Occupation. - A great number of this band work at the fisheries; a number are in the Hudson's Bay Company's service; some work for farmers and others through this province and the North-west Territories. Only about fifteen families can be classed as wanderers. They live at Winnipeg, Stonewall, and other parts of the province; these do little work of any kind, but tell me that they make a good living. Sometime they come for their annuity and sometimes they do not.
The women are beginning to stay at home and attend to the cows, & c., when their husbands are away at work. The men work at the fisheries, in the lumber camps and in the harvest fields; that is the labouring class. The farmers, such as Chief Asham, Councillor Sinclair, Philip Thomas, Abraham Thomas, Charles Sinclair and many other make a living at home by their farms, and by working with their teams in winter. Chief Asham only began to farm last year. This year he has about twelve acres in crop; he sowed wheat, barley, pease, potatoes and garden vegetables, which all took well. Philip Thomas expects about eight hundred bushels of grain; his wheat was the first cut in this section of country. The largest grain crop for one individual is not twenty-five acres. Besides this they make from one thousand to fifteen hundred tons of hay for sale.
Basket-work and mat-making, is now almost a thing of the past. Very little work is done by them as guides to tourists or work for traders in sending supplies north for Indian trade; this business has moved some three hundred miles north. Colin and Malcolm Johnstone, of this band, live near Prince Albert, and trade with the Indians to the north. They also do a lot of freighting with their oxen. I am told that their business amounts to several thousand dollars a year. There are only five families belonging to this band who make a living exclusively by hunting and fishing; all the rest, with the exception of the wanderers, do some farming, or have gardens. Every one who lives on the reserve owns cattle or horses, and many of them have pigs and fowls.
Buildings, & c. - Every year there are old houses pulled down and improved ones being built in their places, with kitchens, bed-rooms, & c. Many of the Indians have good furniture, curtains and pictures, mats of different kinds on the floors; three have organs and they own over thirty sewing-machines, also wagons, buggies, mowers, bob-sleighs and everything that is required on a farm; these are their own personal property.
Education. - There are three hundred and thirty-five children of school age belonging to this band; one hundred and sixty-four attend the day-schools and over seventy are pupils at the industrial-schools. There are four what are called Protestant schools, but which are really departmental, as no assistance is given and apparently little interest taken by any mission or church in their welfare. During the year one hundred and sixty children have attended the schools. There is one Roman Catholic school where about eleven children attend, some of whom are Protestants. The attendance at this school would be better, but the Roman Catholics are scattered all over the reserve, and in some cases at too great a distance to send their children. No assistance is given the teacher of the mission, but the parish priest, often calls in and examines the children and advises the teacher, thus evincing great interest in the school.
Mr. McDougall, teacher of South St. Peter's, is a well qualified teacher. He takes great interest, and has done wonders with the children; he has been a professional teacher for years. Mr. J. McClure Muckle is an up-to-date teacher; he gained experience at the Winnipeg schools, and no school has improved so much as his during the last year. Mr. J. Arran Wilson was educated in Edinburgh, and has done good work at the East St. Peter's school, especially in recitations, singing and pronunciation. Miss McLean, at North St. Peter's, has a good school; more than half her children are non-treaty. She receives twenty-five cents a month for each from the Provincial Government for their tuition. I notice that where non-treaty children attend our schools it does good, it acts as a stimulus to the treaty children, they do not want to be beaten, and in fact this feeling is carried to extremes by the mothers, who in many cases dress their children far too well, and as many people would think far above their position.
The course of study at all the schools is the same as at the provincial schools. Three of the schools are furnished with globe desks, one with old-fashioned benches and