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In the Report of the Board of Indian Commissioners for 18711 I found the following report of a meeting held between General S.J. McKinney (Superintendant of Indian Affairs for Washington Territory) and Chief Napoleon at the Tulalip Reservation in Washington Territory:
“Napoleon, the Chief, came forward with much and laid before…a bunch of split sticks, saying ‘these represent the number of Indians killed by white men in the past year, all Indian chiefs, fifteen of them, and yet nothing has been done by the government to the white men who killed them. They killed them by selling them whisky. I do not speak of them because I have a bad heart, but because I want you to know what kinds of men live about us. The whites now scare all of the Indians, and we wonder when they will kill all of us.’”
After his eloquent and impassioned speech came that of his brother, Peter, who continued to explain the evils of the Indian agents:
“Every agent has done wrong. No money comes our way. I will find money to go to Washington and tell the President of these evils. McKinney (the superintendent) has gone to the woods; he knows things are bad. The young Indians want to be helped and live like white men, they are not lazy. They see the Indian agent; he works for himself and never helps the Indian. I can not tell you the many stories; the sun would go down before I was finished…”
The Indian Commissioner present at the proceedings, Mr. Felix R. Brunot, made an interesting response:
“It would take four months to go to Washington in a canoe…I have much to do and little time to do it in. I must go to two more reservations before I go home and I have little time left to spend here. I am going to stay here just half an hour longer and then I must go…
1) THIRD ANNUAL REPORT OF THE BOARD OF INDIAN COMMISSIONERS Washington DC December 12 1871, pp 128-129.
Present at this meeting were:
"August 28. A council was held with the Indians of this reservation at 10 a. m., meeting in front of the trading-house. There were present Hon. F. R. Brunot, chairman of the board of Indian commissioners, and his secretary ; General S. J. McKinney, superintendent of Indian affairs for Washington Territory; Father Chirouse, superintendent; Napoleon, the chief, and all the minor chiefs and young men ; the employes, and a large number of the men and women of the tribe. Before the council opened, Napoleon, the chief, reminded them that he was the only one left of the old men who took part in the treaty with Governor Stevens ; all the others had passed away..."