Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation (North Dakota)
The Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation is located primarily in the Turtle Mountains, Rolette County, North Dakota.
- Established -- 21 December 1882
- Agency (BIA) -- Turtle Mountain Agency
- Principal tribes -- Pembina Chippewa
- Population -- Near 9,000 (2010 census) but 108,612 when including the Pine Ridge-Rosebud, Cheyenne River-Standing Rock, Fort Berthold, Crow-Northern Cheyenne, Fort Peck, Fort Belknap, Rocky Boy, and Blackfeet Reservations which the citizens of those Reservations have been strongly advised not to accept.
The Turtle Mountain Reservation was established by executive orders, Dec. 21, 1882, Mar. 29 and June 3, 1884 and by an agreement made Oct. 2, 1892, amended by Indian appropriation act approved and ratified Apr. 21, 1904, (XXXIII194). In 1884, the United States thought the Reservation was too large for the number of Chippewa's living there so they reduced the Reservations size to just two townships or a little over 46,000 acres. Then after 1900 the United States became concerned about the large Chippewa population living on the Reservation and the land allotments they planned to hand out.
Evidently there was not enough land on the Reservation so the United States had to open up public domain lands in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Up to 500,000 or more acres was allotted to over 3,000 Chippewa's. Most of the land allotments were handed out in Montana. Over 130,000 acres was handed out in Williams County, North Dakota. So many Chippewa's lived in Williams County, North Dakota a branch office of the Turtle Mountain Reservation was opened in the Chippewa town of Trenton, North Dakota, to manage the numerous land allotments in not only northwest North Dakota but also northeastern Montana. The Fort Peck Agency also manages some of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa land allotments, as does the Fort Belknap Agency, Rocky Boy Agency, and Northern Cheyenne Agency. The Cheyenne River Agency of South Dakota manages the Turtle Mountain Chippewa land allotments in South Dakota.
Chief Little Shell III refused to take treaty which left over 10 million acres yet to be accounted for. Many present day Turtle Mountain Chippewa's are yet claiming the 10 or 11 million acres. And many Turtle Mountain Chippewa's are angry about the minerals their land conceals. They know the United States is exploiting their land and want compensation.
In the late 18th century, both the Chippewa's and Lakota were competing for the plains of both North Dakota and South Dakota. Most of the Lakota were subjugated by the Chippewa's. However, the few Lakota who escaped subjugation often attacked the Chippewa's. One such instance occurred at Devil's Lake between 1800 and 1810, in which chief Little Shell I was killed in action while fighting the Lakota.
Though the Chippewa's were defeated they yet controlled the land around the Devil's Lake region of North Dakota. In fact, the Chippewa's controlled much of South Dakota. The first advance force of Chippewa soldiers left their homes in central and southern Minnesota in the 17th century. They are known today as the Arapaho and Cheyenne. The Cheyenne were still practicing the Chippewa's Midewiwin or Grand Medicine Society, in the 19th century. The Cheyenne River Reservation of South Dakota was probably named after the Cheyenne. In the late 19th century it was common to refer to the Cheyenne River Reservation as the Cheyenne Agency Reservation. Maps from the late 19th century prove it.
A part of the Turtle Mountain Reservation (land allotments) is located adjacent to the Spirit Lake Reservation. That is Graham Island. The Chippewa's make up about a third of the population of the Spirit Lake Reservation. Another part of the Turtle Mountain Reservation (land allotments) is located a few miles west of the Cheyenne River Reservation. There may be other parts of the Turtle Mountain Reservation (land allotments) a little north of the Pine Ridge Reservation. East of the Crow-Northern Cheyenne Reservation of Montana, is another part of the Turtle Mountain Reservation (land allotments) which originally covered a large area.
According to the book "The History of the Chippewa Cree of Rocky Boy Indian Reservation," around 250 Chippewa's from the Turtle Mountain Reservation were allotted land at the Miles City, Montana land office in 1911. Each allotment averaged 160 acres. That is around 40,000 acres. Many Turtle Mountain Chippewa's would love to know more about that land. A total of 1,700 Turtle Mountain Chippewa's were living in Valley County, Montana in 1911 waiting to receive land allotments. In 1911, Valley County, Montana included what are now Blaine, Daniels, Phillips, Sheridan, and Roosevelt Counties. A very large area of land. Another 250 Turtle Mountain Chippewa's received land allotments in Blaine, Hill, and Liberty Counties. Some of the allotments are less than 50 miles from the Blackfeet Reservation. The remaining 1,200 received their land allotments in Daniels, Phillips, Roosevelt, Sheridan, and Valley Counties. That is 192,000 acres.
However, over 2,000 Turtle Mountain Chippewa's were allotted land in Montana, before 1911 and after 1911. The allotments did not just occur in 1911. Up to 350,000 acres was allotted to the Turtle Mountain Chippewa's in Montana. When including the Williams County, North Dakota Turtle Mountain Chippewa land allotments with the Montana Turtle Mountain Chippewa land allotments, it comes to over 480,000 acres. Another 50,000 to 100,000 acres was allotted in North Dakota and South Dakota. Most of the land allotments were eventually sold. And it is very difficult to learn exactly how much remains now. Between the Pine Ridge-Rosebud, Crow-Northern Cheyenne, Blackfeet, Rocky Boy, Fort Belknap, Fort Peck, Cheyenne River-Standing Rock, Fort Berthold, and Turtle Mountain Reservations are the remaining Turtle Mountain Reservation Land Allotments. The Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation is actually the largest Indian Reservation when considering the facts. The problem is the Indians of those Reservations except Turtle Mountain, will not accept being Chippewa. Even at Rocky Boy.
Records of many of the Indians who have lived on the Turtle Mountain Reservation are among the records of the Turtle Mountain Agency records, some of which are available at the Central Plains Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Kansas City..
The 1900 federal census included population schedules for the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation. The census includes the non-Indian employees of the Turtle Mountain Agency, as well as many pages of Indian Population Schedules for the native population of the Reservation. They are recorded as District 262, Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation, in Rolette County, North Dakota.
- "North Dakota Indian Reservations," Handbook of Indians North of Mexico, by Frederick Webb Hodge Available online.
- Guide to Federal Records, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75Available online
- Confederation of American Indians. Indian Reservations: A State and Federal Handbook. Jefferson, North Caroline: McFarland & Co., c1986. WorldCat 14098308; FHL book 970.1 In2.
- Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #30, 1906. This publication lists the 22 states which had reservations in 1908. Available online.
- Kappler, Charles J. Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1902. 7 volumes. WorldCat 74490963; FHL book 970.1 K142i. Available online.
- Klein, Barry T., ed. Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian. Nyack, New York: Todd Publications, 2009. 10th ed. WorldCat 317923332; FHL book 970.1 R259e.
- Prucha, Francis Paul. Atlas of American Indian Affairs. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1991 WorldCat 257331735; FHL book 970.1 P95aa
- Prucha, Francis Paul, ed. Documents of United States Indian Policy. 3rd Edition. Lincoln, Nebraska: Univeresity of Nebraska Press, 2000. WorldCat 50416280; FHL book 970.1 P95d.
- Prucha, Francis Paul. Guide to the Military Posts of the United States, 1789-1895. Madison, Wisconsin: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, c1964. WorldCat 522839; FHL book 973 M2pf.
- Schmeckebier, Laurance F. The Office of Indian Affairs: Its History, Activities, and Organization. Service Monographs of the United States Government; no. 48. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1927. Reprint. New York: AMS Press, 1972. WorldCat 257893; FHL book 973 B4b v. 48.
- Sturtevant, William C. Handbook of North American Indians. 20 vols., some not yet published. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978– .
- Volume 1 -- Not yet published
- Volume 2 -- Indians in Contemporary Society (pub. 2008) -- WorldCat 234303751
- Volume 3 -- Environment, Origins, and Population (pub. 2006) -- WorldCat 255572371
- Volume 4 -- History of Indian-White Relations (pub. 1988) -- WorldCat 19331914; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.4.
- Volume 5 -- Arctic (pub. 1984) -- WorldCat 299653808; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.5.
- Volume 6 -- Subarctic (pub. 1981) -- WorldCat 247493742; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.6.
- Volume 7 -- Northwest Coast (pub. 1990) -- WorldCat 247493311
- Volume 8 -- California (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 13240086; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.8.
- Volume 9 -- Southwest (pub. 1979) -- WorldCat 26140053; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.9.
- Volume 10 -- Southwest (pub. 1983) -- WorldCat 301504096; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.10.
- Volume 11 -- Great Basin (pub. 1986) -- WorldCat 256516416; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.11.
- Volume 12 -- Plateau (pub. 1998) -- WorldCat 39401371; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.12.
- Volume 13 -- Plains, 2 vols. (pub. 2001) -- WorldCat 48209643
- Volume 14 -- Southeast (pub. 2004) -- WorldCat 254277176
- Volume 15 -- Northwest (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 356517503; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.15.
- Volume 16 -- Not yet published
- Volume 17 -- Languages (pub. 1996) -- WorldCat 43957746
- Volume 18 -- Not yet published
- Volume 19 -- Not yet published
- Volume 20 -- Not yet published
- Tiller, Veronica E. Velarde. American Indian Reservations and Trust Areas. [Washington, DC]: Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1996. WorldCat 35209517; FHL book 970.1 T463a.
- United States Department of Commerce, Frederick B. Dent, Secretary. Federal and State Reservations and Trust Areas. 1974. FHL book 970.1 Un3fe/1974.
- United States Department of the Interior. Executive Orders Relating to Indian Reservations. Washington: [United States] Government Printing Office, 1912 (v. 1), 1922 (v. 2). Vol. 1 – May 14, 1855 to July 1, 1912. Vol. 2 – July 1, 1912 to July 1, 1922. FHL film 1440543 Items 8-9.
- United States Federal and State Indian Reservations, Map. Available online.
- Waldman, Carl. Atlas of the North American Indian. New York: Facts on File, 2009. 3rd ed. WorldCat 244771132; FHL book 970.1 W146a 2009.
- Waldman, Carl. Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. New York, New York: Facts on File, 2006. 3rd ed. WorldCat 14718193; FHL book 970.1 W146e 2006.