It is believed that there are minerals, especially phosphate, on the reserve, but as it is difficult to obtain a title, there is no encouragement for prospectors to seek for minerals.
The lakes and streams abound with fish. There is yet some merchantable timber, although not much pine. There is considerable cedar, basswood, tamarack and spruce. About three-fourths of the reserve is included in the timber licenses of Messrs. Edwards Co., and Messrs. Gilmour & Hughson. About six thousand acres are located to Indians, and about fourteen thousand acres are granted or surrendered, leaving more than thirty thousand acres yet available.
Tribe or Nation. - Maniwaki was originally granted to the Algonquins, Têtes des Boules, and Nipissings. The greater part of the Indians are Algonquins from Oka. There are several families of the Têtes des Boules.
Vital Statistics. - The present population, appears on the pay-list, is three hundred and eighty-two consisting of one hundred and three men, one hundred and seventeen women, and one hundred and sixty-two children, being an increase of three. During the year there were seven births and nine immigrations, and thirteen deaths. Of these three were adults and ten children; they were from the following causes: - consumption, three; pneumonia, three; sunstroke, one; colds, three, and infantile diseases, three.
The immigrants were formerly living on the reserve, and after an absence of fifteen years again joined the band. Besides the number on the pay-list there are about one hundred and ten members who belong to the band but who have been absent from the reserve for more than fifteen years.
Health and Sanitary Measures. - The health of this band has been good for the past year. No contagious or infectious diseases were prevalent. The premises of the Indians have been kept clean. I have furnished each family with lime for white-washing. Every year about the 15th August, when the non-resident Indians are here for the annual festival, those members of the band requiring the operation were vaccinated by the band physician, Dr. Mulligan.
Occupation. - About fifty-seven families are located on land. Of this number thirty farm considerably. Among other occupations may be mentioned hunting, in which all engage, more or less, the making of bark canoes and snow-shoes, at which the Desert Indians are very proficient. Several members of the band are always in demand as guides for tourists, explorers and others, and are also good river-drivers and workers in the woods. The women tan moose and deer hides, out of which they make mitts and moccasins. They also make baskets and beaded-work for sale.
Buildings, Stock, Farming Implements. - Several dwelling-houses have been erected on the reserve since my last report and some outbuildings. The farmers have been acquiring stock, especially working horses. Among the farming implements purchased recently is a mowing-machine for Chief Peter Tenesco.
Education. - There is yet but one school on the reserve. There are about seventy-five children of school age, of whom but fifteen attend school. The teacher, Miss O'Connor, is efficient and painstaking, and her pupils are making good progress. The school is well equipped with desks seats. Good discipline is enforced. The Indians in general are careless about the education of their children. Even those living in proximity to the school are not regular in attendance.
Religion. - The Indians on this reserve belong to the Roman Catholic religion. There are three missionary priests in Maniwaki who devote the greater part of their time to the spiritual welfare of the Indians in summer, travelling more than five hundred miles to visit the different bands between Maniwaki and James's Bay.
There is one large church in Maniwaki for the use of Indians and white people. The ecclesiastical authorities proposed building at their own cost a church for the exclusive use of the Indians, but the latter did not approve of the project, so no action was taken.
The members of the band as a rule attend regularly to their religious exercises.
Characteristics and Progress. - The Indians on this reserve are law-abiding. Some of them are not is industrious in farming as could be desired. Several members of the