Temperance and Morality. - I am happy to state that the Indians of this agency are as a rule a temperate and moral people. Some of the young men on coming to the cities occasionally get some liquor, but on the whole there is very little reason to complain of them in this respect.
SIR, - I have the honour to submit my annual report and tabular statement respecting the Indians belonging to this agency for the fiscal year ended 30th June, 1896.
Sanitary Condition. - The sanitary conditions of the reserves continue to improve. During the winter and spring, there was a great deal of suffering from colds, la grippe and a large number of eases, of erysipelas. This last disease was confined to the Skichistan and Kamloops Bands. The fatalities on these accounts were very small, the births having again slightly exceeded the deaths in number.
Crops. - The harvest returns, as a whole, were fair, but the price obtained by the Indians for their surplus products was not as good as in former years.
Fur Trade. - In many places the fur-catch was far below the average, which is caused by the settlement of the country, and the day is not far distant when the Indians will have to give up hunting as a means of livelihood.
Occupation. - Along the line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, west of Kamloops, many of the Indians found employment with the railroad company. At Spuzzum and North Bend some twenty-five or thirty have been steadily employed during the year at $1.50 per day, working in different capacities for mining companies. The bands living between North Bend and Deadman's Creek have been progressing slowly. The influx of white settlers through this section being small, the Indians are left very much to themselves.
Irrigation. - The Deadman's Creek Band built a dam across one of the branches of the creek, about a mile above the village. They have thereby raised the water some five or six feet, so that it now flows through an old ditch, which gives them an abundance of water to irrigate their gardens, where the crops a year ago were a total failure.
The Kamloops Band continues to progress. These Indians have not increased the acreage under cultivation this year, but have paid more attention to the working of their old land. Some of their gardens are kept in very good order, and their crops look excellent.
The Indians of the North Thompson Band are, I may say, making more apparent progress than any other. They have built over a mile of log fencing, and are clearing a large piece of ground, which they will be able to cultivate in another year. They have also planted out some fruit trees.
The Halalt and Haltkum Bands (Shuswap Lake) progress slowly in their agricultural undertakings, which is largely due to the want of water for irrigating. On this account they are seldom able to get more than half a crop off their lands.