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Flying Bird Image

When Everybody Called Me Gah-bay-bi-nayss,
"Forever-Flying-Bird":
An Ethnographic Biography of
Paul Peter Buffalo

Timothy G. Roufs
University of Minnesota Duluth

a note on tenses
a note on style

orignal tapes information

Table of Contents

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Buffalo Image

40

Leech and Mississippi Forks

Here and there they'd hit those bars in the shallow water of the Mississippi Forks or the Leech River. You'd see that mud kicking up the same time as water when The Old Mud Hen was in those bars. But they made a good channel though. They kept scaring up the mud; then the current would kick out that bar.

And the fish would just shoot around that boat. The fish would shoot around that boat. You could see them on the bottom. The water was clear above(1) the boat, but after the boat went by it was pretty "riley." You couldn't see anything. How those fish would rush!

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The Leila D at Walker.

The Leila D at Walker.
Photograph Collection, 1900
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. HE5.11L r17 Negative No. 49127

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The steamer Lee, operated on the Prairie River and Big Sandy Lake.

The steamer Lee, operated on the Prairie River and Big Sandy Lake.
Photograph Collection, 1915
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. HE5.11L r3 Negative No. 5689-A

You run out of fuel in the boat once in awhile. Down below on the river, around Aitkin I guess, there were men, there were settlers, along the river, that would cut poplar to burn on the boat. They'd cut cord wood, pile it along the river and sell it to the steamboat company. The boat would stop and they'd load up that whole boat for fuel. You'd see cords of wood piled up on the boat in four-foot lengths. Some of that wood would even be on top. They'd go along as long as the wood would last. Pretty soon they had to stop in some refueling yard. They'd pile that cord wood up again in the boat. They'd fill up the coal bin, you might as well say, the wood bin. The fireman would be standing in the boat with that cooker door open just shoving in wood. Then he got a rest. It would burn it fast; popel burns fast. They would try to get hardwood, but they can't always. Maple or oak is good. The old fireman, he'd get mad if there was poor wood. Gosh!

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Loading logs on to steamer at Frank S. Lane Wood Yards,  Cut Foot Sioux Lake.

Loading logs on to steamer at Frank S. Lane Wood Yards,
Cut Foot Sioux Lake.
Photograph Collection, 1916
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. HD5.45 p4 Negative No. 12943

Then sometimes when the boat stopped we paddled up to it. We'd just looked at the lay-out and sized up those engineers. It seems like it was all grease and all steam, all smoked up. They had a lunchroom on the boat. It's a big tug, you know. That is an old Navy boat. ci-nah-bi-kwah is steamboat, big steamboat. It's a houseboat put up by steam power which is taking care of that boat. It was something to see. I'd like to have a picture of that.

We'd ask the engineer, "Ah, could we have a ride up? Could we have a tow?"

"Well, how far ya going?"

"Well . . . just up the one bend." We'd tell him that 'cause we'd just want to be towed up there.

And he'd tell us to hang our ropes over the bend of the boat and he'd tie them.

Well, he'd start off. The boat would shove off, with our boat -- we had a rowboat, little rowboats, little home-made boats. We'd hang on to the side and see how he was going to start up. And that old engine'd go "chuck-a-chuck-a-chuck," and then pretty soon he'd speed up.

And then they'd start making waves and we'd watch that old wheel. We'd think we were really doing something.

We'd get up the river so far and he'd slow down a little bit. He wouldn't go very fast because we were hanging on. Then he made sure that wheel'd stop or slow a little bit, and he'd shove our boat out, and we'd shove into shore. Then we'd lay for that boat again. We'd lay not only for the boat, but also for the donuts he'd put on the plate for us boys.

We couldn't catch them at times because they go pretty fast. They go down river or up river. Sometimes we'd catch them when they were refueling. We had times! They were good days! And those old engineers and firemen were glad to talk to the kids.

I moved to the place at the Leech and Mississippi Forks when I came home from Tower School. When I left for Tower school(2) we were still searching for a living. We were moving according to the seasons, pretty much just living off of the land.

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Mississippi River at or near Grand Rapids.

Mississippi River at or near Grand Rapids.
Photograph Collection, 1905
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. MI8.1 p1 Negative No.

I think at that time they were issuing tracts of the land from the government to our mothers and fathers, and to those who were of age.(3) My sister got one,(4) but I was too young. I wasn't of age at the time. So all of them got different tracts of land. And when they got these different tracts of land, some of them moved on to them, and some, they turned around and sold them as soon as they could. They sold them for less money than they were worth, but they wanted that check! And boy, that's land's worth money now!

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Chippewa Indians awaiting land allotments,  US Indian Agency, White Earth.

Chippewa Indians awaiting land allotments,
US Indian Agency, White Earth.
Creator: Robert G. Beaulieu
Photograph Collection, 1905
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. E97.52 r1 Negative No. 84407

When I was at Tower School I heard that my mother and Jack Nason got married. By the time I returned from Tower school(5) my folks had already moved down to the Leech and Mississippi Forks. In Indian it's nii-gI-d^-d^- wI-way-aang Wh $h! nii-gI-d^-wI-t^ -gway-aang. That's "the-rivers-apart, separating-one-another," the Leech and Mississippi. That's "they-separate-there." gab-zng-gah-yIn-nay-zi-bii is Leech River. wIni-bii-go-si-si-zi-bii is Mississippi River. gah-zng-gah-Kwa-jIm-nay-Kwag is Leech Lake. And we had a good location, by the Mississippi Forks.

It was around about 1910, 1911 when they moved there. My folks got an allotment at the Leech and Mississippi Forks and they moved there. We began a homestead there. You might as well say we began our home there on an east forty acres of Indian land. We lived on that forty-acre tract of Indian land. We were all alone on the south side of the Mississippi, out of Ball Club. It was on that tract of land between the "Y." We had a section of land. We had what you call individual trust land. That was land given to certain individuals. Some of them had forty acres, some of them had eighty.

That homestead, where we lived, by the Leech and Mississippi Forks, was called "Nason Point." I lived at Nason Village. We had a little village there. Nason Village was on the Mississippi, at the Leech and Mississippi Fork.

We lived along the Mississippi a long time. That was my home on the Mississippi-Leech River, by the Mississippi fork by Ball Club, for many years. And I enjoyed living there. We trapped, hunted, and fished for wildlife. That's where I was really hunting ducks. I had a small gun. I just had a four-ten(6) But we had plenty game, plenty to eat.

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Duck hunting from a canoe in a wild rice stand, Lake of the Woods.

Duck hunting from a canoe in a wild rice stand, Lake of the Woods.
Creator: Carl Gustaf Linde
Photograph Collection, 1913
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. E97.32F r11 Negative No. 10267-A

Kalamazoo Cook Stove

In my days at the Leech and Mississippi forks there were lots of berries. You need certain sweet stuff in life, and we used berries and sugar, maple sugar. We had oh-day-I-mii-nud, "heart-shaped-berry," strawberry. And we always had plenty of mii-nnn, blueberries. We'd make sauce from the blueberries. That's all we knew since we didn't have stoves. Lots of them didn't have stoves, lots of them. But, later on, we finally got Kalamazoo cook stoves and all that.

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Woman cooking on stove, near Vineland, Mille Lacs Indian Reservation.

Woman cooking on stove, near Vineland,
Mille Lacs Indian Reservation.
Photograph Collection, 1925
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. E97.31 r142 Negative No. 4521

 

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An Ojibway family at home, Mille Lacs Reservation, with the cook stove outside.

An Ojibway family at home, Mille Lacs Reservation.
Note the cook stove on the right.
Photograph Collection, Postcard, 1920
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location no. E97.31 r103 Negative no. 35743

After the blueberries(7) were gone people would go to the sugar bush.(8) Most people had sugar too, sI-sI-bah-kwat. And they sometimes had some maple syrup, In-i-nah-teg-gon-siwah-gnn-mI -sI-g^n. We would go in the sugar bushes and barks in April. We've done that too. But you have to be well-equipped to get sugar. You have to save all that equipment year after year. The tools, I mean, you have to save. We put them in a certain place, in a special warehouse used only for gathering sap.

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Storage lodge for storing implements used in making maple sugar, Red Lake Indian Reservation.

Storage lodge for storing implements used in making maple sugar,
Red Lake Indian Reservation.
Creator: Monroe P. Killy (1910-)
Photograph Collection, 1946
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. E97.32M p17 Negative No. 35221

We left birch-bark baskets, iron chisels, and the wooden plug-ins in the woods. The plugs were made of a slant-blunted chip. For storing the sap we used to use the pork barrels years ago that came in there later on. And we used nu-ska-ci-nah-gan. That's a small birch bark fanning tray. And we had birch-bark baskets years ago to store sugar. In Indian, we called these cases where you put maple sugar mah-kahk.

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Collecting sap at a maple sugar camp, Mille Lacs Lake.

Collecting sap at a maple sugar camp, Mille Lacs Lake.
Creator: Monroe P. Killy (1910-)
Photograph Collection, 1939
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. E97.32M p4 Negative No. 29834

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Day's Place, Frozen Sap, Lake Mille Lacs, 1947

Day's Place, Frozen Sap, Lake Mille Lacs.
Creator: Monroe P. Killy
Photograph Collection, 1947
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. Collection I.69.202 Negative No.

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Chippewa Indian with maple sugar in birchbark containers.

Chippewa Indian with maple sugar in birchbark containers.
Photograph Collection, Postcard, 1909-1912
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. E97.32M r3 Negative No. 19571

wIg-was is birch. That's where we got our birch-bark. Now you can't get birch big enough to make big baskets. Now they make little bird houses out of the little birch, you see? That's the answer to that. We had big birches years ago. And the cork, or stick-bark, was used for anything.

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Mary Bigwind and Maggie Skinaway filling small baskets. with maple sugar for sale in the store, Mille Lacs.

Mary Bigwind and Maggie Skinaway filling small baskets
with maple sugar for sale in the store, Mille Lacs.
Photograph Collection, 1925
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. E97.32M r23 Negative No. 28640

We'd also patch things up with a pitch, like the little birch bark baskets we used for collecting sap. There was no flavor in that pitch, so there was no taste in that. It cooled off, and when it cools off, it sticks and patches the baskets up, just like they patch canoes. And we would work that heavy sap in the wooden plates with the wooden spoons.

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Cooking balsam pitch mixed with ashes for use in building a canoe, Mille Lacs.

Cooking balsam pitch mixed with ashes for use in building a canoe, Mille Lacs.
Creator: Monroe P. Killy (1910-)
Monroe P. Killy Slide Collection, 1959
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. Collection I.69.229 Negative No.

Lots of the natural resources were a great help. We picked berries, we picked wild rice, and back we'd go for more. We dried the blueberries. We dried the blueberries. We dried the jerk steak. We call dried meat jerk steak bah-tay-wii-ahss. We can keep that dried without a 'frigerator. We just keep it dry, in dry bags and cases, birch bark cases, mah-kahk-kon.

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Chippewa woman curing venison over birchbark fire, Sugar Point, Leech Lake.

Chippewa woman curing venison over birchbark fire,
Sugar Point, Leech Lake.
Photograph Collection, 1900
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. E97.32 p5 Negative No. 21151

In those days none of the Indians had known carpenter work, but we always managed to build a log house.(9) They built their homes there, without any money on hand. They built their homes out of logs, and these logs were put together with mud -- it was easy to build.

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Blacksmith shop.

Blacksmith shop.
Photograph Collection, 1910
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. HD4.2 r8 Negative No. 78615

In my area they started using log cabins about 1907, `08. Then they got tools made by the blacksmith. The blacksmith would melt iron and make tools. They'd put a sale on for the one-man saw, and we all caught on how to use them.

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Chippewa wigwams and log home.

Chippewa wigwams and log home.
Photograph Collection, 1895
Minnesota Historical Socity
Location No. E97.31 p81 Negative No. 308-B

Before the saws came in they had to leave the poles sticking out on the corners. They didn't trim them. They had the poles so long and left them lay. They just put a groove(10) in there to fit them together. Then they'd tuck moss in between logs for chinking.

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Chippewa house at Strawberry Lake White Earth.

Chippewa house at Strawberry Lake White Earth.
Creator: Frances Densmore (1867-1957)
Photograph Collection, 1907
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. E97.31 p22 Negative No. 80237

They didn't worry too much about houses because the young people were making things so fast. They finally knew how to make log houses, and later on they knew where there was an axe, wah-gah-kwnd. In Indian axe is "one-that-you-cut-with, with-a-handle-on-it." And the young people were never alone, because the old man would go along to help.

They didn't build very high. They dug that sod out in the place where they were going to build a house, so it's pred'ner all cleared before they begin building. They'd water that clearing and they'd pat it down. After it's dry by heat, it's like a hardwood floor. Then, later on, after the log house was up, they wove cedar-bark rugs, mats, and these would go right on top of the earth floor. At first we used woved cedar-bark mats just like we did in the wigwam.(11) You'd never know the floor was packed earth.

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Cedar Bark Rug Frame, Nett Lake, 1953

Cedar Bark Rug Frame, Nett Lake.
Creator: Monroe P. Killy
Photograph Collection, 1953
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. Collection I.69.256 Negative No.

And what they'd use for a broom was balsam boughs tied in bunches. Gee they used to go good. Well, hell, that was nothing. If that wasn't enough, they'd go down and get canebreaks and tie them in a bunch on a stick. The canebreaks do just as good as a broom.

Later on, when they wanted a wood floor, they made some way to exchange work with the mills for whatever lumber they needed. Beforehand they used an edge they call an "edger." When they used that, they laid logs down on the floor and edged them. They put a nice edge on the board and it made a good floor. It was a nice insulation from the ground too.

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Indian family seated in front of log home.

Indian family seated in front of log home.
Photograph Collection, Postcard, 1910
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. E99.1 r87 Negative No.

A log house is the warmest house you can find. These log buildings were "coo-zy" warm. The houses weren't built very high, but they were comfortable. Log houses make nice homes.

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Mrs. Shingibis outside her cabin; Mrs. William Howenstine in window, Chippewa City.

Mrs. Shingibis outside her cabin;
Mrs. William Howenstine in window, Chippewa City.
Creator: Frances Densmore (1867-1957)
Photograph Collection, 1905
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. E97.31 r123 Negative No.

My folks decided to plant a garden and stay there for the winter. A lot of them had done that. These winters here are long, and in the spring we'd put in a garden.

We lived on that land, and on this land of forty acres we made our living by raising gardens.(12) We were trying to farm and raise garden stuff on our claims, on our tribal lands. We had a nice garden, a nice trapping area, and a nice hunting area. That interested my step-dad. He was more interested in raising crops and improving his place.

I got interested in things too. I saw farms when I was away at school. I saw how they raise big crops. I felt like getting home and helping with the crops. And when I got home we had crops, garden crops. We had a garden.

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Log farmhouse.

Log farmhouse.
Creator: Harry Darius Ayer (1878-1966)
Photograph Collection, 1910
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. SA2.22 r20 Negative No. 81815

We'd get the seed from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The government, once in awhile, would give us seeds. The B.I.A. had a farm hand going around issuing out seeds and everything. It was good seed which they offered us, but it didn't do very well for us. Probably those seeds would do in some other soil, but this sand soil would dry out and drought and the seeds would blow away. They struggled to try to keep it going. Some of them were lucky to have a crop out of seeds which the government issued. It was a great work, and the government tried to go along with us.

Some people know how to train other people what to do. And the government always had a man to go around amongst the Indians and tell the Indians how to use the tools. He also was supposed to teach us how to plant. His name was Bemus. {xxsp??} I don't remember his first name, and I can't tell you what it is, because I couldn't say what I don't know. All I know is Mr. Bemus {xxxsp??} They all knew Mr. Bemus, the farmer of the Indian area. His headquarters were at Cass Lake and Bena. Bemus {xxxsp??} was the government agent who was a farmer and who traveled around and told us what to plant and how fine to grind the soil and stuff.

"Ya." He'd tell us. "Get it fine, then the seeds won't dry out."

We had new ground, and all new ground is good. And we planted pretty good. Some of them didn't have any help to plant gardens. So, some of them hired horses and cleared a piece of ground to make a garden spot. We had heavy hoes, big hoes, b^skwadayig^n garden hoes, to plant with. . . .

Around here they plant mostly cabbage -- ci-ah-nii-bis, cucumbers -- ays-kan-dah-mIn, and tomatoes -- ci-o-qI-nii or ci-o-qI-nIq. They all planted cabbages, tomatoes, cucumbers -- canning stuff like that. And squash, ci-ays-kan-dah-mIn. Oh ya. We plant squash. Now they have cantaloupes up here too. But we didn't have cantaloupes early on.

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Indians curing corn, Cass Lake, 1920

Indians curing corn, Cass Lake.
Photograph Collection, 1920
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. E97.32 r17 Negative No. 53610

Corn, man-dah-mIn, grows good here -- beautiful corn, sweet corn. When the corn and potatoes came up, we'd chop the soil between the rows. So in that way we shook up the potatoes with a little spade, or sometimes with a little piece of bark. We moved the dirt just a little bit and that expanded the earth to get more air and the crop began to grow. How did the Indian know that? They practiced. And they got to be big farmers. These potatoes and corn were plenty tall and there were a lot of potatoes on each plant. But this ground only lasts three years before it runs out. Two, three years. The second year they commence to manure the ground. See, they improve that.

I think that fertilizer will help, ya. You have to put lots of vegetation or something in the soil, and keep mixing it so it'll rot. That sod's all rotten by the end of the second year, so the third year crops get good again. And then, from there on, she's going back again the other way.

The government says this is not productive land. But some of it here isn't too bad. Some of it's bad.

The more you fertilize the land and the more you work that ground, the better it is. If you work one piece of ground and lay the other ground up a year or so, it'll get even better, you know. Reverse it like that the next year. You don't have to have big ground.

You don't have to have a big garden for a family, but you should get a crop out of a garden. All that canning will help you make it through the winter. That's something, isn't it?

We should learn to be prepared for these long winters. Nowadays when summer comes we just throw up everything. We quit. And when the hard winter comes we start working again. Now we never try to prepare in advance, and put up stuff ahead for ourself, for the winter. That's where our biggest mistake is: never getting ready for the next winter.

Isn't that right?

In the olden days they used to can stuff and put them in the cellars -- cool, cool, places. Root-cellars. And that root-cellar is picked to put vegetables in. And in them root cellars they had all kinds of fruit and vegetables. They had canned stuff in the jars. There were different sections where they had jars. There were different sections where they had fruit. There was another section where they had vegetables.

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Root house probably shelter from forest fire, St. Louis County.

Root house probably shelter from forest fire, St. Louis County.
Creator: Hugh McKenzie
Photograph Collection, 1918
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. SA2.23 r54 Negative No. 55488

The room where the vegetables were was, oh, maybe twenty, twenty-five, thirty feet. You couldn't get it too hot in there. They had a lot of air space so it's not too hot. You know why? Your vegetables decay if it's too hot. But if you keep the fresh air circulating, they'll be all right. Everything tastes so good from there. You know when you're eating root-cellar food.

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John Kurnicki root cellar of Finnish type, St. Louis County.

John Kurnicki root cellar of Finnish type, St. Louis County.
Photograph Collection, 1937
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. MS2.3 r1 Negative No.

That root cellar is covered with soil, so there's no way for the cold air to get in. And the door was a double door. Those root-cellars had two doors. Those first doors on the root cellars are stopping the draft and the cold air from coming in when you open the cellar. Sometimes that root-cellar might be about sixty feet long, and thirty feet wide. They're sometimes sixty feet, including out to the first door, where the windbreak is, see? When you go to the second door, you begin to smell the vegetables. Then you get whatever you want.

It's in bins. They knew enough to put in bins built out of timber, out of logs. They had bins, bins. The bins were all sizes. Some of them were, I'll say, six or eight feet {wide ??xxxREM check for length or width}. It depends on what you're putting in. Some of them had certain sections, certain gates or doors. Oh they'd have about three or four bins in there. Sometimes they have six or seven. It all depends on the size of the root cellar.

So it was, everything was, done well. They boiled and steamed everything. They canned. They had everything. Them days they had everything. They follow one another to see how to do it. The Indian followed one another too, to see what they were doing, and they'd try to do better. Gee. Oh, boy! That's really good!

They stayed there and worked the allotment, and then fishing would come. And by waters they had nets. They'd go down and set their net whenever they want fish. We had enough fish in the lakes, clear-water fish, good tasting fish. They were dried and cured to use them in the winter. If it was cold they would freeze them outside.

Some of them had prepared ice houses.(13) We didn't, but others around us did. They had ice in their ice houses to keep their milk and stuff like that cool in the summer. We dried and canned our stuff, or kept it in the root cellar, so we didn't need an ice house.

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Cutting ice on the Mississippi River.

Cutting ice on the Mississippi River.
Photographer: Brooks
Photograph Collection, 1900
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location no. HD5.29 p7 Negative no. 1915

Oh, they had ways. They worked. It was work, but they didn't think anything of it. But now they have 'frigerators. They have everything. Now they think, "What is there to do?" They don't even have to cook any more. They just open a can. Now they think, "What does that? What does that?"

Yah. What does that?

They were ready for the winter with the canning, the root cellars' stuff, the dried fish and berries, and the big wood piles. They had good winters. They were damned up for the winter. Soon as the warm weather set in, they went about their work preparing the ground. All that kept us up. Then there would be swimming on beaches, you know, and fishing and canoe days. And then there were the idle times when everything is going and everything was all set. Before you knew it, the harvesting time came. And then we had to get busy with hay in the fall.

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Boys swimming, Mahnomen County, Red Lake Indian Reservation.

Boys swimming, Mahnomen County,
Red Lake Indian Reservation.

Creator: Kenneth M. Wright Studios
Photograph Collection, 1940
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. GV3.62 p95 Negative No. 4993-A

That's the way it was by the Leech and Mississippi Forks. And on these allotments some made good. They made a good living. We had production from the soil we live in. We had fish, rivers, sugar, sugar making, wild rice. . . .

Wild rice is a great thing. It was properly cured and well prepared. We'd take it right off the waters. There was plenty for all in the area where it grows. Then they were happy. They had wild life, ducks, game, natural life, trapping, fur, seasonal, everything. It was great. Sure. It was a frontier. They had fur. Everybody was busy to themselves. They were free. And we lived there with wildlife, game life, a little garden stuff, sugar, pork, tea. Tea wasn't too high in them days. When you had a dollar, the dollar was value in them days. I think we got along just fine, but we had to work on our own. There was quite a life in them days. I enjoyed that. That's the way we lived in the old days.

You know what?

The problem is that now we all have to be satisfied with the location of the homestead the old folks took on. But we had a perfect location. We looked `er over as young people and we saw that it was a place by water, by a river, and that there was plenty of hay, wild hay, "river hay." We thought we might get cattle, and that we had a wonderful place that we could use. Some land was cleared, and was ready to go. And these lands were good. With some land you have a problem clearing the land.

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Herd pasturing on wild hay.

Herd pasturing on wild hay.
Creator: Harry Darius Ayer (1878-1966)
Photograph Collection, 1910
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. SA3.1 r17 Negative No.

Sometimes you have problems establishing yourself in that area, but once you're established, that's your area. That's proven. We establish ourselves in an area by putting up a mark. A post was driven in the ground and peeled to warn that somebody lives here. And after awhile when we had cattle, we used that post for a corner fence post. We had one or two calves in a fence. In my grandma's time there'd be no boundary between two places. No. And later on when you put a post in, that's really setting the boundary line between the two groups.

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Chippewa settlement -- two bark houses, fences, etc., Lake of the Woods.

Chippewa settlement -- two bark houses, fences, etc.,
Lake of the Woods.
Photograph Collection, 1913
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location no. E97.31 r70 Negative no. 9348

We had a big claim in there, by the Leech-Mississippi Forks. My mom and my dad, step-dad, had a claim. We raised good gardens. We had cattle and horses and everything. We raised cattle. Later on in years, later on, we had more cattle, as high twelve to sixteen head.(14) Finally we'd get enough, enough to eat, and that's all you can do in this country. You'd get all you want to eat. I think we ran short at times during a certain part of the season when the crop hadn't matured yet. Then we go and milk the cattle. Johnny cakes and corn meal was a great thing in them days too. And those that worked(15) made enough so that they could have a few chickens, a pig or so, and a couple cows. So, later on, if we wanted a cow to eat, we had cows we butchered.(16) We had chickens, little chickens. If we wanted chickens, we'd get a chicken. But we all tried to manage and raise them and save them. And we ate garden stuff with milk, and all that stuff. Boy that was the straight deal.

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Indian women feeding chickens (probably in Lake Lena area).

Indian women feeding chickens (probably in Lake Lena area).
Photograph Collection, 1910
Minnesota Historical Soceity
Location No. SA3.3 p39 Negative No.

Some of us were able to get a job in a lumber camp.(17) A few of the Indian boys would go to work in the lumber camps, but some of them would always stay home and help the older folks preparing for the winter. The younger folks liked the work in the lumber camp. They liked the Finns and the other loggers that worked there.(18) They'd get enough money to help the folks buy an animal or two. And they'd get enough money for their clothes, and when school started they'd go away for school.(19) Some would go to Haskell, Pipestone, and other government schools. A lot of times that leaves folks without help, but they'd get along. They'd try to get along the best they could by cooperation with Whites and the Indians, and with the frontiers that came. And it was a great life. Everybody was happy.

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Swan River Logging Company camp in the Chippewa National Forest.

Swan River Logging Company camp in the Chippewa National Forest.
Photograph Collection, 1900-1902
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. HD5.1S p1 Negative No. 54699

The womenfolks made nice moccasins and sold them to lumberjacks. But then we had buckskin we'd tan. We tanned buckskin, deer hide, and everything. The womenfolks sewed beadwork while the menfolks bring in the hide and meat. Some of the men worked on the garden, and the womenfolks took care of the house part. Some womenfolks liked to get out and exercise, which was great for them. We worked together, just that way. That's what I've seen all my time. I've been living that way with my folks, and we got along pretty good.

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Mrs. Fairbanks Doing Beadwork, Bena, 1948

Mrs. Fairbanks Doing Beadwork, Bena.
Creator: Monroe P. Killy
Photograph Collection, 1948
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. Collection I.69.171 Negative No.

And we'd trade blueberries in some towns that we go to, like Deer River and Grand Rapids.(20) We'd sell berries to the boats and trains going by. We'd sell a lot of berries to them. We'd get enough money to get some flour, food, or whatever tea and stuff we needed.

During these times, there used to be a ration program going on.(21) Years ago, in my times, about 1913, 1914, the Federal government still had a ration program. You'd get so much flour. You'd get a bag of this. You'd get a bag of that. Food was rationed to every Indian. How much food you got all depended on the size of your family. We got pretty good rations. We'd take that home and eat it with our maply sugar and our blueberries. I think we got along pretty good. We would fish, and we had lots of meat and everything. Yea, we had lots of that meat and fish, and everything. So that helped. We already had a nice start to learn how to get along. That should be. We should learn, because we often struck bad winters far in the north up here. We knew that we had just so much time to get the garden in and work on it. During the meantime, sometime, we'd run short of food. But every month we'd just get so much allowance from the Federal Indian offices.

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Issuing flour to Ojibway women at June festival, White Earth Reservation.

Issuing flour to Ojibway women at June festival,
White Earth Reservation.

Photograph Collection, 1896
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. E97.52 p3 Negative No. 34860

Those that had something besides the rations did well, because they knew how to do it. They remember what their folks said. They were changed by the lectures. They were learning to work.

But some didn't practice working. They had it too easy. All they believe is buy, trap, go buy. Their money didn't last long. But if you would trap, sell your fur, and put that money in for clothes, something to eat, buy some more traps, probably buy a gun, axe and saw, you were rich. You had the tools to work with. They didn't cost much.

The government gave some of them horses. Some of them, you know, got horses, but some didn't get horses. And if you had a horse, then you had it made -- because you could sell a load of wood. You could cut timber at your place, sell it, exchange it. Oh it was a great, great, free occupation. You were self-employed.

There were no roads to go to any big city to buy from stores that had competition. We'd generally buy from places like Dumas's store, and in those stores we'd always be well acquainted with the storekeeper. He was always willing to help the Indians with a big family along. He let them charge, but he always managed to get settled with their bills. He trusted them. If he didn't, why they all had a little -- enough to get them one season to another -- because they sold wild rice, ready-made wild rice, and they sold sugar. They had a little money.

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Old Fontaine Store, near where Great Northern Depot now stands, Louis Fontaine, pioneer storekeeper, Crookston.

Old Fontaine Store, near where Great Northern Depot now stands,
Louis Fontaine, pioneer storekeeper, Crookston.

Photograph Collection, 1890
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location no. MP7.9 CR3.1 p4 Negative no. 8421

Our "local store" was the Dumas Store. We'd paddle up river all day to get there. It was just a little store, with some boarding places, and some company buildings. You could paddle up to the door, pred'near to where the railroad track is now. We'd go get salt-pork, lard, a small sack of flour, some sugar, and what we could carry in our small packsacks. We'd have tomatoes and peaches, and we'd open the can and eat them right there. We'd lunch out there. And sometime we'd even have a little sausage meat. A neighbor, {Substead xxsp??,} fed me when we went to Dumas Store, but I was so excited I didn't care to eat much. "Come on, eat 'er up," he'd say.

"Noh, I got enough."

I always wanted to play right by the mill site. There was a big mill there, a good-sized mill, at one time, by Number Two Bridge. "Dumas Mill" we called it -- but the mill was only one of the buildings.(22) Oh, the current was swift too, especially in the springtime. But we paddled boats and canoes up the river. The river was our main highway those days.

There were no highways in our times. There were canoes and boats. And there were home-made launches with motors. The motors were from the Redwing Motor Company -- like the one Charlie Michaud had.(23) They were a "one lunger," one cylinder. In Indian we called them ah-kay-kunse. That's motor, in Indian. It's the same as "cylinder," only in Indian that comes out as "motor kettle." You'd hear a put-put-put going up and down the river any time of the night, any time of the day. "How can they see those channels?" I used to wonder. It was just natural for them.

I ran out of gas one time when I was with my uncle. Oh geez! We ran out of gas and he cranked! It was an Evinrude you know. My uncle first watched, and he bought one. That was John Tullen {xxxsp??}, of Ball Club Townsite. He was going to take me for a big ride. Oh yah. We got to about the Mud Lake Dam and the motor cut out. There he stood cranking and cranking and cranking. There was no more gas flowing in. Then he'd pull out the plug(24) and look at the plug, and he'd clean it. Then he'd crank it, crank it, crank it. "No. No, she don't go! Him won't go! Him won't go! Him won't go!"

"They're made to run uncle!"

"How come him won't go?"

The problem was the gas line was shut off. Geeze! Instead of monkeying with the gas line he fooled around with the propeller. Just think, huh! Somehow he finally got it a-goin' anyhow. I think somebody came along and helped us. We went up river. And up river we went all over Goose Lake. "Boy were there birds and ducks. We might as well say that we were looking at the crop of rice fields.(25) And we were looking at the crop of ducks.

We didn't have roads in those days, but in the wintertime we had trails for the horses to pull a sled. We were always pretty much what they call "on your own."

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"Indian People." Leech Lake Indian Reservation.

"Indian People."
Leech Lake Indian Reservation.
Cameron Booth (1892-1980)
Art Collection, Oil, 1923
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. AV1992.37.27 Negative No. 41373

How did they use to keep warm?

You go out into the world, out in the open air, and sit by the fire. When we had to be outside in the winter, in the olden days, we built a fire. We build fire and we sat by fire.

I've seen the time that we had two families on the road in the winter with two teams of horses. Oh, it was cold! It must have been about fifteen or twenty below that time. We were on the way to Bena, about twelve, fifteen miles from the Mud Lake Dam, and we were way out in the jungle, about ten miles, eight, ten miles to town here. And you couldn't run them big horses pulling sleds. When we were camping out, the whole family was pred'near a load in itself for a team. And then we had groceries coming back. See, going home from Bena we had groceries. Groceries and the family made quite a load, because they'd haul fifty to a hundred pound sacks of flour them days. At that time we bought flour by the sacks. They didn't by pork like they do now. Now they go downtown and by pork, bacon, by the pound! Them days they used to buy it by ten, fifteen twenty pound slabs, sidings, of nice salt pork. But you didn't pay so much as you do now. We'd buy it by the slabs and that made a load in a little while.

They were driving along and it was cold! Boy, it got cold!! Aahhh, it got terrible cold!! "Well, it's time to make tea or coffee and warm 'em up," the old man says. "I think the womenfolks and the children are getting cold. Ya."

He stopped the team, unhooked the team, and put the horses by their nosebags -- the pails they used to feed them a little oats. The menfolks went and got some wood. All the menfolks gathered logs, from old downfalls, and broke and chopped them up. They got downfalls -- there were a lot of drywood downfalls along the road.

They chopped the downfalls up into six-foot and eight-foot lengths. They made kindling out of some of them. They'd build a big fire. They'd slab off some pitchwood. Pitchwood starts fire. They'd walk up to some stump there, chop it up, slab it off, start a fire quick and pile that wood on. Boy, oh boy, that firewood burnt just big flames. It was so cold that you'd freeze on one side and you'd roast on the other side. One side was so hot, and you'd burn your clothes if you got too close to the sparks. The old man said, "Well boys, go get some more wood." I got another pile of wood and the old man put another big fire about twelve feet away. Now in between, he put the womenfolks. Boy, then they got heated on both sides. They made lunch and coffee heated on both sides. Why that was the best!

There used to be a half-way stop, next to a creek where they'd get water to make tea and coffee. They called that Little Bear Creek.(26) It's right beyond Six-Mile Lake, by Bena. There was an old, old dam -- a stage dam, wooden dam -- made there. We used to stop there and get good water, nice cold water. That water off of the creek was the best tasting water for tea and coffee. There was good flavor in that outside cooking. That was best. Boy, that's good. That nice water made good coffee.

We'd have a good lunch too. They'd take that bacon, put it in a frying pan and cook it up. They'd carry a lunch bag along, a lunch box, with a frying pan in it. They'd take the frying pan and put it on the coals and fry the bacon. Some of them'ed take sticks and hold pieces of the slab bacon over the fire. Geeze!! Boy, that was good to eat with bread. I'll tell you, when you're way out in the woods and in deep snow and it's colder than heck, that goes good when you're hungry. Cold weather will make you hungry too, and by eating warm stuff it will warm you up and you'll feel better. Then you resist the cold better.

Finally we got thawed out. We drank up the coffee, and everybody was raring to go. We got in the sled box full of hay and we'd go again. We continue our journey. Gee! That's what we used to do.

Well, that's the way we used to go continually in this frontier life years ago, in the old frontier. When we got home we were good for a month. We stocked groceries good for a month or so -- maybe a month and a half. When they were gone, the folks went to town again. That's just the way they did it year-'round. 'Course, on the plantation they had garden enough to put them through the winter. They had vegetables and all that stuff. Well, they had root cellars mostly, root cellars then to keep the garden production in.

Ya, that's our life. That's the Indian life. That's frontier life. The old lumberjack had the same life. In order to make the camp he'd stop and build a fire too.

And I think we were doing good. Why? Because we had neighbors. Every time we wanted to find out a question, we go ask the White people, neighbors; they were farming. We lived on the allotment across from Joe Barnes's. We moved across from the Barnes's on the Leech and Mississippi Forks. Joe Barnes was out in the world; he was out in the Dakotas; he was out places where he worked. Joe Barnes was a hard worker. And he was always on the river, driving rafts of posts. He was always helping his folks on the plantation where they lived. They had a beautiful home, made of logs. So that was all labor.(27) And the ground they bought was full of cedar. It was several years after they moved there that they cleared it and got a clear title to that land. It was a state swamp, I think. They got the clear title to that land, and when Mr. Barnes, the old man, died, and the whole works of the older generation died, Joe Barnes was the leading brother of the place.

Joe Barnes was a leading brother, and also Frank Barnes, but Frank Barnes died. That's his younger brother. The only one living now is Jimmy Barnes. And Jimmy is still a hard worker, but he has a little ailments of his heart. I think he got that way from working hard in his young days. I think all them Barnes boys worked too hard in their young days. They worked on the waters, and had their feet wet all the time. They went barefooted sometimes, to keep dry, and sometimes they wore boots so they could walk on the logs.

We enjoyed life. We had a private family life working there. Nobody trespassed the land, and we were just learning good about the White way of living. That living a White way was interesting. We were learning fast. That Barnes farm is still there. And they tell us how to farm, how to improve. And they tell us how to do things and we go back home to do the same.

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Family and horse posed by log barn.

Family and horse posed by log barn.
Photographer: Louis Enstrom
Photograph Collection, 1900
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location no. SA2.21 p22 Negative no. 58208

There was a big snowstorm one spring. The snow covered three or four inches. It was a late spring snow. And we planted corn and everything, and it got to be four or five inches high by the time it stopped snowing on that. But it froze, the snow froze it. It froze the cucumbers we had covered.

This work of snow and everything came in the morning. My mother went out to garden. Oh she came back with a broken heart!

"We're gonna starve this winter, son."

"Are we?"

"The corn froze right down. Ya."

But it snowed the warm snow, and the heavy snow had turned to water by noon. That's a different kind of snow, and everything kept warm as long as it got wet you know. And I was thinking of that, and I said, "I wonder what I could do?"

So we had a good farmer across the river. A White man, Mr. Hurt {xxxSp??}. I wanted to go talk to him. He had a nice farm. He had nice horses and everything. We did too, by that time. So I went across the river to see him.

"How was your garden?"

"Oh, everything flattened right out. The corn is all right."

"Our corn is frozen. We'll have to replant again."

"Noh. You wait two or three days and see what happens. Take a drag,(28) hook on a double-tracked drag, and drag your corn and garden. Or you can even separate the drag so it won't be too heavy. A separated drag is a little bit lighter. You hook on one horse, if you wanna, and drag that corn over."

I dragged that corn over, and after three or four days it perped right up again. That fall you couldn't pick the corn out fast enough. My mother sat out there. Oh, she was happy.

"How did you do that," she said.

"Well, Mr. Hurt told me what to do." He told me, "You take a drag and just drag the soil. In two or three days, when that soil is dry, that corn will come up again. That'll stir up the ground, then your warm ground comes up. And that won't disturb the roots, no."

So I dragged it, right over the leaves and everything. And I dragged the garden. It didn't hurt the leaves, but I was careful going over the cucumbers' vines. At that time of year the cucumbers still had little vines.

That was in about, 1926, 1926 or something. That was after I came back to Leech Mississippi Forks after working in North Dakota,(29) and the sawmill for J. Neils Lumber Company in Cass Lake.(30) We had a big snowstorm, in June I guess. Then I dragged it. When I got through dragging, well, there was sunshine, and it was warm.

That spring, after planting season time, you ought to see the garden grow. See that was sandy soil. I dragged it, and boy I tell you it growed to beat hell. It got air right away.

I used to go after(31) the low ground too. The corn ground was high, and we fertilized that with manure. On the high we planted corn. The corn was way up high, and on the sunny side. Corn has to have heat you know. And that put the windbreak on the north side. Then we went to the low spots and planted the cucumbers, carrots, rutabagas, and all of them. Holy Mackinaw, when I broke that up and disced it, well, it made a garden. I don't think I went ten feet across, but I took a strip, oh, about a half a block long, and I went there and disced. We disced the heck out of it, dragged it. So we planted there. Gee you ought to see that stuff grow. Where alder bush is growing there is dark soil. It's little lower than the high sand. See, the sand soil was up-hill. Next to the meadows and rivers we have plenty of moisture, and we had a good crop again. We grew peas and everything. We grew garden peas and everything. We grew garden stuff on the low ground because it was rich.

We fertilized that with manure. Talk about garden! We had pumpkins laying around there like they were great big oranges. After we got a garden we had pumpkin and squash. We like squash. Mother used to go out there and get squash and cook them all the time. She liked that squash. She'd cut the meat off and everything, and generally she'd throw away seeds. But some of the time we even kept the seeds. We fried some of them, sometimes, and sometimes we planted them again. They'll multiply by the seeds.

My people, my sisters and brothers -- and also includin' me -- talkin' about the weather, we had lived through a lot. I didn't do all. I had sisters and brothers that would work along. I tried to do what I can because I had a little defect in my life, paralysis. And I think I still enjoyed my life working with it. It didn't bother me a bit. Mine is a mild case of paralysis on the right hand. But still I enjoyed, I really enjoyed, life. I enjoyed working at it. I went to doctors and they sure have given me encouragement to try to get along good.(32) So that helps. And I am glad that I can talk English and meet people that know something, where I try to learn. And I ask if I don't know anything. I ask, then I listen to them talk. Oh, it's a great life, you know! You just have got to get that brain a-working, which is handed down to you. Sometimes I make mistakes! I make lots of mistakes, but that doesn't run me down; that doesn't turn me down. I still look for better health at all times. And I think I'm doing pretty good getting around, and I thank the Great Spirit for the blessing I have got in the past.

At my times we had to dig in, get a plantation, put a little house on it, and keep warm. We had to get our wood prepared. Father and mother worked together, they got their heads together. We had to take care of the cattle(33) -- we got cattle, a few cattle for milk, and chickens. We put up the hay. In my community they all worked together at seasonal haying time.(34) They were preparing for the winter.

Then there was something they felt they had to do with schooling. Now the schooling was coming too, and the children -- my younger brothers and sisters -- knew they had to go to school. They did all they could to get to school. They had to attend school, take care of the stock as much as we could, and raise our crop. Mother canned and father planted as we helped. Things were going good. The ground was fresh and pure, and we raised good crops. The weather was just right. When we needed rain we got it. We didn't have any droughts. And it seems though in my times things went along well until I was able to get out on my own and start looking for jobs. When you look for work, employment, you get interested. You know you have to work for yourself. A little work helps everybody; it doesn't hurt anybody. With practice you get used to work. When you practice work and occupy your mind with an occupation, it is good for you. Like it says, "a sweat of the brow for the bread is honest earning." The ground is there and we have great seed, certified seeds. It should be. If we take care of the garden, it'll grow. If it's too big, those of a family that's able to, get out and work. It's a kind of a cooperation. Finally, I believe from my experience that you can do better by staying put in one place.(35)

I was told if you keep moving from one place to another just to make bigger money, you'll spend that money looking to seek work. By the time that you find work maybe you're hired for higher pay for only three months. It is higher pay, but you're moving. You left, and your belongings are left. You might have sold them for little or nothing. Or you almost left them or maybe you gave them away to neighbors or friends 'cause you're looking for a bigger scale of work. The way it looks to me, the times are going back to where we have to stay put. I think by staying put, working, and having something that belongs to you, you'll be better off. If your machinery works, if your cattle are increasing, if your chickens are increasing, it'll work all right. You can always hire enough to have employment in that area because you can always exchange. Sooner or later you'll be getting along by working and you've got something to plan with, something to plan on. You have soil, good soil, production, and equipment to plan with. When you need new equipment maybe you can get a certain exchange and maybe get better equipment. Pretty soon it's a betterment. That's the way I found out; we were learning.

What I'm driving at is that my family, the sisters and brothers of mine, were getting old and I left home to seek work. When I left home they felt like they would seek work too. I wasn't making big money, 'course, but I was on my own. I was seeking work on my own.

We lived at the Mississippi and Leech Fork about, 25, 30, 25, 30 . . . 25, 28 years. I left down there when I was around eighteen years old. I left for sawmills. I went out working. I worked in the sawmills, and was working on road-works and stock works.(36) Then I came back home. I'd stick around home awhile and then go back to the sawmill. I worked for the J. Neils Lumber Company, Cass Lake. That was a big outfit. I worked for them quite a bit. I like it there. Many times I thought to myself, "I loved the Cass Lake Mill, and working for the J. Neils Lumber Co. That was a good company."

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Planing mill, Cass Lake.

Planing mill, Cass Lake.
Photograph Collection, 1915
Collections Online
Minnesota Historical Society
Location No. HD5.5 p84 Negative No.

But I came back to Ball Club, to the Leech-Mississippi Forks of Ball Club. I know I am local here. I felt this was my headquarters all the time. I knew my people and they knew me. When I came back I was about 26. {xxxREM-Check this with BENA PLACE INFO}

While I was gone my folks tried farming. They tried it. But the people, the old folks -- father and mother -- were always at home and they were tired. They got their heads together and they talked about their younger children leaving home to seek a betterment for themselves. Maybe the younger ones thought they'd find a job, or get a better education. When the younger children left, the folks thought, "we don't need that production. We don't need the stock,"(37) so they began to sell off their stock.(38) Pretty soon the plantation vanished.

The children moved into the cities(39) where it cost money. There's lots of Indians in the cities that have to start in new. And then they keep moving. Some move out north, east, and west. Some move in from the south. Some from the north move east or south to seek that higher pay as a seasonal work.

I think if we would-a stayed at home like my folks, as the younger brothers and sisters took over -- if we'd-a continued with the cattle raising, continued with the chicken raising, continued the production from the soil, and stuck right with it and still went to school, done chores, done that haying and buy feeds -- I think eventually we'd have something. We'd have something later on, sooner or later. It's a little struggle to start off and make the easy going, but you get built up if you stay with it. That's what I saw in the past.

And there were big families of neighbors -- that I can prove -- that had a school by their neighborhood, and they got by very well because they were educated enough to get out on their own when they grew up. They were the Barnses who lived next to school. They called it "Barnses' school of Leech River." It was located by the first high banks of the Leech River.

They had a beautiful place where they worked in my area. They had beautiful places. I think some of us give up hopes, or give up, too quick. Stay with it. I think sooner or later it gets brighter by the production of where you live. Your belonging is yours and you feel more free by working. Pretty soon you have something, maybe you'll save.

It used to be that by working you didn't have time for anything. Now-a-days you have T.V. equipment. You can gather the news. It isn't like my times; now you can see the news, you can see the show. I traveled eight, ten miles to Deer River from Ball Club in the 1916, '17, 1920's to go to a show with fifty cents in my pocket. Now they can see a show on T.V. There's something to learn; news is a big thing.

You can continually work for better homes. They can work their soil, work for their stock. I think it's a good point. It may get to where we have to work the soil some day. They're talking about a shortage of food in this country. Somebody has to produce, sooner or later, or else there will be a shortage. If we don't produce from this great soil, from the great soil that is given to us to work with, we'll have a shortage. It proves out.

It made me think a lot by traveling and seeing what they are doing in this area. The tractors are going; the machinery is going. In my time we had horses a-going and still produced enough to live on. But now with machinery a-going they should have enough to live on. They can cover a big area. They can make it better. They don't wear themselves out; they plan and are thinking.

In a few years time, if there's any children around, they'll be ready to give a hand. They'll be glad to give a hand. Those young children are glad to be out to do their part with their father and mother. I know that. I was always glad to help Father and Mother. We were always occupied.

I think I feel good today because I have done right with my father and mother. And I thank the Great that I'm able to talk at this time: "Thank you . . . Migwitch."


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Footnotes

1. Ahead.

2. 1909.

3. Cf., Ch. 4X,"Treaties, Allotments, and Self-Government."

4. A tract of land.

5. 1912.

6. A .410 gauge shotgun; a small-bored one.

7. From the year before.

8. See Ch. 7, Skayy-go-mI-zi-gày-wIn . . . xxx.

9. See also Ch. 38, "Finns, the 'Sweatbath-Men.'"

10. I.e., a notch cut in the corner, like Lincoln Logs.

11. See Ch. 18, "Winter Woods and Wigwams."

12. Cf., Holzkamm, Tim E. "Ojibwa Horticulture in the Upper Mississippi and Boundary Waters." Papers of the Seventeenth Algonquian Conference, 1985. Edited by William Cowan. (Ottawa: Carleton University), pp. 143-154.

13. Houses to keep ice cut from the lake in the winter, not little houses for ice fishing.

14. Cf., Ch. 44, "Cattle and Horses."

15. Logging or on the railroad or building roads. Cf., Chs. 39, "Timber Days" XXX, and XXX.

16. Cf., Ch. 44, "Cattle and Horses."

17. See Ch. 39, "Timber Days."

18. See Ch. 38, "Finns, the 'Sweatbath-Men.'"

19. See Ch. 36, "School."

20. "At the turn of the century only three villages were incorporated in Itasca County. These were Grand Rapids with a population of 1,428, Deer River with a population of 251, and LaPrairie with a population of 88. At the turn of the century -- when the total population was 4,573 -- 4,573 were listed as 'rural dwellers,'" p. 25. "St. Louis county is 63 miles long, 60 miles wide and covers 2844 square miles. It's about twice the size of Rhode Island, half again as big as Delaware and covers one hundredth the area of Texas," p. 1. Rottsolk, James E. 1960. Pines, Mines, and Lakes: The Story of ITASCA COUNTY, MINNESOTA. {Grand Rapids, MN??}: Itasca County Historical Society.

21. See XXX and XXX for info on rations

22. Cf., Ch. 39 "Timber Days," page xxx.

23. Cf., Ch. 39,"Timber Days," page xxx. {story of CM and using motor to get logs out of log jam}

24. Spark plug.

25. They liked to go out and look at the wild rice growing every now and then. Checking on it from time to time was an important ritual. Cf. Ch. 14, "Mah-no-min-i-kay Gii-siss, 'Wild Ricing Moon.'"

26. Little Bear Brook.

27. I.e., they didn't have to pay for many materials.

28. A piece of farm equipment you pull behind a tractor.

29. See Ch. 4X, "North Dakota."

30. See Ch. XXX

31. I.e., plant a garden on.

32. Cf. Ch. xxx

33. Cf., Ch. 44, "Cattle, Horses, 'Siouxs.'"

34. They all helped each other put up hay.

35. Cf. xxx cross ref with ch. 39??

36. Helping out with cattle and horses.

37. Livestock.

38. Cf., xxx{43CATTLE.95A} ca; 23 about selling off cattle.

39. Cities and little towns and villages, including Ball Club, Deer River, and Grand Rapids.

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