SIR, - I have the honour to submit my annual report and tabular statement of the Six Nations Reserve of the Grand River for the year ended 30th June, 1896.
Location. - The reserve is located in the township of Tuscarora and part of the township of Onondaga, in the county of Brant, and a portion of the township of Oneida, in the county of Haldimand.
Area. - The reserve contains forty-six thousand one hundred and thirty-three acres.
Resources. - The chief resource of this reserve is agriculture.
Tribe or Nation. - The tribes consist of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Tuscaroras, Cayugas, Senecas and Delawares, all comprising the Six Nations.
Vital Statistics. - There are one thousand and eighty-one men, nine hundred and ninety-five women and one thousand five Hundred and ninety-one children, making a total, of three thousand six hundred and sixty-seven. There were one hundred and twelve deaths and one hundred and forty births during the year. The increase in population of the reserve remains about the same as in previous years. Consumption continues to be the most frequent cause of death.
Health and Sanitary Condition. - The health of the Indians has been generally good. There has been in absence of infectious diseases (save consumption), except that in the month of November last typhoid fever of a severe type broke out in one family, when six members were ill at one time; it was confined to this family. The Indians are using more sanitary precautions, such as the destruction by fire of refuse matters and filth by which diseases may be engendered, and using lime whitewash on the buildings. They also realize the importance of having a supply of good water, and cease using surface and ditch water. During the past year several good wells were completed.
Occupation. - The chief means of making a living is by general farming, though many, depend greatly upon berry-picking among the white people, and basket-making during the rest of the year.
Buildings, Stock and Farming Implements. - During the past year marked improvement has been made in the buildings on the reserve. Since the system of granting loans from the capital money to individual members, on the recommendation of the council of the band, wherewith to improve their respective holdings, has been in operation, many dwellings and barns have been built and repaired, which has been the means of greatly improving the condition of the Indians, as well as increasing their facilities for earning a livelihood from their farms.
The stock and farming implements are increasing in number each year, and with good barns and proper storing places during the winter, great benefit will certainly be derived.
All spring crops were in excess of any previous year. Fall wheat and hay were a poor crop; during the winter most of the Indians were obliged to feed grain to their stock on account of the failure of the hay crop.