Buildings, Stock, Farming Implements. - Many of the permanent residents have very comfortable little houses, which are kept very cleanly, a tribute that may be extended to their surroundings. Very few Indians keep any live stock. The farming implements consist entirely of those supplied by the Government.
Education. - On account of their erratic habits, and their remoteness, only three or four of the thirty or forty children who are of age to attend school actually do so, and, more's the pity, for they show a remarkable aptitude for learning. As soon as I have a sufficient number of them bound down to a permanent settlement, I intend to apply to the Government for a school for them, for which they have lately expressed a wish.
Religion. - In a charming, situation, overlooking Pomquette Harbour, here studded with little wooded islets which seem to float on the placid water's mirrored surface, Ste. Anne's. Here, several times during the beautiful little church of year, assemble the red men to attend to their spiritual wants, and to transact business of a general nature. It is at their annual festival of Ste. Anne's (July 26th), however, that they appear in their greatest number and magnificence. On that occasion several Roman Catholic priests attend to teach and exhort them, and they usually find in the poor, untutored Indian a ready listener and a docile disciple.
Characteristics and Progress. - Generally speaking, the Indians of this agency are law-abiding, though I sometimes hear complaints of their depredations on their neighbours' woods. Instead of becoming richer, they are rather the reverse. Improvidence continues to be one of their leading characteristics.
Temperance and Morality. - The Italians are very temperate, which fact I am inclined to ascribe to the stern enforcement of the laws on this point rather than to any restraint on their own part, especially as regards the young. Their morals are altogether irreproachable.
SIR, - I have the honour to inclose my tabular statement with this report for the fiscal year ended the 30th June, 1896.
Vital Statistics. - There has been no increase or decrease in the number of Indians in this agency during the past year. The number of births was ten and deaths ten, consumption being the main cause.
Crops. - The long, continued drought of last year, together with the ravages of potato bugs, caused the yield of hay and other crops to be somewhat less than one-half the average amount. This year, however, hay and other crops of all kinds promise an abundant yield.
Yet, owing to sickness, old age, accidents, & c., there will always be some who will need assistance from the department.