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beginning to rightly appraise the value of education for their boys and girls. It is one of the most hopeful, heartening evidences of the forward progress of our red friends.
Of the 20,000 Indian children who are not enrolled in any school over a third are boys and girls of the Navajo shepherds of Arizona and New Mexico. The Indian Service school census for 1922 reported 11,337 Navajo children as mentally and physically fit to attend school, but that 7,697, or over 67 per cent, go to no school. The situation presented by more than two-thirds of the children of school age in a community deprived of the opportunity to get an education is, we believe, without parallel in the United States. The Indian Bureau, last year, succeeded in getting from Congress authority to transform old Fort Apache military post into the Roosevelt Indian School, to increase the capacity of other schools available to Navajo children, and an additional $100,000 to the treaty fund for educational purposes.
But at the best these ameliorating improvements will care for less than a thousand of the children. The seminomadic life of the Navajo shepherds precludes the use of day schools. Therefore, reservation boarding schools should be installed until their capacity will provide schooling for all Navajo children.
In our opinion the Indian Service schools, day, reservation, and nonreservation boarding, provide the best, the speediest, and most satisfactory means for educating the Indian youth. We believe the whole program of Indian education should be inspired by the purpose of preparing the children for the public schools but, until they are ready for coeducation with white children, their transfer to the public school-system should be made with great caution and with a sympathetic understanding of their unique racial characteristics.
HEALTH AND SANITATION.
The promotion of the health of Indians living on reservations by the enforcement of suitable hygienic and sanitary regulations, and by adequate medical and surgical service is so obviously an administrative duty of the Government that it never has been questioned.
The annual reports of Commissioners of Indian Affairs for many years have deplored the insufficiency of the Indian medical service. They frequently called the attention of Congress to the paltry salaries of Indian Service physicians, to their unattractive living and working conditions, to the inadequacy of hospital service, to the need of trained nurses, and of more field matrons. In 1911 only $40,000 was appropriated for health work among Indians. This has been increased largely through the efforts of Assistant Commissioner Meritt, to $370,000. In 1913 the death rate among Indians was reported to be 32.24 per thousand. This was reduced to 22.33 in 1920. The large increase in appropriation and the decided reduction of the death rate present a demonstration of cause and effect which Congress might well consider. It seems to prove that, given the means, the Indian Service can save many Indian lives.
The death rate for the United States as a whole in 1920 was 13.8 per thousand as against 22.33 for Indians. The last published health statistics of the Indian Bureau, 1920, show that in that year 6,070 Indians died, and that 1,230, or 20 per cent, of the deaths were
due to tuberculosis and 1,436, or 23 per cent, were of children under three years of age. If further justification be needed for increased appropriations for the Indian medical service it may be found in the following: In 1920, the medical officers of the Indian Service, after examining 66,718 Indians, estimated that 24,773 Indians had tuberculosis and 30,795 were afflicted with the dreadful. but preventable, eye disease, trachoma. Tuberculosis kills; trachoma, unchecked, ends in blindness, as the many blind men and women on Indian reservations can testify.
The Indian Service maintains 85 hospitals and tuberculosis sanitariums, with an aggregate capacity of 2,190 beds for an Indian population of approximately 300,000, grouped in some 200 reservations and agencies, located in 21 States. On the surface, this equipment would seem to provide one bed for every 137 Indians.
But of the 2,190 beds, 528 are in hospitals of nonreservation schools, 92 are in the Canton Hospital for Insane Indians, and 573 are in 11 tuberculosis sanitariums, leaving but 997 in 57 hospitals connected with agencies and reservation boarding schools. The latter are the only hospitals available for general medical service among all the Indian tribes, although some reservation Indians are treated in nonreservation school hospitals and some general cases are cared for in sanitariums. This showing clearly points to the crying need for more hospitals for general purposes, and Congress is the sole source for appropriations for the building and maintenance of hospitals in the Indian Service.
Until recently it was difficult to induce an Indian to enter any kind of a hospital. The medicine man and his incantations were preferred to the white doctor. But each year more and more Indians have been seeking hospital treatment. The poorly paid Indian Service physician has been steadily undermining the powerful influence of the medicine men. The great value of this one particular result of the work accomplished by the Indian Service medical staff has never been adequately appreciated. A faithful, capable physician, entirely aside from his professional value, is one of the most effective agencies in advancing the Indian people on the road of progress.
At the close of the fiscal year there were 161 physicians, 6 dentists, and 3 specialists in eye diseases in the medical service, of whom 56 were “contract " physicians who gave but part of their time to the Indians. There were 16 vacancies in the medical service. The 161 physicians on duty at the end of the year were classified as follows: Agency physicians, 78; school physicians, 8; contract physicians, 21 for schools and 35 for reservations; physicians, who also were superintendents of reservations or agencies, 5; physicians, who also were superintendents of sanitariums, 3, and this includes a doctor who, besides being the superintendent of a reservation, is also the reservation physician as well as the superintendent of a sanitarium; sanitarium and hospital physicians, 11.
As a rule school physicians do not do any reservation work. In the first place they have not the time, and in the second place they are not located where they can reach reservation Indians. Contract physicians are in private practice in communities within reach of reservations or schools. They enter into contracts with the
Indian Service to make a specified minimum number of professional visits and to do other medical service for from $200 to $720 a' year.
While some money can be saved by employing contract physicians instead of using regular service doctors, we are of the opinion that sincere efforts should be made to reduce the number of such contracts to the minimum. However efficient and enthusiastic a contract doctor may be in his Indian work, he first must care for his own patients and, naturally, the Indian comes in last. They can not be expected to accomplish much in the treatment of trachoma except when they are employed for schools.
Five reservation superintendents happen to be physicians, and they are called upon to “ double” as Indian Service doctors. The highest salary paid a reservation or school physician is $1,600 a year; two receive that stipend. The average salary is around $1,200. Every Commissioner of Indian Affairs for the past quarter of a century has urged Congress to raise the salaries of the men and women who look after the health of the Indian wards of the Government. But their pleas have been futile.
In view of reclassification of field employees, which is now in progress, we are restrained from comment on the obviously inadequate salaries paid Indian Service physicians, nurses, and field matrons. While it is probable there are some men and women in the Indian Medical Service who should not be there, our field inspections satisfy us that there are a large number of faithful physicians and nurses who seem to be so entirely actuated by the love of service to humanity that salary is a secondary consideration to them. We have heretofore, and at some length, dwelt upon the importance of the social-service work of field matrons, of their opportunity to assist the physician, not only in the capacity of nurse but by bringing cases requiring treatment to his attention. We have recommended that the field-matron service be expanded and enlarged, and we beg to repeat those recommendations.
LAW AND ORDER.
The enforcement of law and order on all reservations is clearly a fundamental requirement in the training or preparation of Indians for the right kind of American citizenship. There no longer can be two kinds of law in this country—the law of the land and Indian law which is based on old tribal traditions and customs. There may have been a time when it was the part of wisdom to ignore unmorality—that is, customs and doings which were moral from the Indian point of view but were immoral according to the standards of civilization. We maintain that time has past. The marriage, school, health, and criminal laws of the State should be made effective on Indian reservations. If local authorities, because of the nontaxable character of Indian-owned land, should be neglectful in the enforcement of such laws then the strong arm of the Federal Government should be requisitioned to help the Indian Service superintendent maintain law and order within his jurisdiction. Bills providing for the application to reservation Indians of State marriage, education, health, and criminal laws were introduced in
the last two sessions of Congress. It is to be earnestly hoped they, or measures of like import, will be passed in the coming session.
Vigorous protests have been raised against the proposed enforcement of State laws in Indian reservations. The protestants insist that an Indian should be entirely free to live his tribal life, to maintain his tribal religion, to dance his tribal dances, and to carry on his tribal ceremonies without any hindrance from the authorities.
We fail to see where the r quirement to get married and divorced according to the law of his State, to send his children to school, to observe the ordinary rules and practices of hygiene and sanitation, and to abstain from murder and theft have any bearing upon the personal inclinations of an Indian or white man as respects his own life, religion, and racial customs. But if an Indian, in his manner of living, in his religion, in his danc's and ceremonies, should indulge in practic s which are clearly immoral and indecent, then he should be as amenable to the local laws as a white man should be in similar circumstances.
In February last Commissioner Burke addressed a general letter to Indians calling their attention to the evil consequences of absenting thems lves from thcir homes, farms, and live stock for many days to dance, pow-wow, and hold ceremonial meetings. Almost immediately on the publication of this letter the commissioner was subjected to a wide spread campaign of violent criticism. He was charged with issuing a drastic "order" prohibiting all dancing and with attempting to stamp out all Indian religion, ceremonies, and customs.
This letter contained nothing which could rightly be construed as an order of any kind. It was friendly and admonitory; it was a letter which every Indian should read for his own good. Members of this board several tim s have reported upon the injurious consequences of Indians dropping important farm work, neglecting their live stock, leaving their homes, and taking their children from school simply because they wanted to hold a protracted dance meeting.
There can be no valid objections raised against Indians enjoying themselves by dancing and meeting so long as the dancing is free from indecencies and does not seriously interfere with necessary farm work nor take thèir children from school.
There are many Indian dances which are so beautiful in their relation to tribal life and traditions that they should be preserved. But there are other so-called “tribal” dances which are grossly immoral and indecent, utterly unfit for any occasion, race, or people. They should be stopped even though stern measures might be required to stamp them out. Commissioner Burke's letter was move in the right direction and we desire to express our approval of it.
DISTRIBUTION OF INDIAN PROPERTY.
The gradual distribution, as individual competency shall be established, of all tribal lands and funds to their owners in severalty to the end that each Indian may ultimately have complete responsibility for such property as equitably belongs to him is such a wellknown part of the Government's Indian policy that it need only to be stated. The distribution of tribal lands and funds has become
a routine matter with the Indian Bureau in conformity with authorizing legislation and the judgment of the Secretary. The present administration is proceeding with caution in the matter of establishing competency. The former system of removing restrictions from Indians in groups according to blood status is not in accordance with the present administrative policy of establishing competency only after individual examination.
We beg to direct your attention to the remaining tribal holdings of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians in Oklahoma. Included in this estate are coal and asphalt lands which have an appraised value of about $11,000,000. Commissioner Burke, very rightly, has insisted that these people should be consulted before any plan for the disposition of their coal and asphalt lands is approved by him. A number of the leading members of the two tribes want a certain proportion of the funds derived from the sale of tribal properties to be set aside for the maintenance of their tribal schools.
The late Father Ketcham, for a long time a valued member of this board, persistently advocated the use of such funds for the tribal schools and this board adopted recommendations to that effect. We repeat, with added earnestness, the recommendation that when these lands are sold a considerable part of the proceeds be segregated as a trust fund for the continuance of the tribal schools of the Choctaw and Chickasaws, and we express the hope that these Indians will bring like recommendations to your attention.
ADJUSTMENT OF CLAIMS.
The complete and final adjustment of all Indian claims, involving an accounting to every Indian tribe as to all matters affecting lands or funds wherein the Government holds a fiduciary relation is but the winding up of estates for which the Government has been acting as trustee. Where there is no disagreement this matter of settlement becomes simply a routine of administration. Where there is disagreement that can not be satisfactorily settled between the department and the Indians, then Congress should allow the Indians to take their case to the Court of Claims if for no other reason than to put a stop to the spreading spirit of discontent which is evident in all parts of the Indian country, much of which, we believe, comes from the fact that many Indian tribes do not know how they stand on the Government books. If this information, presented in simply worded statements, could be given each tribe, we believe much of the dissatisfaction would disappear.
CODIFICATION OF LAWS.
The codification of all laws and treaty obligations relating to the Indians, with a view to the removal of the present complexity and confusion, has become a necessity. There are now on the statute books about 370 Indian treaties and 2,000 special laws relating to Indians and their affairs. It is plainly evident there is need for clarification, condensation, and elimination in this mass of legislation.
We beg to recommend that this matter be brought to the attention of Congress, with the purpose of introducing and passing a bill for