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the codification of such laws and treaty provisions by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This would require a temporary increase in the personnel of the Indian Office law section, but the added expense would be amply justified by the results of skillful codification. This work could not safely be left in the hands of attorneys uninformed in matters relating to Indians; it would require the best efforts of lawyers who have

had wide and varied experiences with the unique problems concerning the Indians and their peculiar relations with and to the Government.


The conservation and utilization of natural resources, with a view to making the Indian Service more nearly self-supporting, and also with a view to the discontinuance of the influences which tend to pauperize the wards of the Government, is a part of the Government's Indian policy which has for its end the gradual reduction of gratuity appropriations for the administration of Indian affairs. Timber, oil

, coal and other minerals, and irrigable land are some of the natural resources of Indian ownership whose potential value runs up into high figures.

Where development of such property would result in substantial incomes to the Indian owners, whether tribal or individual, not only the expenditure for the development should be borne by the Indians benefited, but they should be made to bear some part of the expense incident to the general administration of their affairs.

Some tribes are paying administrative expenses to-day. The Osage Nation, of Oklahoma, is a notable although abnormal instance. Every dollar of expense for handling the vast oil income and the large land-leasing returns and all other administration of the affairs of the Osage Indians is paid out of the tribal funds. As the natural resources of a reservation are developed to the income-producing stage, gratuity appropriations for Federal supervision over that reservation should be reduced until the reservation is self-supporting. The value of this policy, not only would lie in the reduction of gratuity appropriations, which are in effect contributions from taxpayers, but it would have the tendency of giving the Indians affected the sense of independence which comes from self-support.


The chief defect, we believe, in the carrying out of the Government's Indian policy has been caused by the preponderance of attention which has been given to material things, with the result that the real good of the individual man and woman has become a subordinate matter. For a generation the emphasis has been placed on the property rights of the Indians. It was vitally important that these should not be neglected. The enormous resources belonging to the red man should be conserved in every possible way and be protected till such time as he is able to stand alone. But in doing this the human side of the involved problem must not be minimized or the job is less than half done.

Efficiency experts have devised methods of accounting, bookkeeping is done according to the most modern practice, and competent

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men and women are employed in this work. And it is essential that this should all be done and done right. Too often, however, the everyday problems of life that affect men and women, and children too, are necessarily cast aside because they are crowded out by the adamant requirements of Government accounting.

The time has come to face about and make the human being the first consideration, without relaxing the efficiency necessary to the proper management of property or the disposition of appropriations made for the benefit of the Indians. If as a Nation we have been culpable in our endeavors to do for the Indians it is because we have been dazzled by the apparent necessity for the administration of affairs connected with material things and have in our blindness neglected the high claims of the spiritual needs of a dependent race.


Whatever views may be held of the Government's Indian policy and its administrative activities in carrying it into effect, there is no gainsaying the fact that Government guardianship and trusteeship have been the main factors in the progress of the Indians. If the department is to be held culpable for sins of omission and cominission, then it should be given credit for its accomplishments along the lines of accelerating the forward movement of the Government's wards. That there is much to be desired in the way the Indian Office is administering the affairs of the Indians, that it has many faults to correct, and remedial changes to inaugurate, not only is apparent to friendly critics but has been frankly and publicly admitted, on several occasions, by high officials of the Indian Service.

But the 64,943 Indian children enrolled in schools, the 107,000 Indian members of churches, the 44,200 Indian families who have forsaken the wigwam and tepee for the permanent home, the 41,000 Indian farmers who are cultivating more than 900,000 acres of land and grazing their own stock valued at more than $35,000,000, and the 12,000 Indian boys who served this Nation in the World War, the larger proportion of whom were volunteers, are certainly indications. to say the least, of the great progress of a people who are not so very far away from the blanket, the skin tent, and the war trail; and we believe these results have come almost altogether from the department's efforts to carry out the Indian policy of the Government of the United States, with the aid of devoted missionaries and the cooperation of Congress.


Congress can hasten the day when Federal supervision of Indian affairs will end and necessary calls on the National Treasury will cease by heartily cooperating with the Secretary of the Interior and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in speeding up the working out of the Government's Indian policy. This would, of course, for a time. require augmented appropriations, the enactment of some legislation, and the repeal of some laws which the department has requested.

The members of this board have been given unusual opportunities to study the Indian question at close range. As one result of our investigations and surveys, we are of the opinion that increased ap


propriations at this time for schools, for medical and social service, for added hospital equipment, for larger salaries and better living conditions for field employes, for the stricter enforcement of law and order in the Indian country, for increased activity in the development of natural resources, and for the stronger and more effective protection of Indians in their property and legal rights would be sound business policy and practice. The result, we believe, would be such a speeding up of administrative activities that the progress of the Indian people toward their complete absorption into the citizenship of the United States would be accelerated to such a degree that the need of Federal supervision of Indians and their affairs and appropriations for such supervision would disappear in a comparatively short time.


During the fiscal year of 1923 special reports, containing recommendations and suggestions, on the conditions of Indians and of jurisdictions visited and inspected by board members were transmitted to you; they are carried in condensed form as an appendix to this report.

The board held its customary, meetings during the year-July 18, 1922, in New York; October 24 to 26, 1922, at Lake Mohonk; and the annual meeting in Washington, January 25 and 26, 1923, at which George Vaux, jr., of Philadelphia, Pa., was reelected chairman and Malcolm McDowell, of Chicago, Ill., was reelected secretary of the board for the ensuing year.

The following changes occurred in the membership of the board:
The President appointed Flora Warren Seymour, of Chicago, Ill.,
October 5, 1922, to succeed Merrill E. Gates, deceased; and Walter
George Smith, of Philadelphia, Pa., January 9, 1923, in succession
to Alfred E. Smith, resigned.
Faithfully yours,

GEORGE Vaux, Jr., Chairman.





Commissioner Walter George Smith devoted several weeks in May and June, 1923, inquiring into the condition of the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico. He visited a number of Pueblos, held conferences with their leading men, and discussed with them, as well as with Government officials and influential white citizens, the proposed legislation designed to settle the long-standing controversy over Pueblo land titles. The main purpose of his visit concerned this most important matter. He submitted a preliminary report to the Board of Indian Commissioners which reads, in part, as follows:

Land titles.—"At the last session of Congress, after the bill introduced by Senator Bursum, of New Mexico, was recalled from the House, after pa age by the Senate and after full hearings before committees of both Houses of Congress, a bill was reported by Senator Lenroot, which was, in effect, a new measure though in the form of an amendment of the original bill. This measure had for its object to quiet the titles of lands within Pueblo Indian land grants.

" It was reported favorably to the House of Representatives, after having passed the Senate, and would probably have become the law but for the expiration of the Congress. The report of the Committee on Indian Affairs of the House recites briefly the history of the Pueblo Indians and their relations to the Spanish, Mexican, and American Governments. It would be superfluous to restate the facts.

"All who have considered the questions involved either from the point of view of the Government Indian Service or of the many organizations and private individuals who take a friendly interest in the Indians' welfare, or of those who represent white settlers on Indian lands, agree that congressional legislation is necessary to put an end to the present uncertainties relating to land titles, affected by Pueblo ownership at any time in the past.

I was at pains to seek the opinion of those who are interested or who represented interests as well as disinterested parties of all shades of belief. There seemed to be a general approval of the scheme of the Lenroot substitute, viz, a preliminary investigation by a board to be known as the Pueblo lands board, consisting of the Secretary of the Interior, the Attorney General, and a third member to be appointed by the President of the United States. This board is to investigate and to determine and report the exterior boundaries of any lands granted or confirmed to the Pueblo Indians, title to which shall not have been extinguished in accordance with the provisions of the act.

“The Government of the United States, in its capacity as guardian of the Indians, shall file its bill or bills of complaint with a prayer for discovery of any claim adverse to the claim of the Pueblo Indians as determined by that board. All lands are to be included, except those occupied by Navajo Indian claimants, under color of title for a period of 30 years. Careful provision is made for surveys and for compensation for value of improvements where justice calls for such special consideration.

"It is not to be expected that the Indians as a body will understand the provisions of this act, but its salient points are so simple that it can be brought home to the apprehension of their leading men. Unfortunately a spirit of distrust has been spread among some of the Indian communities and an exaggerated idea of their rights, but while to be regretted, this will not be last-. ing when actual justice is done them and equally to the whites who have been in good faith in the enjoyment of Pueblo lands.

I have heard expressions of approval of the principles involved in the Lenroot substitute from representatives of the antagonistic interests, and I am of opinion that if it becomes the law it will conduce to a final settlement of the questions involved.

"It will, perhaps, be followed if passed by some measure providing for a fund from which compensation may be made to the Indians in special cases




where their peculiar relation to the Government of the United States makes such compensation proper if not equitable in the strict sense of the term.

Indian dances.-"It may be as well at this point to give my impressions in regard to the universal custom among the Pueblos of having ceremonial dances.

"As is well known, they have been carried on from time immemorial. The Catholic Church, to which most of the Indians belong, has barred secret religious dances, which are frankly pagan, though I have no positive evidence that they are immoral. They have been so fully described by various writers, who have studied and observed them closely, that it is superfluous for me to write any details in regard to them.

Many of the dances are carried on with the approval of the church at the times of the great feasts of the patron saints of the respective pueblos. I witnessed some of them given in connection with the play of Hiawatha by the students of the United States Government School at Santa Fe, and also the Buffalo and Eagle dances at Tesuque and others at San Juan:

“I was profoundly impressed by the picturesque character of these unique performances. I can see no reason why they should be discouraged, when hey are merely symbolical and historical. There is a vast difference between these dances and those which are properly disapproved by the Indian Commissioner among the plains Indians. These, I understand, lead to promiscuous visiting, idleness, and consequent neglect and waste of growing crops. Those among the Pueblos, however, I am told, are not of this character. Any evil features that exist among them are more likely to be abated by the gradual education of the young people than by any severe restrictive measures.

Health conditions.—"Trachoma, a dangerous and contagious disease of the eyes, exists in most if not all of the pueblos. The district physicians are unable to cope with it. It requires continued and careful treatment by expert hands. It should be stamped out either by the establishment of trachoma hospitals, under the care of specialists, situated perhaps at Albuquerque or Santa Fe, or if this plan be not approved by the medical staff, then some other method should be put in force promptly and effectively to attain the desired end. It is a menace not alone to the Indians but to the whites with whom they are brought in contact.

“The small salaries paid to physicians by the Indian Service and the isolation of many of the posts no doubt make it difficult to secure adequate medical service. Young men, graduating in the profession, usually seek hospital experience in the great centers of population. It would seem that the opportunities for medical experience, added to the charm, to a young man of a new country and special training from practice in such diseases as trachoma and tuberculosis might draw to the service competent men if adequate salaries were paid.

“ It is to be hoped that the Department will give this important matter the consideration it deserves. I am led to believe that among the graduates of the Government schools, Indians may be found who might be educated as doctors and retained in the service among their own people. Young girls also can be found who would be valuable in the capacity of assistant matrons and trained nurses."

Indian police judges.—"I am hesitant about expressing my positive opinion in regard to the wisdom of maintaining the system inaugurated some years ago of appointing Indian police judges. Some experienced persons think they tend to create factions. It would seem more judicious to let this power rest in the governor of each pueblo, as was the case in old times. I have referred elsewhere to the domestic troubles in the Pueblo of Isleta.

“I recommend that the department be requested to give this subject further study with a view to the discontinuance of the system in the pueblos. There should be no divided authority among them. Of course, the governor should be held responsible by the superintendent.”

Mr. Herbert F. Robinson, supervising engineer of the irrigation division of the Indian Service, furnished Commissioner Smith with his notes on the irrigation and drainage work done by the Government and plans for future work. Superintendent Marble, of the Southern Pueblo Agency, and Superintendent Crandall, of the Northern Pueblo Agency, went with Commissioner Smith to a number of pueblos. In his preliminary report, Commissioner Smith briefly notes' conditions in the pueblos he visited and outlines the irrigation needs and the efforts made by the Indian Service to meet them.

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