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Support of Indians of Fort Peck
Agency, Mont. ..
Indian moneys, proceeds of labor, support, 1919.
Do $840 $840 · Do.
Interest on Meniminee log fund, sup-
cent fund, support.
port. Support of Wichitas and affiliated
Do. 1,000 1,000 Support of Indians in Arizona and New
port. Chippewa in Minnesota fund. Support of Rocky Boy's Band of Chip
pewas, etc., Montana 1 1,000 1,000 Support of Sioux of different tribes,
employees, South Dakota.
Support of Shoshones, employees, etc.,
fund, support. Interest on Confederated Bands of Utes 4 per cent fund, support.
Do. | 1,200
Support of Sioux of different tribes,
employees, South Dakota.
900 Do. 1,200 1,200 Do. 1,000 1,000 Do.
Interest on Confederated Bands of Utes
4 per cent fund, support.
· "Provided further, That not to exceed $25,000 of the amount herein appropriated shall be used to conduct experiments on Indian school and agency farms to test the possibilities of soil and climate in the cultivation of trees, cotton, grains, vegetables, and fruits."
The money to be expended for experimental work is largely for the purpose of continuing operations along this line already in progress and to inaugurate such work at other places where the need therefor becomes apparent. It is, of course, the general policy of the Indian Service (in line with the best agricultural practice of the day) to conduct experimentation and demonstration work on the farms of the Indians, so that they may not only see directly what can be accomplished on their lands but also take an active part in experiments and discoveries along agricultural lines. There is a certain amount of experimentation work being done which, because of the discouraging effect of failure upon the Indians, ought to be prosecuted at some central point under the direction of experts, and when definite and certain results are accomplished the adaptability of the various seeds, plants, and trees can then be brought to the attention of the Indians with more hope of success. The largest and most important station for such work in the Indian Service is at Sacaton, on the Pima Reservation, in Arizona, conducted under a cooperative agreement with the Department of Agriculture. Many useful plants have been developed, and these are beneficial not only to the Indians of the reservation, but also to those on other reservations where similar conditions prevail, and to the whites as well. As a result of the experimentation work on this farm, a long-staple Egyptian cotton has been developed which during the past year sold for as much as 85 cents per pound, and is now grown extensively by both Indians and whites in that section. This cotton is very much in demand for aeroplane wings, automobile tires, and other similar purposes. In addition, tests are being made with Peruvian alfalfa, Mexican June corn, Bermuda onions, fruits, nuts (particularly the pecan), trees, and forage plants.
At the San Juan School, in New Mexico, experimentation is being carried on under the direction of practical farmers, and excellent results have been accomplished. Various kinds of alfalfa, fruits, grains, melons, trees, and vegetables are being experimented with, and the Indians are furnished with seeds and cuttings from the varieties which the experiments show to be best adapted to local conditions.
“For the employment of suitable persons as matrons to teach Indian women and girls housekeeping and other household duties and for furnishing necessary equipment and supplies and renting quarters for them where necessary."
It is the duty of field matrons to visit the Indian women in their homes and to give them counsel, encouragement, and help in the general care of the house and surroundings, hygiene, and sanitation; the preparation and serving of food; the keeping and care of domestic animals, including dairy stock; the care of children and of the sick; the observance of the Sabbath; the organization of societies for building up character and for intellectual and social improvement; and anything else that will promote the civilization of the Indians, particularly with respect to their home life and surround
The industrial progress of the Indians is largely dependent upon their health. Thousands of dollars are expended each year for promoting the education, civilization, and self-support of the Indians, and for physicians and hospitals for the treatment of disease among them. But all this vast expenditure will result in little permanent benefit to the Indians if they have not the health and strength necessary to do their part in carrying out this extensive industrial program, and if we do not remedy the conditions which breed disease on the theory that "prevention is better than cure." In this important work the field matron occupies a necessary and vital place.
The success of the field matron work depends very largely upon proper facilities. There must be adequate quarters, a good team, and certain supplies, such as special food for the sick, etc., besides traveling expenses, which are necessarily incurred in many cases.
Field matrons, 1918.
“For the purpose of preserving living and growing timber on Indian reservations and allotments, and to educate Indians in the proper care of forests."
In addition to salaries and wages paid from this appropriation for forestry purposes, provision must be made for forage and other supplies; teams, harness, saddles, etc.; the construction and repair of telephone lines, roads, and trails; and for an emergency fire-fighting fund.
It will be observed that we are asking for the same amount as was appropriated last year. We are omitting the permanent legislation carried in this item. It is not necessary to repeat that legislation in this bill.
Mr. HASTINGS. That is the reason for its elimination ?
Mr. MERITT. Yes, sir. We are also asking that the word “shall,"" line 13, page 12, be changed to “may”, so that we will not be compelled to expend the entire $25,000 unless it is deemed desirable. That would seem to be a reasonable request.
We are also asking for the new language appearing in line 18, "nurses, and other hospital employees." We find that at some of our reservations we are now up to the limit of expenditures on those reservations, as provided under the act of August 24, 1912. That. limits us to $15,000 for agencies and for consolidated agencies not to exceed $25,000 for employees. Because of the allotment of these reservations the activities necessarily have been materially increased over what they were when purely tribal propositions, and we need nurses and other hospital employees 'at some of those reservations where we have recently constructed hospitals. We are not asking for additional money, but simply for additional authority.
Mr. SNYDER. Mr. Meritt, will you tell me what is the function, of field matrons ?
Mr. MERITT. A field matron is usually a woman of mature years, from 35 to 50 years old, who goes out among the Indian homes and teaches the women sanitary methods of living and modern methods of housekeeping, and helps in various ways to teach women modern domestic duties. They are very helpful in civilizing the Indians or promoting better living conditions.
Mr. SNYDER. And they are generally distributed throughout all the reservations? .
Mr. MERITT. Yes, sir. .
Mr. TILLMAN. Does the Indian family usually take kindly to that sort of work?
Mr. MERITT. Yes, sir; they appreciate it.
Mr. DILL. You have an unexpended balance here of $54,000, which is much larger than you had a year ago? I wonder if you. will need this $475,000—all of it?
Mr. MERITT. That unexpended balance is the result of vacancies that have arisen largely on account of the war, and as soon as the war is over it will be necessary for us to fill those vacancies in order to carry on the work we have been doing heretofore.
Mr. DILL. This appropriation used to be $450,000, as I remember it. It was two years ago it was changed, I think?
Mr. MERITT. We have materially increased the industrial activities on the various Indian reservations of the country, and we need more money now than we needed a few years ago.
Mr. DILL. What about these farmers? Are you able to keep the farmers at $50 a month ?