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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 23, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta inc ncnni-u shall not Proud tribe res By WARREN CARAGATA Herald Staff Writer The word still frightens the land-rich Blood bringing back memories of a concerted government campaign after the First World War to persuade the Bloods to give up their land The Bloods have about 550 square miles of land north of land that has been coveted by neighboring farmers and real estate com- panies and others as long as the reserve has existed But the once a proud tribe that several early observers called have successful- ly resisted every attempt to take away the last rem- nant of what was once a great prairie nation There were two periods before 1920 when Indians in Western Canada were un- der pressure to surrender parts of their reserves And both just happened to coincide with a strong demand for land on the Prairies Between 1900 and 1910 a wave of immigrants wss sweeping into Western Canada and Chambers of Commerce and land The Blood Band cattle operation once grazed about head. speculators couldn't help Wallace Pace and Leonard Little Bear help m caring for animals dians Blood operation A land surrender proposition was defeated by the Bloods in but that didn t stop the govern- ment from trying again 10 years when soldiers returning from the Euro- pean battleground were be- ing resettled As there is a pressing need for sections of land for the settlement of the comparative- ly large areas of Indian Reserve lands throughout the which were but scantily used by the In- were sought as a source of ac- cording to the 1919 annual report of the Indian affairs department Hugh history director of the Glenbow Alberta Institute in says at the time the Indian affairs depart- ment honestly believed In- dians were dying with the population declining every year don't think they were trying to victimize the In- he says But because it was ex- pected the Indians would become the government was unwilling to spend money to really look after them By encouraging the In- dians to surrender parts of their they could gam revenue to do things for the Indians still he says A letter from the deputy superintendent general of Indian affairs to W J Indian agent on the Blood dated Aug 1911 instructs the agent to limit government rations only to those In- dians cannot support themselves It isn't the policy of the government to force the Bloods to sell their the letter but the agent is instructed to re- mind the Indians that part of their reserve could be sold for a substantial amount should keep before them the fact that government of the country cannot continue to lavish gifts upon them when they have already received un- der the Treaty such a magnificent landed which was of intended for their sup- the deputy superintendent general says Not only were the Indian agents told to keep reminding the Indians that their lands could be but as early as the department was planning for some future surrender vote. A letter from J A a department states he has recommended that all ;