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In Their Own Voices

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 . . . On Sunday morning, Mr. Glass' mission house was crowded to excess. The sacrament of baptism was administered to a number of infants, the marriage ceremony performed for an Indian and his bride, after which Mr. McDougall preached a powerful sermon in Cree, and the congregation was dismissed, but the Church was quickly refitted, and this time all men, and conspicuous among them were chiefs Samson, Louis Bull, and Erminskin, who, with the leading men of their tribes, desired a council with us. They had may questions to ask, in reference to the Government, their cattle, schools, and scrip. The latter question is one of great interest, in as much as a neighbouring chief, "Bob-Tail," has recently taken scrip, and left the reserve. He advised all the others to do the same, saying that the "Government would take their cattle from them, build a big wire fence around their reserves, so that they could not get away, and then would yoke the men in patent collars, and compel them to plow like oxen." Mr. McDougall disabused their minds, explained to them the determination of the Government to do them justice, and advised them to diligently till their farms, send their children to school, be regular in their attendance at Church, and render the agents of the Government all the assistance they could in the performance of their duty. All of which advice the Indians, with their chiefs, readily returned and heartily acquiesced thereon. 

The Council having ended, we lunched with Rev. Mr. Glass and his excellent wife, and then returned to the Stony reserve on Wolf Creek, and held service. The whole Monday morning was spent in Council with the Stonies, who, like the Crees have the fullest confidence and love for the Rev. J. McDougall, whose residence among them for twenty-five years, has given him an influence which few men possess.  

Before concluding this letter, we wish to refer to the condition of the Indians generally, and of course, we speak from actual conversation and observation of their present condition. In religious matters they are making great progress, being desirous both for themselves and children to learn the mind of the Great Spirit, as given in the Bible, and make it the rule of their lives. Much credit is due to the missionaries, Revds. Nelson and Glass and their wives, for their untiring efforts to improve the intellectual and moral condition of these Indians. In temporal matters, the Indians on the agency are making great progress, evidence of which, is seen in the comfortable homes they have, the number of their cattle, and the fertile condition of their farms. In oxen, cows, and young cattle, chief Samson's band has 53 head, Ermineskin's band has 38 head of cattle, and the Luis Bull's band has 22 head of cattle. We understand that it is the intention of the Government, during this summer, to give them about 20 head more cattle, chiefly as rewards for good conduct during the rebellion, so that in the near future these Indians will be well supplied with stock, which, if taken care of, will soon increase to a large heard. As to the matter of farms, the work accomplished by the agent and instructor is of the most creditable kind. We visited many of the farms, saw the Indians at work, and were delighted with the marked signs of . . . these respects. Ermineskin's band has at least  . . .  acres of land broken and fenced, much of which is under crop consisting of wheat, oats, barley, potatoes and other vegetables. Louis Bull and Chief Samson's band have four hundred and four acres of land fenced, most of which is under crop. The Stonies do not make so good a showing at farming, because they are better hunters than the Crees, and can make hunting pay them better than farming. One man, "John Rain," in the early months of last winter, killed over $300 of fur. This spring he put in a small crop of potatoes, went hunting for a month, then returned to hoe his garden, bringing with him $100 worth of furs. I have given the total acreage of lands, but it must be remembered that this acreage, distributed among the . . . [end of copy]

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