The agent makes the following remarks: - "The slight decrease in population is attributable to a large death-rate amongst the youngest of the children and the very oldest of the adults, especially during the month of May last. The weather here during that period alternating between very hot and extremely chilly days caused a mild influenza to prevail. Under the heading 'Number of other implements,' I am classing those of every description. Figuratively speaking, a wave of religious feeling swept over the villages of the Kitksun division during this year, and surprisingly many Indians embraced Christianity. With that tendency existing, I consider the conversion of all, inside of only a few years, more assured. Consistent with the yet necessary absenteeism of the Indians during the best parts of the season, their agricultural bent is still confined to the raising of the potato, one of their mainstays. The settling on their respective holdings will bring on in due time a change and cause them to drift into mixed farming."
General Remarks. - During the year now reported upon the Indians have on the whole been industrious; their attitude has been respectful towards the Government and the department. They have been friendly in their intercourse with the whites; and have dwelt in peace and harmony with one another. There have been very few criminal cases recorded against them; their law-abiding and peaceful behaviour comparing most favourably with that of the white population in British Columbia.
During the period under consideration the superintendency has been visited by no fatal epidemic and the general health of the Indians may be put down as having been unusually good.
The statistics furnished by the respective agents compare favourably with those of the previous year, showing, on the whole, a steady advance in industrial pursuits and results.
It was very gratifying to me to notice, during my visitations throughout the superintendency, many signs of advancement, especially in regard to their mode of living and the superior class of houses being erected upon their reserves. This pleasing feature in the improvement of their respective villages was particularly noticeable on the west coast of Vancouver Island and Port Simpson and other places in the North-west Coast Agency.
The natives are also learning the true value of money as a potent factor in aiding their advancement when judiciously expended. In many instances - acting upon the advice of the missionaries and of the officers of the department - it has been noticed that they are becoming more. saving of the money they earn at the canneries, and other places, and less disposed to squander it in the purchase of useless articles, or deleterious enjoyment, & c.
To such of the Indians as were found to be sick - helpless through age - and in want, relief either in food, clothing, medicine or medical attendance, as the case required, was promptly afforded by the respective agents. Every endeavour has been made in the direction of inducing such of the natives as could afford it not only to pay for themselves under such contingencies, but also to assist their friends in distress.
The promise of good crops this autumn on the Indian lands is, on the whole, very fair, although some few of the reserves on the Lower Fraser had their growing crops, in some cases, totally destroyed, in others partially, by the high water, which lasted longer than usual in that river, during the past summer.
The good to be expected from the establishment of industrial-schools in this superintendency is becoming each year more apparent, land even at the present early stage much good has been effected, as is to be seen by the influence for the better exercised amongst their people by such of the young people as have been at these schools, and by a greater desire on the part of the parents for the education of their children. It is noticeable, also, that in the houses of such of the Indians as have their children at any of these institutions a pleasing advance in cleanliness, order, and neatness, & c., has been made, the old people taking a pride in providing better surroundings for their educated children than they ever thought of for themselves.
Each year brings an increase of work to this office and to the different agencies in the superintendency, which is the result of a growing population and settlement in the