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Indian Affairs Annual Reports, 1864-1990

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Temperance and Morality. - Complaint was made to me that these Indians get liquor, and at Christmas and New Year they get a supply from somewhere along the line. There is no magistrate there, and as it is one hundred and fifty miles front here I am unable to do anything to put a stop to it. Always on my visits everything is orderly and no signs of anything going wrong. I generally am compelled to spend from five days to a week in Michipicotin River on account of the weather, but see little of the Indians after I have fed and paid them, as they then start on their various pursuits.

General Remarks. - The chief of this band is Sanson Legard, a man getting on in years, who now is anxious to retire in favour of one James Cass, a younger member of the band, and on my last visit the members present, only a small portion of the band itself, were anxious to have him for chief.

I visited Chapleau and paid the Indians there according to instructions. They expressed a wish to have a reserve granted them near Lake Windemere, near the Canadian Pacific Railway, where they said they could get good fishing and be in a better place in case of sickness. As a rule they are a very contented lot of people; they complain of the loss of the small amount of interest money they used to receive, but I explained to them that it had been expended on doctors during the sickness among the Chapleau and Missanabie Indians a few years ago.

Before closing my report, I may say a few words regarding this institution. It still keeps up its complement of pupils, and very great improvements have been made in the building. The dormitories have been considerably enlarged and far better ventilation is the consequence; the new iron bedsteads are also a great improvement, and the hot-air furnaces gave great satisfaction during the past winter.

Since the advent of Mr. George Ley King the changes made in the building are a great improvement, and it would not be recognized as the building of which he first took charge; and there has been very little sickness among the pupils under him.

I regret to say that I have not been able to visit the institution for the last two months, owing to my time being taken up in other matters. The children all appear to be contented and are getting on well in their studies. The food supplied is good and wholesome and they appear to have plenty. A new bakery was to have been put up, but this I have not yet seen. Tailoring, carpentry and farming go on satisfactorily. The clothes made by the boys are very good. Other branches of work are still continued, such as shoemaking, cooking, baking and laundry-work, the boys attending the school half of the day and spending the other half at their different trades.

The recent improvements in the building were the work of the boys under the carpenter foreman, with but little outside assistance, and no little credit is due to them for the manner in which they did the work.

I have, & c.,
Indian Agent.

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