Location and Area. - This reserve is situated on both sides of the Broken Head River, which runs into Lake Winnipeg about eight miles from the Red River. It begins about a mile from the river's mouth, and comprises thirteen thousand acres, about seven thousand in wood, the remainder hay land, swamp and muskeg. There is a small amount of prairie that would do to farm, but the Indians prefer to cultivate small enclosures along the banks of the river where it is generally heavily wooded with poplar, spruce, brush and oak.
Tribe. - All the Indians here are Ojibways.
Vital Statistics. - There are seventy-two men, sixty-six women and ninety-two children.
During the year there were ten births; eight children and four adults died, making a decrease of two. One family of three persons was transferred to the Rosseau River Band, and one girl married a St. Peter's Indian, making a decrease in the band of six since last year. The deaths were caused by whooping cough and consumption.
Indians on Reserve. - Only forty families make their home on this reserve. Most of the others live at St. Boniface, Point du Chêne, Poplar Point, Rosseau River, and other parts of the province, and I only see them at treaty payment.
Health and Sanitary Condition. - With the exception of whooping cough there was no epidemic on the reserve. Every year there is an improvement made in the houses; some are clean and tidy, others are only used in the cold weather, the people camping out all summer.
Occupation. - These Indians fish, hunt, dig senega root and pick berries, only about half a dozen families remaining at times on the reserve and attending to their cows, & c. This summer a Mr. Ewing, an expert at the making of caviare, has given a great deal of work to the Indians of this band; he gives them nets to catch sturgeon, visits them every few days with his steamboat, buys the fish taken, also oil, or anything else they may have, and I have never seen the people here better off or better clothed. Their principal means of making a living is hunting and fishing, at which they make a fairly good one. It seemed strange this summer to see one of the women, Mrs. David Flett, with a sewing-machine, hard at work in her tent, making clothing, tents and sails for boats, working not only for Indians but for settlers.
Gardens. - All who live on this reserve have gardens, raise potatoes, corn and vegetables, but I am sorry to say not enough for their own use, and they have had to buy their seed in almost every case for the last two years.
Stock. - They have also a fine herd of cattle and some ponies, for which they always put up enough hay, and have some to sell, but they are rather far from market.
Education. - There are only twenty-two children of school age whose homes are on the reserve, and when not absent from the reserve they attend school, but their parents are off half the time, so that Mr. Edwards, the teacher, is almost discouraged at times, but the children are progressing, and most of them can now speak English. There are six children of the wanderers of this band who attend the St. Boniface Industrial school; I saw them this summer, and what a contrast they are to their parents - tidy, clean, well dressed and intelligent. The school-house on the reserve is a neat, well finished building with tables and benches and everything that is required at a school. Mr. Edwards is a well educated gentleman who takes the utmost interest and care in his work. The parents take very little interest in the school and it is difficult to get them to supply enough wood to keep the building warm in winter; when they go away from home, they have to take their families with them; they seem not to be able to lose sight of their wives and children.