Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

February 14, 2013

This Week in Tribal History

Mary Rogers, Tribal Preservation Department

February 13, 1873 from The Helena Weekly Herald "The advance guard of the Flatheads, who have been over in the Judith Basin and tributary country on their winters buffalo hunt arrived in Helena today en route to Missoula."

February 16, 1877 from the New Northwest: George Houk, from Cypren Mountain reports that about the 25th a lively fight took place between a war party of Snake Indians and a small camp of Pend d'Oreille… The fight took place in the Teton River about 14 miles from Benton.

February 13, 1889 from The Weekly Missoulian Flathead Lands: A bill passed for the sale of land belonging to the Indians For the following reasons the land in the Bitterroot valley filed upon and held by Flathead Indians have been sold by authority of a bill passed 2/7 in the house. The following is a description of the bill and a reason for drawing it up. We find that much of the most desirable and agricultural land in the Bitterroot valley has been filed upon by the Indian claimants who have since removed therefrom, left their land, and removed their tribal relations by joining the Flathead tribe on the Jocko reservation, thus leaving bodies of fine agricultural land without an occupant, and to which title cannot be claimed by any qualified claimant, nor lawfully acceptable by anyone. Many of the Indian inhabitants of the Bitterroot valley who occupy land do not use the same for any purpose but on the contrary allow the same to remain uncultured and unimproved. Such Indians as are so situated would prefer to sell the lands and move to the reservation, and would be more content and prosperous than they are now while brought into such close competition with their white neighbors. There is a desire on the part of many such Indians to go to such but there are prevented by the hope that such legislation will be passed which will enable them to sell their present holding of land….The Indian lands are situated in the midst of a growing, thriving, prosperous farming community of separate tracts of 160 acres. The railroad is now built, running through the valley…By section 3 of an act approved June 5, 1872, all of said Indian lands remained inalienable, but experience shows such a law to be hardship upon the Indians. By removal to the said Jocko reservation said Indians will be taken away from the temptations now surrounding them, and they will have the advantages of the excellent schools already established at the St. Ignatius Mission on the reservation. The provisions are that the land may be sold for cash provided that the sum paid is no less than the appraised value. The report in the matter is voluminous and cites that quite a number of Bitterroot Indians have removed to the Jocko reservation leaving the lands, etc. The bill will place at the disposal of white settlers a number of splendid pieces of land.

February 15, 1896 from The Plainsman "It is a fact worthy of mention that since Col. McGowen's appointment as U.S. Commissioner there have been no complaints in his jurisdiction of liquor selling to Indians."

If you have any questions or comments please contact Mary Rogers at 675-2700, ext 1320, or Communication Director, Rob McDonald at ext. 1222. Newspaper articles may be suggested for the Preservation archives if the article includes the newspaper name, date and is from 1975 or earlier.

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