Leech Lake Indian Agency (Minnesota)
The Leech Lake Agency was established in 1874 and abolished in 1879. It was reestablished in 1899 to serve several bands of Chippewa Indians -- the Leech Lake Pillager, the Cass and Winnibigshish Pillager, the White Oak Point, and the Red Lake Bands -- living in Minnesota. In 1906, a separate Red Lake Agency was split off from the Leech Lake Agency. In 1922, the Leech Lake Agency was merged with the Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Nett Lake, and White Earth Agencies to form the Consolidated Chippewa Agency.
Some of the records of the Leech Lake Agency have been transferred to the Great Lakes Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Chicago and others to the Central Plains Regional Archives of NARA in Kansas City. Most of the agency records thus transferred, of greatest value to family historians, are in the Chicago collection. They include:
- Annuity payrolls, 1899-1922
- Sanitary reports, 1899-1918
- Miscellaneous school records, 1899-1920
- Vital records, 1901-1919
- Allotment records, 1902-1913
- School census records, 1915-1921
- Draft registration cards, 1918
The records of Leech Lake Agency transferred to the Kansas City facility are mostly miscellaneous administrative records, although they do have a family roll of the Leech Lake Pillager Band for 1906, and some estate and heirship records.
Reports of Inspection of the Field Jurisdictions of the Office of Indian Affairs, 1873-1900 have been microfilmed by the National Archives as part of Microcopy Number M1070. The reports for Leech Lake Agency, 1899, are on roll 24 of that Microcopy set. Copies are available at the National Archives, their Regional Archives, and at the Family History Library and its family history centers (their microfilm roll number 1617697).
Microfilm copies of “Narrative and Statistical Reports” for the Leech Lake Agency, 1907-1938, are included in National Archives Microcopy M1011, roll 78, available in the National Archives system and in the collections of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City (their microfilm number 1724296).
Annual Indian Census Rolls were taken at this agency for 1899-1922. These rolls have been microfilmed by the National Archives as part of their Microcopy Number M595, rolls 243 thru 247. Copies of these records are also available at the National Archives, their Regional Archives, and at the Family History Library and its family history centers (their microfilm roll numbers 576932-576936). These census rolls are also available online at Ancestry.com's subscription web site.
- American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1998.
- Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981.
- Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Publishing Company, Inc., 1974.
- Historical Sketches for Jurisdictional and Subject Headings Used for the Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880. National Archives Microcopy T1105.
- Marquette University. Guide to Catholic-Related Records in the Midwest about Native Americans.
- Preliminary Inventory No. 163: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Services.