Treaty Letter

6410 Murray Hill Road
Baltimore, Maryland U.S.A. 21212

31 March 1993

Mr. Babe Winkelman
Babe Winkelman Productions
119 Smiley Road
Nisswa, MN 56468

Dear Babe:

While in the Caribbean on the island of Antigua this past month, a weekly Federal Express mail pouch from my Baltimore office included a copy of the 10 February 1993 Dispatch, carrying the article by Lindner, Roach, and yourself entitled: Are Gull, Big Sandy and other Lakes in Danger? Incidentally, did they not have your name misspelled?

I must say that this article impressed me greatly, both as being very ably written, and as disclosing a remarkably in-depth view of what this Indian mess is really all about.

But there is much more to it. The bottom line is that we Whites of the 20th Century have been too busy dividing the spoils of the Red-White Collision of the 19th Century to bother recalling the details of what actually happened; and the Reds have now gotten the jump on us by suddenly popping up with questions which we are not prepared to answer. I will expand upon this, and validate with historic records everything I say, during the course of the following discussion.

For the past quarter-century I have made this whole historic drama of the Red-White Collision in America a research project, in the true scientific tradition, namely by going back to on-spot observations and records if what each party thought, said, and did at the time it was done. Great masses of such primary source materials, as yet largely untouched by White historians, can be found in repositories of explorers in Montreal, Quebec, London, Paris; of the U.S. Army, Indian Bureau, etc. in the National Archives, Library of Congress, and Smithsonian Institution; of Missionaries in their various bases of Oberlin, Philadelphia, Boston; and so on. If you have not yet read Volume I of my Indian Days in Minnesota’s Lake Region, I suggest you do. That brings the story up to 1825; I have completed the text for Volume II covering the major Treaties of the 1837 and 1847 currently in question; and I am now busily writing Volume III, which will bring the story to the close of the Sioux-Ojibwe Revolution in 1869.

Let me now rough out the principal causal relationships lying behind this unfortunate and quite unnecessary situation, by approaching it from several different perspectives, which both Whites and Indians sorely need to understand and share. For it is not right that the assistance truly needed by our Red brothers to share in the Great American Dream be thwarted by time-consuming and emotional conflicts due to incorrect arguments, particularly when for them the road of conflict can only eventuate once again in a no-win situation.

For like the rest of us American Citizens from every Race and nearly every Nation on earth, they are now themselves also Citizens of the United States of America; and our Constitution does not permit favoritism among its Citizens, neither does it recognize carry-over privileges from any prior citizenship in other Nations. The day must therefore come when the majority finally awakens to the errors behind these continuously increasing claims on the part of a particular minority, and rise in righteous protest. I would like this not to happen; and I shall now explain why it should not happen.

I. Statutory Limits

First let us consider the so-called “Grandfather Clause” which, as you know, has come to appreciable stature in modern Courts of Law as pressing the principle of statutory time limits to its virtually irrefutable extreme. If this sounds like a trivial approach, hear me through. After all, there must be some limit set upon lapsed time for the pressing of claims, less law be rendered ridiculous as well as useless. In this light the Indian claims are long since in the category of the ridiculous. My childrens’ property on Gull Lake – – a typical example among millions of other including those on Mille Lacs Lake – – was purchased in 1913 in good faith and with proper legal title by their grandfather Carl Zapffe Sr., from James Monroe Elder, owner of the subdivision called St. Colombo. Elder in return had received it in good faith and with proper legal title from the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, which had gotten it in turn in good faith and with proper legal title from the United States Government through a Congressional Act of 1864.

So how did the Government get it? Well, how far back do I have to go to prove that I am at least as much a “Native Minnesotan” as the Ojibwe are claiming for themselves? As I shall shortly affidavit with irrefutable historic records, my children as of 1993 – – and pushing property titles no farther back than that Congressional Act of 1864 – – already have an occupancy claim that is 28 years longer than that of any Ojibwe in the entire Upper Mississippi at of the time of selling “their” property in the Treaty of 1837, and 18 years greater based upon the Treaty 1847. If the Grandfather Clause does not protect my children, it should not protect the Ojibwe against an even stronger claim of ownership and/or occupancy rights on the part of the Sioux.

For prior to the great Ojibwe invasion of these lands, which began with their historic and vicious attack on the Sioux of Mille Lacs in May 1736, not one Ojibwe ever owned or even claimed to own a single square inch of property within the entire bounds of the present State of Minnesota!

As the sole exception – – and a mere technicality – – Fond du Lac had been occupied by the Ojibwe not long before, and essentially without incident because it was on the Great Lakes side of the geologic divide separating that drainage system from the Mississippi’s, and therefore not under any strong claim of the Sioux. But our Lake Region assuredly was. That landmark invasion was a mere 101 years prior to the Treaty of 1837, only 111 years prior to the treaty of 1847, and was disputed every inch of the way by the Sioux right up to the time of those Treaties. Although an Intertribal Boundary was established in 1825 by the Treaty of Prairie du Chien, the markers of the survey were still being torn out by the Indians during the very year of the Treaty of 1837; and the whole area continued in bloody dispute as a Sioux-Ojibwe battleground until their warfare finally ended in 1869.

In other words, Ojibwe occupancy rights – – indeed – – ownership – – were still being disputed 32 years after the Ojibwe sold these hotly contest lands to the United States in 1837. The record of undisputed White occupancy for my children’s is 129 years. So who is the “Native”?

In passing, for the benefit of those who may not know, and to enable a better judgement of the White takeover of these lands by purchase and treaty-making in comparison with the previous Ojibwe takeover by blood-letting, let me merely say that the Ojibwe accomplished their’s by the incredibly inhumane act of stealthily advancing upon the Sioux village on Mille Lacs Lake, dropping whole bags of French gunpowder down the smoke-holes of the Sioux lodges and into their fires while they were still asleep, indiscriminately killing and maiming women and children as well as warrior men, then shooting down and scalping any who managed to escape. These are now the people who, themselves at that time under an Intertribal Peace Treaty with the Sioux with the Sioux sealed by a Sacred Pipe Ceremony, rail against the Whites for using “broken Treaties” in their takeover, in the course of bloodless and essentially well-intentioned purchasing with gold coins, trade goods, and numerous services in points of both education and agriculture.

Prior to that Ojibwe invasion of 1736, the entire Upper Mississippi was under the essentially uncontested ownership and control of Sioux Indians, numbering 22 Bands as of 1695, recorded thus by their Head Chief Tioscatay when the French explorer Pierre LeSueur brought him back to Montreal to meet the Governor of New France. So if Whites should feel moved to restore either land or land privileges of our Lake Region to its original owner, the question should be asked: Should it not go to the Sioux instead of the Ojibwe?


However, the reason for this negative answer is not in favor of the Ojibwe, but rather that the Sioux had themselves recently come in to possession of the land, and essentially by the same method of bloody conquest, in their case driving earlier “Minnesota” owners such as the Mandans, Cheyenne, and Crow Indians west, the Assiniboin north, and the Oto, Ioway, Omaha, etc. south. As I have been given more fully in an earlier series of essays entitled Old Nisswa Vignettes published in the Brainerd Daily Dispatch in the 1970’s, but also briefly summarized in Indian Days in Minnesota’s Lake Region published in 1991 by the Historic Heartland Association, the Sioux were apparently the builders of the great Mound City we today call Cohakia in Illinois, on the Mississippi’s east bank across from St. Louis.

About 1200 A.D. they were attacked from the west bank by the forebears of the Ojibwe, best called Algonquins since their later splinter group referred to as “Ojibwe” did not yet exist. In fleeing Cahokia, some such as the Winnebagowes went north in to Wisconsin, though most fled southeast into the Carolinas. Some two or three centuries later, a return migration began, but passed north of their ancient homeland into new settlements on “Minnesota” land; and – – seemingly unknown to most historians – – this northwesterly Siouan migration was still in progress at least up to that 1695 date just mentioned. For the biography of Chief Sitting Bull recorded by F. M. Hans shows that the forebears of this famous Chief’s Band were still in Penneylvania at the time of the famous signing of the Peace Treaty with William Penn in 1682.

So neither Ojibwe nor Sioux can claim the Upper Mississippi as “given to them by the Great Spirit” in times so ancient as to be beyond memory – – as one so often hears. Instead one must ask: Which “them”? Their own tenures actually lie within the scope of recorded history – – not archaeology.

To repeat: The Ojibwe can only run their “Grandfather Clause” back to 1736 at the very earliest, which was mere 101 years prior to the Treaty of 1837 when the land passed into other hands – – and by honest purchase whereas we Whites can run ours back at least 129 years to the Congressional Act of 1964 without even claiming anything earlier. As for the Sioux, my best estimate is that their earliest immigrants entered “Minnesota” lands 1500 A.D. + – 100 years as a scientist would write it – – i.e., they were definitely here in the 1600’s when French explorers made the first recorded inquiries, and 1400 A.D. would give a reasonable though purely suppositional two centuries of lasted time since the disastrous Battle of Cahokia before descendants tried moving back to the northwest.

Be that as it may, the “Grandfather Clause” of the Sioux, like that of the Ojibwe, by no means extends backward in time indefinitely, since they are on record for having driven out previous landowners; yet the Sioux claim must have two or three times the depth of that of the Ojibwe.

As for the Mandans etc., we must unfortunately leave these as merely standing next down the line of pre-White displaced people, with “homeland” priority claims definitely greater than those of either Sioux or Ojibwe, and perhaps equally valid with those of the Sioux in points of tenure, though this is probably beyond analysis.

So again one must ask: Who is the “Native owner” of our Minnesota Lake Region?

II. Treaties

Since pressing the Whiteman title back to times earlier than 1864 brings us into exactly that gray area where the present hassle originates, let me point out in advance of detailing the historic record that, two years before the cited Congressional Act establishing the Northern Pacific Railroad, any property that any group of Indians might be said to have owned in Minnesota was thrown out of title as either a direct or indirect consequence of the great 1862 Indian Uprising. This ghastly affair, triggered by the Sioux whose admitted intention was to get every White out of Minnesota dead or alive, consummated in their outright military conflict with the United States Army; and as losers they were thence driven completely out of that State which they sought to capture.

As for the Ojibwe, these started on exactly the same project and, strangely enough, on exactly the same day, with an already organized army gathered from all over our Lake Region, despite their being separated from the Sioux by hundreds of miles in days when messages had to be carried by foot or canoe. Strange coincidence! They were fortunately stopped short of military conflict – – though no thanks to them. And let me add in passing that this virtually obvious Ojibwe pre-planned collusion with the Sioux in a synchronized all-out north-to-south massacre, long disputed by historians, has now been brought to virtual proof in the course of the Historic Heartland research. If so, then as allies of the Sioux, they should have suffered the same penalty – – a matter we shall return to later.

However, since the Ojibwe threat was de-fused short of fulmination, that Tribe was only required to surrender and cede all their Reservations in the State of Minnesota except for a fractional part of the Red Lake Reservation, then move to a new communal center which became known as White Earth. Everybody talks about the Treaties, of 1837 and 1847; but has nobody read those of 1863, 1864, 1867, 1886? As of those dates and Treaties, all ownership and all privileges of all the listed Reservations very definitely and very clearly ceased to exist! Here are the details, taken from historic records:

In 1863, consequent to the Uprising, every Chief except Kwiwisens or Hole-in-the-Day II of the Gull Lake and Mississippi River Bands, and Miskwa-desi (“Misquadace”) or Painted Turtle of Sandy Lake were brought to Washington to sign a Treaty With the Chippewa of the Mississippi and the Pillager and Lake Winnibigoshish Bands, of which the very first Article reads as follows:

Article 1: The reservations known as Gull Lake, Mille Lac, Sandy Lake, Rabbit Lake, Pokagomin Lake, and Rice Lake, as described in the second clause of the second article of the treaty with the Chippewas of the 22nd February, 1855, are hereby ceded to the United States.

I have underscored some critical parts so they won’t be missed. In fine, the reservation at Mille Lacs no longer existed! Nor were there any carry-over privileges. Furthermore, that Treaty was signed by seven of their Chiefs, headed by the notable Shaboshkung.

To appease political problems caused by the absence of the famed and still influential Kwiwisens or “Hole-in-the-Day”, he and Miskwa-desi were personally invited to Washington in 1864 to make the Treaty as legally binding as it could get. The working remained exactly the same for Article 1, specifically the “are hereby ceded to the United States,” but there was an addition which granted one section of land each to Kwiwisens, Miskwa-desi, and Shaboshkung. Since these grants were “in fee simple”, one square mile of land in the former Mille Lacs Reservation did remain in certain Ojibwe hands, namely those of Shaboshkung and his descendants. But that was it.

Two years later, on 19 March 1867, yet another Treaty with the Chippewas of the Mississippi – – which in all cases included the Mille Lacs Band – – was consummated in which the very first Article again stipulated the cession:

Article 1; The Chippewas of the Mississippi hereby cede to the United States all their lands in the State of Minnesota … excepting …

We need not bother with the “excepting”, since it had nothing to do with anything south of Lake Winnebigoshish.

In preparation for what we now have to say, let us go back to the beginning, namely the Treaty between “the Commissioners Plenipotentiary of the United States of America … and the Sachems and Warriors of the Wiandot, Delaware, Chippawa and Ottawa nations” dated 21 January 1785 – – four years before George Washington took office. Here is where the defeated Indian “Nations” came under the sovereignty – – at least in one sense – – of the United States:

Article II: The said Indian Nations do acknowledge themselves and all of their tribes to be under the protection of the United States and of no other sovereign whatsoever.

Four years later, the year of Washington’s inauguration, the idea of hunting rights on ceded lands became introduced in a Treaty of 9 January 1789 with essentially these same tribes. And with it came the introduction of that all-important “behavior stipulation” – – which we shall shortly find applied specifically to the Mille Lacs Band some seven decades later:

Article IV: It is agreed between the said United States and the said nations, that the individuals of said nations shall be at liberty to hunt within the territory ceded to the United States, without hindrance or molestation, so long as they demean themselves peaceable, and offer no injury or annoyance to any of the subjects or citizens of the United States.

Please note!  Chippewa signatures were:

Mesass                                   Nanamakeak
Pausquash                           Wetenasa
Pawasicke                           Soskene

I do not recognize any of these; but our Minnesota Ojibwe may see among them some of their forebears.

Following the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794, in which Major General Anthony Wayne’s forces decisively defeated a huge army of allied tribes, the so-called Treaty of Greenville on 3 August 1795 repeated this same “no annoyance” wording of Article IV – – in its Article VII; and in this case the “Chippewa” signatories were no less than 25 in number, including names which I do now recognize as shortly appearing in historic accounts of Lake Superior, and are specifically the forebears of our Minnesota Ojibwe. This stipulation was repeated again at the Treaty of 1817 with the “Wyandot, Seneca, Delaware, Shawanese, Potawatomee, Ottawas, and Chippeway”, conducted by Lewis B. Cass “at the foot of the Rapids of the Miami of Lake Erie”; and yet again two years later with the “Chippewas of Saginaw in Michigan Territory”; and so on.

Obviously the posture of Government – – agreed to by all Indian signatories – – was one of conditional post-Treaty rights on ceded lands. Note this “conditional”. And now let us return to the 1860’s.

Understandably, none of the Indians was pleased with having to remove from their home land to the new Reservation at White Earth; and as a result of the turmoil they raised, also in view of a notable role played by the Mille Lacs Indians in resisting Hole-in-the-Day’s militancy during the 1862 Uprising, and Article 12 was added to the 1863 Treaty, which reads as follows:

Owing to the heretofore good conduct of the Mille Lacs Indians, they shall not be compelled to remove so long as they shall not in any way interfere with or in any manner molest the persons or the properties of the whites.

Please note that underscored stipulation carefully! According to this Treaty, if it were still in effect today, every Ojibwe making a nuisance of himself or herself on Mille Lacs Lake should be shipped to White Earth!

Exactly the same wording was used for the 1864 version, except for another addition granting favor to the Sandy Lake Band:

Owing to the heretofore good conduct of Mille Lacs Indians, they shall not be compelled to move so long as they shall not in any way interfere with or in any manner molest the persons or the properties of the whites.

Those of the tribe residing on the Sandy Lake reservation shall not be removed until the President shall so direct.

Many treaties between the United States and Indian signatories contained this contingency clause “until the President shall so direct”, or “so choose”.

Few features warrant more careful scrutiny by today’s lawyers and legislators. Note how that “conditional” post-cession duration of land use now becomes subject to a more precisely defined type of restriction, rephrasing the “behavior stipulation” just discussed, namely a “Presidential contingency clause”, which can be defined as the Conditional Interim Occupancy Right – – or CIOR, if we resort to the modern popular usage of an acronym. That is, in the interim between Treaty cession and actual use of the property by the new owner – – the United States of America – – certain temporary rights of occupancy may or may not be granted to the prior owners, for a limited period of time. As we shall see, cessions with immediate prospective use carried no CIOR, while others often did.

As of 1836 we can pick up an early usage of the CIOR in one of the two Treaties transacted with Chippewa Bands in Washington. On 28 March 1836, a Treaty with the “Ottawa and Chippewa nations” contained this:

Article XIII: The Indians stipulate for the right of hunting on the lands ceded, with the other usual privileges of occupancy, until the land is required for settlement.

This of course is merely another way of saying “until the President shall so direct” or “choose”, since the decision-making typically begins when settlers move in for actual land use. The second Treaty, dated 9 May 1836, with the “… Chiefs of the Swan-creek and Black-river bands of the Chippewa nation” avoided the issue by agreeing that the United States would take over the lands, sell them, and give the proceeds to the Indians. No land rights of any kind were retained by the Indians, since the titles in this case shortly went to individual purchasers – – obviously unencumbered with such “public use” restrictions. Is any property ever sold otherwise?

If we now turn to that contested Treaty of 1837, Where the ceded lands included Mille Lacs Lake, we find the disputed passage in Article 5 to read as follows:

Article 5: The privilege of hunting, fishing, and gathering the wild rice, upon the lands, the rivers, and the lakes included in the territory ceded, is guaranteed to the Indians, during the pleasure of the President of the United States.


If there is “no time limit placed on how long the treaties should last” – – as so ignorantly claimed by the presumably Ojibwe author H. James St. Arnold of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, in his booklet Chippewa Treaties – – Understanding and Impact published in 1992 by the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission and representing Indians of thirteen Reservations – – then President Bill Clinton still has that “pleasure” today! However, this allegedly authoritative spokesman for the Ojibwe requires a much closer look, which we shall give him shortly.

In 1842, the Treaty of LaPointe contained a similar stipulation:

Article 2: the Indians stipulate for the right of hunting on the ceded territory, with the other usual privileges of occupancy, until required to move by the President of the United States.

As for the Treaty of 1847 signed at Fond du Lac – – where Kwiwisens or Chief Hole-in-the-Day II made his debut into history, and the whole southwest quarter of our Lake Region was ceded – – this contains no mention at all of any rights to hunt or fish! The reason was that immediate usage was planned for the land as a Reservation for the Winnebago Indians shortly being removed from Wisconsin.

Seven years later, the Treaty of 30 September 1854 signed at LaPointe, which began clearing title to our entire Lake Region in preparation for the Reservation System, carried this in its Article XI:

Such of them as reside in the territory hereby ceded should have the right to hunt and fish therein, until otherwise ordered by the president.

However, this referred solely to the Lake Superior Bands, not at all to Ojibwe in Minnesota, though they were also parties to the Treaty. People who discuss these Treaties should read them. St. Arnold’s book, which is on display at Mille Lacs Lake and is highly regarded by those Indians as an official statement of the Ojibwe position, leaves one with the impression that this was just another of those all-inclusive bequests to the “Chippewa Nation”. Read this summarizing statement of his:

The rights to hunt, fish and harvest were rights the Chippewa had all along. They kept these rights for themselves when they sold the land.

There are only two sentences here, the second a positive misstatement as just explained, the first a purely fanciful remark having no background whatever. “All along” since when? Since 1736? What happened to the Sioux’s “all along”? And so on.

In brief, the agreement between the United States and the Indian signatories in all of these Treaties where delays in fulfillment were permitted became fulfilled “whenever the President should so choose”.

At this point, historians need enter the picture. For not only did the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War fully occupy the minds of all U.S. citizens and Government officials, but among the Indians of Minnesota the Great Uprising was rather naturally followed by a Great Quiet. After the lapse of about a quarter-century, with a new generation taking over among Whites and Indians alike, the one recognized in the other a needy minority; whereupon steps were taken to work the Indians into the Great American Dream. Two important factors had meantime entered the picture: First, there remained a couple instances in which the “President had not yet chosen” to finalize Treaty agreements; second, all Indians in general had gone a long way toward peaceful coexistence with “dominant society” – – as they love to call that great melting-pot which constitutes the United States of America, and whose Government prohibits favoritism by using a single set of laws equally applicable to each and every Citizen.

The opening statement of the 11 August 1886 Agreement with the White Earth, Pillager and Lake Winnabagoshish Chippewa Bands neatly summarizes the story:

Article 1: Whereas the Government of the United States, recognizing the long and continued friendship of the Chippewa Indians in said State, is desirous of providing for said Indians a permanent home where they may live after the manner of white men, and be protected in their rights of property, person and life; and whereas it is the policy of the Government to remove to and consolidate on the said White Earth Reservation the various tribes and bands of Chipewa Indians now occupying separate reservations in different parts of said State, as follows, to wit: Winnebagoshish, Leech Lake, Cass Lake, Mille Lacs, Fond du Lac, Bois Fort, and Grand Portage, as well as the White Oak Point, Sandy Lake, Snake River, and other scattered Indians belonging to said tribe not residing on any reservation, therefore to carry out such policy it is now agreed that the said tribes and scattered Indians shall be removed and settled on the lands of said White Earth Reservation as hereinafter provided.

The emphasis, of course, is mine.

Note that (1) the “policy of the Government” is here clearly stated as confining all Minnesota Ojibwe – – hence any who had or might later claim prior Reservation privileges – – within the single area termed White Earth Reservation, and that (2) the “until the President so chooses” was right then in 1886 – – clearing the board of any and all previous situations in which a President may or may not have yet “so chosen”. Those on the Red Lake Reservation were treated separately 12 days later under an Agreement with the Red Lake Band of Chippewas.

If there can possibly be any reason for believing that all Reservation except White Earth and a fractional Red Earth Reservation ceased to exist as of that date – – again ! – – here is the ninth Article in this Treaty, which introduced the idea of personal land ownership through “allotment” procedures. Note that the Indians not only traded off all claims of prior land ownership in this agreement, but all their rights and interest as well. Again the emphasis is mine:

Article IX: The Chippewa Indians, parties hereto, do hereby relinquish and cede to the United States all their right, title, and interest, in and to the lands described in the first clause of the first article (ending with the words “to the place of beginning”) of the treaty with the Chippewas of the Mississippi, proclaimed April 18, 1867, and to all lands elsewhere outside the limits of the White Earth Reservation.

Compare this with St. Arnold’s statement concerning the Treaties of 1836, 1837, 1842 and 1854: “These rights were never given up or lost in later treaties”.

In fact, in closing this section on Treaties, let us glance yet again at St. Arnold, since the approach of this writer is not only ignorant and irresponsible, as already pointed out, but so prejudicial as to be dangerously inflammatory. And this we all should regret. Concerning Article XIII in the 28 March 1836 Treaty, St. Arnold includes the stipulation “until the land is required for settlement”; but regarding the far more critical 1837 Treaty, he only says “the Chippewa kept their right to hunt, fish, and gather on the ceded lands” – – with omission of the CIOR stipulation!

In discussing the 1842 Treaty, he does the some thing with its Article II, saying only that “the Chipewa leaders also kept the right to hunt, fish, and harvest on the ceded territory” – – without one word on the immediately following “until required to move by the President of the United States!” Such publishing of incomplete quotations, taken out of context is unconscionable and inexcusable. I have already referred to the latter part of the following quote; but I now give it in full because it appears as a high-emphasis block on the inside back cover of his booklet under a heading Questions and Answers:

Why did the courts give the Chippewas hunting and fishing rights? Hunting and fishing rights were not given to the Chippewas by the courts, the Department of Natural Resources or the State. The rights to hunt, fish, and harvest were rights the Chippewas had all long. They kept these rights for themselves when they sold the land.

In short, this important spokesman for the modern Ojibwe position has taken the things favorable to his argument and published them out of context, giving a totally uninformed and faulty impression, then consummated it with his totally erroneous conclusion. As I said before, hopefully those who read his booklet will go back and read the actual Treaties. The tragedy in my view is that the booklet is aimed at children and generally uninformed adults, using an attractive high-impact format, brief statements, and easily readable type.

In discussing the 1842 Treaty, that writer’s interpretation is particularly warped. When in 1850 the President did “so choose” to follow through on stipulations of the 1842 Treaty and bring about the removal, as short as the time lapse was, the Indian memory proved even shorter; and there resulted such a tremendous pandemonium as to taint reputations all the way up to Governor Alexander Ramsey, having had much to do with his failure to secure a second term as Territorial Governor. That Treaty had come about because geologists determined that there was what they call a “mineral district” within the area; and since mining was one thing, and settlement was another not necessarily related to mining, no less than three different Articles among a total of seven concerned removal! Article II spelled out the conditions of total removal if and when the use of the property for settlement might arise:

Article II: The Indians stipulated for the right of hunting on the ceded territory, with the other usual privileges of occupancy, until required to remove by the President of the United States…

Article III, having to do with the removal of the Lake Superior Bands, opened with this reminder:

… that whenever the Indians shall be required to move from the ceded district …

Article VI then separately spelled out the stipulation for local removal in case mining should proceed without settlement yet in view:

Article VI: The Indians residing on the Mineral district shall be subject to removal therefrom at the pleasure of the President of the United States.

Regarding the removal uproar of 1850, St. Arnold has this to say about it, with no further remarks, and leaving the fanciful impression that this baseless argument of the Treaty-breakers – – and note my considered use of the term – – was the only valid position to take:

The tribes insisted they had never intended to leave, and had signed the 1842 Treaty only to allow the U.S. to mine copper. (!)

Read the Treaty!

Probably the most satirical aspect of the Indian claim of “broken treaties” on the part of the U.S. Government is that the Indians themselves were not only past-masters in the art, with a list of “broken treaties” easily running to some count of a score or more for the Ojibwe alone – – and only insofar as they appear on historical record – – but their infractions always involved religious sacrilege, namely breaking sacred vows sealed by smoking the Sacred Pipe. Read Essay 29 in Indian Days for specific examples. Then go to their own native historians such as Kagiga-gabo or George Copway in his Traditional History and Characteristic Sketches of the Ojibwe Nation; also Kakiway-gwanabi or Peter Jones in his History of the Ojibwe Indians; and W.W. Warren in his History of the Ojibwe Nation.

Every several years the Sioux and Ojibwe got together in solemn council, vowed brotherly love forever, only to have one kill another, oftentimes even on their way home from council – – notable in 1827, 1839, and 1843. The great masterpiece occurred in 1838 when Pugona-geshig – – the original Chief “Hole-in-the-Day” – – solemnly smoked the Sacred Pipe with Sioux leaders; received an invitation to join them in a Spring hunt a couple of months later; brought his 10-year old son Kwiwisens – – the later Chief Hole-in-the-Day II – – with him as a sign of good faith; then gave the signal in the middle of the night for each to arise and stab his Sioux bed-fellow! That was the occasion when this 10-year old murdered the little Sioux girl he had been paired with, thereby earning his right to sit ever thereafter with all adult Ojibwe warriors whenever gathered in council!

Broken treaties – – Indian style! Disgusting.

Simply astonishing is to hear Indians today speaking about the “good old days” when all was love and harmony before the Whiteman came along. War and bloodshed was a way of life with them, repeatedly punctured by broken treaties, and extending as far back in time as we can read in their own traditions, namely the Battle of Cahokia about 1200 A.D. Kagiga-gabo gives it the way it was, on pp. 26-7 of his book, writing about times and events totally unrelated to any Whiteman arrival or presence, and involving Ojibwe enemies among many of the Wisconsin tribes:

The quarrels have been kept alive, and the war fires fanned, by the songs of each nation. As soon as children were old enough to handle a bow and arrow, representations of the enemy were made, and the youngsters taught to shoot at them, for exercise and practice. The old men narrated to them deeds of bravery, and thus were they inspired with a desire to grow up, and when men, act like their fathers, and scout the wide forests for each other.

Even the mothers taught their offspring, before they leave their breast, to hate their enemy.

Several years ago while strolling by the Chippeway River with one of the most intelligent chiefs, named Moose Tail, he pointed out to me the numerous battlegrounds of days past, and all day sketched for me in his own graphic language the conflict that have occurred upon them. I counted numerous battle-grounds on the shores of the Menominee River alone, a small branch on the Chippeway. On its western side the trees were notched according to the number of warriors who fell.

Each battle was typically followed by a peace treaty; and each battle accordingly signified a breaking of the one that went before. Hence the very conservative estimate of a score of “broken treaties”, Indian style.

When Alexander Ramsey took over as the first Governor of Minnesota Territory, a main drive behind his efforts at securing a lasting peace between Sioux and Ojibwe was that, as he said, if things were left to continue in their present state, they “would eventually kill themselves off”.

Ownership by Conquest

Exactly on what basis did the Ojibwe get their alleged title to the Sioux property; the Sioux get theirs from the Cheyenne, Mandans, etc.; and they in turn from their unknown predecessors ad infinitum? Pugona-geshig of the original Chief Hole-in-the-Day answered this specific question when it was put to him by Governor Cass at the historic 1825 Intertribal Peace Treaty at Prairie du Chien:

“We claim this property on the same basis you claim yours – – military conquest!

Later he went on to brag that if it had not been for his magnanimity in acceding to this Treaty establishing an Intertribal Boundary, he and his warriors would have continued driving the Sioux south until his Ojibwe even occupied the Valley of the Minnesota River.

In fine, the ultimate legal guide is Rules of War – – in the last analysis all else must always give way to sheer brute force. Let us begin this part of the discussion with examination of the Indians’ own practice regarding a very critical and heretofore overlooked matter – – namely allies.

When their great hero Waubojeeg or White Fisher on the south shore of Lake Superior drove the Ojibwe’s hereditary Fox enemies out of Wisconsin in seven epic battles of the 18th Century well known in Ojibwe tradition, the Sac were not only allies of the Fox, but the Sioux were allies of both. Was ever a single one of these allies allowed even to set foot of the conquered lands of Wisconsin thereafter, let alone claim property? Absolutely NO!

Obviously, this same dictum can be found obeyed in any Indian war of record in which allies played a part, since it is the same with Whites, and with Nations, Tribes, or any other group the World over engaged in military conquest. When the American Revolution, for example, ended English dominion south of Canada, there were Hessian allies who had formed a notable portion of the English force. Were any Hessians ever allowed to possess one square inch of land in the United Colonies following the 1783 Treaty in Paris, except through procedures of immigration and naturalization? Absolutely NO!

In our own modern times, when World War I ended, and again World War II, did any such phenomenon ever appear as an ally of the loser going Scot-free from penalties of defeat? In fact, can such an instance be found in the military history of any country, nation, or tribe in which an ally of equal battle devotion – – vacillating allies of course excepted – – remains exempt from loser penalty? I think not.

Yet Indians in general and the Ojibwe in particular have engaged in heated battles against us Whites on at least four different occasions of “national” scope; they have decisively lost every time; yet they now have the audacity to appear as though nothing of that sort ever happened. In the French and Indian War of 1754-63, collaboration of the Ojibwe with the French was on such a complete scale as almost to deserve the term “Ojibwe Nation” – – if such a misnomer is ever to be given serious consideration. They were the principal allies of the French. Yet when that joint army was beaten by us Whites – – in those days British Colonials from political standpoints – – the French nationals were prevented from ever again owning one square inch of land on the entire continent of North America.

And the Ojibwe allies?

Scot-free. Simply allowed to slink back into the woods. Why?

Not for reasons of political or social nature, but simply because roundup and deportation would present totally unreasonable problems. Nevertheless, Rules of War – – their own rules – – as of 1763 dispossessed them to every legal title to any land on the entire Continent! That the Whites failed to follow through with roundup and deportations certainly irrelevant from legal standpoints, yet today stands as the sole factor behind their argument that they, upon emerging from the wilderness and reconvening themselves, deserve occupancy privileges. Interestingly enough, the validity for such a claim, if any exists, would only lie within the Grandfather Clause which opened our discussion.

If this French and Indian War argument needs propping up – – say, from the political standpoint that the United States was not yet in existence as a Nation – – let us look at the American Revolution. While the measure of the Ojibwe contribution as an ally of the British was not up to the high proportion of their cooperation with the French, principally due to hangover French friendships, the facts from standpoints of Rules of War are that (1) something close to a majority of what might be called the “Ojibwe Nation” fought with the British, and (2) essentially none sided with the Colonials. The whole outfit comprising the British plus their allies of Hessians and Indians was soundly defeated; the Treaty of Paris in 1783, as just mentioned, sent the losers off all Colonial property south of Canada – – yet with the Ojibwe allies again going Scot-free, through the subterfuge of disappearance into an impenetrable wilderness. The Hessians were not so fortunate.

At the follow-up Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794 where the Ojibwe were specifically the enemy, American General Anthony Wayne brought them to defeat status. No less than eleven men of Chief rank signed the surrender document – – certainly forebears of many an Ojibwe in Minnesota today.

Then for the third (or fourth?) time in the War of 1812-14, many Ojibwe again allied themselves with the British, and indirectly with them through joining the Tecumseh Uprising; and although some Bands did not serve as British allies, I am not aware that any at all went beyond a neutral position with regard to the Americans. The Treaty of 1814 specifically prevented any British ownership of land or any business operations thereafter on soil south of the 49th Parallel west of Lake Superior, and the ancient Trade Route along the Great Lakes. And their Indian allies?

Again Scot-free, but only for the same reason as before, namely the impracticability of nailing down a nomadic “nation” that simply does not exist as such, nor ever did. We today see the problems of this “nation” misnomer where Ojibwe leaders of Bands at places like East Lake and Sandy Lake objected to the Mille Lac Band attempting to gain profits from lands to which they themselves, they feel, once had communal claim. And indeed they did, along with many others, pursuant to Article III in the 1842 Treaty:

It is agreed by the parties to this treaty that, whenever the Indians shall be required to move from the ceded district, all the unceded lands belonging to the Indians of Fond du Lac, Sandy Lake, and Mississippi Bands shall be the common property and home of all the Indians party to this treaty.

However, this along with all other Indians ownership was reorganized by the Treaty of 1854, wherein the rights of the Lake Superior Bands were bought off.

As a Tribe, the Ojibwe never achieved an organized community, a political structure of unified “nation” sort. An ever-present problem throughout the whole history of White-Red conflicts and negotiations, since the time that St. Lusson finally corralled a still-insufficient group of seventeen Tribes for his Treaty at the Sault Ste. Marie in 1671, has been to obtain signers representing all Bands; and rarely if ever has a Treaty been signed in which some Band did not later object not being an invited signatory. A case in point is the Treaty of 1842 earlier mentioned, in which Commissioners did their best to get all Bands to gather in council; yet they had to hold another separate Treaty the following year to appease a Band on Lake Superior’s north Shore, because of claimed communal ownership of Isle Royal. Another is the Treaty of 1847 aimed at providing lands for the prospective removal of Winnebago and Menominee Indians into our Lake Region from Wisconsin. The Commissioners had to hold a separate Treaty with the Pillagers because of differences in opinion as to which Ojibwe “nation” owned what.

Yet another case in point, and not unrelated to this last, is the assassination of Chief Hole-in-the-Day II by Pillagers in 1868, which essentially came about because he presumed to speak on their behalf as “Head of the Ojibwe Nation”. The term “nation” applied to Native Americans is a pure euphemism, a mere aid to convenience when political steps of Government required some kind of identity for the bargaining party – – and found useful to their purposes the flattery of the other party by placing both signatories on an equal “Nation to Nation” basis. St. Arnold still displays the effect of the flattery: “all of these treaties were signed between equal nations”. Equal? By what criterion? Nations? On what basis?

Sovereign Bands, yes; an occasional sovereign Tribe comprising more than one Band, yes; a Nation representing all, or even a majority of Bands, definitely No! That the Government confronted and fully realized this futility of ever discovering a national identity among Ojibwe shows very clearly in the following tally of Treaties separately conducted with “Chippewa Nations” prior to 1883:

Band                               No. of Treaties

Black River                             4
Bois Forte                              1
Lake Winnebigoshish            3
Lake Superior                     3
Mississippi                             8
Pillager                                     4
Red Lake and Pembina           2
Saginaw                                     6
Sault Ste. Marie                      1
Swan Lake                             4

So which is the Ojibwe Nation?

No different are the Sioux – – proud bearers of the name Dakota which , in reference to their various Bands, means United Bands exactly as we use the term United States. But those of the Upper Mississippi could never agree as to whether Little Crow or Wabasha – – or Shakopee – – was their Head Chief; those of the Minnesota River Valley were totally independent; as were the Sioux of the Red River Valley; also those of the Missouri River headwaters; and so on. Here is a list of the separate Treaties found necessary with the so-called United Sioux, the first nine belonging to the single year 1865:

1865                           Other

Miniconjou            10. Cuthead
Lower Brule            11. Mdewakanton
Two Kettle            12. Upper Mdewakanton
Blackfeet Sioux    13. Wahpekute
Sans Arcs            14. Wahpeton
Hunkpapa            15. Santee
Yanktionai            16. Sioune
Upper Yanktionai    17. Sisseton
Oglala                     18. Teton

While much more could be said on this subject, it should now be clear that the nomadic Indians of North America were essentially the same from political standpoints as the nomadic gypsies of Europe, namely as Bands or group of Bands, but never as a Nation. However, whether qualifying as a Nation or not, they have left us with the following question from standpoints of Rules of War:

When a defeated enemy, and on not one but multiple occasions, avoids the penalties of military defeat by disappearing into a wilderness beyond reasonable chances of physical capture, exactly what political or legal rights do they carry with them into that wilderness which enables later reconvening and claiming of property ownership?

Our legal representatives have never addressed that question; and when unwarranted Indian claims surfaced in later times, our Government, through sheer largesse – – and lack of either realizing, understanding, or pressing a perfectly sound legal argument – – turned instead to “extinguishing the Indian title” by purchasing lands for which the Indians had already lost title according to their own Rules of War as just described. In fact, some lands have been purchased more than once, and this seems to be continuing into the present day.

Finally, if the Ojibwe insist now on going back 156 years to 1837 in defining their rights, certainly there should be no objection to our Government going back 210 years to 1783 or 230 years to 1763, in defining ours?

Our Red Brothers assuredly do deserve something from us, namely sympathy for a loser, plus all those graces and gifts incident to proper brotherly love. They simply lost in every contest with Whites, which included conquests other than military. For the Red-White collision was a no-win contest on all fronts, not just military. And if anybody questions whether the Ojibwe recognized conquests by other than battlefield superiority, let him read how their Marten Totem resorted to “bloodless” trickery of the most foul and base kind possible, namely under the pretense of good faith in their religious practices, “to sweep from the face of the earth” their own cousins of the Moose Totem – – as described on pp. 51-2 of History of the Ojibway Nation by their own historian William W. Warren.

Briefly, the men of the Marten Totem built a special Mdewigamig or Grand Medicine Lodge, large enough to contain all adult males of the Moose Totem, then invited them to a joint religions celebration. As the visitors filed in the Sacred Door facing the east, the hosts quietly slipped out an opening at the opposite end of the long structure; and when all visitors were in, and all hosts out. The latter suddenly slammed barricades against both doors and set the lodge of fire! There were no survivors.

Root Causes of the Indian Predicament

Interestingly, the real factor behind the Ojibwe position as losers – – the “bottom line” – – was not the alleged “broken Treaties”, and so on, but rather the fact of a confrontation between an Iron Age technology, which shortly became a Steam Age industrial giant, and a Stone Age culture which had not yet even invented the wheel! The Redman culture was ecological, living within Nature and accordingly subject to its whims. The Whiteman culture was technological, aimed at controlling Nature so as to be free of the whims. The measure of the difference between the two is not only provided by the shocking observation that they had not even invented the wheel – – the very first step of a Stone Age people in gaining at least some control over the laws of gravity – – but also by the fact that their moccasined feet trod all three of Minnesota’s great Iron Ranges, as well as those of Michigan and elsewhere, without ever seeing in the red hematite and yellow limonite ores anything other than paints for face and body when sallying forth to war!

So where physical contests developed, they simply didn’t have a chance. Yet it was the economic contest that became their ultimate undoing. A careful reading of on-spot records—and quite contrary to the fanciful claims one often hears about the “Whiteman took our lands”—clearly shows that the Indians wanted our guns, steel traps, tools and utensils, and other luxuries of the good life, just as dearly as we wanted, first, their furs, next their timber and metals, and other natural resources, finally their lands. Also a careful reading of records will show that they were always just as eager to get what they desired as we were eager to get what we desired. Any record of their refusing an opportunity to barter—which was the marketing coinage of those days—even questionably exists.

However, when the Indians unexpectedly ran out of furs, they also ran out of food; mineral and timber rights they could sell without too much pain. But when their bargaining power was reduced to selling the very land they lived on, the “removal affliction” became more than they could bear. The same would have been true for you and me if Hitler had succeeded, as he nearly did, or if the largely imagined threat of World Communism under Russian control had come to pass.

Can you imagine, if Russia had succeeded, how we would react to having our churches closed, our Christianity anathematized, and atheistic Communism forced upon us instead? Certainly in this country the Native American belongs under the protection of the First Amendment to our Constitution, guaranteeing religious freedom. We should help them become a part of the Great American Dream, by first permitting them to bring into full flower whatever they feel is appropriate to their own religion. For this in the last analysis is the mainspring of every “culture” of whatever people.

And I might add, as an in-depth student of their real religion – – not the tawdry sideshow offshoots which mar Christianity as well – – that we ourselves would find much to learn concerning relationships between God and Man. The Indians, of course, did not know of the Christ Event as the capstone on the Pyramid of Theology; and it was indeed our duty to tell them. But they knew far more of the Pyramid itself than ever entered the Christian mind; and it was our duty in turn to listen to them.

None of us ever did.


For every Indian in this Country, there are certainly several of us Whites, plus an appreciable number of Blacks, Browns, and Yellows, who are deeply touched by the fact that–up to the time of the Casinos, that is! – – our red brothers are not having a very happy experience with the Great American Dream; and we uniformly feel deeply moved to do what we can to give them a lift. But like us, they are now full Citizens of the United States of America since the Congressional Act of 1924; and like the rest of us Swedes, Danes, Germans, Hindus, Chinese, etc., they have exactly the same freedoms, opportunities—and responsibilities. What more do they need or deserve? More to the point, where in the particular democracy defined by our Constitution is there any place for special privileges granted to some particular sector of our citizenry?

I myself regret seeing those of Native American background claim for themselves anything more than that most precious gift already given them, namely Citizenship in the greatest country in the world. Maybe we should retract that gift. For this return to theirs to a militant attitude slams the door in the face of those of us who would help, leaving us feeling rather comfortable about returning to our own interests and labors, leaving them to do the same.

Nor can such a goal of a favored special-privilege sector within our democracy ever be achieved, since it violates not only the Constitutional rights of the rest of us, but International Law as well. As an example: If I become a citizen of Great Britain, I cannot establish a business in the United States on the claim of being a former citizen here. Nor can a Frenchman transfer his citizenship to Germany – – neither anybody to any country – – and claim carry-over privileges deriving from a former status, regardless of treaties or anything else. Is there something different about an alleged “Ojibwe Nation”? Moreover, that “nation” assuredly ceases to exist when its people become citizens of another nation, in this case the United States of America. And if a nation ceases to exist, the treaties do also.

In fine, the act of becoming a Citizen of the United States revokes ipso facto all past privileges of whatever status in points of citizenship – – national, tribal, or other.

Perhaps our Government’s greatest mistake was to grant Native Americans citizenship without requiring them to pass through Ellis Island and fill out naturalization papers. For this might have impressed them more with the value of American citizenship. Moreover, it would have separated the sheep from the goats – – let those who don’t want to get in, stay out.

I do know of one solution for such situations: Turn the other cheek. In this case meet a request for special privileges and sovereignty with complete sovereignty. Retract their Citizenship in the United States of America: help set up the stay-outers as an independent Nation in the fullest sense of the word, and on whatever properties they might still be able to claim – – short of any useless attempt at military conquest, of course; then leave them so strictly on their own as a truly sovereign Nation that they will need a passport to get off the Reservation! Let them discover the full measure of the Whiteman’s blessings by living without U.S. Government grants and other aids, generating their own light and power, producing or purchasing their own mills and machinery, supporting their own schools and health programs, constructing their own homes – – or going back to live in wigwams if they so desire – – and so on.

Interestingly enough, this sort of thing, though on a much less strict basis, has already been tried in Wisconsin with Menominee Indians. The results were disastrous, as one might expect. And one need only look at present-day bickering and political in-fighting among the Indians of the Red Lake, White Earth, Leech Lake, Sandy Lake, and Mille Lacs groups to realize that in no way are the Native Americans prepared to “go it alone” unless they do indeed go back to the wigwam.


These observations lead to the following conclusions:

1. Historical records clearly show that the Rules of War of the American Indians – – like those of all other Nations, Tribes, and Military groups the World over – – administer the penalties of defeat to the enemy’s allies as well as to the enemy themselves.

2. In 1763 the Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War, so-called because of the important participation of Indian allies, among whom the Ojibwe were the most prominent. Penalties of defeat included loss of both present and future title to ownership or ownership privileges in any part of the entire Continent of North America. The Indian allies avoided sharing this penalty by disbursing into the wilderness where recapture became so impracticable as to be considered impossible.

3. In 1783 the Treaty of Paris ended the American Revolution, in which Ojibwe formerly serving as allies of France against England, now served as allies of England against the Colonies. Penalties of defeat included complete loss of ownership title or privileges of both present and future to anything south of the Canadian border. The Indians again avoided this penalty by dispersing into the wilderness where recapture became so totally impracticable as to be considered impossible.

4. On 21 January 1785, the Government recognized the fact of a continued Indian presence – – despite their own Rules of War – – and took the first step toward getting the restless situation under control, by concluding a Treaty which stipulated their being “under the protection of the United States and no other sovereign whatever”.

5. On 9 January 1789, nearly four months before George Washington took the oath of office as the first President of the United States of America, a Treaty with essentially these same Tribes introduced the concept of conditional hunting rights continuing after land cession, based on what might be called a “good behavior stipulation”, namely

…so long as they demean themselves peaceably, and offer no injury or annoyance to any of the subjects or citizens of the United States.

6. On 3 August 1795, the Treaty of Greenville ended in a particularly vicious conflict climaxing in the Battle of Fallen Timbers the previous year, between Major General Anthony Wayne of the United States Army and an enemy principally comprising these same Indians; and this “good behavior stipulation” regarding conditional hunting rights was repeated:

…so long as they demean themselves peaceably, and offer no injury or annoyance to any of the subjects or citizens of the United States.

7. In 1814 the Treaty of Ghent ended the War of 1812, in which some Ojibwe – – not as many as before – – either served the English directly as soldiers, or indirectly as participants in the associated Tecumseh Uprising. The penalties of defeat again stipulated loss of ownership title both present and future, with expatriation from the United States into Canada now spelled out more clearly; and for the fourth time the Indians avoided the penalties of defeat by disappearing into the wilderness where recapture became so impracticable as to be considered impossible.

8. On 28 March 1836, a Treaty with the “Ottawa and Chippewa Nations” replaced the “good behavior stipulation” with a more clearly defined policy of conditional interim occupancy rights (CIOR). This had in view the fact that the ceded lands were now definitely being viewed for purposes of settlement, stated as follows:

until the land is required for settlement.

That is, when use of the land became the aim of the purchaser, all interim rights ceased. This idea of the continued use of interim rights was an act of largesse, aimed at lessening the shock of removal from one’s homeland.

9. One year later, on 29 July 1837, a Treaty with the “Chippewa nation” continued the grant of CIOR or conditional interim rights, but expressed in a manner better suited to cover situations other than actual settlement:

…during the pleasure of the President of the United States

In Article II of the 1842 Treaty, this reads:

…until required to remove by the President of the United States

In the 30 September 1854 Treaty, this reads:

…until otherwise ordered by the President

In the 11 March 1863 Treaty, the following was applied specifically to the Ojibwe on Mille Lacs Lake:

… so long as they shall not in any way interfere with or in any manner molest the persons or the properties of the whites.

No Interim Rights of any kind, so far as the Ojibwe of Minnesota are concerned, appear in the Treaties of 1847, 1854, 1867, and 1886.

10. On 22 February 1855, the Treaty signed with the Mississippi Bands – – which included Mille Lacs – – officially ended all Ojibwe ownership and all claims of rights on all lands in Minnesota in exchange for the Reservation System:

Article I: The Mississippi, Pillager, and Lake Winnebegoshish bands of Chippewa Indians hereby cede, sell, and convey to the United States all their rights, title, and interest in and to, the lands now owned and claimed by them in the Territory of Minnesota… and the said Indians do further fully and entirely relinquish and convey to the United States, any and all right, title, and interest of whatsoever the same may be, which they may now have in, and to any other lands in the Territory of Minnesota, or elsewhere.

Whereupon the entire body of terms in prior Treaties, such as those of 1836, 1837, 1842, 1847, became void as of the Congressional Ratification of this treaty on 3 March 1855. Again, and as with all property purchases the World over, any interim rights of prior owners cease whenever the new owner so chooses. No private property is ever encumbered with public access.

11. Consequent to the 1862 Indian Uprising, all Reservations established by this 1855 Treaty in turn ceased to exist, according to the Treaty of 11 March 1863:

Article 1. The Reservations known as Gull Lake, Mille Lac, Sandy Lake, Rabbit Lake, Pokagomin Lake, and Rice Lake, as described in the second clause of the second article of the treaty with the Chippiwas of the 22nd February 1855, are hereby ceded to the United States.

However, due to a particularly good attitude on the part of the Mille Lacs Band, the following Article was added:

Article 12. Owing to the heretofore good conduct of the Mille Lacs Indians, they shall not be compelled to remove so long as they shall not in any way interfere with or in any manner molest the persons or the properties of the Whites.

12. On 11 August 1886, following and extended period of interruption by the Civil War and the subsequent Reconstruction Era, all Ojibwe were required to remove to White Earth, including the Mille Lacs Band, preparatory to individual land allotment to Indian owners. Article IX required the Ojibwe:

… to relinquish and cede to the United Sates all their right, title, and interest in and to the lands … and to all lands elsewhere outside the limits of White Earth Reservation.

13. While all ownership titles and land claims of the Ojbwe in the State of Minnesota were voided not once but several times as just outlined, the Congressional Act of 1924 granting Citizenship to the Native Americans added a new dimension to this previous voiding, since no Citizen or group of Citizens in the United States can receive favors or privileges not equally shared by all other citizens.

In closing, let me make clear that I will not involve myself personally in any part of this fracas; but anything I have written is free for anyone’s use. My position is purely that of a bystander, with over a half-century training in the procedures and disciplines of scientific research, who eagerly awaits the awakening of both sides to the facts which lie behind present Red-White problems, so that we can get on with the show in helping our fellow citizens realize the Great American Dream – – on an equal democratic basis, with no special privileges except that greatest of all privileges, American Citizenship.

For there is no need of a conflict to exist, nor does it ever exist between two groups who recognize each other as brothers.

Best Personal Regards,

Carl A. Zapffe
Historian Historic Heartland Association, Inc.


cc Samuelson, Hasskamp, McCollough, Humphrey, Harpole