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Sketches: "Department of Indian Affairs Annual Report of 1904: How did the Dominion Characterize the Spanish River Band?"
Posted: Jan 07, 2018

Sketches, Memories and Moments: Our People in History

Department of Indian Affairs ANNUAL REPORT of 1904
How did the Dominion Characterize the Spanish River Band?

We found a great document for you Sagamok! It will give you a look at how the Spanish River Band was perceived by the young Dominion of Canada in 1904. 

On page 114 of 1,359: 

" Reserve. - This reserve is situated on the north shore of the North channel of Lake Huron, along the south bank of the Spanish river. It is bounded on the south land west by the waters of the said North channel and on the north by the Spanish river, and contains, 28,000 acres. As to residence, this band is divided into three Communities. Two of these are dwelling on the reserve and are in my charge, viz., at Sagamok, a beautiful point running out into the North channel, and on the left bank of the Spanish river in the easterly end of the reserve. The third community is on Manitoulin island under the jurisdiction of Indian Agent Sims. 

Tribe. - These Indians are of the Ojibbewa tribe. 

Vital Statistics. - The population of these two communities is 322, consisting of 61 men, 75 women and 186 children. 

Health and Sanitation. - These Indians have continued healthy during the year; and, as is their custom, keep their habitations clean and tidy. 

Occupations. - Many of these Indians are employed as farmhands, and many as ordinary labourers; a few follow hunting and fishing for a living. The women and children gather berries and make baskets for sale. 

Buildings. - This band has exceptionally good buildings and outbuildings, all of which are kept in a good state of repair; but no new buildings have been erected during the year. 

Stock. - This band has a very good assortment of stock, which comprises horses, cattle, pigs and poultry, and there has been considerable improvement in this respect during the past year. 

Farm Implements. - They have a few ploughs and harrows and a lot of hoes and rakes, all indeed that they need for the cultivation of their gardens. 

Education. - They have a very good school at Sagamok, very well attended, and the best school in my agency. The school at Spanish River has not been well attended, by the children during the past year. 

Religion. - Those of the band designated No. 1, at Sagamok, are nearly all Roman Catholics, and those of the band designated No. 2, at Spanish River, are nearly, all Anglicans. 

Characteristics and Progress. - These Indians are industrious, peaceful and law-abiding, and have made some progress in their improvement in habits and manners. They are well clothed and make a comfortable living.

Temperance and Morals. - They are a temperate people - I might almost say total abstainers, and they are a moral people, I am led to believe. I have, & c., SAMUEL HAGAN, Indian Agent. PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, WALPOLE ISLAND


AGENCY, WALPOLE ISLAND, September 8, 1904. The Honourable The Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, Ottawa."



Find the Department of Indian Affairs 1904 Annual Report HERE




































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