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The Tomahawk. [volume] (White Earth, Becker County, Minn.) 1903-192?, July 03, 1924, Image 1

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89064695/1924-07-03/ed-1/seq-1/

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l/o/. XXII.
Official Organ of the Minnesota
Published Weekly at
White Earth Agency, Minnesota.
Entered at the Postofflce at White
Earth, Minn., as mail matter oi the
second class.
Representative Wetald
Makes Statement Re
garding Chippewa In
dian Matters.
His Done Much for Minnesota Chippewas
During his First Term in Congress.
Congressman Knud Wefald of
the Ninth Congressional District
arrived at his home in Hawley,
Minnesota, last week. Congress
man Wefald has and is taking a
deep interest in the Indian situa
tion in Minnesota. Just before
leaving Washington Mr. Wefald
made public the following state
“The settlement upon a just,
honorable and fair basis of the
property rights of the Indians
residing within the limits of the
State of Minnesota is one of the
important problems now pending
before Congress. The Chippewa
Indians of Minnesota number
something in excess of 12,000 per
sons, residing on, or belonging to,
reservations or ceded reservations,
scattered throughout the Sixth,
Eighth and Ninth Congressional
Districts, and over a vast area.
About two-thirds of these Indians
reside in the Ninth Congressional
District, which I represent. Their
property rights are now, and have
been at all times in the past, under
the control of the Indian Bureau
of the United States. Only by a
recent act- of Congress, passed
over the recommendation of the
Indian Bureau, were all these peo
ple made citizens of the United
“In 1889, pursuant to an act of
Congress, the United States sol
omnly entered into agreements
with each band or tribe of Chip
pewa Indians in Minnesota where
by they were to receive allotments
of land and the residue of their
property was conveyed to the
United States to be by it held in
trust and sold and disposed of up
on specific terms and prices, the
proceeds received therefrom to be
placed in the Treasury of the Uni
ted States to their credit, the. in
terest accruing thereon to be paid
to them annually and the principal
x’uhd to bo divided among them at
the expiration ef fifty years. '
“An honest and efficient admin
istration of this estate in conform
ity with the terms of the agree
ments insured to every Indian in
Minnesota a competency during
his or her life and during the lives
of their children. The adminis
tration of this estate was placed in
the hands of the Indian Bureau.
Thirty-five years have now past
and the condition of many of these
people, who have been kept at all
times under the control of the In
dian Bureau, is deplorable Their
agreement-* have been disregarded
and their estate administered
through the Indian Bureau, has
been dissipated. Today they are
rich in claims against the United
States, arising out of violations of
their agreements, bat without, in
h '
Justioe and Fair Dealing for
every Indian who desires to
become a good Citizen .
Editor and Publisher,
The Tomahawk.
Official Organ Of The Minnesota Chippewas.
‘Truth before Favor.”
many cases, the bare necessities of
life. The poverty and disease
prevalant among a large part of
these 12,000 people scattered
throughout a considerable portion
of the state is a matter of concern
to all the people within the state.
Therefore it is incumbent upon
the Representatives of the state of
Minnesota to respond to the call
of these people for aid in securing
justice at the hands of the Federal
Government. They are asking no
charity. They are asking only
assistance in securing from the
United States the value of their
property improperly and illegally
disposed of by its Indian Bureau,
and which, if obtained, would im
mediately relieve their distress and
render them self sustaining.
“Claims against the United
States can only be prosecuted with
the consent of the United States.
In other words the United States
can only be sued with its consent,
and then upon such terms and con
ditions as it sees fit to impose
Before these Indians can bring a
suit against the United States a
law must be enacted authorizing
the bringing of the suit or suits,
and defining the jurisdiction of the
court. I conceive it to be my duty
as a Representative in Congress
from the State in which these peo
ple live to see to it, so far as lies
within my power, that the courts
are opened to them, and that the
jurisdictional act when passed is so
worded that the courts will be
afforded full opportunity to pass
on all of their claims, free from
legal technicalities, and to give
them a judgment or judgments
against the United States for all
the losses they have sustained by
reason of the failure of the Indian
Bureau to administer their estate
iu conformity with the plain terms
of their agreements with the Uni
ted States. Ido not propose, if 1
can prevent it, to permit the In
dian Bureau to so word the juris
dictional act that these people will
be left impotent and unable to
properly assert all their claims
against the United States when
they get into the courts.
“The Indian Bureau has been
endeavoring for years to prevent
these people from securing access
to the courts. Recently a Com
mittee of Congress decided that
the Indian Bureau policy was
wrong and these people should be
given access to the courts. There
upon a bill was prepared in the In*
dian Bureau and introduced in the
House by my colleague, Harold
Knutson, Representative of the
Sixth Congressional District of
Minnesota, in whose district about
fifteen per cent of the Indians re
side. After examining the bill 1
refused to support it, as I did not
believe it to be a proper bill. The
House Committee on Indian Affairs
without affording any hearings on
the bill, reported it to the House
where it is now pending on the
calendar. I deem it but proper to
state publicly my reasons for re
fusing to support the bill prepared
in the Indian Bureau and intro
duced by Mr. Knutson. It is
known as H. R. 9343. After con
ferring jurisdiction on the Court
of Claims “to consider and render
judgment in any and all claims
both’legal and equitable, * * which
the Chippewa Indians of Minneso
ta, or any band or bands thereof,
may allege against the United
States under any treaty, agreement,
or act of Congress, the bill pro
‘ln any suit or action brought
hereunder the United States shall
be allowed credit for all moneys,
including gratuities, paid by the
Government to or expended for
the benefit of the Indians party to
’,.. t* ;V .KY r;
White Earth , Becker County , Minnesota , Thursday t July 3, 1924. .
any such suit or suits.’
“Since 1889 Congress has an
nually appropriated money for
what has been designated as ‘sup
port and civilization’ of the Chip
pewa Indians of Minnesota. The
total annual appropriations made
under this designation aggregate
millions of dollars. The greater
portion of these appropriations
have been expended in the pay
ment of salaries of the agents and
employees of the Indiau Bureau,
and for the upkeep of the agency
buildings aDd property. The In
dians, at best, have derived only
incidental benefits from these ap
propriations, yet under the terms
of Mr. Knutson’s bill every dollar
of this money so expended could
bo pleaded as an off set to any
claims the Chippewas might es
tablish against the United States.
This provision would in effect pre
vent the courts from inquiring
into the expenditure of the moneys
appropriated under the heading of
‘Support and Civilization.’ It
would be manifestly unjust to per
mit the deduction of the vast sums
appropriated and used for the
maintenance of a part of the In
dian Bureau from the amount
found to be due the Indians v of
Minnesota for violations of their
treaties and agreements. To per
mit such deductions would not
only be unfair, but would reduce
the ultimate judgments to the ex
tent of millions of dollars.
“Another provision in the bill
introduced by Representative
Knutson confers upon the Secre
tary of the Interior, which of
course means the Commissioner of
Indian Affairs, as the recommen
dations of the Commissioner would
be followed by the Secretary, the
power to name and employ a large
number of attorneys to prosecute
the claims of the Indians. The
thought of permitting the officers
of a bureau of the government
against whom suit is to be brought
for an accounting to name and
employ the attorneys to bring the
suit, mu°t be repugnant to any
fair mind. Could the Indians
hope to obtain justice under such
an arrangement? They are not to
be consulted as to the attorneys to
be employed to represent them in
the prosecution of their claims,
Dor as to the nature of the suit or
suits to be filed. I would not
knowingly do my colleague an in
justice, and I therefore quote lit
erally section 4 of tne bill:
‘Sec. 4. The attorney or attorn
eys selected to prosecute the claims
of the Indians in any suit, cause
or action hereunder shall be em
ployed under contract to be exe
cuted and approved in accordance
with existing law: Provided, That
if the Indiaus fail within a reason
able time to agree in the selection
of suitable counsel in any case, the
Secretary of the Interior shall
select a proper attorney or attorn
eys foi 1 the tribe or band in inter
est: Provided further, that no at
torney or firm of attorneys shall
be allowed more than one contract
‘The fee to be paid the attorneys
shall be stated in such contracts,
but in no event shall the fee in
any one contract exceed the sum
of $5,000 per annum, and shall be
paid from the tribal funds of the
Chippewa tribe of Indians of Min
nesota, and the Secretary of the
Interior is hereby authorized to
pay the fees of attorneys so em
ployed out of the tribal funds on
deposit in the Treasury of the
United States to the credit of the
said Indians of Minnesota. In
addition to the fees herein pro
vided for the attorney having an
approved contract in any suit
hereunder shail be allowed such
t (Continued on 4th page.)
James I. Coffey Up
To His Old Tricks.
James I. Coffey, who for more
than two years past has resided in
Washington, D. C., probably as a
host of the Indian Bureau, is again
up to his old tricks of sending out
circular letters denouncing Attor
ney Ballinger, the mixed-bloods
and, we are sorry to say, The
Tomahawk has not escaped the
rigor of his wrath. One of these
letters has been handed to us and,
while it bears the signature of Mr.
Coffey, has every ear mark of
having originated in the Indian
Bureau. It is a well known fact
among the Minnesota Chippewas
that Coffey has been playing hand
in hand with the Indian Bureau
since he emigrated to the capital
city, but we are of the opinion
that his latest literary endeavor
will avail him and those whom he
represents little if anything.
James I. is much peaved on ac
count of the bills pertaining to
Chippewa matters and introduced
by Representative Knutson and
which were framed in the Indian
Bureau, failing to pass at this
session of Congress. We doubt
very much if the measures will
ever Dass, for the reason that they
have not the sanction of the Chip
pewas and would fleese the Indians
out of millions of dollars in claims
against the United States. Mr.
Coffey harps to great extent on
the matter of attorney fees which
he states in his letter is what Mr.
Ballinger is after, he lays off the
fact, however, that D. B. Hender-
,f ßuy where the buying is good. ”
Come in and see what great buying power
a little money will have in
this up-to-date store.
son, attorney of Washington, I).
C., is employed by the Red Lake
bands and is receiving pay from
the tribal funds of the whole tribe,
and so far as we are able to learn,
has as yet accomplished nothing
whatever for the Red Lakers.
Mr. Coffey intimates that At
torney Ballinger and everyone else
that is opposed to his and the In
dian Bureau’s program will be
summarily dealt with at the meet
ing of the General Council at Cass
Lake next Tuesday, July Bth.
All right, James, we will all be
there, and if we aro not mistaken
it will bo youself and your benefi
cent Indian Bureau that will re
ceive summary attention at the
hands of the General Council
when that body meets iu Cass
Lake next week.
The Tomahawk should be in
every Chippewa home. #1.50 per
year in advance.
White Earth
Bus and Ex
press Line.
between White Earth and Ogenm
My prices are right, and satis
faction guaranteed
White Earth, - - Minn
The Quality Store
B. S. Fairbanks.
Years of experience in buy
ing and selling groceries has
taught us that the public
want the best.
Our shelves are always full of pure, fresh and up-to date Gro
ceries, which we give to our customers at the lowest possible
price. Our line of
Men and Women’s
Wearing Apparel-
Boots and Shoes
I* complete and up-to-date
White Earth, Minnesota.
Published in behalf of, and
to secure the welfare of the
Indians of the United States .
P. C . MARTIN , Prop.
Let me do your
Catarrh Is a Local disease greatly in
fluenced by Constitutional conditions.
sistn of an Ointment which gives Quick
Relief by local application, and the
Internal Medicine, a Tonic, which acts
through the Blood on the Mucous Sur
faces and assists in ridding your System
of Catarrh.
Bold by druggists for over 40 Tears.
F. J. Cheney & Co., Toledo. O. •
“Lodge by
the Dunes.”
A Camp for liltle Indian Child
ren. Write R. F. D. No. 2.
Chesterton, Indiana.
The faculty in charge of this
institution aro admirably qualified
for their work. It is in charge of
a college trained lady who is a
graduate of Smith College for
girls, and who also spent two years
at the Massachusetts Agricultural
College, and a term at the Uni
versity of Chicago.
She has as an assistant a college
trained Indian woman who under
stands the Indian children and is
deeply interested in her work.
Charges are reasonable. Write for
that guarantees satisfactory work
or refunds tuition. One mouth’s*
tuition free while you investigate.
Write for catalog.
Interstate Bussiness College,
Fargo, North Dakota.
Subscribe for The Tomahawk
$1.50 per year in advance.
Vo. 8

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