SIR, - I have the honour to submit my annual report, tabular statement and inventory of Government property for the fiscal year ended the 30th June last.
Reserves. - There are nine reserves under my supervision, four of which are inhabited by branches of what was in the early part of the present century the great "Sioux Nation," and the other five reserves are occupied by branches of the Ojibways, or now better known as the "Saulteaux" tribe. The Sioux, as the department is aware, do not receive annuities for the reason that they are American Indians, and have no claim on the Canadian Government, whereas the Saulteaux have received and are to receive, under treaty obligations, an annuity of $5 each for all time to come.
For convenience in many ways, all the Indian reserves were numbered some years ago. The number, name of band and the population of each band within my agency are as follows: Reserve No. 57, Bird Tail Band, seventy-five; Reserve No. 58, Oak River Band, two hundred and seventy-five; Reserve No. 59, Oak Lake Band, thirty-seven; Reserve No. 60, Turtle Mountain Band, twenty-nine - Sioux. Reserve No. 61, Kee-see-koo-wemn's Band, one hundred find thirty-six; Reserve No. 62, Way-way-seecappo's Band, one hundred and sixty three; Reserve No. 62 1/2, Valley River Band, sixty-eight; Reserve No. 63, the Gamblers' Band, twenty; Reserve No. 67, Rolling River Band, one hundred and twenty-one - Saulteaux,
THE BIRD TAIL RESERVE, NO. 57.
Location. - This reserve is located at the junction of the Bird Tail and Assiniboine Rivers, in township fifteen, range twenty-seven, west of the first principal meridian and about ten miles south-west of the town of Birtle.
Area and Resources. - It has an area of six thousand eight hundred and eighty acres, of which about two thousand five hundred acres are particularly well adopted for cultivation and the growing of almost all varieties of cereals. This portion of the reserve is fairly level, free from stone and scrub and is of a good loam, resting on a warm porous subsoil. The larger area lies in the valleys of the two rivers, whose banks connecting the up and the low lands, are more than two hundred feet high.
The bottom lands and hillsides are well adapted for pasturage, but neither of late years have grown a sufficient quantity of grass to provide an ample supply of good fodder for winter use, so that they have had to resort to the rationing of straw. The result has been that the cattle have not thriven as well as it was desired they should. It is evident that artificial means of irrigating these bottom lands will have to be resorted to if a good supply of grass is to be assured every season from them, and it is desirable that this should be, not only to enable these Indians to retain the present number of cattle, but to encourage them to increase the numbers as the rearing of cattle is unquestionably a profitable industry wherever an ample supply of fodder can be depended upon.
Experiments have been made at this reserve the past few years at the growing of timothy and brome grass (Bromus inermis) with the result that the former did not do well; but I am glad to be able to report that the brome grass promises to be a suitable, hardy and prolific fodder plant. A small quantity was sown with grain in the spring of 1894, and it took root, but appeared to be sown too sparsely and last season it was