||John Hamilton Gooderham instructing modern farming techniques.|
DOMINION OF CANADA ANNUAL REPORT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF INDIAN AFFAIRS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 30th JUNE 1893.
The agent speaks most highly of the herder's diligence and untiring energy in the performance of his duties under very unfavourable and trying conditions.
I inspected all the cattle: with a few exceptions they all looked well, the two thorough-bred Galloway bulls, just purchased, have arrived; they are very fine animals, and they will,'no doubt, prove a good addition to the herd.
I inspected the large now stables and corrals built last summer for the accommodation of this herd. They are well constructed and should afford every necessary protection against an inclement winter. These stables are adjacent to and near the river, and are very conveniently situated for watering the stock.
Piapot Band No. 75 - J.H. Gooderham, Farmer, Farm 9.
Mr. Gooderham, was sent to take charge of this band from Touchwood Agency. He is experienced in dealing with Indians, having been in the service of this department, in the same capacity, since 1879; he speaks the Cree language fluently. He took charge here in October, 1892.
At the time of my inspection, the Indians had already left their houses, in which they reside during the winter, and were all living in tents. There was but one case of sickness in the whole camp, a returned Industrial School child, sick with consumption.
These people were well clothed and appeared cheerful. They had their cattle with them at the camp, and I was able to make an enumeration of them without any difficulty, and also to observe their condition. While some of them looked as if they had passed through a hard winter, they were improving in condition, and some were looking very well indeed.
I audited the books of this farm, balancing the same. They were kept with regularity, and they checked with those of the agency.
I inspected the goods in use, and made a list of those worn out.
I made an inventory of the tools and implements in the hands of the Indians. The list of goods "under Government controls" represents but a small portion of those they possess: since my last inspection, they have bought eleven bob-sleighs at twenty-six dollars to thirty dollars each, seventeen wagons, seven mowers and six horse-rakes; these they have paid for by selling hay and grain, they sell their hay in Regina, a distance of thirty-five miles. Last year the price there was five dollars and fifty cents a ton. They also sold over one hundred tons to the Indian Department at two dollars a ton; this was for the agency herd.
At the time of my inspection, seeding was finished and they had renewed and re-established their fences in a substantial manner, using new rails when required; wheat was showing above the ground. About twenty-seven Indians are interested in the crops, and these farm in sixteen communities. The crops consist of ninety-three acres wheat, six acres turnips, two acres carrots, five acres potatoes, total one hundred and six acres; it is nearly all on land the second crop from breaking. Four houses and as many stables have been built within the past year, and the Indians work steadily during the winter hauling hay to Regina, and to the herd stables; although only twenty-seven Indians are interested as owners of crops, fifty-three are classed as working Indians of the two hundred and five in the band.
In 1892 this band had in crop two hundred acres wheat, thirteen acres oats, eight acres potatoes, five acres turnips. It was a most disastrous year for them, as nearly the whole of the crop was destroyed by a hail storm: all that was harvested from this large area of crops, was fifty-six bushels wheat, thirty-four bushels oats, six hundred bushels turnips. Sixteen bushels of the wheat were used for seed, and the remainder put to stock; the oats were put to stock, and the Indians used the turnips.
The same year, the farmer had in crop half an acre potatoes. It was a wonder that in the face of such ill-luck the Indians were induced to farm this year as largely as they have done.