This last winter these Indians cut and sold over a thousand cords of spruce pulp wood and other cord-wood. On account of the fur catches and fish becoming more scarce every year, some families, particularly widows with families of small children, have become poor, so much so that for several winters they have had to be assisted by the department, to enable them to live, and at my suggestion, with the endorsation of the department, I procured three acres of good ground, with two good squared-log I houses, fit to accommodate these poor families along the frontier. The Indians gave about fifty days' gratuitous labour in ditching and fencing round this ground with barbed wire and planting with potatoes, and expect a yield of at least eight hundred bushels, which, together with their fish catches this fall, will keep these poor families and children comfortable, and other winters to come; thereby will be a yearly saving, to the department, and these Indians agree to plant this ground for the poor every year. The crops on this reserve, of potatoes and other vegetables, hay and oats, are exceptionally good this year. The roads and farms are kept in good order, and with their oxen, horses, cows and young stock the Indians live comfortably.
Religion. - Of the members of this band two hundred and ninety-nine are Roman Catholics and nineteen are pagans.
Location. - This reserve is on the side of the renowned Nepigon River.
The Indians of this band are of a roaming nature, and only a few are settled on the reserve, and some are on Lake Helen, and Poplar Lodge on Lake Nepigon.
Area. - This reserve contains an area of six hundred and forty acres.
Occupation. - Fur-hunting and hiring to tourists in summer are the principal occupations of these Indians.
Education. - They have a school-house on the reserve, but it is not well attended also a school at Lake Helen that has been better attended this last year than formerly.
Vital Statistics. - The population is two hundred and fourteen, consisting of forty-two men and one hundred and seventy-two women and children. During the year there were thirteen -births, five deaths and five emigrations, making a decrease of nine compared with last year. There are forty-two children of an age to attend school. The equipment is good, and the discipline of Lake Helen school is good; that of Red Rock is not so good. There is a Roman Catholic church at Lake Helen, well attended when the priests visit the place, which is about every month. I may say there is more intemperance in this band than in any other in my agency, caused by tourists.
Religion. - Of this band thirty are Protestants and one hundred and eighty-five Roman Catholics.
This reservation I did not visit this year, as the Indians were absent, I met them at Red Rock, where I paid them their annuity money.
Vital Statistics. - This band numbers eighty-one men and four hundred and thirty-five women and children, and one hundred and twenty-three of an age to attend school i.e., between six and sixteen years. During the year there were fourteen losses by emigration and thirteen by death, and an increase of two by immigration and twenty-two by birth, making three less than last year.
Reserve. - This band has Gull River Reserve, with an area of seven thousand five hundred acres, on Lake Nepigon, but few live upon it on account of a scarcity of fish. They live along the lake, principally on Jackfish Island, where they have a good school and teacher, who has good discipline and order, and the school is well attended and progress good.