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1,029 in Government schools. The mission boarding school had 299 enrolled and 207 were reported as attending public schools.
"From the figures it would appear that there still is some unoccupied capacity in the Government day schools which might be filled up. The policy is to take no child in the agency boarding school who lives within 21 miles of a day school, which is a sound policy. Some means should be devised to compel attendance by most of the 22 per cent who are reported as out of school last year. There is reason to believe that the cooperation of many Indians might be secured in such an effort. The Government boarding school plant is an admirable one with excellent modern buildings. It was opened in 1881, but many of the structures are much more modern or have been modernized. The Holy Rosary Mission is a contract boarding school for these Indians operated by the Roman Catholics. The equipment is adequate and modern in most respects.
"I visited a number of day schools. They are simple, and the buildings and equipment at times are rather primitive. It is hard to secure efficient teachers at the remote and isolated situations where most of these schools are located. Inducements should be held out to secure and retain the very best . people for such positions. The great majority of children on this reservation are dependent on the day schools for their education and it was a satisfaction to note that Superintendent Tidwell was doing his best to keep up the physical condition of the school plants and to get as many children as possible to attend.
“Yet, more emphasis should be placed on such schools and on bringing up their efficiency to the highest point possible. It must be borne in mind that these centers are not only schools. From them must emanate all sorts of civilizing influences. The teacher and his family are virtually social workers and will accomplish the most good only as they are an elevating influence on Indians in every phase of their lives. This must increasingly be the case with all our activities for the red men if we are really to do our job for him. We have systematized his business affairs and keep as watchful an eye as possible over him relative to his material resources. In doing this in too many cases we have forgotten the man who is the only justification for our expenditure of so much effort. Yet he is or should be the prime object of our concern.
Certainly some method of reorganizing this day-school work could be devised which would make each school, to a much greater extent than now is possible, a social center influencing the whole Indian community in all its various phases of human interrelations. I would urge that the problem be studied with the object of devising methods by which more importance may be assigned to the other phases of the work possible besides the technical school programs.
“In 1922 over 200 children, about 10 per cent, are reported as attending public schools. From the meager information respecting them which I was able to secure I doubt whether the Indian children are being as well looked after in them as in the Government schools. I have long since received the impression that there is a very great disparity between the enrollment of Indian pupils in distr:ct schools and their actual attendance. Doubtless the public school is, theoretically, the right place for educating the Indian child. For a time yet, however, there are modifications of curricula to meet the requirements of the Indians which ind cate that specially organized Government schools are the best, almost the only proper, place for him. The Pine Ridge Indians want their children educated. The principal grievance that some of them urged in talking with me was lack of educational facilities.
Agriculture and stock raising.-"Agriculture and stock raising are the occupations to which the Oglala Sioux must look for their support on the Pine Ridge Reservation. But a comparatively small area is classified as agricultural, leaving about 2,400,000 acres as grazing land. The Indians use much of this land in a desultory sort of way. Over 700,000 acres are leased for range. In many cases rentals run from 15 cents to 25 or 30 cents per acre, according to the quality of the land. The total rentals aggregate upward of $107,000 annually. There has been complaint in the past of delays in the payments being made to the Indians of the rent money. At one time they were supposed to collect it themselves. This led to much confusion, the Indians not being sufficiently good accountants to keep track of the installments. There were also objections to having the collections made by the agency clerical force. The plan has now been inaugurated of having the lessees draw their checks to the individual
Indian landowners for the amounts of the payments due to each. These checks are then certified by the banks on which they are drawn and sent to the agency office. There they are properly entered and then sent by mail directly to the Ind'an owners. In this way accurate accounting is provided for and any de linquents can be followed up effectively with promptness.
“According to official statistics, 1,475 Indians are farming for themselves. Many of these farms are doubtless very small, not more than garden patches, but others are really worthy of the name, running up, in one instance, to 200
The principal crops are corn, alfalfa, and potatoes, with some oats and, occas'onally, wheat. Alfalfa is not popular with many of the Indians because, instead of only one, it produces two or three crops in a season, thus involving additional work. There is a tendency for Indians to continuously raise "sod” corn; that is, corn planted on freshly turned original prairie sod. This requires but little, if any, cultivation apart from the plowing necessary for the breaking. After the first crop is harvested nothing more is done with the land and a new patch is broken up for the next year, and so on. As nothing comes up on such land save enormous growths of noxious weeds, so shiftless a method of farming has nothing to commend it and it should be discouraged in every way. There are reported to be over 10,000 head of cattle owned by Indians and about 875 hogs. These latter are now coming into more favor and their ra sing is being encouraged by the agency officials. But, as everywhere in all the northwestern reservations, there is a curse of worthless ponies, there being over 10,000 of them running on the range. They destroy enormous quantities of feed and have not one redeeming feature.
“I was in a number of Indian homes. They are mostly log cabins, some of them having board, but too many of them with only earth floors. Many are of but one room, but there is a tendency toward improvement in this respect, and the number with two or more rooms is increasing. In summer there are usually a couple of canvas tents put up as auxiliary accommodations, as well as “shades, which are rude frameworks covered with evergreen boughs. Something over 1,600 of these Indians have been declared competent and patents in fee have been given them for all or part of their allotments. The results have, in the main, been discouraging. In April, 1918, patents in fee were issued to 341 persons owning allotments on this reservation and being less than onehalf Indian blood. Approximately 10 per cent have their lands now free from debt. In September, 1919, patents in fee were issued to 370 Indians of half or less Indian blood. The percentage of those who have retained their lands is no greater than those who received patents in 1918.
Complaint was made to me by some Indians that the Indian Office has not had a continuous policy respecting their activities, at one time insisting on stock raising, at another large scale farming, and so on. If a change is made in the superintendent the new man is likely to introduce some new line of industrial activity and discontinue all that his predecessors had stood for. Superintendent Tidwell has been at Pine Ridge some five years, so that this criticism does not apply to the same extent now as it did before. It is evident, however, that it is desirable to devise the right policy for a reservation, and then stick to it."
Office.—“There is a large volume of office work at Pine Ridge. This appears to be handled promptly and accurately. There is an excellent equipment of modern appliances for doing such work ; bookkeeping machines, duplicating typewriters, files, maps, etc. There was a business-like atmosphere which was calculated to make a beneficial impression on anyone coming into the office building."
ROSEBUD AGENCY, SOUTH DAKOTA.
The Rosebud Reservation for Brule Sioux lies west of the Missouri River, in the southern tier of counties of South Dakota, along the Nebraska line. It has an area little short of 2,000,000 acres; its Indian population is given at 5,516, of whom 3,234 are full bloods and 656 are of more than half blood; about 2,000 speak English and some 2,500 are citizens of the United States; 4,846 have been allotted, all of them having restricted patents, excepting 784. There is considerable agricultural land in the reserve, though much of the total area is grazing land. The agency headquarters is located in rather broken land about 25 miles distant from Crookston, Nebr., the nearest railroad point. The reservation boarding school is about 12 miles northeast of the agency.
This jurisdiction was inspected by Chairman George Vaux, jr., in June, 1923. In his report he calls attention to the need of general repairs on the agency buildings and of better heating facilities for the offices and homes of the employees. He found that Superintendent James H. McGregor was having trouble in the collection and disbursement of lease moneys of the Indians and he strongly recommends the adoption at Rosebud of the method of paying by certified checks used at Pine Ridge, and which he describes in his Pine Ridge report. He also found that 965 Indians are on the ration roll, receiving rations without a labor equivalent, and 283 more who receive rations in return for labor, making a total of about one-fifth of the entire population. Following is Chairman Vaux's report, in part:
Health conditions.--" There are two Government physicians on the Rosebud Reservation. Near the agency is one of the three or four imposing hospitals erected a few years since at very great expense. Its design is practically identical with the one at the Cheyenne River Reservation, as to which I made criticism a year ago. I know not who is responsible for these buildings. I do know that there is scarcely a rule governing hospital construction that has been followed. Nevertheless, the physical condition of the hospital was excellent when the serious drawbacks are considered. It is largely used and the native prejudice of the Indians to medical treatment is being gradually overcome. The 18 beds are made good use of and whilst many of them were not occupied at the time of my visit, there are occasions when much more capacity is needed to meet the requirements. As a result of the recent health surveys it is estimated about 1,300 of the Indians are suffering from tuberculosis and about 2,000 from trachoma. I saw a number of sick people, and of those who were blind, or partially so.
“There are complaints of inability to secure proper medical supplies. I was on this reservation from June 17 to 21. I was informed that for some time no cod liver oil at all had been available. This was the case with other similar staple supplies. The present superintendent, Mr. James H. McGregor, is not to be held accountable for this and other shortcomings. In fact there have been so many changes of superintendents within the past half dozen years that probably much of what one would think might be different is the direct result of the total lack of anything like a continuing policy. It is most confusing to the Indians to have a new superintendent with new ideas imposed upon them every six months or so. What business would prosper under such conditions?
“Some time since Commissioner Burke succeeded in getting the American Red Cross interested in making an investigation to determine what that great organization can do to help in Indian work. An experienced nurse, who has had a large amount of active service in Europe during the war, as well as varied opportunities at home, Miss Elinore Gregg, has been assigned to this work at Rosebud. Later she goes to Pine Ridge. It is as yet too soon to predict what results may come out of this small beginning. Miss Gregg has discovered the tremendous need and the wonderful opportunity. It is to be sincerely hoped that from this commencement a great work may grow.
“ One of the greatest of all the possibilities in the endeavor to hasten the civilization of the Indians is in the line of what may aptly be denominated as social service, similar to what is being done by settlement workers in our large cities and elsewhere. The Government so far has supplied but little aid of this sort.
" The living conditions at Rosebud are encouraging. There are about 890 Indian houses, of which approximately three-fourths have wooden floors. There has been a steady advance in the size and quality of the homes. One sees fewer and fewer log houses and more and more neat cottages. The outbuildings and barns are also improving in kind. With the passing of dirt floors health conditions should be better."
Education.-" In 1922 there were reported 1,625 children on the Rosebud Reservation, an increase of 166 over 1912 and of 271 over 1920. This latter increase in figures is doubtless the direct result of the efforts of Commissioner Burke to emphasize the importance of education and of his endeavor to find out really how many children of school age there are and to see that they do attend school. The actual number reported as eligible for attendance in 1922 was 1,252 and of these 96 were not in school. Of the 1,156 actually enrolled, 651 were in various classes of Government schools, 495 were in mission schools, and 66 were in the public schools.
“From all I could learn the education secured in the public schools is not so well adapted to the needs of the Indians as that provided by the Government schools. There are 12 Indian Service day schools scattered over the
reservation. It is contemplated opening another one in the coming autumn. I believe in these day schools for many of these Indian children. A live, active teacher and his (or her) family living in close contact with the Indians will have countless opportunities to influence them for good and to bring to their very doors what civilization can do for them. This is not theorizing. One has but to compare the condition of the Indians in different localities on this reservation to prove the views here expressed. The day-school teachers and the Government farmers, who are the intimate associates of the Indians and who, in a great measure, are to them our Government in their localities, are in a position to sway a tremendous influence, if with tact, determination, and sympathy they attack the problems that the Indians have to meet.
“These people ought not to be sentimentalists, for that class never has done much for our red brothers, and probably never will. They may stir up public sentiment but they are false prophets, whom to follow is to be led into the wilderness and to be left there. The requirements of the Indian are on other lines if he is to be brought to the position where he can meet the conditions which modern life make it necessary that he shall meet. The day is past when he is to be kept as an ethnological curio, practicing barbaric customs and living the primitive life of the savage. The cruelty of dooming his to such an existence can not be countenanced by our great Nation if it wants to call itself civilized.
'It is true the transformation can not be accomplished in a few years or in a generation. Those who criticize the course of the Indian Bureau too often forget the amount of effort that has been expended on themselves and on their ancestors for centuries to bring them to the degree of civilization to which they have attained. Civilization is a slow process at its best. Anyone who will think about it must marvel that so much of real progress for the Indians has been accomplished in so short a time.
“The writer is one of those who can remember from his own observations when the great majority of all our Indians were 'blanket' Indians. That sort are hardly to be found to-day. We must be reasonable in our expectations. I verily believe that no qualified person will face the facts and compare the conditions of to-day with those of 50 years ago but will marvel at the real advance which has been made in that brief period.
“ The most important school on this reservation is the Government boarding school located near the village of Mission about 12 miles northeast of the agency. This is a large and effective plant, having a capacity of 250. Last year the enrollment was 275. The school building seems adequate, but is of unfortunate design, with dark and narrow halls and stairs. If at any school a schoolhouse is to be erected the design in these respects can be very much improved over what was in vogue a few years ago. There is a large farm connected with the school. There are many hogs and beef cattle. Last year 70 head of the latter were butchered for the use of the school and not a dollar had to be spent to purchase meat.
“The question has been raised as to whether the best administration does not demand that so large and flourishing a school, as this should be made a separate unit. A good deal can be said in favor of such a move, but, on the whole, I incline to the view that whilst the school principal should be given more freedom of action than is the case in this place, it is wiser not to divide the final responsibilty here. I believe that the wisest administration involves the clothing of all superintendents with more authority than they now possess and then holding them to a correspondingly greater degree of responsibility.
"About 8 miles southwest of the agency is the St. Francis Mission School, a contract boarding school operated by the Roman Catholics, having a rated capacity of 100 and an average attendance of 350. The equipment of this school is admirable, and the number of upstanding Indians who told me they had been educated there are an indication of the successful character of the training which this school offers.
“ Serious questions are raised by all mission schools. Religion is a very real and important part of life. The Government can not take part in sectarian activities, and its work must be supplemented by that of the religious denominations if the Indian character is to be rounded out. The vital question is as to whether the educational standards and equipment of such schools are up to the proper plane. This should be assured by constant inspection and constructive criticism on the part of the regular Indian Bureau staff, and their recommendations should be just as binding and effective as they are in the case of Government schools. These are safeguards which insure a degree of efficiency which must be required.”
Agriculture.—"As stated above, much of this reservation is adapted to stock raising. Something like 700,000 acres are classed as grazing land, of which some 65.000 are used by Indians for that purpose, and about a half million acres are under lease. Indian stock is valued at $587,950. This, however, is very misleading, for there are included in the inventory 16,291 horses, at $417,570. As so often pointed out by members of this board, such animals are a distinct liability and not an asset. The raising of sheep is being tried to some extent, but how successful it can be is not yet proven.
“ There are many Indians at Rosebud who are really farming. Eight hundred sixty-four are said to be earning livings for themselves and their families by this avocation, having over 15,000 acres under cultivation. These figures are most encouraging, for these Sioux are rather prejudiced against extensive agriculture as a matter of principle, and naturally are satisfied with cultivating a small garden patch and a few acres of corn.
“ The reservation is divided into several farming districts, and we visited a number of them. The farmers are enthusiastic, as we saw them, and are really entering into the spirit of what they must do that their Indians may attain a reasonable measure of success. For example, take the Cut Meat district. The farmer in charge has been located at that point for 14 years and has seen service among Indians in Oregon, - in Arizona, and in North Carolina. When he was first assigned there, only six Indians were making any attempt at farming. To-day over 4,000 acres are cultivated by Indians, farms of 60 to 90 acres being common, while some run to 120 or 160 acres of plowed ground.
The Rosebud Indians have to fight an influence which is doing a great deal in so much of the Indian country to demoralize them and to drag them back from what degree of progress they may have attained. I refer to the fairs with all their demoralizing influences and attendant dances attractive to the Indian but degrading from every viewpoint. The recent letter from Commissioner Burke on this subject is everywhere approved by people who know Indians and are coming in contact with them. Those who have criticized him for it include the promoters of such shows who are thus grafting on the Indians, making a spectacle of them for their own selfish profit and perhaps some other high minded but deluded individuals, who are too blind or too indifferent to what the needs of the Indian require to get the facts involved and then face them.
" It is not easy to meet the attractions of the fairs, etc., in a practical way. It would seem that there ought to be in local communities citizens of influence whose interest could be enlisted in behalf of removing from the Indians the demoralization attendant upon these fairs and who would insist in so molding local public opinion that the Indians would be released from this further effort to exploit and debauch them.
“As bearing on the progress that these Indians are making, I want to refer briefly to my visit to the Ponca Creek region, which is over 100 miles in an air line east of the agency. The Ponca Creek section includes some of the best land of the region. Here there are approximately 380 Indians. These comprise 42 families who are actually farming, having about 2,500 acres under cultivation. One man has 220 acres of alfalfa alone. We met a considerable 'number of these people. They said they had not time to attend the recent celebration which had brought together several thousand Indians to celebrate the enacting by Congress of the legislation respecting the Black Hills claims, because their farms required their attention.
One left such a community as this with feelings of optimism. For years these people had seen no one from Washington. Their interest and enthusiasm were inspiring. It seemed as though here was a place where the solution of the Indian problem had been nearly worked out. They were rapidly becoming men."
CROW CREEK RESERVATION, SOUTH DAKOTA.
Lack of time prevented Chairman George Vaux, jr., from making a personal inspection of the Crow Creek and the Lower Brule Reservations, in central South Dakota. He, therefore, sent the board's assistant secretary, Mr. Earl Y. Henderson, to those superintendencies to secure information which could be used in his survey of conditions among the Indians of South Dakota. The two reservations are separated from each other by the Missouri River so that their topographical and climatical characteristics are much alike.