With regard to the riches of the Indians, as a rule they are not a saving people; the money they earn is generally spent as soon as received. They are able to support themselves and no relief has been granted this year.
Temperance and Morality. - I regret to say on this subject that many of the band are addicted to drinking, and the proximity to the United States gives them the opportunity of getting liquor when required. Only one Indian was arrested for drunkenness this year, and he was fined five dollars or fourteen days in jail; on the second day the fine was paid. When in liquor they manage to keep out of the way.
I also regret to say that there are many cases of immorality among the young men and young women, and this even the clergy cannot put a stop to.
The great difficulty in liquor and other cases is the evidence. You may hear of a case and the witness an Indian, when on investigation, you find the evidence no good, they then know nothing. Unless you can obtain evidence from a white man, a prosecution is of no avail.
General Remarks. - The greater part of this band reside on the reserve; there are in all ninety-nine families, twenty-four of these, equal to one hundred and twenty-one head, reside outside the reserve, many of whom own lands of their own, and are mostly French half-breeds.
The chief of this band is Pequetchenene. There are four sub-chiefs, Jacob Waikimah, John Askin, Jarvis Augustin and John Augustin. Several councils have been held, but nothing of importance has been done.
Location. - This band has only a small reserve of its own, viz., Whitefish or St. Mary's Island, situated at the rapids near the town of Sault Ste. Marie, and a reserve at Goulais Bay, granted by the Ontario Government and the Indian Department.
Tribe. - These Indians are descendants of the Chippewas mixed with French Canadian half-breeds.
Vital Statistics. - The members of this band number one hundred and six male adults and one hundred and eight female adults, eighty-nine male children and seventy-seven female children, making a total of three hundred and eighty. There were twelve births, eight immigrations, nine deaths and five emigrations, making an increase of six persons. Immigrations and emigrations are caused by marriages, and going over from one family to another.
Health and Sanitary Condition. - There has been very little sickness in this band, compared with the Garden River Band, and the deaths have been from old age, drowning and summer complaint with children. The houses are all kept in good order.
Occupation. - Thirty-three families of this band live in the Bay at Garden River Reserve. These earn their living in the same way as the Garden River Band. They are good workers, but do not benefit by any of the profits of the Garden River Reserve. Besides farming, they earn their living by working in the shanties, picking berries, going out with tourists on fishing excursions in the summer, and also do a good deal in exploring. The women make bark-work mats and baskets, and work in the sugar camps on the Garden River Reserve; very little of the latter is now made by any of the Indians.
Those who reside at the Sault, the Rapids, Goulais Bay, Batchewana, the Lizzard Island and Michipicotin, consist of sixty families numbering two hundred and twelve persons. These get their living by fishing for Ainsworth & Ganley, who pay them from two to two and a half cents a pound for their fish. They also work for the fishing tugs, supplying wood, and in the season pick berries and sell to the traders; in the winter they hunt.
The Hudson's Bay Company used to have two posts, one at Agawa River and another at Michipicotin River, and it was at these posts they sold their furs. This year both have been closed, and it was difficult for me to get a return of the furs taken.