservation of their own. They roam over the country dirty and shiftless and have spread smallpox all over Montana several times. The northwest contains thousands of them. [Montanian 4-17-1896.]
Our Friends, The Crees.
Washington, April 29, 1896. - The committee on foreign relations today took favorable action on Senator Carters amendment to the general deficiency bill, providing for the removal of the Cree Indians from Montana. This amendment provides the Indians shall be collected and taken to the Canadian border by the United States army and there delivered to the Canadian authorities. Secretary Olney has urged immediate removal of the Indians, saying the Canadian authorities have agreed twice to accept the refugees and that the proffer might not be made a third time. [Montanian 5-1-1896]
Gov. Rickards could round up a herd of Crees in Choteau without much exertion. A tribe of them are making their headquarters here and working the polished horn business on the people. [Montanian 5-1-1896]
Adolph Fellers and sons were in town yesterday with 49 wolf hides all small but one, which they had dug out of dens in the last two weeks. Eighteen young wolves were taken from one den and one on the way to town, five coyotes were taken out and killed.[Montanian 5-8-1896]
The Crees must go. Washington D.C.May 9, 1896. The bill appropriating 5,000 dollars to be immediately available for the purpose of removing and delivering the Cree Indians in Montana to the Canadian authorities at the boundary line and authorizing the president to order the use of the government troops in their removal passed the senate, also passed the house. This bill was introduced and passed through Congress in less than 24 hours. [Montanian 5-15-1896]
Board of Health. Clean the streets, alleys, yards and prevent an epidemic. Not 10 days ago a cow was permitted to die within 75 feet of the Main street of Choteau. That cow was permitted to stay here. She couldnt help herself in either case. Some renegade Cree Indians removed the choicest portions of the carcass. The other portions are there yet. Who is going to remove it? The board of health if we had one. [Montanian 5-15-1896]
Now they must go. Washington, May 13. The president today approved the act making provision for the deportation of the Canadian Cree Indians from Montana and then delivery to the Canadian authorities. [Montanian 5-15-1896]
They are willing. Missoula May 16. The Cree Indians in this part of the state are now nearly all on the march for the Canadian frontier. They will make no attempt to resist the orders that have been issued for their removal from the state. There will probably be a few who will try to conceal their identity and remain here, but the majority of them will state at once if they are not already on the way to her majestys domain. There has been one large band of them here this spring and this little tribe is getting its possessions together and will start at once. [Montanian 5-22-1896]
Almighty Voice, the Cree renegade, who has been wanted since last November for the murder of a Canadian policeman is reported to have been captured near Shelby Junction. There is a reward of $500 for him dead or alive, offered by the Canadian government. [Montanian June 5, 1896.
]It is said a band of Cree Indians under the leadership of Buffalo Coat, are camped near Great Falls, will make armed resistance before they will be deported to Canada. The leader was a principal in the Riel rebellion and is a desperate man. [Montanian 6-5-1896]
Two troops of cavalry have been ordered from Ft. Custer to round up the Cree Indians so that they may be deported to Canada in accordance with recent federal legislation. The Crees say they will not go unless Canada proclaims amnesty for their participation in the rebellion. They fear the death sentence if returned to Canada and prefer the alternative of fleeing to the mountains and becoming "bad Indians." [The Montanian 6-5-1896]
Word was brought to town this afternoon by a Cree half breed that one of Flowerree's cowboys was drowned in the Marias river a day or two ago. No particulars could be learned. [Montanian June 12, 1896.]
The military are busy deporting the Crees these days that is some of them. For a week prior to the advent of the soldiers, not a day passed but a family or two of Crees passed through Choteau on their way to the mountains where we suppose they feel secure. [Montanian 6-26-1896]
Little Bear and Lucky Man, two Cree chiefs sent from Great Falls north to Alberta were arrested as soon as they arrived at Lethbridge for murder committed during the rebellion and sent at once to Regina. [Montanian 7-3-1896]
Lieut. Pishing [(sic) Pershing] in command of Company D 10th Cavalry escorting several hundreds of Cress Indians are just passing through town on their way to Canada as we go to press. They intend to camp at the old agency this evening. [Montanian 7-31-1896]
Little Bear and Lucky Man who were arrested here for murder at Frog Lake in 1885, have been discharged from custody at Regina. It was found to be impossible to get sufficient evidence to proceed with the cases after the lapse of 11 years and has therefore been abandoned. Lethbridge News. [Montanian 8-7-1896]
About 250 Cree Indians, under the convoy of Company D., 10 U.S. Cavalry, arrived in town last Saturday, on their way to Coutts to be delivered to the Canadian authorities. They camped on the Power place and remained over Sunday. [20 years ago column. Aug. 11, 1916. Choteau Montanan.]
Another batch of Crees from the States were turned over to the Canadian authorities at the boundary on Friday last. Supt. Deane went down to receive them. They were inspected by Dr. F.H. Mewburn, and measles being found to be prevalent amongst them they were put in quarantine on the Milk River, where they will be kept until the disorder has disappeared before being allowed to proceed to their destination. - Lethbridge News. [the Montanian 8-21-1896]
On Tuesday Clerk of the Court McDonald issued a license permitting Jos. Carr and Maria St. George to wed. Later in the evening the happy couple repaired to Justice Coopers residence up the Teton, where his honor tied the nuptial knot, the first he has had to perform since his induction into office. [the Montanian 8-21-1896]
A number of Cree Indians have passed through town during the past week. Quite a large camp was seen on the Muddy a few days since. [Transcribed from the Montanian 8-28-1896]
The Canadian authorities at Regina have made a report stating that they have all the Crees recently imported from this side safe on their new reservations. This is strange for near the town of Havre is a camp of 75 Crees. Near Fort Assinniboine a camp of about 20 is reported. Several are in Great Falls and one fellow there says he came from the reservation on which he was placed and that at the time he left about 75 or 100 left for Montana. Where they have located he does not know but says that before winter sets in a greater portion of those sent to the northern reservation will be back in Montana. A small camp is reported not far from Shelby Junction and in all it is estimated that upwards of 200 have returned from their Canadian home. [The Acantha, Daily Edition, Oct. 14, 1896]
Andrew, Trotter, the inhuman Cree half-breed rapist, and his wife, who assisted him in his foul crime upon a little half-breed girl at Havre last January, were tried at Fort Benton last week, before Judge DuBose. Andres got 30 years in the penitentiary and his wife six. [March 12, 1897 Montanian.]
It is reported that collecting buffalo bones off the prairie for shipment east, is now a prominent business near the Sweet Grass Hills. On Half Breed coulee there is a pile of bones 175 feet long, 50 feet wide and eight feet high, ready for transportation.-River Press. [Montanian Aug. 27, 1897]
Piegan items. There is a report going around that the Cree halfbreeds and whites who have no rights on the reservation will be ordered off toward spring. [Montanian Feb. 11, 1898.]
Married at the parsonage Tuesday evening August 1, 1899, Miss Lizzie Kipline to Daniel Balcour both of Teton Canyon the Rev. George Logan officiating. [The Montanian 8-4-1899]
The Cree Indians are making their annual trip north for annuities the Canadian government gives them. June 19th is the date for making the payments and the Montana Crees are always sure to be on time. [The Montanian 6-15-1900]
A half breed by the name of Belcore was arrested Sunday afternoon on the charge of being drunk and disorderly. Monday he was taken before Justice DeHaas who sent him up for 30 days. [The Montanian 7-13-1900]
A rumor comes in from the mountains that game in that district has not been protected and that deer and mountain sheep are being slaughtered without any regard to the law. [The Montanian 10-26-1900.]
Word has been received here this morning announcing the death of Mrs. Larance, wife of Basil Larance, which occurred yesterday near the Teton Canyon. [Teton Chronicle April 19, 1901 page 2.]
It is reported that the government will very shortly round up the Cree Indians and again return them to the Canadian government. It is to be hoped this will be done and that they will not beat the soldiers back this time. [April 26, 1901 Teton Chronicle.]
Major Monteath has fired a number of white men as well as breeds from the reservation according to late reports. This has been done it is said under imperative orders from Washington. Just what the trouble is cannot now be ascertained but doubtless the government's policy is deemed necessary for the welfare of the Indians. [Montanian May 10, 1901.]
A number of Canadian Crees who came here a few days ago from across the mountains and took up their abode on the south of town were ordered today, by Sheriff Taylor and his deputies, to hunt up a residence in another portion of the state. [MTCH June 28, 1901.]
We have heard a number of complaints recently that the Cree half-breeds living along the mountains are dynamiting fish in the Teton and other streams in that section. We have a game warden whose duty it is to see that the laws in this regard are enforced, but as near as we are able to learn he has never visited this locality and apparently does not care whether or not the game laws are enforced so long as he is able to draw his salary for doing nothing. [MTCH Aug. 16, 1901.]
District Court Proceedings. Sept. 12. A decree of divorce was granted to Toussant St. Clair from Josephine St. Clair on the grounds of desertion. [MTCH. Sept. 16, 1901.]
Reports are received here that a band of Cree and Piegan Indians are killing elk in the mountains west of here in a wholesale and shameful manner. Vigorous measures should be used on this class of varmits and teach a few of them a lesson that will not soon be forgotten. A step in this way should be taken immediately ere the noble game is exterminated entirely. [MTCH. Oct. 11, 1901.]
To Sue the Government. County Clerk and Recorder Lagoni of Flathead county has sent to Attorney General Donovan claims to the amount of $602.36 sustained in caring for the Cree Indians who were driven off the Flathead reservation while suffering from smallpox, and who, after coming to Kalispell, were quarantined north of the city. The claims are for medical attendance, guards, provision, etc., which were first filed against the county, and which will form the basis for a suit against the national government. The chief bone of contention, apparently, is whether the Cree Indians are wards of the United States government or whether they are renegades from Canada. If the former, the government will undoubtedly stand the cost of taking care of them, but if the latter, the bills incurred by Flathead county will have to be filed against the Canadian government for settlement. It has been generally supposed that the Cree in Montana fled to this state at the suppression of the Riel rebellion in Canada years ago, and that the United States government is not responsible for them. The case will be brought to a test as soon as possible and responsibility for the care of these nomads will be established. [MTCH Oct. 18, 1901.]
John Guardipee of Piegan and Maggie Hagen of Milk River have been granted a license to wed. [MTCH Nov. 1, 1901.]
Miss Florence St. Germaine and James Larance were married last Friday, Rev. Father Snell, officiating. [MTCH. Nov. 15, 1901.]
Marguerite Jordon, a half breed Chippewa Indian, died at her home here in Choteau at 9 oclock Saturday evening [1-6-1902] and was buried in the Choteau cemetery at 2 p.m. Monday. She had been best known for many years in and around Choteau by the name of "Mrs. Chicken," a nickname given her because her husband, Wm. Jordon, was known among the Indians as "The Chicken." Mrs. Jordon was a recent beneficiary of the Canadian law awarding "scrip" to halfbreeds in lieu of lands, and it is presumed that the prosperity that had come to her was largely instrumental in bringing about her death. [The Montanan and Chronicle13-32, 1-12-1902]
Crees Must Move On.
It is probable that the government may soon take action toward departing the Cree Indians from Montana to their home across the Canadian border. A rumor to that effect has been in circulation for the past few days and, according to the story told, the troops at Fort Assinniboine will be used to do the rounding up of the vagrant scavengers. It has been eight years since the Crees were taken over the line before, but as the boundary line is not patrolled they were only a few months drifting back into Montana and have remained ever since. The Crees are the only Indians in the state who are not the wards of the general government and just why they should be allowed to live upon the state has always been a question. It is estimated that there are in the neighborhood of 1,200 Crees in Montana, the majority of them being in this end of the state, and, as they will not work, they must of necessity secure a precarious living in some way not lawful.
The greater portion of the Crees are in the vicinity of Havre, and Little Bear, the chief makes his home in that vicinity. A large camp lies across the river from Great Falls, another camp makes a home upon the garbage dump at Butte. Another occupies the same position on the outskirts of Anaconda, and the remainder are scattered through the state in the vicinity of various garbage barrels.
The Indians are natives of Canada and to that government belongs the duty of taking care of them. The majority of the Indians have 160 acres coming to them over the line, but since the death of Louis Riel and the putting down of the Riel rebellion 20 years ago, the Crees have refused to live in Canadian territory.
Rather than be cared for by the government of their native soil, they take starvation chances among the people of Uncle Sam.
The present removal rumor seems to be founded upon a few facts which are quoted, and it is probably that the Cree people will be gathered up again during the coming summer and taken over to the domains of H.R.H. Edward once more - and the rumor says that the line will be patrolled this time and Little Bear and his people be compelled to remain at home. [Montanian and Chronicle, 5-9-1902.]
A camp of halfbreed wolfers is located near town awaiting the return of one sent over to Choteau with their catch. They are cussing the attorney general for his recent ruling in regard to having to present them in person to the county clerk and have them punched. [Dupuyer Acantha May 29, 1902]
Smallpox on the Reservation.
Great Falls, Oct. 17.-an outbreak of smallpox is reported to have been discovered on the Blackfeet reservation and to have greatly alarmed the residents of Teton county in that vicinity. The disease has assumed a virulent form. It is the kind of smallpox that only the Indians, apparently, know how to acquire. Physicians say they don't pretend to tell exactly why, but that there is a greater percentage of fatalities in these cases than in any others under observation in this climate. They predict that the outbreak will spread. It is sure to unless steps are taken to confine it within limits.
Several days ago there was a dance at Two Medicine, attended by 100 Indians. They danced all night and complained of the disagreeable odor of one of the Indian dancers.
Investigation was set on foot and proved that the man complained of was in the advanced stages of smallpox. The agency physician pronounced it a well developed case. The Indian had previously roamed at large over the reservation in the vicinity of Two Medicine, and many had come in contact with him.
Major Monteath has for some time past been having trouble with the Canadian authorities. He is the agent of the reservation and has been seeking to drive out the bands of Crees that have been forced across the international boundary line by the Canadian authorities. This process will require force, and it is feared that the Indian police who have been sent to accomplish this object may themselves become infected.
There are now at least seven cases on the reservation that are broken out badly, so as to attract general attention. One of the dangerous features of the outbreak is the well known aversion of the Indian to the treatment of the agency physicians. They will conceal their infirmity as long as possible. In the mean time the infection spreads.
The Indians on the reservation are frightened, and it is feared the Crees on the reservation will still further scatter among the settlers onto the border of the reservation in Teton county.
The people here believe some steps ought to be taken before it is too late to prevent the farther spread of the diseases, and that the infected Indians and those who are believed to have been exposed to the dreaded disease should be quarantined without delay...[ the Dupuyer Acantha Oct. 23, 1902]
F. St. Germaine, a Cree breed who lives in the lower part of town, was arrested yesterday afternoon on a warrant sworn out before Justice DeHass by his wife, who charges him with having beat her up the day previous. The examination will be held Saturday morning. In the meantime St. Germaine is in the county jail in default of bail. [Aug. 1, 1902 Montanian and Chronicle]
To Deport the Crees. The following petition, prepared by W.E. French, one of the county commissioners of Choteau county, and addressed to the secretary of the interior, is now being circulated extensively in northern Montana.
We, the undersigned citizens of the state of Montana, do hereby petition your department that some action be taken toward the removing of the Cree Indians from this state. The county authorities in Choteau county have quarantined 151 for smallpox and are at present under an expense of $50 per day. These Indians, it is understood, were deported from Canada, and being constantly driven from that side over into the United States, they have been a menace to this state for several years and the property and health of our citizens are jeopardized. The Crees were taken back to Canada by the United States troops a few years ago, by immediately returned, and we can find no way of getting rid of them without assistance from your department. Sufficient evidence has been collected to convince us that the Canadian authorities have forced these Indians back into the United States continually ever since that time. [Nov. 14, 1902. Montanian and Chronicle.]
Deputy game warden Boucher was in town a few days the first of the week for the purpose of looking into some alleged violations of the law in the Teton canyon country. After careful investigation it was found that it would be practically impossible to secure sufficient evidence to convict the suspects consequently no arrests were made at this time. [Montanian and Chronicle 13-32, 12-12-1902.]
Smallpox Near Midvale. The authorities of the Blackfeet reservation this week notified the county commissioners that there are a number of Cree Indians camped about eight miles above the Two Medicine bridge on the Great Northern railway, and about four miles off the reservation, who are entirely destitute and infected with smallpox. Commissioners M. Connelly left here Tuesday morning to make an investigation and if he finds conditions to be as stated will quarantine the camp and provide them with the necessaries of life and with proper nurses and medical attention. [Dec. 12, 1902. Montanian and Chronicle.]
It may be quite possible that smallpox has stalked through this county and about town during the past week, a number of Cree Indians have been in town and rummaging through the country all to no good purpose. the Montanian and Chronicle 12-19-1902]
County Physician T. Brooks reports four cases of smallpox among the Cree breeds in the northwest part of town, and also four cases among the breeds at the mouth of the Teton canyon. Both places have been quarantined and guards stations to see that the quarantine regulations are not violated. Every precaution possible will be taken to keep the disease from spreading, [Jan. 2, 1903. Montanian and Chronicle.]
Mr. Carl B. is now up the canyon, wearing moccasins and administering to the folks. The writer interviewed Can-Stand-Almost-Any-Thing-Without-Complaining, and he reports they are doing very nicely as far as smallpox is concerned, but he can not see what the peaceful and law-abiding citizens of the canyon have ever done to Choteau that they should send Carl up there, not only clothed with the power and full instructions how to enter the sacred precincts of their society, but how to act when there. Can Stand Almost Any Thing Without Complaining interviewed the governor, but as Carl was appointed by the big pale face chief who presides over the little pale faces of Choteau, the governor finds no law by which he can remove a superior officer. [Montanian and Chronicle13-37, 1-16-1903]
Shelby News. Teton county seems to have a touch of smallpox. Dr. Brooks went to Lubec to investigate and on the following day a large consignment of provisions was on the railroad platform consigned to that place. It is hoped that Teton county will not be put to the expense incurred by Choteau county to stamping out the disease amongst the Indians, as the only persons at Lubec are a camp of Cree Indians. [Dup Acan 1/22/1903]
A half breed by the name of Gabriel Belgard accidentally shot himself in the leg with a 22 rifle the first part of the week. He was not seriously injured. [ Choteau Montanian 11-13-1903.]
Frank Hamlin, a Cree half-breed, was given a preliminary examination in Justice DeHaas's court this morning on a charge of grand larceny and was bound over to the district court. Bail was fixed at $500 which he was of course unable to furnish and is now confined in the county jail. Monday evening Hamlin stole a watch from John Morrissey and this is the charge upon which he was tried this morning, but he is a pretty tough young citizen and there are other charges against him that may be brought up at any time. [Choteau Acantha part 1, May 26, 1904]
Mitchael Gray, an old time half breed, was found dead in the canyon on the north fork of the Teton the first of the week. No inquest was held to determine the cause of death. He has been a resident of this section for about 20 years. [July 22, 1904. Choteau Montanian.]
A couple of Cree half breed boys were arrested about three o'clock Tuesday morning by Sheriff McKenzie and Jailer Davis for creating a disturbance in the north part of town. After spending the balance of the night in jail they were taken before Justice DeHaas who ordered their release upon their promise to properly behave themselves in the future. [Choteau Acantha April 6, 1905]
[9/7/1905 Choteau Acantha] On complaint of Isadore Ameline a warrant was issued last week by Justice DeHaas for the arrest of Ed Collins, on a charge of grand larceny. Collins was placed under arrest by Deputy Sheriff H.C. Kunkel, of Dupuyer last Thursday and brought to Choteau where he entered a plea of not guilty. His preliminary examination was set for tomorrow (Friday) by the justice, and James Sulgrove was appointed to defend him. Collins is a Cree half-breed and is accused of stealing another half-breed's horse, and, as they all stand together when one gets into trouble, it is doubtful if a conviction can be secured in this case, although there seems to be no doubt of the prisoner's guilt.
The Cree Indians Will Leave Montana
The Crees will go. Little Bear, their chief has spoken, and he declares that before another moon shall have passed, he and his followers will be en route to their native land, there to abide forevermore.
The chief is in receipt of a letter from the Canadian Commissioner of Indian affairs, at Ottawa, inviting him and his people to return to Canada, with all their belongings, which will be admitted duty free. The commissioner promises that none of the Crees shall be punished for any violations of the laws they may have committed, and that they will be allotted lands within the boundaries of the Onion Lake reservation. The only condition is that all able bodied bucks shall engage in some work, preferably farming, and with the prospects of a hard winter and poor range confronting them, Little Bear and his people have agreed to this condition.
Little Bear hopes that the exodus may be begun by the last of this month. He is sending letters to his people all over Montana, calling them to meet him at Havre, telling them of the agreement he has made and insisting that they must abide by it. He anticipates that some of his tribe will not be favorably impressed with the arrangement, but he declares that he can maintain discipline and that he will take with him to Canada all of his people who receive his communication.
He estimates the number of his followers in Montana at about 300. They are scattered all over northern Montana, largely in Fergus and Cho[u]teau counties. Many are on the Crow reservation and others on the Flathead reservation, and not a few are at present in the vicinity of Great Falls, en route to Havre, in obedience to the mandate of their chief. There are many half-breed Crees over the state, some of whom do not admit allegiance to Little Bear. A few of them have established homes and are able to live in comfort, but even a few of them have the longing for their native land and back across the line will they go.
Little Bear has surrendered. His heart is broken. Ever since the Riel rebellion, when the Crees fled from the Northwest territories of Canada, fearing that the government would inflict upon them the death penalty that was visited upon Riel, Chief Little Bear has bitterly hated the government of Canada and has strenuously resisted every effort made to secure his return to that country. A few years ago, the soldiers at Fort Assinniboine rounded up Little Bear and all of his people in northern Montana and herded them at Great Falls, under orders to return them to Canada. They bitterly resisted the movement, but the courts ruled against them, and they were deported.
So intense was their feeling at that time that a squaw committed suicide, while under guard here, throwing herself under an engine, rather than go back to Canada. A few days after they had been landed in Canada, they began returning to Montana, and the Canadians could not hold them. Of late years they have been as numerous here as before the deportation, and more bitter than every before has been Little Bear in his attitude toward the Canadian government. Little Bear is son of Big Bear, who was an idolized chief of the Crees and he has been as popular and as powerful as was his father. His hatred of Canada has been shared by all his people. But the last two or thee yeas have been hard ones for the Indians. They have nearly starved at many times. There is no game for them, and they have been prohibited from carrying arms when near a town. The drought has been bad for them. Many of their horses have died, and the outlook is very bad for them. Little Bear has succumbed, not to man, but to nature, and in a few weeks he and his followers will be across the line, probably never again to molest the people of Montana. Arms and diplomacy could not conquer them, but drought and barbed wire have done the work. [Choteau Acantha 10-5-1905.]
Crees Surrender. Chief Little Bear and His 300 Renegades Give Up.
After twenty years of defiance of the Canadian government Chief Little Bear and his band of 300 renegade Crees, appalled at the number of deaths among their children and horses and inability to secure food as the result of the drouths prevailing in Northern Montana, have surrendered.
Chief Little Bear and his band fled to Montana at the close of the Riel rebellion. Neither arms nor diplomacy could conquer them, but they succumbed to drouth, and before the end of this month practically all of the tribe in Montana will be en route to Onion lake, Canada, their native land, there to remain under orders of the commissioner of Indian affairs at Ottawa.
Many of the tribe are now in Great Falls en route to Havre, where the tribe will assemble prior to beginning the march to Canada.
The Crees were deported to Canada several years ago by United States troops, but Canada could not hold them and in a few weeks they returned in Montana and have since been homeless wanderers. [Transcribed from the Choteau Acantha 10-19-1905.]The visit to Choteau last week of Otto Schoenfeld, the secretary of the bureau for child and animal protection of the state of Montana, resulted in the arrest of Thos. Williams on a charge of living in open and notorious adultery with Mrs. Crouch, better known in town as the lame chicken. Mrs. Crouch is a Cree half-breed and has lived in Choteau for a number of years. She has been the mother of several children, all of them having died but one, and has signed a statement to the effect that Williams is the father of her unborn babe. Williams' trial will be held before Justice DeHaas tomorrow (Friday.) [Choteau Acantha Jan. 4, 1906]
The trial of Thos. Williams who was arrested a couple of weeks ago on a charge of living in open and notorious adultery with Mrs. Crouch, was held before a jury in Justice DeHaas' court last Friday afternoon and resulted in a verdict of guilty. The judge at once imposed a fine of $100 on the prisoner, and, as he is without funds, it means 50 days in the county jail for him. [Choteau Acantha Jan. 11, 1906]
[1/18/1906 Choteau Acantha.] C.M. Simpson and R.C. Macdonald, two attorneys from Winnepeg, are here for the purpose of purchasing land script issued by the Canadian government to the Crees. There are several Cree halfbreeds in this vicinity who are entitled to this script.
Frank Amlin, A Cree half-breed, was arrested the first of the week by Sheriff McKenzie on a warrant sworn out before Judge DeHaas, charging Amlin with the crime of burglary. It is alleged that Amlin stole a watch several months ago from a son of J.W. Shields. He will be given an examination before the justice next Saturday. [Choteau Acantha March 29, 1906]
A marriage license was issued last week by the clerk of the district court, to Adolph Larance and Marguerite A. Bruno, both of Dupuyer. [Choteau Acantha Sept. 27, 1906.]
Thomas Gray, of Saypo, and Miss Marie Salois, of Dupuyer creek, were united in marriage by Justice of the Peace J. E. DeHaas on Saturday, [Jan. 26, 1907. Choteau Acantha]
According to an opinion recently made by the Department of Immigration at Washington D.C. it is impossible under the law for Canadian half-breeds to become citizens of the U.S. by naturalization. The opinion was made at the request of the clerk of the district court of Fergus Co. who made inquiry regarding the right of Canadian halfbreeds to become naturalized and was informed that section 2161 of the revised statutes of the U.S. provides that citizenship should only be conferred upon free white persons, Africans or persons of African descent. [the Choteau Acantha 4-4-1907.]
To the Genoa Indian school P.A. Walter who was here last week in the interest of the Genoa Indian School in Nebraska secured the following pupils: Angeline, Mary and Lorman Bruno, Basil Laurenz, Eva St. Germain, and Louise Lawrenz. These children will leave this fall for a term of three years. [ Choteau Acantha 8-1-1907.]
Hart M. Schultz, a half breed, who is serving a jail sentence for disorderly conduct in the north end of the county, has just finished the painting of a picture which is attracting considerable attention and which indicates decided talent. He calls his work The Buffalo Hunt, and it is a scene of Indians pursuing and killing buffaloes. The canvas is about six feet by three feet. E.N. Haugen is framing it. [Acantha, August 22, 1907.]
History Condensed. On the last day of the recent county fair, a little incident occurred which, to one noticing it somewhat closely, furnished material for reflection. The stock parade had been formed and the horses and cattle were being led down Main street when they met the usual Indian outfit of two or three lean pack ponies, a small and badly worn wagon with a tumbledown cover, the whole presided over by an Indian and two squaws, and followed by three or four hungry dogs. Naturally the Indians made way for the parade, but they were not attracted by it, and the squaws were soon busy with the garbage heaps on vacant lots near by. It was a meeting of the old and nearly dead past with the latest of what is modern; it was aboriginal savagery somewhat enlightened and improved coming face to face with conditions of civilization and passing them by with indifference which forbade even momentary curiosity. The horses and cattle in the parade, of the most highly improved breeds as they were, made the Indian's cayuses look all the more wretched. The blanketed squaws presented almost a forbidding contrast with their fashionably dressed white sisters on the street. The incident called sharply to mind the apparently utter unconcern which progress in its march has for individuals and for races. It seems to be eternally ordered that the less fit must cease, must perish. There is also a sad side to the consideration. All of the decay of the old Indian domination and picturesqueness, the shameful greed and injustice too often exercised against a people who were once supreme, their rapidly approaching extinction, - all of this appeared if one really noticed what the passing little occurrence symbolized. It was a graphic presentation of a long epoch in the history of our national development. Editor, A.B. Guthrie, proprietor. [Choteau Acantha Oct. 3, 1907.]
Man drowned at Pine Ridge. Information reached town Tuesday [June 9, 1908] that the body of Joe Gray, a half breed who lived near the mouth of the Teton canyon, had been found Monday evening in the river somewhere about Pine Ridge. Particulars have not been obtained, but it supposed that the man was caught in some way by the high waters. [Reprinted from the Choteau Acantha June 11, 1908]
Little Bear, the Cree chief, and his people have a job which will grub stake them for the winter. They are gathering cones of the lodge pole pine, from which the seeds are extracted by men under the direction of the forest office. About 50 of the Indians are at work in Deer Lodge and Powell counties.[ Choteau Acantha Nov. 19, 1908].
The big buffalo herd on the Flat head Reservation broke out of the enclosure prepared for rounding them up, and consequently will not be shipped to Canada this year. All the work of the round-up has gone for nothing. [Choteau Acantha Nov. 19, 1908].
The county is at last rid of Stanley White Man, the admirer and imitator of Mosney, who gave Under Sheriff Ganong's such as merry run two weeks ago. It will be recalled that Stanley sold his dog a while back when he left the jail to Francis LaFrance and then took the dog away with him. By traveling at night and sleeping during the day he kept the under sheriff going a lively clip. The latter says he would like to match White Man against Longboat or any other Marathon runner, barring none, so long as White Man is permitted to keep a dog with him. Well, the commissioners made an appropriation the other day to secure transportation for Stanley back to his old haunts among the Cheyennes in Oklahoma, and Sheriff McKenzie saw him off with due honor. He had cost the county over $150 and it was considered a good buy to get him out of the country. If he did any good whatever while here it was giving Ed Ganong a calling acquaintance with all the breed camps between the Teton and Birch creek. [Choteau Acantha March 4, 1909.]
[6/10/1909 Choteau Acantha] Chief Little Bear and his band of Cree Indians are camped near Great Falls. They are making attempts to raise money on bounty claims.
A fairly good sized band of Crees, said to be part of Little Bear's tribe, were camped just south of town over Sunday. They moved on north Monday, heading for Browning to celebrate the Fourth of July and take part in the sun dance. [Choteau Acantha July 1, 1909].
Moses Montana, a breed who is seen in town occasionally, drew a prize package in Justice DeHaas's court Saturday, in the shape of 10 days for petit larceny. The particular offense with which Mose was charged was taking two chickens belonging to P.I. Cole, and connected therewith is a story of valor on the part of the owner of said chickens. Very early a few mornings ago Philip I. was aroused from pleasant dreams by Mrs. Cole, who informed him that something was after the chickens. Supposing that a cat had raided the roost, P.I. seized a broom, and clad only in his slumber robe, rushed into the back yard. There to his surprise he saw a man trying to get away with a couple of young fries. Being called on to drop the fowls, the man seemed indisposed to do so, and Philip fell upon him with that broom. He has been playing considerable tennis lately and naturally was able to hand out a smashing swat with the broom. The man dropped the chickens. He also dropped over the back fence, encouraged to greater speed by a parting swipe of the boom, applied to that part of his person last to disappear. Then Phil, recalling his attire, modestly withdrew from the scene of conflict, bearing with him the emblems of democracy. He also has a weakness for chicken, and an attempt to take one of his roosters makes him behave like Philip of Macedon, or, looking at it from Mose's point of view, like King Philip, the Pequod chief. Now that the chickens are safe, Phil is only hoping that none of the neighbors saw him in the early dawn battling without the proper armor on. [Choteau Acantha July 29, 1909].
Browning - Rocky Boy and his band of Chippewa Indians arrived on Sunday and are camped near the agency. There are 118 in the party and about 125 head of cayuse horses. Considerable indignation is felt here. [Choteau Acantha Nov. 18, 1909]
Chippewas on Blackfeet Reservation. Rocky Boy and his band of homeless Indians have at least found a home. They have been taken from Helena, where they managed to exist by gleaning from garbage cans and slaughter houses, to Browning, on the Blackfeet reservation. Allotments of 80 acres each will be made to the braves, and the land will be located near the mountains where wood is available, and where a living is possible by means of hunting and fishing. For the coming winter, rations will be issued to the Chippewas from the government agency, and afterward they must make their own living as other Indians do.
There is a division in Rocky Boy's band, a faction of 15 refusing to acknowledge him as their chief. It was difficult to induce these to go to Browning but they at last yielded to authority.
The Chippewas in early days were the foes of the Blackfeet, and unlike them, were generally friendly to the whites. Henceforth, they will live as neighbors. The charge that the Chippewas are renegade Crees from Canada is strenuously denied by the Indian department. This charge was brought in a petition formed by Valley county residents recently when it was proposed to withdraw from settlement a large tract in that county and give it to Rocky Boy and his followers as a reservation. It is contended, on the contrary, that the Chippewas are in reality proper government charges who have never had justice. [Choteau Acantha Nov. 18, 1909]
The Chippewas are quietly living the life of ease, and never fail to call for their rations. Choteau Acantha [Dec. 2, 1909]
Justice for the Blackfeet. (Special Correspondence) Browning, Montana, Dec. 13, 1909.
The recent action of the Department of the Interior in placing the so-called Chippewas on lands belonging to the Blackfeet tribe brings upon the minds of the people who are acquainted with the conditions, the questions - Why is it that the American people with their natural instincts of fair play cannot give the Indians a square deal?
This question is hard to answer. Surely it is not because of an utter disregard for the rights of these people, but if anyone will study the history of Blackfeet tribe since their treaty with Governor Stevens in 1855, they will see that the race of Little Plume has been treated in the most unfair manner. By this treaty, which was to endure for 99 years, the Blackfeet were given the country east from the Rocky mountains to the Sweet Grass and South to the Missouri for their own.
Governor Meagher in 1864 and Wright and Cullen in 1868 made treaties of their own. Taking advantage of the absence of most of the braves on a hunting trip, Wright and Cullen in 1868 made a treaty at Fort Benton with the old and decrepit men left in camp. By this treaty all the land south of the Teton river was ceded to the white man and a sum, which, I think, was to be in the neighborhood of $200,000 was to be paid to the Indians. Was this ever paid and if so, was it paid in full?
That is what the Blackfeet people want to know. Again in 1887 a treaty was made with the Blackfeet old and decrepit men by which the eastern part of the reservation and all the land between Birch creek and the Teton was given to the white man for a stated sum. Was this treaty carried out to the letter or did the Indian again get the worst of the deal?
That is what the Blackfeet people want to know. How many of these treaties were ratified by the U.S. senate and the Blackfeet nation?
Again the Blackfeet want to know.
Why will not the government, which is the natural protector of the Indian investigate these matters?
And now, with these old wrongs still rankling, the Blackfeet are compelled to sit by and see part of their remaining land taken from them and given to the enemies of their forefathers.
True, the government is going to pay for this land, but how much? The sum appropriated for the purpose of securing land for the so-called Chippewas was, I think, $30,000. How much of this money will the Blackfeet nation receive? and how much per acre will it be for the land forcibly taken away from the owners?
No man with Blackfeet or Piegan blood in his veins has been consulted on this matter, and if the people of Valley county have a right to keep these people from a residence on government land in their vicinity, have not the Blackfeet far more right to refuse to allow them to settle on the Blackfeet reservation?
Can any fair minded man see justice in this act of the government?
The Great Falls Tribune not long ago devoted considerable space to the injustice done to the Chippewas. Can they refuse to plead for justice to the Blackfeet?
---Will they not use their influence to work for an investigation of the claims of the Blackfeet for the land south of Birch creek?
---Will they not use their best efforts to obtain for the Blackfeet full value for the land taken from them for the Chippewas?
And now a few words as to whether or not these people are really Chippewas. I do not consider myself sufficiently well acquainted with the different Indian tribes to give expert opinion on this matter but this band looks considerably more like Red River Crees than like any Chippewas the writer has ever seen.
I am credibly informed that only two people in this entire party can talk Chippewa, but all can talk Cree.
One of the female members of the band was on this reservation some few years ago but now she is a Chippewa. I have further been informed by a man who does not wish his name mentioned that he has known the majority of this band for some years and he says that nearly all are Cree halfbreeds.
However, these people are now on this reservation and it seems impossible to unwind sufficient red tape to remove them but this does not prevent the government from giving tardy justice to the Blackfeet. Will not the newspapers of the state take this matter up and force the Department of the Interior to do what is right? [Choteau Acantha Dec. 16, 1909]
Frank Nadeau, a well known old timer among the breed people is critically ill at his home in Choteau, and no hope is entertained for his recovery. His trouble is dropsy. [Transcribed from the Choteau Acantha 7-20-1911]
Nesbitt-Bruneau. Mr. John Nesbitt and Miss Angela Bruneau were married Saturday evening March 30 at the home of Jos. Ralston in Choteau. Mr. Nesbitt is well known in this section as a mountain guide, and he has also been connected with the Forest Service. A wide circle of friends extend congratulations and best wishes for happiness and prosperity. [Transcribed from the Choteau Acantha April 4, 1912]
Alleged killing of stock by Cree Indians on the crow reservation recently is causing government and state inspectors and also county officials considerable trouble. A number of arrests have been made lately. [June 27, 1912. Choteau Acantha.]
Killed in Horse Race. Mike St. German, well known among the breed population, was killed while riding in a horse race at the breed settlement in the South Fork canyon of the Teton on the afternoon of July 4th. The breeds were celebrating the national independence day in their usual enthusiastic way, and all had gone well until about three oclock when the accident happened. It was at this time that a race between two rival horses was pulled off. To make sure that St. Germain, who was one of the jockeys, would ride his mount to a finish, he was strapped to his horses back. When the race was started, the horse bolted and running into a wire fence fell with the rider. When the horse got up St. Germain had slipped beneath him and was carried along striking his head in the rocks as the horse ran. It is thought that the horse also struck him with his hoofs. When the horse was stopped St. Germain was unconscious and remained so. Dr. Bateman was called, but found it impossible to do anything for the relief of the injured man, who died some time the following day. [The Choteau Acantha 18042, July 11, 1912]
Marriage license issued to Walter Lang and Josephine LaRance, both of Choteau. [ACAN19-30, 1913-04-16]
Local News: Mrs. James Gray died Tuesday and will be buried in the Canyon Thursday. [6-25, 1913 Choteau Acantha]
Marriage Licenses. for past week, reported by Clerk of the District Court in Teton County. Alfred St. Germain of Choteau and Jennie Hasson of Babb, Mont. [Choteau Acantha July 2, 1913]
Basil Larance, one of the Cree half-breeds who has been living in the Teton Canyon for a number of years, died in this city last Wednesday evening after a short illness. He was about 50 years of age. His remains were taken to the canyon yesterday and were probably buried there this morning. [Choteau Montanan Dec. 26, 1913]
Bazin Laurance [aka Basil Larance] died on Thursday of pneumonia and was buried in the canyon.[Choteau Acantha Dec. 31, 1913]
Strabane Notes - The funeral of Basil Larance went through here on the way to the mountains. [the Choteau Montanan Jan. 2, 1914]
Marriage licenses issued. Peter Joko, 42, and Louise Larance, 18, both of Choteau. James Larance, 32, Mabel Grey, 17, both of South Fork Teton. [the Choteau Montanan Jan. 30, 1914]
Marriage license. Walter Gray, 21, of Shabane, Olive Bruneau, 18, Belleview. [the Choteau Montanan 9-18, 1914]
The preliminary examination of the prisoners mentioned in the above article from the Pioneer Press, was held at Cut Bank last Saturday and resulted in three of them being bound over to the district court. These three are Frank Wolf and his wife, as well as Jas. Gladstone, a Cree Indian. The cases against them will probably be tried at the next term of the district court. [May 21, 1915. Choteau Montanan.]
--John Jordan, a Cree half breed known in this section [Teton County, MT, Choteau vicinity] under the name of John Chicken, was arrested last week by the sheriffs office on a warrant charging him with being implicated in the cattle stealing cases against the Gardipee family on the Dearborn country. The prisoner has been turned over to the authorities of Cascade county and has been taken to Great Falls for trial. We understand he has practically admitted his guilt to the Cascade officials and has "peached" on others who have not heretofore been suspicioned. [Transcribed from The Choteau Montanan Oct. 1, 1915.]
Home Sweet Home for Indian Tramps. Opening of Fort Assiniboine Reservation in Montana ends restless wanderings of Rocky Boy Indians-They are to live Peaceably Ever After.
Havre, Mont., Oct. 20  -The stony pathway of the Rocky Boy Indians has at last led to the green sward. Driven about from oillar to post ever since they wantered across the Canadian boundary through Glacier ark, Montana, several years ago as tramp tribesmen of the Cree nation, this band of 300 red men have had so hard a lot that they nickname fell naturally upon them.
Now, with the opening of the Fort Assiniboine Military reservation, embracing 200,000 acres near this city, the United States government will set aside 57,000 acres for them. They are rejoicing in the fact that they are to have a permanent home.
There are about 75,000 acres of tillable land in this tract and this is to be thrown open to white settlers. The reservation is in the Bear Paw mountains.
Uncle Sam had departed from the regular lottery in the disposition of this land to settlers. Application for parcels in this tract may be made at Havre, Montana, from Oct. 25 to Nov. 16 of this year. Here are the government requirements:
All applications filed during this period will be treated as filed simultaneously. Applicants will not be permitted to take more than 160 acres. Where there is more than one applicant for a certain tract, the right of the applicant will be determined by public drawing, which will be held at Havre, beginning at 10 o'clock a.m. Nov. 18. If the applicant fails to secure any of the land applied for, his application will be rejected. Where there are no conflicting applications, the applicant may secure their land at once.
The appraised price of the land is $2.50 per acre, 50 cents per acre to be paid at the time of making entry, and 50 cents per acre each and every year thereafter, until the sum of $2.50 shall have been paid. The regular land office fee of $16 will be collected, in addition to this amount. FINISH [Acantha Oct. 25, 1916.]
Plan Protest of Floweree Ranch As Indian Site.
--Would Create Additional Expense to Taxpayers of the County.
--Considerable discussion has been engendered in Teton County during the past few days over a newspaper story carried in daily papers last Saturday under a Helena dateline in which it was stated that a movement is under way to transfer a large number of Indians of the Chippewa-Cree tribe from the Hill 57 section near Great Falls and other points and establish them on a reservation comprising the Floweree ranch on the north bank of the Sun River in Teton County.
--Until the story appeared no one locally had evidently heard of the proposed mass resettlement, representatives of the Indians having proposed purchase of the ranch by the federal government where they could form a tribe.
--Due to the various factors involved which evidently would be a financial detriment to the county, it would seem that members of Choteau civic clubs and taxpayers in general should create an organization at the earliest opportunity to study the plan and draw up an official protest if they see fit. Meetings were held in Fairfield Tuesday to register a protest due to the large amount of taxes which would be lost to the county through the loss of taxable land.
--According to figures at the county assessor's office, the full value of real estate represented in the ranch is $215,000, and the taxable value is $64,000. The full value of personal property is $107,000, and the taxable value $35,000, a considerable sum, not to consider the cost to the county in policing the tribe, sanitation problems, court expense and the inevitable relief problems. It is estimated that there would be about 25 Indians to the square mile if the plan goes through.
--If after a study of the situation taxpayers and civic groups feel it would be too much of a burden on the county, it is the consensus of opinion that something should be done as soon as possible.
--The story which appeared in the daily papers is printed below, by way of explanation:
--Helena, Nov. 28.-(U.P.)-Representatives of Montana's landless Indians, some 2,108 members of the Chippewa-Cree tribe, virtually were agreed tonight to move out of Great Falls' notorious Hill 57 section and settle on a reservation provided by the federal government.
--The representatives also unanimously recommended purchase of the Floweree ranch in Teton County, a tract of some 55,000 acres including 28,000 acres of irrigated farming land. They rejected three other proposed sites, including one near Malta, one near Lewistown, and the Chestnut Valley farms near Cascade.
--Raymond Gray, state welfare department agent in charge of relief to Indians, said the plan, as outlined so far was for the Indians to form a tribe on whatever reservation was provided for them, and to borrow from a $10,000,000 Indian service revolving fund to finance purchase of breeding stock, farm implements and construction of homes.
--He said some 600 full-bloods included in the eligibles objected to the loan proposal, and demanded outright grants from the federal government to finance start of the reservation. This group, he said, were leaders of the 277 members of the tribe living on the outskirts of Great Falls, but that it was expected a settlement of their demands for outright grants would be made during a meeting tomorrow.
--Gray said if the reservation was provided for the Chippewa-Crees, it was planned to move eligible members -those of half-blood or more- from the present locations on the outskirts of Helena, Choteau, Augusta, Malta, Livingston, Babb and Browning, to the reservation where they would be given opportunities to become self-supporting.
--He explained that when the Rocky Boy reservation was set aside, it included some 800 Chippewa-Crees, but did not include the more than 2,000 other eligibles, and the present reservation was too small to take in more than those already on it.
--The Crees, he said, arrived in Montana in 1885 as fugitives from the northwest rebellion in Canada, while the Chippewas originally came from their native Minnesota as scouts and guides for parties of explorers and settlers.
--The Chippewas and Crees intermarried and finally became known in Montana as the Chippewa-Cree tribe.
--Gray said he was confident a reservation would be purchased by the federal government and set aside for the Indians, if they could agree among themselves to settle upon it.
--Attending the meeting with the delegates today were Gerald Price, of the state welfare department, E.E. McNeely, superintendent of the Rocky Boy agency, and Clarence Hanley, assistant attorney general. [Transcribed from the Choteau Acantha Dec. 4, 1941.]
Commissioners Oppose Buying Land for Indians.
--The Teton County board of commissioners has passed a resolution opposing the reported proposal of the government to purchase the Floweree ranch as a reservation for landless Indians. The resolution follows:
--Whereas, It has been called to the attention of this board of county commissioners of Teton County, Montana, that the United States department of the Interior, office of Indian affairs, is contemplating acquiring the 'Floweree ranch' in Teton County, Montana, for the purpose of establishing an Indian reservation on which to place certain so-called 'landless Indians,' and
--Whereas, The establishing of such an Indian reservation would, in the opinion of this board of county commissioners, prove detrimental to the best interests of Teton County, Montana, by removing from the tax rolls of such county most valuable real estate holdings, now subject to taxation thereby depriving the county of much needed revenue or placing an unjust burden on the remainder of the taxpayers of the county through increased levies, and,
--Whereas, Considerable opposition to such a move on the part of the United States department of the Interior, office of Indian affairs, is evidenced by the protests of the Greenfields irrigation district, Fairfield, Mont., and the Fort Shaw irrigation district, Fort Shaw, Mont., and by the public generally, and
--Whereas, There is no 'landless Indian' problem in Teton County, Montana, as all persons of Indian blood residing within the county receive the same treatment and consideration in matters of economic welfare as do their white brothers, and the moving of the residents of 'Hill 57' in Cascade County, Montana, to Teton County would be unfair to Teton County, by presenting it with a real Indian problem.
--Now, therefore, be it resolved, By this board of county commissioners of Teton County, Montana, in regular meeting assembled, that we go on record as being unalterably opposed to the establishing of any Indian reservation within Teton County, Montana, and
--Be it further resolved, That copies of this resolution be sent to the Montana senators and representatives in congress; the secretary of the Interior; the commissioner of Indian affairs, Washington, D.C., and to the commissioner and chief engineer of the bureau of reclamation; Gov. S.C. Ford of Montana; Mr. O.S. Warden, president of the National Reclamation association; Mr. A.J. Breitenstein, secretary of the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce, and the board of county commissioners of Cascade County, Montana.--Great Falls Tribune. [Transcribed with express permission from the Choteau Acantha March 12, 1942.]
Excerpt from the 1900 census, in Teton County
Joseph Bruno, white, 41, married 10 years, French Canadian came in 1880, is a day laborer, naturalized.
Frazine his wife is Indian, 32, five children, 3 alive, French Canadian, came in 1875, three children, all born in Montana, Albert, Andaline, Oliver.
Mathew Munroe, 49, w, married 26 years, cattle raising, born in Michigan,
His wife Maria, 36, born in English Canada, Indian, came in 1880,
Children,Carlos, Etta, Archie, Christian, Litas, Wallace Hilda. All indian.
EXCERPT FROM 1900 CENSUS Cree or Chippewa/Metis in Choteau Township Teton County Montana
NAME RELATION AGE TRIBE YEAR OF IMMIGRATION
BRASS, Rosalie Boarder 11 Cree 1891
JOCCO, Pete Head 28 Cree 1877
MILLER?, Angelique Mother 51 1877
MILLER?, Jacob Father 70 Cree 1877
MILLER?, Barnie Brother 25 Cree
MILLER?, Johnie Brother 23 Cree
MILLER?, Albert Brother 22 Cree
ROSETT, Joe Head 34 Cree 1883, Jenne Wife 33 Cree 1877, Eliza Daughter 13 Cree MT, Johnie Son 9 Cree MT, Isabella Daughter 7 Cree MT, Frank Son 1 Cree MT
LARANCE, Bazil Head 38 Cree 1881, Julian Son 18 Cree MT
GUARDAPEE, Joe Head 45 Cree Naturalized
GUARDAPEE, Sarah Wife 35 Cree -
GUARDAPEE, Eli Son 23 Cree MT
GUARDEPEE, Julien Son 21 Cree MT
GRAY, Cecitia Daughter 18 Cree MT
FELLERS, Louis Head 29 Cree MT, Elizabeth Wife 23 Cree MT
DEMURRAY, John Head 22 Cree 1889, Olive Wife 20 Cree MT, Emma Daughter 1 Cree MT, Julian Son 9/12 Cree MT
HAMILIN, Sivers Head 50 Chippewa 1885
HAMILIN, - Wife 55 Cree
HAMILIN, Lorman? Son 17 Cree
SWAN, Batise Head 35 Chippewa 1882, Julia Wife 25 Chippewa, Rosa Daughter 10 Chippewa MT, Runie Daughter 5 Chippewa MT
BASSETT, - Head 54 Cree MT
-, Amab Mother 90 Piegan MT
BELCORE, Alex Head 26 Cree 1890, Mary R. Wife 22 Cree MT, Ursla Daughter 10/12 Cree MT
GREY, Joe Head 30 Cree 1890
GREY, Caroline Wife 48 Cree 1880
GRAY, Jas Son in law 26 Cree 1892
GRAY, ALBERT Grandson 2 Cree MT
GUARDIPEE, Joe Son 13 Cree MT
GREY, Florence Daughter 10 Cree MT
GREY, Mary A. Daughter 5 Cree MT
GREY, Melvina Daughter 3 Cree MT
GARDINER, Pete Head 75 Cree 1882, Rosalie Wife 65 Cree, Frazine Daughter 20 Cree
LAPEYRE, Pascel Head 35 Cree 1872
LAPEYRE, Mary Ann Wife 34 Cree 1872
LAPEYRE, Cecelia Daughter 6 Cree MT
LAPEYRE, John Head 49 Cree 1872
LAPEYRE, Mary Wife 47 Cree 1872
LAPEYRE, James Boarder 33 Cree MINN
HAMLIN, Joe Head 25 Cree 1890
HAMLIN, Della Wife 19 Cree MT
LARANCE, Jackson Head 38 Cree 1880, Eliza Wife 29 Cree 1887, Grigway Son 11 Cree MT, Josaphine Daughter 9 Cree MT, Ursla Daughter 7 Cree MT, Gertie Daughter 5 Cree MT, Eva Daughter 3 Cree MT, Dolman Daughter 5/12 Cree MT
ST. GERMAIN, Milner Sister in law 27 Cree 1890
LARANCE, Bazil Head 75 Cree 1876
LARANCE, Maggie Wife 60 Cree 1876
NADO, Frank Head 48 Cree 1888, Emma Wife 29 Cree 1876, Frank Son 5 Cree MT, Louis Son 3 Cree MT, Henry Son 4/12 Cree MT
CARR, Joe Head 30 Cree MT, Marian Wife 24 Cree MT, Pearl Daughter 4 Cree MT, Arthur Son 2 Cree MT
1910 census Belleview School #16 Teton County Indian Population
NAME RELATION AGE BIRTHPLACE
unreadable, -ph Head 48 MN
Unreadable, Caroline Wife 50 MT
DUMURRAY, William J. Head 33 Can Cree/1893, Olive Wife 28 MT, Emma Daughter 11 MT, Julia Daughter 9 MT, Gilbert Son 6 MT, Imeilia Daughter 3 MT, Marguarte Daughter 2 MT
HAMER, Harry Head 55 Can Cree/1890, Mary Wife 35 MT, Helen Daughter 8 MT, Heney? Son 5 MT, Frank Son 4 MT
HAMER, Robert Stepson 19 MT
HAMER, Philimina Stepdaughter 17 MT
HAMER, Laura Stepdaughter 15 MT
ST. GERMAIN, Alex Head 28 Can Chippewa/1884, Louise Wife 18 MT, Clarence Son 1 MT
SINCLAIR, David Head 78 Can Cree/1887, Mary Wife 60 Can Cree, Annie Daughter 40 Can Cree, David Son 35 Can Cree, Jeremiah Son 33 Can Cree
HAMLIN, Bagnir Head 73 ND/1890
JOCKO, Peter Head 39 Can Cree/1890
JOCKO, Benny? Brother 36 Can Cree/1890
JOCKO, John Brother 30 Can Chippewa/1890
BUSHMAN, Adolph Head 38 MT, Helen Wife 35 MT, Mabel Daughter 14 MT, Racie Daughter 13 MT, Earnest Son 10 MT, Mary Daughter 7 MT, Willis? Son 5 MT, Adolph Son 3 MT, Thomas Son 1 MT, Nellie Daughter 0 MT
ROSETTE, Joseph Head 48 Can Cree/1890, Janet Wife 44 Can Cree, John Son 19 MT, Frank Son 8 MT, Thomas Son 4 MT, La-sis? Daughter 2 MT
CHICKEN, John Nephew 25 Can Cree/1890
JOCKO, Angeline Mother in law 64 Can Cree/1890
ST. CLAIR, George Head 30 Can Cree/1890, Elizabeth Wife 20 MT
CARVER, Alphonse Head 20 Can Cree/1885, Joseph Brother 16 Can Cree
COLLINS, Edward Head 22 MT, Anne Wife 20 MT, Leonard Son 2 MT, Edyth Daughter 1 Daughter
LARANCE, James Head 27 Can Cree/1890, Florence Wife 26 Can Cree, Gilbert Son 7 MT, Marie Daughter 2 MT
LAROCH, Batche Head 49 Can Cree/1890, Angeline Wife 46 Can Cree, Ruby Daughter 7 MT, Janet Daughter 0 MT
LARANCE, Basil Head 56 Can Cree/1890, Angeline Wife 43 Can Cree, Daniel Son 21 Can Cree
, Louise Daughter 16 MT, Louis Son 20 MT, Adolph Son 17 MT, Eva Daughter 13 MT, Ruby Daughter 7 MT, Elizabeth Daughter 0 MT
BELCOUER, Alex Head 38 Can Cree/1890, Mary R. Wife 32 MT, Eralie? Daughter 11 MT, Mary J. Daughter 8 MT, Raymond Son 5 MT, Anna R. Daughter 2 MT, Emma Daughter 1 MT
LARANCE, Jackson Head 42 Can Cree/1884, Elisa Wife 38 Can Chippewa, Josephine Daughter 19 MT, Gertrude Daughter 14 MT, Eva Daughter 12 MT, Andrew Son 10 MT, Agnes Daughter 8 MT, Annie Daughter 6 MT, Harry Son 4 MT, Mary E. Daughter 1 MT, Clacter? Nephew 27 MT
LAVADUN, Philip Head 32 ND, Annie Wife 30 Can Cree/1890, John Son 11 MT, Isabelle Daughter 9 MT, Clarence Son 7 MT, Mary Daughter 5 MT, Phillip Son 3 MT, Edna Daughter 1 MT
PRANTEAU, Albert Head 60 Can Cree/1880
BRUNO, Joseph Head 44 Can Cree/1880, Josephine Wife 42 Can Cree, Albert Son 20 MT, Lorman Son 18 MT, Anglia Daughter 16 MT, Mary Daughter 15 MT, Olive Daughter 13 MT, Frank Son 10 MT, Mack Son 8 MT, Helen Daughter 6 MT, John Son 4 MT, Ella? Daughter 2 MT, Mabel Daughter 1 MT
AMELINE, William Head 23 MT, Victoria Wife 17 MT
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