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This letter dated August 14, 1944, from Ben "B. J." Youngbird to United States (US) Senate Subcommittee on Indian Affairs, refers to the sub-committee's visit to the Fort Berthold Reservation, and explains that Youngbird was not able to give his views on what he thought was important during the visit.

Following this explanation is a list of seven points covering topics like self-government, the cattle program, liquor laws on the reservation, federal wardship, and inheritance laws. In some cases, Youngbird criticizes members seeking self-government as eager to "get their deeds, mortgage it and then spent it on their own selfish needs, such as cars, traveling and spending their money as they have spent it before."

In other cases, Youngbird defends the actions of Fort Berthold Agency Superintendent Beitzel against criticism made by tribal members, citing Beitzel's "stopping of Indian dances" as an example. Youngbird explains that when this happened, there was an ongoing measles epidemic, and children were dying, and Beitzel banned all public gatherings during the epidemic.

In conclusion, Youngbird identifies Floyd Montclair as the leader of the "No Party," and defends agency staff for denying Montclair's application to participate in the cattle program, adding that this denial is the reason for the condemnation of agency staff during the sub-committee's hearings at the reservation.

See also:

Letter from Senator Langer to B. J. Youngbird Regarding Youngbird's Letter to US Subcommittee on Indian Affairs, September 11, 1944

Date of Work



The Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, Mandan, Nueta, Hidatsa, Arikara, Sahnish, cattle program, self-government

Organizations Referenced

The Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, Mandan, Nueta, Hidatsa, Arikara, Sahnish, Fort Berthold Indian Agency, Bureau of Indian Affairs

People Referenced

Ben Youngbird, B. J. Youngbird, Floyd Montclair, Martin Fox, C. H. Beitzel, Philip, Claymore

Letter from B. J. Youngbird to US Senate Subcommittee on Indian Affairs, August 14, 1944