Vital Statistics. - The population is two thousand eight hundred and sixty one, consisting of one thousand seven hundred and twenty-eight adults, and one thousand one hundred and thirty-three children. There have been one hundred and twelve births and ninety-nine deaths, making an increase of thirteen over the previous year. The cause of death was illness arising from pulmonary and scrofulous affections. Seven Haida Indians are reported to have emigrated to Alaska to join their relations. There were no cases of immigration.
Health and Sanitary Condition. - The Indians have been regularly vaccinated; they are under the care of two qualified medical practitioners, one supported by the Methodist Missionary Society and one by the Anglican Church Missionary Society. There are two hospitals, one it Port Simpson and the other at Metlakahtla. The general health of these Indians is good, and sanitary condition of their dwellings and towns satisfactory.
Occupation. - They engage in the following occupations: - fishing, hunting, trapping, working at saw-mills and canneries, logging, sealing, manufacturing fish-oil, building canoes and fishing-boats, house-building, blacksmithing, trading and store-keeping steamboating, carving in slate and ivory. They work to a limited extent in making gold and silver ornaments, and cultivate some small patches of land; make fish-nets and dress skins. The women make mats, baskets, hats, rugs and knitted articles, and cure fish for sale and home use.
Buildings, Stock and Farming Implements. - They mostly occupy neatly built houses and cottages, well lighted and furnished, painted, having good chimneys and stoves. They have expanded some thousands of dollars in improved buildings this year; have employed a surveyor at a cost of several hundred dollars to lay out streets, & c., at Port Simpson; have some very fine churches and council-halls and planked side-walks. The land not being adapted for agricultural or grazing purposes, they have very few live stock and no farming implements worthy of mention.
Education. - The following schools receiving aid from the department are in operation in this agency and the natives are all anxious that their offspring shall derive as much benefit as possible from them.
The Metlakahtla Indian Industrial-school is conducted under the auspices of the Church of England Missionary Society and provides for thirty-two pupils. The principal's report as to conduct, management, & c., has been duly forwarded to the department.
The Indian Girl's Home at Port Simpson, in charge of the Methodist Missionary Society, is also doing good work.
The undermentioned are the day schools in this agency: - Aiyaush, Metlakahtla, Kitkatla, Kincolith and Massett, Church of England; Port Essington, Port Simpson, Lakalsap and Bella Bella, Methodist.
Religion. - The most of these Indians profess Christianity and are carefully observant of religious ceremonies, & c. There are churches in this agency at nearly all the villages and at the canneries where Indians gather during the fishing season.
Characteristics and Progress. - The Indians of this agency are industrious and energetic in their efforts towards advancement in civilized requirements, possess considerable intelligence and mechanical skill which they turn to good account.
Temperance and Morality. - Each year affords additional evidence of their self-control; and instances of intemperance and open profligacy are becoming rare.