"Two stables with stanchions - one stable as a shed; corral for calves. This, is another good worker and enterprising."
The Indians of British Columbia plate but little dependence upon agriculture still, some are displaying a most commendable spirit in endeavouring greatly to increase the areas under cultivation. In this the department is seconding their efforts as much as within its power lies. The main dependence is upon fish; but fur, the lumbering industry, and the canneries in certain localities, afford a means of earning a livelihood.
Owing to the drought, the crops on Vancouver Island suffered greatly, and in some localities on the mainland several losses occurred through floods; so that the department will, in all probability, be forced to come to the aid of the losers during the coming winter.
It is found that, owing to Chinese labour, many channels, heretofore open to the Indian, are now closed. This must necessarily drive him to rely more and more upon the cultivation of the soil; but a great difficulty is met, on many of the reserves, in obtaining sufficient arable land, and in some places the tilled lands are so situated as to render them liable to be flooded during the stages of high water. This flooding in some cases not only entails the loss of the crops, but also a great deal of labour in restoring the lands to such a state that they may again be worked.
Irrigation. - A small sum having been provided by Parliament, irrigation works have been undertaken in the Kootenay district and in the reclamation of the soil at the Salmon River Reserve. If that degree of success which is confidently looked for meets these undertakings, it is hoped that such works may be continued at other points where Indians evince a desire to cultivate the land.
Social Conditions. - Improvement in social condition is reported by officials, and it is found that the status of women is being, in a measure, better recognized; once that is done, advancement in other directions necessarily follows.
Intemperance continues to be too prevalent, notwithstanding the efforts put forward by the department's officials to prevent it. During the canning season, when Indians are collected from far and wide kind are earning ready cash, liquor is readily obtained, the consequence being that carousels are not infrequent, so that in many instances those who have done well return to their homes without anything for their families' keep. Particularly along the northwest coast do unscrupulous traders supply the Indian with liquor, and the department's efforts so far have proved unavailing in preventing it. This department has been in correspondence with that of the Customs with a view to considering whether a patrol steamer could not he jointly maintained in the interest of both.
The powers conferred by Parliament for the suppression of the "potlatch" festival and the "tamanawas" dance have been used with judgment, and, it is thought, with good effect. The objectionable features of the potlatch were, that ambitious Indians, in order that they might either maintain or bring about their own importance, would not only spend all they possessed, but obtain from others all that was possible; and thus,