It is due to the management of the two institutions above named, viz., Shingwauk Home and Mount Elgin (Muncey) Institute to report that the greatest care is being manifested for the welfare and advancement of pupils attending these institutions, and the teachers of our three schools are not the only ones who have been sent to them and came back after putting in their time with good records and capable of taking their places and succeeding in whatever calling they may have chosen. I may say further that I have received the utmost kindness from the principals of both of these institutions, and they have always been willing to make room if possible for some boy or girl who needed a home, and for whom I have made application for admission into one or the other of these institutions.
Religion. - There are two churches on the reserve, where services are held every Sunday, viz., the Church of England and the Methodist Church.
No. 1, Chippewa School, is under the auspices of the Church of England, and
No. 2, Methodist Mission School, under that of the Methodist Church.
Characteristics and Progress. - The Indians as a whole are not industrious. Many of them are indolent; if it were not so, they might be all rich, as there is a competence within the reach of every one of them.
They have as good land as there is in America, can use as much as they choose of it, they have money enough distributed among them each year to assist them materially in their farming operations, they have markets all around them where they can sell everything and anything they raise, and everything they manufacture. They have no taxes to pay. They have the best stock ranges in Canada, with capacity for supporting unlimited numbers of cattle, and places left to cut hay to feed them all during the winter season, and plenty of land to raise corn and roots to fatten and fit them for sale, all of which is lying idle, and is no use to them any more than it would be if covered with water.
In answer to the inquiry, "Are they becoming richer or poorer?" I beg to report, and am only too glad to be able to report, that they are unquestionably getting on. All of the Indians on the reserve are better in every way than they were twenty years ago, as witness the crops raised in 1895, which are shown in the accompanying tabular statement, which shows an increase over the crops raised in 1894 of seven thousand six hundred and thirty-six bushels, the crop of 1894 having over one thousand five hundred bushels of apples included in the number of bushels, while the apple crop in 1895 was a total failure, and there is not a bushel of apples reported in the crop of 1895. The bushels reported are all grain and roots.
Temperance and Morality. - On this subject I beg to state that with the exception of a few who drink and get drunk, and will continue to do so as long as intoxicants are manufactured and sold, the people of the Walpole Island Reserve are as little addicted to the use of intoxicants as the same number of people of any community in Canada, with as many well-behaved men and women as can be found in the same numbers anywhere, and it is only necessary for any person to attend a church service on Sunday, or a social gathering on a week day, to be convinced of the truth of this statement.
General Remarks. - There are instances of individual progress of which honourable mention might be made, and names given, but there are a great many who are not making much progress but who are the most worthy, honest, honourable men in the world, whose names I could not give in a list of names of individuals who are making good progress, so I do not give any names, hoping that this will be a sufficient reason for not doing so.