The basis of the agreement has been to return to the Chippewas such lands as, in the departments opinion, the Munsees held over and above their actual requirements, and for such as it might be considered should be retained by them the payment of a sum in cash. Parliament at its last session consented to vote the amount of compensation, viz., $17,640. By this course an act of justice has been rendered the Chippewas, and the country has been freed from elsewhere making provision in lands for the Munsees.
Islands in the Georgian Bay. - Before leaving this province, it might be well to remark that for some time past applications have been received for the purchase of islands in Georgian Bay for pleasure purposes, and, owing to the fact that no plan of these existed in the department, purchasers were compelled to have a survey made, and run the chance of an agreement being made as to the price. To avoid unpleasantness, and in order that the department might haze full knowledge of its possessions and the proper value to place thereon, a survey was ordered during the past summer.
The islands under the protection of the department he between Waubaushene Bay and Moose Deer Point, and number, large and small included, some one thousand five hundred and belong to the Chippewas of Beausoleil, Rama and Snake Island. They are of no real use to the Indians, save where an occasional one might be used as a fishing station, but must ere long be almost as greatly in demand as the Thousand Islands for summer residences. If this hope be realized in the near future, substantial benefits must be conferred upon those interested.
In last year's report it was stated that the Indians of this province, more than any other, depended upon the United States for a market for their manufactures, and upon pleasure parties seeking guides, and so the continued dulness in trade has again affected them; but the raising of nearly fifteen thousand bushels of grain (in the main, corn and buckwheat) over the preceding year, points to the fact that these Indians, in order to meet the exigencies of the situation, must have exerted themselves to a greater extent in farming than at any preceding time. It is to be hoped that this impetus to farming may in the end not only meet the shortages that may otherwise occur, but tend to still greater and continuous interest being taken in this line.
As far back as the year 1878 the department made efforts to obtain reservations of land for the Tête de Boule, Algonquin and Abenakis Indians, the main difficulty having been the inability to satisfy the Indians as to locality; but I am happy now to be able to say that locations have been selected on the St. Maurice River which meet their wishes. Thus has a very long-standing and vexatious matter been settled.