In this scene, you get to see some of Aunt Ri's concerns about the U.S. policy towards the Indians. In the novel, she ends up confronting the Indian agent bureaucrat in the story in an attempt to complain about the U.S. policy. It is thought by many that Aunt Ri represents Helen Hunt Jackson herself. In other words, this is Ms. Jackson as her viewpoints come out through this character.
Although the character is interesting, one thing Ms. Jackson did was give her an accent in the novel that is difficult, for me, to read through. Near the end of the novel many pages are written in this phonetic-type of "hillbilly" english. I read the novel rather quickly, but during the long conversations with this character near the end I really slowed down. So, I did not enjoy it as much, but she may have done this on purpose to force one to read it slowly to make sure her points were hammered home.