SIR, - I have the honour to submit my annual report and tabular statement on Indian affairs in my agency for the year ended 30th June, 1896.
Location. - This reserve is on the Kaministiquia River.
Area. - It contains an area of thirteen thousand and forty acres.
Vital Statistics. - These Indians number three hundred and seventy-seven, consisting of seventy-six men and three hundred and one women and children; during the year there were twenty-one births and twelve deaths, and eight emigrations and seven immigrations, making an increase of eight over last year. Their health is good and there have been no epidemics or diseases. Deaths were by natural causes.
Occupation. - The occupation of these Indians is principally farming. They make their own canoes and sail-boats, fish in the fall for winter's use, and a few leave their families in winter and go off to their hunting grounds for fur catches, and exploring for new mineral finds.
Buildings. - Their buildings are principally square logs and many are clapboarded and whitewashed, and the yards and premises are cleaned every spring, showing a neat appearance.
Education. - They have two schools, one the St. Joseph's Convent Orphanage entirely for Indian children, who are well dressed and cleanly kept, educated and taught different kinds of work to be useful to them when grown up, and when old enough are placed out in respectable families; the other is the day-school, well attended, with the best of discipline and order. The teachers are nuns of this convent, well qualified, and the course of studies is the same as taught in the common and high-schools of our town and all in English. The equipment of the schools is of the best kind, and the progress of the pupils is good. I visit these schools and report every month to the department, and they are also visited once a year by the provincial government inspector and reported upon to the department. Every sanitary precaution is taken, vaccination carefully looked after, and a place for the isolation of persons suffering from infectious diseases provided.
Religion. - The head missionary or superior, a Roman Catholic priest, lives permanently on the reserves, and a travelling missionary is always out among the different bands. They have one church, and have divine service every morning of the year, at six o'clock, as well as the other services on Sundays, which are well attended.
Characteristics. - They are industrious and law-abiding, are never imprisoned for dishonesty, such as theft, etc., but sometimes for drinking, which is not often, as they are carefully looked after by three constables, and brought before me for trial. A great many belong to the temperance society, and never touch liquor. According to population, these Indians drink less and are better behaved than the white men by whom they are surrounded.
Tribe. - They are of the Ojibbewa tribe.
Breakwater. - A breakwater is being, built along the bank of the river by the department to prevent the spring freshets from washing away the bank from year to year. This spring several of the Indian houses and river road fences had to be removed back on account of the encroachment caused by the river cutting away the bank.