Page:Eleven years in the Rocky Mountains and a life on the frontier.djvu/494

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10
PRINCIPAL INDIAN GRIEVANCES.

to be here fully stated. The principal Indian grievances however, for which the government is responsible, are a failure to fulfil treaties, encroachment on reserved territories, and the dishonesty of agents. Col. Miles speaks of our relationship with the Indians for the last fifty years, as the dark page in our history, which, next to African slavery, has done more to disgrace our government, blacken our fair name, and reflect upon our civilization, than aught else. It has, he says, been a source of corruption and a disturbing element, unconfined to any one political party or class of individuals.

Wendell Phillips asserts that the worst brutality which prurient malice ever falsely charged the Indian with, is but weak imitation of what the white man has often inflicted on Indian men, women and children; and that the Indian has never lifted his hand against us until provoked to it by misconduct on our part, compared with which, any misconduct of his is but dust in the balance.

The great difference in the condition and character of the Indians over the Canada line and our own, can only be accounted for by the different treatment they have received. The Canadian Indians are, on the whole, a harmless, honest people, who, though they are gradually disappearing before the white man, bear him no ill-will, but rather the contrary. Bishop Whipple of Minnesota, an earnest advocate of the peace policy, draws the following contrast:—

"Here are two pictures—on one side of the line a nation has spent $500,000,000 in Indian war; a people who have not 100 miles between the Atlantic and the Pacific which has not been the scene of an Indian massacre; a government which has not passed twenty years without an Indian war; not one Indian tribe to whom it has given Christian civilization; and which