Gambar halaman


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

· The Coeur d'Alene Agency, in northern Idaho, has a population of 819 Coeur d'Alene, Spokane, Kootenai, and Kalispel Indians living in several communities. The jurisdiction comprises an area of 104,077 acres, divided into 638 allotments; allotted land retained by Indians aggregates 73,194 acres, the allotments are intermingled with patented and homestead lands. The Indians generally are well housed on their allotments and live comfortably. In 1921 they raised 35,000 bushels of wheat, 30,000 of oats, 5,000 of potatoes and 2,000 tons of hay. They own 400 head of cattle and 600 horses. There are 17,000 acres of timberland of merchantable quality which is being sold at prices above the average for the community as fast as the market will take care of it. The Indians work for whites, several are employed in sawmills earning wages equal to that of white hands, and they receive income from hay, etc.

Commissioner Scott visited this agency in August, 1922. Following are excerpts from his report:

“ This agency presents a very difficult problem of administration. The allotted lands generally are leased to white men for sufficient revenue to permit the Indians to live without work, receiving one-third of the crops raised. During the war when prices of farm produce were high the income of the Indians ran into thousands of dollars for many individuals and they acquired extravagant habits. Now that values have dropped these people are having difficulty in reducing expenses to meet their curtailed incomes.

“ Two or three years ago the Indians were permitted to collect their own crop shares and dispose of the proceeds without supervision. Many irregularities grew out of this practice, so now the shares received as rentals are treated as trust funds and placed to the credit of the Indians as individual Indian money.

“In cases where an Indian is able-bodied and should farm his own land, restrictions are made rather severe with the hope that he may prefer to farm on his own account and receive all the products of his land rather than lease and receive only a third of the produce raised. The Indians are continually urged by the superintendent and farmer to start in the farming business and some gratifying results have been attained, but it will be several years before a noticeable gain can be expected.

“ Through living in idleness these Indians have acquired habits of dissipation. For sufficient offenses the superintendent turns over Indian offenders for prosecution in the State or Federal courts, and he believes they should be made to realize their responsibilities and not be permitted to escape them simply because they are Indians. The State authorities are cooperating with the reservation employees in a very satisfactory manner. The Government employs a white special officer who assists in maintaining law and order on the reservation, cooperating with the county sheriffs.

“ There are 130 children of school age under this agency and 124 were in school during the year, those out of school being reported as sick. The pupils. are distributed as follows: Day schools, 33 ; nonreservation school, 9; mission schools, 69; public schools, 13. The mission school, named after the celebrated missionary of pioneer days, Father De Smet, contains a girls' school which was found in a very neat condition and operating efficiently; the boys' school was not so well maintained.

“Another farmer should be provided for the agency. It is not possible with but one farmer for the large area to give the proper amount of supervision to the farming of Indian allotments and to make sufficient headway in inducing the Indians to cultivate their own lands. There should be an additional clerk in the office to take care of much of the detailed work in order that the superintendent can give more of his attention to the Indians and give them encouragement and advice, such as only the superintendent of a reservation can give. The superintendent, Mr. H. D. Lawshe, is an active energetic officer, sympathetic with his Indians and who has their interest at heart. He is very tactful in his association with the white people who are cooperating with him. His Indians are improving in morals and in economic condition.”

Commissioner Scott recommends the erection of a suitable garage, a combined implement shed and coal bin, and a jail for Indian women who, he reports, unfortunately are inclined to dissipate to the same extent as the men, and an employees' mess building where single employees and guests can be housed comfortably. He also recommends the installation of electricity in the agency whereby the danger from fires caused by kerosene lamps would be

greatly reduced. There is an electric power line within a mile of the agency from which current could be secured for the lighting of the buildings and the pumping of water.


In September, 1922, Commissioner Scott paid a visit to the Fort Lapwai Indian Agency, located on the western edge of Idaho, covering an area of 212,390 acres, of which 178,812 acres have been allotted to 1,876 Indians, leaving 33,578 unallotted. The 1,461 Nez Perce Indians of this jurisdiction are scattered over a large territory, most of which is the drainage area of the Clearwater River. The majority of the Indians are full bloods. A few Nez Perce are mixed with the Indians at Colville, Umatilla, Flathead, and other reservations. Of the 115,788 acres of land classed as agricultural the Indians of Fort Lapwai cultivate about 4,000 acres. More than 100,000 acres are leased for farming, bringing in rental revenues around $225,000 a year. Only 14,752 acres are grazing land, most of which is used by the thousand head of cattle owned by the Nez Perce.

There are 365 children of school age in this jurisdiction, of which 53 did not attend school because of physical disability or ill health. Public schools, 24 in number in the four counties, provide schooling for 216 children ; 26 are in the tuberculosis sanitarium school at Lapwai, 23 in nonreservation schools, 46 in St. Joseph's Catholic mission school at Slickapoo, Idaho, and one attends a business college. The public school authorities cooperate with the Government and the children are treated on an equality with the white children. The sending of Indian children to public schools works out better here than anywhere else Commissioner Scott has observed.

The following are excerpts from Commissioner Scott's report:

“Ever since the discovery of the Nez Perce Indians by Lewis and Clark in 1805 they have been noted for their fine, manly, and moral qualities. The help given by these people to the first whites were ill requited by the white men who caused Chief Joseph to be removed from the home of his ancestors in the Wallowa Valley. This was the cause of the Nez Perce war of 1877, which brought about a large amount of unnecessary misery and bloodshed. I took a small part in this war on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains in Montana. Joseph made a wonderful retreat of 1,500 miles with all his families and horses against the resources of civilization until captured by General Miles. Joseph conducted his warfare in a more humane manner than any other Indian in our history. These Nez Perce make a strong impression by their uprightness, and their forcefulness and stability of character. They are the highest type of Indian I have ever seen.

“Three-fourths of the tribe are classed as Presbyterians, the others being Methodists or Catholics or belonging to a small group of reactionaries with no religious affiliations. I saw for the first time churches built and run solely by Indians without intervention of white men. The singing of the men and women was impressive. All are prosperous and well dressed, mostly well-todo farmers working their own farms, giving assurance of economic stability, the lack of which often breaks up religious communities. Here is a stable community of high class, patriotic, God-fearing Indians that would compare favorably with the best of our own farming communities in any State.

“I was driven to Kamiah, 70 miles, by Jesse Paul, a full-blood Nez Perce, in his own high-powered touring car. I was quartermaster of the wagon train that took the Nez Perce prisoners of war from the mouth of the Yellowstone in 1877 to put them on the train for Fort Leavenworth, Kans. Jesse Paul was a boy on those wagons; he is now one of the most respected citizens of this part of the country. He has a comfortable home with electric lights and other modern conveniences, owns a 200-acre farm which he cultivates himself, together with some leased land. He has mortgages on the farms of his white neighbors and can borrow money to any reasonable amount in any bank in this section solely on his known character. This is the most remarkable case of Indian progress in the same generation of which I have knowledge and shows of what the Indian is capable.

There is an Indian tuberculosis sanitarium at Lapwai with a capacity of 110. The plant is adequate for the number of patients now taken care of, but a new building is needed for 75 girls. The present building houses but 50 girls who live over the kitchen and dining room, and during warm weather

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the quarters are unbearably hot and there is no recreation room. These conditions have a debilitating effect on the girl patients who should be provided with as suitable accommodations as the boys and given equal chances of recovery.

“Doctor Keck, the physician in charge, has had long service in the department as a tuberculosis expert, has an excellent reputation, and seems devoted to his profession and his patients. He says that too many patients are sent here who are too far advanced in the stages of the disease for treatment at a sanitarium of this character. This is not only a detriment to the sanitarium but also to the local agency administration. In vacation the children sleep out of doors in a high altitude among the pines and are brought back in time to receive such scholastic instruction in the fall as their health will permit. It is reported they are plentifully supplied with fruit, milk, and eggs.

“The Nez Perce conduct a high-class summer Chautauqua encampmeat in the mountains. This is maintained entirely by the Indians and is the only one of like character of which I have knowledge. The old ard indigent Indians of the tribe are looked after and supported by a committee of their own people, who see to it that they live in comfort.

The Indians claim ownership to the land upon which the sawitarium is built. They said that but few Nez Perce children go to the institution, while children are brought there from many other tribes hringing disease to their agency. They wanted the sanitarium turned into a boarding school.

It was carefully explained to them that $1,600,000 had been paid to them by the Government for all the surplus land remaining after the allotments had been made and the Indian Bureau considered the sanitarium property as belonging to the Government to manage as it saw fit. The Indians appeared to be satisfied with this explanation. The Indians in council with me said they had claims against the Government which they were not permitted to bring before the Court of Claims. It would seem a grievous oppression for the Government to take advantage of its great power to keep its wards from obtaining relief through the courts, and it is recommended that a law he ohtained from Congress giving autherity to all Indian tribes to take their claims to the Court of Claims for adjudication within a certain period.

“ The Fort Lapwai plant is very well maintained. It lacks only the building for girls, mentioned above, to make it a great credit to the department. The agency is ably managed by Mr. Oscar H. Lipps, one of the most (listinguished superintendents of the Indian Bureau. He has won the respect and affection of his Indians, whose rights he protects with tact and forcefulness, and at the same time he has the support and cooperation of the whites.


The Umatilla Reservation, located in northeastern Oregon, with its agency headquarters 5 miles east of Pendleton, on the Umatilla River, was inspected by Commissioner Scott in September, 1922. At the time of his visit the Indians were much disturbed because of reports that the department was contemplating the sale of the agency and school property with the intention of moving the agency headquarters to Pendleton. Commissioner Scott, in his report, set forth the views of the Indians at length and strongly recommended that their wishes be respected by maintaining the agency in its present location, not selling any of the property, and reopening the boarding school. He added that this recommendation was concurred in hy the supervisor of the district. It appeared that while there had been some consideration given the proposition by the department because an offer to purchase the land had been presented, the department had done nothing more than to request the superintendent to make an appraisal of the property. The boarding school had been closed some years before. The land is not to be sold and the agency headquarters are to remain where they are. The disposition of the boarding school has not yet been definitely determined. In this connection Commissioner Scott's report reads, in part, as follows:

“There is a fine school plant here that has been kept in good order by the superintendent and has a capacity of 180 children. Some of the buildings are of brick with modern lighting facilities, the employee's quarters are good, there are gardens and cement walks, and an ample supply of pure water from the city waterworks is obtained free of charge in consideration for the right of way of the pipe line through the reservation. This excellent school, upon

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

which much money has been spent, has been lying idle for four years. The Indians claim their children are not being properly educated in the public · schools, many of which are too far from their homes for attendance in bad weather. They are dissatisfied with results, as shown by their grown children, who lack education and morals, and are convinced that educational conditions would be bettered by reopening of their boarding school.

"Another cause of unrest among the Indians at Umatilla is the contention over an area of land known as the Johnson Creek tract. The Umatilla Reservation was reduced to its present size, 156,774 acres, and allotment authorized by the act of March 3, 1885, and the land outside the diminished reserve was to be disposed of in accordance with the terms of this law, the proceeds to be placed in the Treasury to the credit of the Umatilla Indians. This was done with the exception of what is known as the Johnson Creek country, in township 2 south, range 34 and 35, east, Willamette meridian, Oregon, aggregating 7,295 acres.

* By the terms of this law the outside land was to be surveyed, classified as to timbered and nontimbered land, appraised, and sold. The Johnson Creek country was never surveyed until 1917, and in 1920 the superintendent of the agency classified and appraised the land as follows, the Secretary of the Interior approving the appraisal August 23, 1920: 670 acres timberland at $9,365, and 5,625 acres grazing land at $11,636; total of appraisal, $21,001.

“For a number of years squatters have been on this Johnson Creek tract, have placed improvements thereon, and fenced the best_land, both timbered and untimbered, leaving unsettled the canyons of Little Johnson and Johnson Creek. The U'matilla Indians want all this land restored to them. To this end they asked that a bill be passed by Congress restoring the land, saying they did not wish it disposed of by the terms of the act of 1885. A bill passed by the Senate on June 27, 1921, is unsatisfactory to the Indians. If this should become a law it would leave the Indians only the land which is unfit for almost any purpose and dispose of the best land to the squatters.

“ The squatters have had free use of this land for many years. But 7,339 acres of the diminished reservation remains unallotted, and this is very poor land. The Indians advance the argument that the Johnson Creek tract is necessary for the pasturage of their stock in the summer time, as it is high and close enough to the diminished reservation to be available for such use. There seems to be no doubt that these squatters are on this tract in violation of law, and the Indian Bureau for a long period has neglected its duty to safeguard the interests of its wards by permitting this illegal occupation. It is recommended that these squatters be ejected and the land put to use by its proper owners.

"" There is much ill feeling over the allotting rolls containing the names of people who do not identify themselves with the interests of the tribes. There is some land still rem:ining unallotted which they wish allotted to children of the tribe who now have no allotment, and they do not wish these referred to above to share in this allotment. This seems to be a very reasonable desire.

The Indians say an investigation of these rolls has been promised, but it has never been granted. I recommend that this be done and this cause of unrest be removed.

“ These Indians are generally making real progress. There is some evil experienced here, as in many other places where the young live on the rentals of their property and frequent the pool rooms of the town. Many, however, are quite thrifty, industrious, and well-to-do, consistent Christians, very earnest and almost puritan in their faith. These get along well with their white neighbors and are an asset in any farming community.”

In the statistical portion of his report, Commissioner Scott says that the 1,132 Indians here belong to the Cayuse, Walla Walla, Umatilla, and Nez Perce tribes, and about half are reported as being full bloods. They are scattered on their allotments over a large extent of country intermingled with white farmers, with whom they live in accord. The area of the Indian lands totals 156,774 acres, 82,644 being allotted and 74,130 unallotted ; 43,870 acres are farm land, 76,000 acres grazing, and 3,020 are timberland. The Indians cultivate over 11,000 acres and lease about 35,000 for an annual revenue around $135,000 ; practically all grazing land is used for Indian stock.

At the end of the last scholastic year there were 303 children of school age in the jurisdiction, 35 of whom were not attending school. The children attend the following schools : 32 in Government schools, 84 in mission, and 152 in public schools.




The Sac and Fox Indian Agency includes the Musquakie Reservation and a sanatorium for Indians at Toledo, Iowa. The reservation contains 3,251 acres, all held in common excepting two farms, which are rented to white men. Out of the rentals the taxes are paid for; unlike western reservations, this one is owned by the Indians as a communal body. The present population numbers 342 Sac and Fox Indians, all reported to be full bloods. This reservation was visited by Commissioner Samuel A. Eliot in November, 1922. Following are quotations from his report on conditions in the jurisdiction :

“ These Indians have long been opposed to the adoption of the white inan's method of life; they have tried to adhere to their tribal customs and primitive habits. The facts that they own their reservation and that the laws of the State are not applicable on the reservation have made it very difficult to advance them in civilization. When Commissioner Ketcham visited them four years ago he was much discouraged by the backward condition of these Indians. He found moral conditions to be “unspeakable” and urgently recommended the legislation required to permit the laws of the State of Iowa to be applied to the reservation.

“ In the past four years there has evidently been a considerable improvement, brought about chiefly through the ability of the superintendent, Dr. Jacob Breid, to persuade the Indians to capitalize their individual annuity funds and with the proceeds build houses. This improved housing has had its effect on the life of the whole band; there is more self-respect and self-reliance; things are generally more decent than they were four years ago. There is an increasing realization of the nature and the value of property. Each Indian has his recognized tract, which he farms or neglects in accordance with his own taste or industry.

“ Two day schools have been established on the reservation by the Federal Government, and I found both fairly well attended. The superintendent should be vigorously supported in his endeavors to apply the ordinances governing compulsory education at school. It is not for the good of these Indians that any one of them should be permitted to defy the law.

“ The United Presbyterian Church has maintained a mission on the eastern border of this reservation for some 35 years. Until recently it has been impossible to report any visible progress in the moralizing or Christianizing of these Indians. Of late years, however, real gains have been made. A number of younger Indians have formed the habit of attending the mission, and this past summer an adequate chapel has been built for their use. The mission is greatly in need of a piano and of equipment for a boys' club, meeting in the basement of the chapel.

One demoralizing element in the life of these Indians seems to be on the way to correction, the annual celebration, called a powwow, with which they entertain themselves and their white guests by dances and ws of one kind and another. The enterprise is reported to be commercially profitable but morally undesirable. This year the assessors levied a tax upon this powwow, as they would upon any other form of amusement commercially adm nistered. The Indians were very angry at this action, which took away a considerable part of their profits. The reduction in the profits of the entertainment is likely before long to dispose of it altogether.

“I wish here emphatically to repeat the recommendation of Commissioner Ketcham made four years ago and to urge the passage of a bill which will extend the laws of the State of Iowa over this reservation. There is undoubtedly improvement in conditions, but it is intolerable that this little community should be permitted to live in lawlessness and be a menace to the health and morals of the surrounding communities.

“ Two or three miles from the reservation and under the care of the same superintendent is the Sac and Fox Sanatorium, a hospital for tubercular Indians. The buildings are not well adapted for hospital purposes; they are not in good repair, but the sanatorium is doing needed work. The main building needs new floors throughout and an appropriation of at least $1,000 for paint and plaster. The separate building used for lodging the employees is very dilapidated; it should be immediately condemned and removed. A small office building should be built and the present office then converted into a four-room cottage for employees.

“ There are only two trained nurses employed at the hospital and an additional nurse should certainly be secured. There is only one teacher in the

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »