Chapter 9, Note 67 (pages 195 and 269)

The transfer of stewardship over them from the Blackfeet Agency to the Fort Belknap Agency compounded these problems. Moreover, they were vexed by continued denial of their requests to cut timber to build shelter. (p. 195)

Chapter 9, Note 67 . . . for extensive sources on the struggles faced during these tenuous months of encampment. (p. 269)

 

Though encamped jointly on land that may become their own, they were not entirely free to do as they pleased at Fort Assiniboine. Linderman was particularly concerned about furnishing the bands better shelters and hoped to build cabins out of local timber. The Fort Assiniboine custodian had been instructed, however, to not allow them to do so. Linderman petitioned in December, 1914, for permission but was only granted permission to use dead or otherwise non-“merchantable” timber.[1] First, a request was made to cut pine trees for houses and barns. That request was denied and a secondary petition was made to cut poplars. As the first, “it [was] not deemed best to have the Rocky Boy Indians build their houses and barns . . . until it [was] know definitely whether the Indians will be stationed there permanently.”[2] By September, with winter weather approaching, Fort Belknap Superintendent Jewell D. Martin wrote an exasperated letter to Commissioner Sells. How, he queried incredulously, were these Indians expected to winter in ragged tents? “There are no houses at their camp, not even a cabin, NOT EVEN A BOARD,” he exclaimed. He sought for the previous denials of timber to be lifted, and they be allowed to hire help to build cabins quickly before winter.[3]

[1] Frank B. Linderman to Franklin K. Lane, November 23, 1914; and Franklin K. Lane to Frank B. Linderman, December 7, 1914, Linderman Papers, MSHS. Jewell D. Martin to Cato Sells, June 10, 1915, RG 75, Ft Belknap Agency, Letters received from CIA-1878-1927, NARA-RMR; Charles Ellis to Frank B. Linderman, June 28, 1915; Charles Ellis to Roger St. Pierre, June 28, 1915; Jewell Martin to Charles Ellis, June 29, 1915; and Charles Ellis to Little Bear, July 15, 1915; RG 75, Blackfeet Superintendent Files, Box 19, Folder 229, NARA-RMR; Jewell D. Martin to Cato Sella, August 24, 1915 RG 75, Ft. Belknap Agency, Letters sent to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1889-1924 (Belknap Agency Letters), NARA-RMR.

[2] See Roger St. Pierre to Charles Ellis, June 11, 1915; Charles Ellis to Roger St. Pierre, June 16, 1915; Roger St. Pierre to Charles Ellis, June 21, 1915; and  Charles Ellis to Roger St. Pierre, June 22, 1915, RG 75, Blackfeet Superintendent Files, Box 19, Folder 229, NARA-RMR.

[3] See Jewell D. Martin to Cato Sells, September 21, 1915, RG 75, Belknap Agency Letters, NARA-RMR.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *