SIR, - I have the Honour to transmit herewith my annual report and tabular statement for the year ended 30th June, 1896.
Names of Reserves. - Hungry Hall, Nos. 1 and 2, Lung Sault, Nos. 1 and 2, Manitou, Nos. 1 and 2. Little Forks, Couteheeching, Stangecoming, Macatchewenln, Nickickonseemenecaning, Seine River, Lac la Croix.
Location. - The first four are situated on Rainy River, the next four on Rainy Lake, and the last two on Seine River and Lac la Croix respectively.
Area. - The total area of all the reserves under my charge is sixty-six thousand one hundred and twenty-six acres.
Resources. - This agency contains the following resources: timber, including pine; mineral on some of the reserves, but as yet not fully prospected; first-class farming land on all the river reserves. Some reserves on the lake, especially the first three, are very rocky, and as yet I have not heard of any specimens of any kind of mineral being brought from them.
Tribe. - The Indians in this agency belong to the Ojibbewa tribe.
Vital Statistics. - The population is eight hundred and seventy-two, made up of one hundred and seventy-nine men, two hundred and forty-seven women and four hundred tied forty-six children. This year there were thirty three births and twenty-nine deaths; thirty were absent at treaty time, whereas forty had returned, making a total increase in the population of fourteen, as compared with that of the previous year. All the deaths were due to natural causes, with the exception of one man on Rainy Lake, who is supposed either to have lost himself in the woods last winter and starved to death or shot himself accidentally. No particular reason can be given for the immigrations and emigrations other than that it is often inconvenient for some of the Indians to attend the payments, and so what is shown one year as an emigration, will appear the following year as just the opposite.
Health and Sanitary Condition. - The health of the Indians is attended to by Dr. W.W. Birdsall, and he has been of great service to them in cases of accidents, such as gun-shot wounds. The general health of the Indians is good, and nothing in the shape of an epidemic has given them any trouble. Their Sanitary condition is improving.
Occupation. - These Indians engage in the following occupations: working at sawn mills, fisheries, for settlers, making canoes, ties, telegraph poles, cordwood, acting as guides for tourists and prospectors, and general farming.
Buildings. - Dwelling-houses are being vastly improved upon, especially by those Indians on the river. Some of the houses, on the Manitou Reserve, for instance, are equal to almost any on Rainy River. The Indians are nowadays making them much lager and finishing them with good windows, doors and other comforts. Their stables are also being improved, but as yet are rather on the small side.
Stock. - All the Indians have good stock, but have not done as well with them as they should have. There are reasons for this. Firstly, the animals belong to the band and each Indian waits for the other to look after them in the winter, and as I consequence they are sometimes neglected; secondly, the flies in the summer are very hard on the cattle in tills district, and it is often necessary to keep them, especially the calves, in a cool, dark stable, in the day time, and this is not attended to as a rule by