SIR, - I have the honour to submit the report of the Department of Indian Affairs for the year ended the 30th June, 1896.
It again becomes a pleasing duty to state that, during that period, those friendly relations which have for such a long series of years existed between the Government and its Indian wards remain unbroken.
Repatriation of Indians. - An occurrence which might be regarded as emphasizing this feeling has been the repatriation of some 500 refugee Indians from the state of Montana to their reserves in the North-west, Territories. These Indians left this country after the troubles of 1885, in which some, but not all, had been induced to take part. From such reports as could be gathered, they appear to have behaved themselves fairly well while resident in the United States. Still, it was considered by the authorities of that country that such a large number of alien Indians, who had no reservation set apart for them, nor any good means of support, was an undesirable element in sections of the counties, which were rapidly becoming populated by whites, and consequently a desire was expressed that they should be taken back. To this the Dominion Government readily assented.
Little or no trouble was experienced in connection with their removal, they having been escorted to the international boundary line by United States troops, where they were met by small detachments of the North-west Mounted Police, acting in concert with officials of the Indian Department, and thence taken to the respective reservations to which they had formerly belonged or expressed a desire to be attached. Thus they have been scattered throughout the country and not kept in one body. This course was prompted by various reasons, not the least important being that by this means expense would be materially lessened, in that they would, in the main, be placed under