Characteristics and Progress. - As has always been the case, the Indians do not trouble themselves much about material goods; they are somewhat philosophical on this subject. All the same, they appear to live more comfortably and they are better dressed than formerly. Alas, strong drink is always making its direful ravages. The law, in spite of its severe penalties, is impotent to control such disorder. Immorality often follows drunkenness.
General Remarks. - Left to themselves, the Indians are generally quiet and peaceful; but when some one tries to disturb them, they are easily excited. Liquor-dealers often avail themselves of this fact and set the Indians against the authorities, and so in this indirect manner obtain a small revenge.
SIR, - In making a report for the year 1895-96, I have little to add to my report of last year.
Occupation. - It is lucky for the Micmac tribe of Restigouche Reserve that so many of the band are employed in the woods making lumber and driving the same in the spring to the different mills along the Restigouche River, where they receive also employment in summer time, and where they may command fair wages on account of their skill. The crop this year is about half what it was last year and the hay is a complete failure. This state of affairs will force the Indians of my agency to kill or part with a considerable number of their stock.
Vital Statistics. - The decrease in the population this year is not so much due to mortality as to the emigration of some families to other parts of the country or to the United States, some families seeking a better living outside of the reserve.