Skip to main content
Indigenous Immigrants and Refugees in the North American Borderlands by Brenden W. Rensink, Texas A&M Press, 2018

Chapter 9, Note 69 (pages 195 and 269)

Their desired settlement was so close, but it appeared to be slipping away before their eyes. (p. 195)

Chapter 9, Note 69 . . . for sources and discussion of the debates over which lands were to be reserved for white and which for Native settlement. (p. 269)

Little Bear was not alone in concern over the most arable tracts of land being surveyed for white settlement.[1] Fort Belknap Superintendent Jewell D. Martin gave a report in August detailing the number of Indians he estimated would be settled as “Rocky Boy’s Band” and commented extensively on the quality of lands. The climate of Fort Assiniboine was poor, but there were a few select tracts of land that could be irrigated and profitably farmed. Unfortunately, these lands were not being reserved and were not being surveyed for the Indians.[2] Finally, a lengthy memorandum prepared for the Office of Indians Affairs concluded its exhaustive history of the recent efforts to settle Rocky Boy’s band with an appraisal of the two townships chosen for their settlement: “In this connection, however, it may be stated that there is not sufficient agricultural land in the two southern townships to provide for these Indians.”[3]

[1] Robert W. Livingston to Cato Sells, June 14, 1915, RG 75, Ft Belknap Agency, Letters received from CIA-1878-1927, NARA-RMR; and Frank B. Linderman to Franklin L. Lane, July 10, 1915; Little Bear, Rocky Boy and Peter Kennewash to Frank B. Linderman, July 5, 1915; Frank B. Linderman to Little Bear, Rocky Boy and Peter Kennewash, July 10, 1915; Frank B. Linderman to Franklin K. Lane, July 10, 1915; Linderman Papers, MSHS; and “Proposed Reservation for Rocky Boy’s Band of Chippewa and Cree Indians,” data from Robert W. Livingston’s U.S. Surveyor Report, RG 75, Belknap Agency Letters, NARA-RMR.

[2] Jewell D. Martin to Cato Sells, August 9, 1915, RG 75, Belknap Agency Letters, NARA-RMR.

[3] “Memorandum,” August 29, 1915, 7, RG 75, RB Files, NARA-DC, Part 5.