GENERAL SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The Conditions Among the Indians. An overwhelming majority of the Indians are poor, even extremely poor, and they are not adjusted to the economic and social system of the dominant white civilization.
The poverty of the Indians and their lack of adjustment to the dominant economic and social systems produce the vicious circle ordinarily found among any people under such circumstances. Because of interrelationships, causes cannot be differentiated from effects. The only course is to state briefly the conditions found that are part of this vicious circle of poverty and maladjustment.
Health. The health of the Indians as compared with that of the general population is bad. Although accurate mortality and morbidity statistics are commonly lacking, the existing evidence warrants the statement that both the general death rate and the infant mortality rate are high. Tuberculosis is extremely prevalent. Trachoma, a communicable disease which produces blindness, is a major problem because of its great prevalence and the danger of its spreading among both the Indians and the whites.
Living Conditions. The prevailing living conditions among the great majority of the Indians are conducive to the development and spread of disease. With comparatively few exceptions, the diet of the Indians is bad. It is generally insufficient in quantity, lacking in variety, and poorly prepared. The two great preventive elements in diet, milk, and fruits and green vegetables, are notably absent. Most tribes use fruits and vegetables in season, but even then the supply is ordinarily insufficient. The use of milk is rare, and it is generally not available even for infants. Babies, when weaned, are ordinarily put on substantially the same diet as older children and adults, a diet consisting mainly of meats and starches.
The housing conditions are likewise conducive to bad health. Both in the primitive dwellings and in the majority of more or less permanent homes which in some cases have replaced them, there is great overcrowding, so that all members of the family are exposed to any disease that develops, and it is virtually impossible in any way even partially to isolate a person suffering from a communicable disease. In certain jurisdictions, notably the Osage and the Kiowa, the government has stimulated the building of modern homes, bungalows, or even more pretentious dwellings, but most of the permanent houses that have replaced primitive dwellings are small shacks with few rooms and with inadequate provision for ventilation. Education in housekeeping and sanitation has not proceeded far enough so that the Indians living in these more or less permanent shacks practice ventilation and domestic cleanliness. From the standpoint of health, it is probably true that the temporary, primitive dwellings that were not fairly air-tight and were frequently abandoned were more sanitary than the permanent homes that have replaced them. The furnishing of the primitive dwellings and of the shacks is limited. Although many of them still have very primitive arrangements for cooking and heating, the use of modern cook stoves and utensils is far more general than the use of beds, and the use of beds in turn is far more common than the use of any kind of easily washable bed covering.
Sanitary facilities are generally lacking. Except among the relatively few well-to-do Indians, the houses seldom have a private water supply or any toilet facilities whatever. Even privies are exceptional. Water is ordinarily carried considerable distances from natural springs or streams, or occasionally from wells. In many sections the supply is inadequate, although in some jurisdictions, notably in the desert country of the Southwest, the government has materially improved the situation, an activity that is appreciated by the Indians.
Economic Conditions. The income of the typical Indian family is low and the earned income extremely low. From the standpoint of the white man, the typical Indian is not industrious, nor is he an effective worker when he does work. Much of his activity is expended in lines which produce a relatively small return either in goods or money. He generally ekes out an existence through unearned income from leases of his land, the sale of land, per capita payments from tribal funds, or in exceptional cases through rations given him by the government. The number of Indians who are supporting themselves through their own efforts, according to what a white man would regard as the minimum standard of health and decency, is extremely small. What little they secure from their own efforts or from other sources is rarely effectively used.
The main occupations of the men are some outdoor work, mostly of an agricultural nature, but the number of real farmers is comparatively small. A considerable proportion engage more or less casually in unskilled labor. By many Indians several different kinds of activity are followed spasmodically: a little agriculture, a little fishing, hunting, trapping, wood cutting, or gathering of native products, occasional labor and hauling, and a great deal of just idling. Very seldom do the Indians work about their homes as the typical white man does. Although the permanent structures in which they live after giving up primitive dwellings are simple and such as they might easily build and develop for themselves, little evidence of such activity was seen. Even where more advanced Indians occupied structures similar to those occupied by neighboring whites, it was almost always possible to tell the Indian homes from the white by the fact that the white man did much more than the Indian in keeping his house in condition.
In justice to the Indians, it should be said that many of them are living on lands from which a trained and experienced white man could scarcely wrest a reasonable living. In some instances the land originally set apart for the Indians was of little value for agricultural operations other than grazing. In other instances part of the land was excellent but the Indians did not appreciate its value. Often when individual allotments were made, they chose for themselves the poorer parts, because those parts were near a domestic water supply or a source of firewood, or because they furnished some native product important to the Indians in their primitive life. Frequently the better sections of the land originally set apart for the Indians have fallen into the hands of the whites, and the Indians have retreated to the poorer lands remote from markets.
In many places crops can be raised only by the practice of irrigation. Many Indians in the Southwest are successful in a small way with their own primitive systems of irrigation. When modern, highly developed irrigation systems have been supplied by governmental activities, the Indians have rarely been ready to make effective use of the land and water. If the modern irrigation enterprise has been successful from an economic standpoint, the tendency has been for whites to gain possession of the land either by purchase or by leases. If the enterprise has not been economically a success, the Indians generally retain possession of the land, but they do not know how to use it effectively and get much less out of it than a white man would.
The remoteness of their homes often prevents them from easily securing opportunities for wage earning, nor do they have many contacts with persons dwelling in urban communities where they might find employment. Even the boys and girls graduating from government schools have comparatively little vocational guidance or aid in finding profitable employment.
When all these factors are taken into consideration, it is not surprising to find low incomes: low standards of living, and poor health.
Suffering and Discontent. Some people assert that the Indians prefer to live as they do; that they are happier in their idleness and irresponsibility. The question may be raised whether these persons do not mistake for happiness and content an almost oriental fatalism and resignation. The survey staff found altogether too much evidence of real suffering and discontent to subscribe to the belief that the Indians are reasonably satisfied with their condition. The amount of serious illness and poverty is too great to permit of real contentment. The Indian is like the white man in his affection for his children, and he feels keenly the sickness and the loss of his offspring.
The Causes of Poverty. The economic basis of the primitive culture of the Indians has been largely destroyed by the encroachment of white civilization. The Indians can no longer make a living as they did in the past by hunting, fishing, gathering wild products, and the extremely limited practice of primitive agriculture. The social system that evolved from their past economic life is ill-suited to the conditions that now confront them, notably in the matter of the division of labor between the men and the women. They are by no means yet adjusted to the new economic and social conditions that confront them.
Several past policies adopted by the government in dealing with the Indians have been of a type which, if long continued, would tend to pauperize any race. Most notable was the practice of issuing rations to able-bodied Indians. Having moved the Indians from their ancestral lands to restricted reservations as a war measure, the government undertook to feed them and to perform certain services for them which a normal people do for themselves. The Indians at the outset had to accept this aid as a matter of necessity, but promptly they came to regard it as a matter of right, as indeed it was at the time and under the conditions of the inauguration of the ration system. They felt, and many of them still feel, that the government owes them a living, having taken their lands from them, and that they are under no obligation to support themselves. They have thus inevitably developed a pauper point of view.
When the government adopted the policy of individual ownership of the land on the reservations, the expectation was that the Indians would become farmers. Part of the plan was to instruct and aid them in agriculture, but this vital part was not pressed with vigor and intelligence. It almost seems as if the government assumed that some magic in individual ownership of property would in itself prove an educational civilizing factor, but unfortunately this policy has for the most part operated in the opposite direction. Individual ownership has in many instances permitted Indians to sell their allotments and to live for a time on the unearned income resulting from the sale. Individual ownership brought promptly all the details of inheritance, and frequently the sale of the property of the deceased Indians to whites so that the estate could be divided among the heirs. To the heirs the sale brought further unearned income, thereby lessening the necessity for self support. Many Indians were not ready to make effective use of their individual allotments. Some of the allotments were of such a character that they could not be effectively used by anyone in small units. The solution was to permit the Indians through the government to lease their lands to the whites. In some instances government officers encouraged leasing, as the whites were anxious for the use of the land and it was far easier to administer property leased to whites than to educate and stimulate Indians to use their own property. The lease money, though generally small in amount, gave the Indians further unearned income to permit the continuance of a life of idleness.
Surplus land remaining after allotments were made was often sold and the proceeds placed in a tribal fund. Natural resources, such as timber and oil, were sold and the money paid either into tribal funds or to individual Indians if the land had been allotted. From time to time per capita payments were made to the individual Indians from tribal funds. These policies all added to the unearned income of the Indian and postponed the day when it would be necessary for him to go to work to support himself.
Since the Indians were ignorant of money and its use, had little or no sense of values, and fell an easy victim to any white man who wanted to take away their property, the government, through its Indian Service employees, often took the easiest course of managing all the Indians' property for them. The government kept the Indians' money for them at the agency. When the Indians wanted something they would go to the government agent, as a child would go to his parents, and ask for it. The government agent would make all the decisions, and in many instances would either buy the thing requested or give the Indians a store order for it. Although money was sometimes given the Indians, the general belief was that the Indians could not be trusted to spend the money for the purpose agreed upon with the agent, and therefore they must not be given opportunity to misapply it. At some agencies this practice still exists, although it gives the Indians no education in the use of money, is irritating to them, and tends to decrease responsibility and increase the pauper attitude.
The typical Indian, however, has not yet advanced to the point where he has the knowledge of money and values, and of business methods that will permit him to control his own property without aid, advice, and some restrictions; nor is he ready to work consistently and regularly at more or less routine labor.
The Work of the Government in Behalf of the Indians. The work of the government directed toward the education and advancement of the Indian himself, as distinguished from the control and conservation of his property, is largely ineffective. The chief explanation of the deficiency in this work lies in the fact that the government has not appropriated enough funds to permit the Indian Service to employ an adequate personnel properly qualified for the task before it.
Absence of Well-Considered, Broad Educational Program. The outstanding evidence of the lack of an adequate, well-trained personnel is the absence of any well considered, broad educational program for the Service as a whole. Here the word education is used in its widest sense and includes not only school training for children but also activities for the training of adults to aid them in adjusting themselves to the dominant social and economic life which confronts them. It embraces education in economic production and in living standards necessary for the maintenance of health and decency.
Work for the Promotion of Health. The inadequacy of appropriations has prevented the development of an adequate system of public health administration and medical relief work for the Indians. The number of doctors, nurses, and dentists is insufficient. Because of small appropriations the salaries for the personnel in health work are materially below those paid by the government in its other activities concerned with public health and medical relief, specifically the Public Health Service, the Army, the Navy, and the Veterans' Bureau, as well as below those paid by private organizations for similar services. Since its salaries are sub-standard, the Indian Service has not been able to set reasonably high entrance qualifications and to adhere to them. In the case of doctors, the standards set for entrance have been too low. In the case of public health nurses the standards have been reasonable, but it has not been possible to secure at the salary offered a sufficient number of applicants, so that many people have to be employed temporarily who do not possess the required qualifications. Often untrained, inexperienced field matrons are attempting to perform duties which would be fairly difficult for a well-trained, experienced public health nurse. For general nursing positions, it has often been necessary to substitute for properly trained nurses, practical nurses, some of whom possess few qualifications for the work.
The hospitals, sanatoria, and sanatorium schools maintained by the Service, despite a few exceptions, must be generally characterized as lacking in personnel, equipment, management, and design. The statement is sometimes made that, since the Indians live according to a low scale, it is not necessary for the government to furnish hospital facilities for them which are comparable with those supplied for poor white people in a progressive community. The survey staff regards this basis of judging facilities as unsound. The question is whether the hospitals and sanatoria are efficient institutions for the care and treatment of patients, and this question must generally be answered in the negative.
Although the present administration has made a praiseworthy forward step in the reorganization of the Indian medical service and has secured from the Public Health Service a well-qualified director for the chief position, it is hampered at every turn by the limitations of its present staff and equipment and by lack of funds for development. Under the present administration, too, a real beginning has been made in public health nursing. Despite these recent promising developments, it is still true that the Indian Service is markedly deficient in the field of public health and preventive medicine. The preventive work in combating the two important diseases of tuberculosis and trachoma can only be characterized as weak. The same word must be applied to the efforts toward preventing infant mortality and the diseases of children. Here and there some effective work is done in maternity cases, just about enough to demonstrate that competent, tactful physicians can induce a very considerable number of Indian women to have professional care in childbirth and to advance beyond the crude, unsanitary, and at times, even brutal primitive practices.
Another striking need is for the development of the public health clinic, an agency extremely effective in locating cases of tuberculosis and other communicable diseases in their incipiency and thus permitting of the early treatment of the sufferer when there is still chance to help him, and also making it possible to exercise some control over contagion. The number of public health clinics in the Indian Service is small, and the two or three deserving the name are of recent origin and are not adequately equipped.
Vital statistics have been called the handmaid of preventive medicine. They are indispensable for the efficient planning, development, and operation of a sound program for conservation of public health. The Indian Service has not yet been successful in overcoming the great difficulties inherent in securing vital statistics for the Indians and, moreover, its physicians in general have tended to neglect the important work of keeping case histories and other records basic to a public health program. The result is that the directing personnel of the Indian Service and the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of the Budget, and Congress and its committees lack the information essential for planning, development, and control. Under such circumstances it is inevitable that some of the money actually appropriated and expended will be wasted, if it is not almost equally inevitable that appropriations will not be proportional to needs.
Because of these numerous defects in the medical service, it is not surprising to find that serious errors have been made in the treatment of Indians suffering from trachoma. Practically entirely ignoring the view held by many students of the disease that a close relationship exists between trachoma and dietary deficiencies, the Service for some years pinned its faith on a serious, radical operation for cure without carefully watching results and checking the degree of success achieved. The Service has now recognized the marked limitations of this radical procedure and has stopped its wholesale use. Serious errors of this nature are likely to occur in a service which is so seriously understaffed that following up cases and checking results are neglected. This serious operation was unquestionably performed on many Indians who did not need it, and, because of the difficulties in diagnosis of trachoma, upon some Indians who did not even have the disease.
Formal Education of Indian Children. For several years the general policy of the Indian Service has been directed away from the boarding school for Indian children and toward the public schools and Indian day schools. More Indian children are now in public schools maintained by the state or local governments than in special Indian schools maintained by the nation. It is, however, still the fact that the boarding school, either reservation or non-reservation, is the dominant characteristic of the school system maintained by the national government for its Indian wards.
The survey staff finds itself obliged to say frankly and unequivocally that the provisions for the care of the Indian children in boarding schools are grossly inadequate.
The outstanding deficiency is in the diet furnished the Indian children, many of whom are below normal health. The diet is deficient in quantity, quality, and variety. The effort has been made to feed the children on a per capita of eleven cents a day, plus what can be produced on the school farm, including the dairy. At a few, very few, schools, the farm and the dairy are sufficiently productive to be a highly important factor in raising the standard of the diet, but even at the best schools these sources do not fully meet the requirements for the health and development of the children. At the worst schools, the situation is serious in the extreme. The major diseases of the Indians are tuberculosis and trachoma. Tuberculosis unquestionably can best be combated by a preventive, curative diet and proper living conditions, and a considerable amount of evidence suggests that the same may prove true of trachoma. The great protective foods are milk and fruit and vegetables, particularly fresh green vegetables. The diet of the Indian children in boarding schools is generally notably lacking in these preventive foods. Although the Indian Service has established a quart of milk a day per pupil as the standard, it has been able to achieve this standard in very few schools. At the special school for children suffering from trachoma, now in operation at Fort Defiance, Arizona, milk is not part of the normal diet. The little produced is mainly consumed in the hospital where children acutely ill are sent. It may be seriously questioned whether the Indian Service could do very much better than it does without more adequate appropriations.
Next to dietary deficiencies comes overcrowding in dormitories. The boarding schools are crowded materially beyond their capacities. A device frequently resorted to in an effort to increase dormitory capacity without great expense is the addition of large sleeping porches. They are in themselves reasonably satisfactory, but they shut off light and air from the inside rooms, which are still filled with beds beyond their capacity. The toilet facilities have in many cases not been increased proportionately to the increase in pupils, and they are fairly frequently not properly maintained or conveniently located. The supply of soap and towels has been inadequate.
The medical service rendered the boarding school children is not up to a reasonable standard. Physical examinations are often superficial and enough provision is not made for the correction of remediable defects.
The boarding schools are frankly supported in part by the labor of the students. Those above the fourth grade ordinarily work for half a day and go to school for half a day. A distinction in theory is drawn between industrial work undertaken primarily for the education of the child and production work done primarily for the support of the institution. However, teachers of industrial work undertaken ostensibly for education say that much of it is as a matter of fact production work for the maintenance of the school. The question may very properly be raised as to whether much of the work of Indian children in boarding schools would not be prohibited in many states by the child labor laws, notably the work in the machine laundries. At several schools the laundry equipment is antiquated and not properly safeguarded. To operate on a half-work, half-study plan makes the day very long, and the child has almost no free time and little opportunity for recreation. Not enough consideration has been given the question of whether the health of the Indian children warrants the nation in supporting the Indian boarding schools in part through the labor of these children.
The medical attention given Indian children in the day schools maintained by the government is also below a reasonable standard.
In securing teachers for the government schools and in recruiting other employees for the boarding schools the Indian Service is handicapped by low salaries and must accordingly adopt low standards for entrance. Although some of the non-reservation schools purport to be high schools, the qualifications of their teaching force do not entitle them to free and unrestricted recognition as accredited high schools. At best, they have been able to secure limited recognition from local universities. The teaching taken as a whole is not up to the standards set by reasonably progressive white communities.
Some years ago, in an effort to raise standards, the Indian Service adopted a uniform curriculum for all Indian schools. Modern experience has demonstrated that the effective device for raising standards is not curriculum control but the establishment of high minimum qualifications for the teaching staff. The uniform curriculum works badly because it does not permit of relating teaching to the needs of the particular Indian children being taught. It requires the same work for Indian children who are the first generation to attend school and who do not speak English as it does for those who are of the third generation of school children, who have long been in contact with the whites, and speak English in the home.
The discipline in the boarding schools is restrictive rather than developmental. Routine institutionalism is almost the invariable characteristic of the Indian boarding school.
Although the problem of the returned Indian student has been much discussed, and it is recognized that in many instances the child returns to his home poorly adjusted to conditions that confront him, the Indian Service has lacked the funds to attempt to aid the children when they leave school either to find employment away from the reservation or to return to their homes and work out their salvation there. Having done almost no work of this kind, it has not subjected its schools to the test of having to show how far they have actually fitted the Indian children for life. Such a test would undoubtedly have resulted in a radical revision of the industrial training offered in the schools. Several of the industries taught may be called vanishing trades and others are taught in such a way that the Indian students cannot apply what they have learned in their own home and they are not far enough advanced to follow their trade in a white community in competition with white workers without a period of apprenticeship. No adequate arrangements have been made to secure for them the opportunity of apprenticeship.
Economic Education and Development on the Reservations. At a few reservations energetic and resourceful superintendents with a real faculty for leadership have demonstrated that the economic education of the Indian is entirely possible. These superintendents have been handicapped in part by their own lack of training in several of the fields which are involved in a well-rounded, effective program of economic and social education, but even more by the general absence of trained and experienced assistants in these different fields.
Even under the best conditions, it is doubtful whether a well-rounded program of economic advancement framed with due consideration of the natural resources of the reservation has anywhere been thoroughly tried out. The Indians often say that programs change with superintendents. Under the poorest administration there is little evidence of anything which could be termed an economic program.
Everywhere the lack of trained subordinate personnel in immediate contact with the Indians is striking. For years the Indian Service has had field positions with the title "Farmer." The duties of this position would more properly be described by the title "Field Clerk," or in some instances " General Laborer." The duties have rarely been those of an agricultural teacher and demonstrator, and the qualifications required have not been such as are necessary for teachers or leaders in agriculture. The salaries have been so low that, as a rule, the Service is fortunate if it gets a really good agricultural laborer with sufficient education to perform his clerical duties. Some exceptions must be noted. One or two well-trained agricultural teachers employed as farmers have shown what is possible, but in general the economic and industrial education of adult reservation Indians has been neglected.
Even less has been done toward finding profitable employment for Indians. As has been said, the schools do little for their graduates. Little is done on the reservations. In a few jurisdictions labor services are maintained chiefly in recruiting Indians for temporary unskilled labor. This employment service is largely mass work, not individualized, and it does not often seek to find the Indian an opportunity for a permanent position that offers him a chance to work up or one that will arouse his interest.
Family and Community Development. The Indian Service has not appreciated the fundamental importance of family life and community activities in the social and economic development of a people. The tendency has been rather toward weakening Indian family life and community activities than toward strengthening them. The long continued policy of removing Indian children from the home and placing them for years in boarding school largely disintegrates the family and interferes with developing normal family life. The belief has apparently been that the shortest road to civilization is to take children away from their parents and insofar as possible to stamp out the old Indian life. The Indian community activities particularly have often been opposed if not suppressed. The fact has been appreciated that both the family life and the community activities have many objectionable features, but the action taken has often been the radical one of attempting to destroy rather than the educational process of gradual modification and development.
The Service is notably weak in personnel trained and experienced in educational work with families and communities. The result is the almost total absence of well developed programs for the several jurisdictions specially adapted to meet local conditions. For many years the Indian Service has had positions for "Field Matrons" employed especially to work with families, but the salaries and the entrance qualifications have been so low that the competent field matron able to plan and apply a reasonably good constructive program is the rare exception. Superintendents are also, as a rule, weak in this branch of their work, and the central office is not adequately equipped to direct and supervise these highly important activities. At present the plan is to replace field matrons with public health nurses as rapidly as possible. This action will be an improvement because the vast majority of field matrons are untrained for their work, but families and communities stand in need of services in their economic and social development that lie outside of the field of training and effort of public health nurses, much as public health nurses are needed.
Some missionaries, a very few, have appreciated the necessity for developmental work with families and the promotion of wholesome community life. Most of the best missionary activities have been directed toward the education of children. The work for adults has consisted mainly of what may be termed church activities, and the evidence seems to warrant the conclusion that such activities by themselves are not very effective in reaching and influencing the Indians.
Both the government and the missionaries have often failed to study, understand, and take a sympathetic attitude toward Indian ways, Indian ethics, and Indian religion. The exceptional government worker and the exceptional missionary have demonstrated what can be done by building on what is sound and good in the Indian's own life.
Legal Protection and Advancement. Much of the best work done by the Indian Service has been in the protection and conservation of Indian property, yet this program has emphasized the property rather than the Indian. Several legal situations exist which are serious impediments to the social and economic development of the race.
Most notable is the confusion that exists as to legal jurisdiction over the restricted Indians in such important matters as crimes and misdemeanors and domestic relations. The act of Congress providing for the punishment of eight major crimes applies to the restricted Indians on tribal lands and restricted allotments, and cases of this character come under the unquestioned jurisdiction of the United States courts. Laws respecting the sale of liquor to Indians and some other special matters have been passed, and again jurisdiction is clear. For the great body of other crimes and misdemeanors the situation is highly unsatisfactory. To speak broadly and generally, there is neither substantive nor adjective law covering these crimes and misdemeanors when committed by restricted Indians on lands upon which the United States still maintains restrictions. Some states have attempted to assume this jurisdiction and to apply state law, but they have generally withdrawn when their efforts are challenged. Except for the eight major crimes, law enforcement among the Indians on the reservations is in the hands of the Secretary of the Interior as a part of his duties in the administration of Indian affairs.
In some jurisdictions, Courts of Indian Offenses have been established, presided over by Indian judges, whose small salaries are specifically appropriated by Congress, thus giving congressional sanction to the system. The judges are administratively appointed. They operate under very general regulations propounded by the Indian Service. In a large measure, they determine both law and fact. Their decisions are subject to administrative but not judicial review.
The Indian Service has been bitterly assailed for maintaining these courts. The survey staff, however, believes that they are well-adapted to the needs of primitive Indians remote from organized white communities, and that on the whole they work well. They are more open to criticism for lenity than for severity. The penalties they impose are generally slight and are very humanely administered.
If criticism is to be directed against the Indian Service in this matter of crimes and misdemeanors, it should be directed primarily toward the fact that apparently it has not formulated a constructive program for bringing Indians under the state law and the state courts where the Indians are sufficiently advanced to warrant the application of this law to them and where the white communities in the neighborhood of the Indians are sufficiently developed to afford the requisite judicial administration.
The situation concerning the law of domestic relations is of course similar, since breaches of this law, in an ordinary white community, constitute crimes or misdemeanors. Tribal law and custom have been recognized, and among remote and primitive Indians it probably must continue to be for some years to come, but many Indians have advanced to a stage where the state law of domestic relations may properly be applied to them, thereby eliminating the confusion that now exists and leads to conditions which are open to criticism.
Although the Indian Service has rendered much valuable service in conserving Indian property,, it has not gone far enough in protecting the individual Indian from exploitation. The explanation is in part the usual one of lack of adequate personnel, both in the Washington office and in the field, but the division of jurisdiction between the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice must be noted. The Department of Justice conducts the court cases through the United States District Attorneys. Under this system long delays are inevitable, minor cases are likely to be ignored as too small to warrant starting the involved machinery, and at times, the United States District Attorneys are not active and aggressive in protecting the Indians' rights, even if their sympathies are not actually with the Indians' opponents. There is a notable absence of adequate organization to protect the Indians in petty cases and to educate them in how to secure legal aid.
The exploitation of Indians in Oklahoma has been notorious, but this exploitation has taken place under the state courts and the guardians appointed by them. Recent legislation, largely restoring the old authority of the national government over the property of restricted Osage Indians, has wonderfully improved the situation in that jurisdiction, and the work of the Indian Service for the protection of the property of these Indians is an outstanding achievement worthy of high commendation, although much remains to be done for the social advancement and adjustment of the Osages. The condition among the Five Civilized Tribes leaves much to be desired. This jurisdiction is largely in the hands of state courts, and although improvement has taken place, possibly after the horse has been stolen, much remains to be done. The national government there maintains probate attorneys to aid the Indians and the state courts, but their position is anomalous and they can scarcely be regarded as effective in protecting the Indians.
Under existing law the remaining restrictions on the property of the restricted Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes will expire in 1931 unless they are further extended by congressional action. Past experience warrants the conclusion that the wholesale removal of these restrictions in 1931 will result in another carnival of exploitation. The view of the survey staff is that these restrictions should be extended. The Secretary of the Interior can then remove them from time to time from such Indians as are found ready to manage their own property.
Many Indian tribes still have outstanding against the government claims arising out of the old treaties and laws. The existence of these claims is a serious impediment to progress. The Indians look forward to getting vast sums from these claims; thus the facts regarding their economic future are uncertain. They will hardly knuckle down to work while they still hope the government will pay what they believe is due them. Some Indians, mostly mixed bloods, are maintaining their tribal connections and agitating because they have rights under these claims. Attorneys are naturally interested, and a few are perhaps inclined to urge the Indians to press claims which have comparatively little real merit.
The settlement of an old claim involves a long and extremely detailed procedure and hence is necessarily slow. The question must be raised, however, as to whether the government is pressing for their settlement with maximum promptness. The evidence suggests that material improvement is practicable. Until these claims are out of the way, not much can be expected of Indians who are placing their faith in them.
Failure to Develop Cooperative Relationships. The Indian Service has not gone far enough in developing cooperative relationships with other organizations, public and private, which can be of material aid to it in educational developmental work for the Indians.
The present administration has given one outstanding illustration of what can be achieved through the cooperation with other federal agencies by its action in bringing in the Public Health Service to aid in the reorganization of the medical work. The Secretary of the Interior, too, has secured aid from the Department of Agriculture for his much-needed committee to determine the facts regarding Indian irrigation projects. Here and there in the field are found other instances of cooperation with the Department of Agriculture. Even if every single instance were listed, the surprising fact would be how little cooperative effort there is. In the same department with the Indian Office is the United States Bureau of Education, with its staff of specialists and its experience in caring for the Indians of Alaska, but apparently it has never been invited to cooperate in any large way or to make a survey of the Indian Service schools, although it is frequently invited to make surveys of state and municipal school systems. The Children's Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the United States Employment Service of the Department of Labor have staffs of specialists who could be of great aid to the Indian Service if they were called in, and far greater use than at present could be made of the Department of Agriculture, especially the Bureau of Home Economics, and even of the Public Health Service.
Cooperation with state and local governments offers outstanding possibilities because the Indians will ultimately merge with the population of the states wherein they reside, and every forward step taken cooperatively will simplify and expedite the transition. Considerable progress has been made in getting Indian children into public schools. In Minnesota some progress has been made in cooperation with the state department of health. The stimulating effect of this cooperation in the Indian medical service in Minnesota is noteworthy. Possibilities for cooperation appear to be particularly promising in California, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin. Had the Indian Service the funds and the personnel to devote to effective cooperation with the governments of these states it could go a long way toward writing the closing chapters of federal administration of the affairs of the Indians.
Many quasi-public national organizations, such as the National Tuberculosis Association, the American Red Cross, and the American Child Health Association, are deeply interested in Indian welfare and have done work among the Indians with the. sanction of the Indian Service, or in cooperation with it. It may be questioned, however, whether in any instance there has been active cooperation in planning and executing a carefully worked out constructive program. At times the quasi-public organization has wanted to do or has been invited to do a particular thing. In other instances it has supplied some specific material for use among Indians. The program of the government and these agencies has not been coordinated, and the Indian Service has not had the benefit of the expert staff that some of these agencies maintain.
The question must also be raised as to whether the relationship of the Indian Service to the churches and the missionaries could not be materially improved by closer cooperation, particularly in developing and executing social and economic programs. In several jurisdictions there was some evidence of friction between the government personnel and the missionaries or between missionaries of different denominations. Where this friction exists the Indians often take sides and constructive developmental work is retarded. Responsibility for such a situation is not invariably one-sided. Several missionaries suffer materially from lack of adequate support, from isolation, and from lack of close contacts with the churches or boards that have sent them into the Indian field. Under these circumstances it is not surprising that they sometimes lose perspective and become involved in controversies over what are, after all, relatively minor matters. When such controversies arise they frequently involve religious matters in a degree sufficient to make them extremely difficult and delicate from the standpoint of government administration. One of the problems of the Indian Service is how to reduce this friction and to prevent it from hampering progress.
Recommendations. The fundamental requirement is that the task of the Indian Service be recognized as primarily educational, in the broadest sense of that word, and that it be made an efficient educational agency, devoting its main energies to the social and economic advancement of the Indians, so that they may be absorbed into the prevailing civilization or be fitted to live in the presence of that civilization at least in accordance with a minimum standard of health and decency.
To achieve this end, the Service must have a comprehensive, well-rounded educational program, adequately supported, which will place it at the forefront of organizations devoted to the advancement of a people. This program must provide for the promotion of health, the advancement of productive efficiency, the acquisition of reasonable ability in the utilization of income and property, guarding against exploitation, and the maintenance of reasonably high standards of family and community life. It must extend to adults as well as to children and must place special emphasis on the family and the community. Since the great majority of the Indians are ultimately to merge into the general population, it should cover the transitional period and should endeavor to instruct Indians in the utilization of the services provided by public and quasi-public agencies for the people at large in exercising the privileges of citizenship and in making their contribution in service and in taxes for the maintenance of the government. It should also be directed toward preparing the white communities to receive the Indian. By improving the health of the Indian, increasing his productive efficiency, raising his standard of living, and teaching him the necessity for paying taxes, it will remove the main objections now advanced against permitting Indians to receive the full benefit of services rendered by progressive states and local governments for their populations. By actively seeking cooperation with state and local governments and by making a fair contribution in payment for services rendered by them to untaxed Indians, the national government can expedite the transition and hasten the day when there will no longer be a distinctive Indian problem and when the necessary governmental services are rendered alike to whites and Indians by the same organization without discrimination.
In the execution of this program, scrupulous care must be exercised to respect the rights of the Indian. This phrase "rights of the Indian" is often used solely to apply to his property rights. Here it is used in a much broader sense to cover his rights as a human being living in a free country. Indians are entitled to unfailing courtesy and consideration from all government employees. They should not be subjected to arbitrary action. Recognition of the educational nature of the whole task of dealing with them will result in taking the time to discuss with them in detail their own affairs and to lead rather than to force them to sound conclusions. The effort to substitute educational leadership for the more dictatorial methods now used in some places will necessitate more understanding of and sympathy for the Indian point of view. Leadership will recognize the good in the economic and social life of the Indians in their religion and ethics and will seek to develop it and build on it rather than to crush out all that is Indian. The Indians have much to contribute to the dominant civilization, and the effort should be made to secure this contribution, in part because of the good it will do the Indians in stimulating a proper race pride and self respect.
Planning and Development Program. To plan and develop such a broad educational program obviously requires the services of a considerable number of persons expert in the special fields of activity which are involved in it. They must not be burdened with the details of routine administration but must have their time almost entirely free to devote to research, planning, and the establishing of contacts and cooperative arrangements essential to the preparation of such a program. The Indian Service as it is at present organized does not possess such a staff of specialists in the several fields. Without any reflection whatsoever on its central staff, it may fairly be said to consist mainly of persons with administrative experience rather than technical and scientific training for planning and developing a program in specialized fields. Those specialists that it does have are primarily engaged in administration and cannot devote their energies to planning and development unless arrangements can be made to free them from their present heavy administrative responsibilities.
The survey staff, therefore, recommends that the Secretary of the Interior ask Congress for an appropriation of at least $250,000 a year to establish, in connection with the central office but with many duties in the field, a scientific and technical Division of Planning and Development.
The functions, organization, and procedure of this recommended division, the positions in it, and the qualifications required for them are discussed in detail on pages 113 to 128 of the main report and the various functions of the staff are mentioned repeatedly throughout the report. The survey staff regards the establishment of this division as the first essential in making the Indian Service an efficient educational agency and, therefore, it seems advisable even in this brief summary to give the chief features of the recommendations.
The functions of the division should be:
1. To advise the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in matters requiring technical or scientific knowledge of particular problems.
2. At the request of the Commissioner and subject to his approval, to formulate programs and develop policies to be carried out by administrative officers or to assist in planning cooperative programs with state and local authorities or with missionary organizations or other private agencies.
3. To visit schools and agencies and to report to the Commissioner upon the effectiveness of the administration in those branches of the work that are professional, technical, or scientific in character.
4. To visit schools and agencies to advise and counsel with superintendents and other employees regarding the development and improvement of these specialized activities.
5. Upon direction of the Commissioner to investigate and hold hearings upon matters of special complaint that involves technical or scientific subjects.
The division would operate on the project or assignment basis. For the development of fundamental programs for important jurisdictions, committees would be organized, primarily from this division but often including administrative officers, and these committees would together formulate the recommendations after thorough field surveys.
Positions in the division would be of two types, permanent and temporary. Permanent positions should be established in those scientific and technical fields that are of major and fairly general importance. Temporary positions should be utilized to secure from time to time expert consulting service from other government agencies, from colleges and universities, from strong quasi-public organizations specializing in particular fields, or from any other source from which recognized authorities may be secured. Temporary positions should also be utilized to employ representatives of agencies whose cooperation is essential or desirable in carrying out the plan, especially state and local government agencies or institutions, quasi-public organizations specializing in restricted fields, church or missionary organizations doing work in the jurisdictions involved, and organizations particularly concerned with the protection of Indian rights. Representative Indians could also be secured through temporary appointments.
The number of temporary positions would, of course, vary from time to time. The survey staff wishes to make the following recommendations for permanent positions to be established at the outset:
In the field of the promotion of health and the relief of the sick, the Service now has as medical director a trained, experienced public health officer detailed from the Public Health Service, and a position has been authorized for an epidemiologist. It needs, in addition, five specialists for consulting and developmental work, one in each of the following fields: tuberculosis, trachoma, infant welfare and maternity, venereal diseases, and hospital and sanatorium management. In this field profitable use can be made of temporary positions and of the highly cooperative spirit of the Public Health Service.
In the field of formal education but one specialist is recommended at the outset, a person who has high standing in his field and can establish contacts. Many other positions will be required in this field, but it is believed that the best results will be secured through the free use of temporary positions because the Indian Service can draw freely from the United States Bureau of Education, the Federal Board for Vocational Education, and the colleges and universities of the country.
For the fundamentally important work of increasing the economic productivity of the Indians, at least six permanent positions are needed, all concerned primarily with the education of the Indians in production. These six are: (1) an agricultural economist, so that agricultural resources may be evaluated and the program developed with due regard to possibilities; (2) one specialist in cattle raising; (3) one specialist in sheep raising because so much of the land of the Indians is of economic value only for grazing; (4) a specialist in agricultural demonstration work, who can bring to the Indian Service the knowledge, experience, and contacts gained in agricultural demonstration work among the general population; (5) a person to arrange for increasing production and better marketing of native Indian products, a work which will interest the Indians, permit them to make a distinctive contribution, and materially increase their income; and (6) a specialist in vocational guidance and placement to aid Indians who wish to find employment in white communities.
To raise the standard of family and community life and incidentally to promote health, three positions are suggested: (1) a specialist in public health nursing; (2) a specialist in home demonstration work; and (3) a person who can bring to the Indian Service what, for want of a better term, is called social case work, and who can develop contacts with organizations and specialists in that field. The Indian Service has at present a supervising public health nurse. Much of her time is now given to administration, and more administration and supervision is needed. Another public health nursing specialist is needed so that one can give full time to planning and developmental work largely freed from administrative responsibility.
In the field of law, one lawyer with social vision and experience is needed to advise on legal matters, especially those relating to domestic relations and to criminal law and jurisdiction.
The five specialists in health might well be attached administratively to the office of the medical director. The other eleven would be attached administratively to the Division of Planning and Development.
These positions should be classified as senior professional (Grade 5) of the Professional and Scientific Service, as established by the Classification Act of I923. The duties of incumbents will require them to perform advisory and research work based upon the established principles of a profession or science and requiring professional, scientific, or technical training equivalent to that represented by graduation from a college or university of recognized standing and many years of practical successful experience in the application of these principles. They will be required to serve as consulting specialists and independently to plan, organize, and conduct investigations in original research or developmental work in their special fields. They should be persons of established reputation and standing. Their salaries under the low scale of the present act would range from $5200 to $6000.
The appropriation for this division should be a lump sum, to be available for salaries and traveling expenses, including by all means attendance at meetings at government expense.
Adequate Statistics and Records. The Division of Planning and Development just described cannot function effectively without reasonably reliable and complete data, nor can the chief administrative officers of the Indian Office exercise proper control without them. The Bureau of the Budget and Congress and its committees need them as a basis for proper financing and control of the Indian Service. The survey staff therefore recommends the immediate creation of a position of senior statistician in the Indian Service, with a salary of $5200 to $6000 and an aggregate lump sum appropriation of at least $20,000 available for the employment of clerical assistants and for the purchase of statistical equipment. The duties and qualifications of the statistician and the need for his employment are discussed in detail on pages 170 to 182 of this report.
Strengthening of Personnel in Immediate Contact with the Indians. The establishment of the Division of Planning and Development is the first outstanding need of the Indian Service. The second is the enormous strengthening of the personnel in immediate contact with the Indians. The Indian Service, because of low salaries and low appropriations, has been attempting to conduct its activities with a personnel inadequate in number and as a rule not possessed of the qualifications requisite for the efficient performance of their duties. Little progress can be expected until this situation has been remedied. Later in this summary, sections will be presented regarding each large group of activities, and under each of them will be included at least a paragraph on personnel. The needs for particular classes of personnel will not, therefore, be discussed here. Certain things which must be done to secure a stronger field personnel are, however, common to all lines of activity and they can best be treated generally.
Adequate Salaries. Salaries in the Indian Service, especially the field service, must at least be fairly comparable with those paid by other branches of the government service. If there is to be any difference, those in the Indian Service should be the higher because of the isolation, the high expense of maintaining and educating a family in a remote community, and the difficulty of work with a primitive people. Entrance salaries should be not only sufficiently high to attract a reasonable number of properly qualified applicants, but a fairly liberal scale for salary advancement should be adopted to reward efficiency and to hold competent employees. A high turnover among the field employees of the Indian Service will jeopardize the success of any program however well designed.
Better Living and Working Conditions. Persons with high qualifications cannot be expected to enter and remain in the Indian Service unless a material improvement is made in living and working conditions. The government must appreciate that at best the conditions will be hard, especially for employees with families. The living quarters furnished should invariably be reasonably comfortable. Few field employees outside of the offices can hope to restrict their activities to an eight-hour day or secure regularly and uniformly one day's rest in seven. The effort should, however, be made to approximate these standards, through an increase in personnel and definite provisions for relief from duty. Special effort should be made to see that employees take vacation leave each year and that they have opportunity to maintain the contacts necessary for keeping abreast of developments in their special lines of work.
Those employees who are required to drive about the reservations in all kinds of weather should be provided with closed cars in good condition, or they should be permitted to use their own cars and charge the government for mileage at a reasonably liberal rate with due consideration of the nature of service required of the car.
Retirement. The Indian field service is no place for an employee of advanced age. Only the exceptional person in the late sixties is physically fitted for the rigors of outside work in the Indian country. It is recommended that retirement be made permissible at age 60 and, except in unusual cases, compulsory at age 65. The retirement allowance should be increased and made more closely proportional to salary so that the more highly paid employees will have less incentive to remain in service after their physical capacity for the work has begun to wane.
Employment of a Qualified Personnel Officer. The Indian Service has almost five thousand employees and it is under-staffed. In no branch of the national government is personnel more important, nor does more depend on the character, initiative, and personality of the employee. These three factors are the most difficult to measure in advance through civil service tests. They can be tested effectively only through a long probationary period on the job in the Indian country. The Service should have an able personnel officer to keep in close contact with the work of the employees, particularly during the probationary period. The civil service tests for entrance into the Indian Service need radical revision, and much work must be done in establishing contacts with sources of supply of qualified employees and in encouraging qualified persons to apply for the Service. Living and working conditions require thorough investigation and constructive work. The amount of field and office work involved in personnel duties of this character is too much for one employee. The survey staff therefore recommends the immediate creation of a position for a senior personnel officer for the Indian Service and an assistant personnel officer. The salary of the senior officer should be from $5200 to $6000 and that of the assistant from $3800 to $5000. To allow for traveling and other expenses, an appropriation of at least $15,000 is recommended.
Maximum Decentralization of Operation. When the Division of Planning and Development has been established and the field personnel in immediate contact with the Indians has been materially strengthened, the time will be ripe for bringing about maximum decentralization in the operation of the Indian Service. The survey staff does not recommend the further development of the district system and the placing of a district staff in the administrative line between the several jurisdictions and the Washington office, as this course would complicate the procedure and increase the overhead expense without compensating advantages. Because each jurisdiction has its own peculiar problems and must have its own particular program adapted to local conditions, the local superintendent should have maximum administrative control and responsibility in the execution of the program. His work should be inspected and reviewed by administrative officers and specialists from the Division of Planning and Development in the Washington office, but he should be as far as possible the responsible directing head of the local work and he should be replaced if he is not effective.
As soon as the Service can work out for a jurisdiction a comprehensive program and furnish the necessary personnel for it, the rules to govern it should be promulgated to replace the existing rules. Recommendations for the necessary legislation to repeal or amend existing law which is no longer applicable or which hampers efficient administration should be drafted by the Indian Service and submitted to Congress, through appropriate channels, accompanied by a brief setting forth the reasons for the recommendations.
Medical Service. Adequate appropriations should be made markedly to accelerate the progress of the present administration in developing a real system of preventive medicine and public health service for the Indians.
As has already been said, immediate provision should be made for a corps of specialists to assist the chief medical officer in each of the special fields which are of vital importance in Indian health, namely, (1) tuberculosis, (2) trachoma, (3) infant welfare and maternity, (4) venereal diseases, and (5) hospital management.
Immediate steps should be taken toward strengthening the personnel engaged in public health work at schools and reservations, doctors, dentists, public health nurses, and home demonstration workers competent to attack the problems of diet. Both the number and the qualifications of these employees should be materially increased; this will necessitate offering salaries comparable with those paid by other government agencies doing comparable work.
The number of supervising district medical directors should be increased by at least two, so that the distances and the amount of time spent in travel will be reduced and the amount of supervision of local medical employees will be increased.
Public health clinics, properly staffed and equipped, should be available to all Indians within a reasonable distance of their homes.
Medical examination of Indian children should be exceptionally complete and thorough for two reasons. Many of them are in subnormal health. In matters of health the government is, to an extraordinary degree, in loco parentis. In medical examination of white school children, the authorities can to a very considerable extent count on the parents and their family physicians for cooperation and aid. The Indian families are generally not sufficiently advanced to give this aid and, even if capable, are powerless in the case of children away at school. In dealing with Indian children the government must do the whole job until the Indians are much further advanced. The medical examination of the Indian children must therefore be of the highest standard.
As a vital measure in preventive medicine the Indian Service should take immediate steps to increase the quantity, quality, and variety of the diet of Indian children in boarding schools. For this purpose largely increased appropriations must be made. Money must be available for the purchase of milk, fruit, and vegetables until such time as a sufficient supply can be produced by the school farms and dairies.
Also, as a measure in preventive medicine, the existing overcrowding in boarding schools should be eliminated. As will be discussed more at length in the recommendations relating to schools, the first step in this direction should be the maximum possible elimination of young children from boarding schools. They should be left with their families and be provided with local school facilities.
Also, as a health measure, the amount of routine production, as distinguished from educational labor, in boarding schools should be materially decreased. Now that Indian children are entering boarding schools at a comparatively early age, the half-day work plan for children above the fourth grade results in too much work for children even in normal health. The physician should in every instance have authority to order that a child below normal in health be relieved from even the small amount of work that may properly be required of well children. This recommendation involves increasing the amount of hired labor at Indian boarding schools, the introduction of more modern labor-saving devices, and possibly the purchase of factory-made clothing to take the place of that now made in the production sewing rooms of the schools.
The medical relief work, like the preventive work, must be materially improved. Here again, more and better trained doctors and nurses are required. The plants of hospitals and sanatoria should be brought up at least to the recognized minimum standards for such institutions elsewhere. The practice of salvaging old buildings and converting them into hospitals should be discontinued unless they are in suitable locations and after alteration and repair will fully satisfy at least minimum standards and furnish facilities for efficient operation. The equipment should be reasonably complete. Hospitals and sanatoria should be administered by persons fitted by training and experience for that class of work. The per diem expenditure for maintenance should approximate what is spent in other federal hospitals, with due allowance for the additional costs that sometimes result from isolation. Patient labor should be utilized only when the physician certifies that it will not injure the patient and retard his cure. Additional expenditures for labor will be necessary not only to replace patient labor but also to provide for higher standards in maintenance. The salaries and the entrance qualifications for cooks in hospitals and sanatoria should be raised so that each institution has a good one, competent to prepare special diets and to serve well-prepared meals, often an important factor in arresting and curing disease. Special emphasis should be placed on diet in the case of patients suffering from tuberculosis or trachoma.
School System. The first and foremost need in Indian education is a change in point of view. Whatever may have been the official governmental attitude, education for the Indian in the past has proceeded largely on the theory that it is necessary to remove the Indian child as far as possible from his home environment; whereas the modern point of view in education and social work lays stress on upbringing in the natural setting of home and family life. The Indian educational enterprise is peculiarly in need of the kind of approach that recognizes this principle; that is less concerned with a conventional school system and more with the understanding of human beings.
The methods must be adapted to individual abilities, interests, and needs. Indian tribes and individual Indians within the tribes vary so greatly that a standard content and method of education, no matter how carefully they might be prepared, would be worse than futile.
Routinization must be eliminated. The whole machinery of routinized boarding school and agency life works against that development of initiative and independence which should be the chief concern of Indian education in and out of school. The routinization characteristic of the boarding schools, with everything scheduled, no time left to be used at the child's own initiative, every moment determined by a signal or an order, leads just the other way.
For the effort to bring Indian schools up to standard by prescribing from Washington a uniform course of study for all Indian schools and by sending out from Washington uniform examination questions, must be substituted the only method of fixing standards that has been found effective in other school systems, namely, that of establishing reasonably high minimum standards for entrance into positions in the Indian school system. Only thus can the Service get first class teachers and supervisors who are competent to adapt the educational system to the needs of the pupils they are to teach, with due consideration of the economic and social conditions of the Indians in their jurisdiction and of the nature and abilities of the individual child.
The curriculum must not be uniform and standardized. The textbooks must not be prescribed. The teacher must be free to gather material from the life of the Indians about her, so that the little children may proceed from the known to the unknown and not be plunged at once into a world where all is unknown and unfamiliar. The little desert Indian in an early grade who is required to read in English from a standard school reader about the ship that sails the sea has no mental background to understand what it is all about and the task of the teacher is rendered almost impossible. The material, particularly the early material, must come from local Indian life, or at least be within the scope of the child's experience.
To get teachers and school supervisors who are competent to fit the school to the needs of the children, the Indian Service must raise its entrance requirements and increase its salary scale. The need is not so much for a great increase in entrance salaries as for an increase in the salary range which will permit of rewarding efficient teachers and offering them an inducement to remain in the Indian Service. To offer considerable opportunity for advancement in salary with increasing length of satisfactory service, is now the common practice of the better school systems of the country, and the government must adopt the same system if it expects to draw into its service some of the best of the new teachers. The Indian schools as a matter of fact require better teachers than do the city school systems for white children. The teacher in the Indian schools has the harder task and cannot secure so much assistance from supervisory officers.
The boarding schools demand special consideration. Under the section on health the recommendations have been summarized that relate to the health of the child: better diet, less over-crowding, less heavy productive work, more thorough physical examinations, and better correlation of remediable defects. These factors have an important bearing on education itself that need not be discussed in this brief summary. It should, however, be said specifically that the half-day plan, with its large amount of non-educational productive labor, tends materially to reduce the efficiency of the boarding schools as educational institutions.
The objection to the heavy assignments of purely productive labor must not be construed as a recommendation against industrial education. On the contrary it is specifically recommended that the industrial education be materially improved. The industrial teachers must be free to plan the industrial teaching from the educational standpoint, largely unhampered by the demands for production to support the schools or the Service. The work must be an educational enterprise, not a production enterprise. The persons selected for industrial teachers must be chosen because of their capacity to teach and not because of their capacity to do the work themselves with the aid of the pupils as helpers. The industries taught must be selected not because they supply the needs of the institution but because they train the pupil for work which he may get at home on the reservation or in some white community to which there is some possibility of his going.
The industrial training must be subjected to the tests of practical use. The Indian Service must attempt to place the Indians who leave the school and help them to become established in productive enterprise either on the reservations or in white communities. It must be prepared to enter into cooperative arrangements with employers so that boys and girls shall have opportunity to gain experience in commercial employment while still having some official connection with the school. In this way the school can place its emphasis on helping the pupil to acquire the necessary fundamental skill and then getting him a job where he can apply this skill in an occupation for which there is a local demand. The schools cannot train for all occupations, but they can aid the boy or girl in acquiring those types of skill that are common to many occupations. The Service should make a survey of the economic opportunities for its pupils and plan its industrial training to meet these ends.
In the discussion of health it has been recommended that the over-crowding of boarding schools be corrected through the maximum possible elimination of young children from these schools. From the educational standpoint the young child does not belong in a boarding school. For normal healthy development he needs his family and his family needs him. Young children, at least up to the sixth grade, should normally be provided for either in Indian Service day schools or in public schools. Not until they have reached adolescence and finished the local schools should they normally be sent to a boarding school.
The survey staff appreciates that it is not practicable instantly to provide day school or public school facilities for every young Indian child and that in some instances the boarding school is the only practicable solution, but the movement away from the boarding school already under way should be accelerated in every practicable manner. One of the definite objectives of the Service, vigorously pressed, should be the elimination of pre-adolescent children from boarding schools.
Because of the nature of the Indian country, the boarding school will for many years to come be essential to provide secondary education of a type adapted to the needs of Indian youth. It can stress provision for their special needs in a way that the typical high school designed for white children already adjusted to the prevailing economic and social system could not do. It must emphasize training in health, in family and community life, in productive efficiency, and in the management and use of property and income to a degree probably unnecessary in general public schools.
Although the boarding school must be distinctive in the emphasis on the special needs of the Indians, it should not be so distinctive that it will not dovetail into the general educational system of the country. The promising Indian boy or girl who has attended an Indian boarding school and who desires to go on with his education should not encounter any educational barrier because of the limitations of the Indian boarding schools. The faculties and their courses of study should be such that they can meet the standards set for accredited high schools. It may prove necessary for the Indian youth who wishes to go on to higher institutions to spend a little longer time in the boarding school than he would have spent in an accredited high school, but the way should exist and should be plainly marked.
The Indian Service should encourage promising Indian youths to continue their education beyond the boarding schools and to fit themselves for professional, scientific, and technical callings. Not only should the educational facilities of the boarding schools provide definitely for fitting them for college entrance, but the Service should aid them in meeting the costs. Scholarships and student loan funds might well be established by the government and by organizations interested in the Indians. State universities in states with a considerable Indian population might be willing to offer special scholarships for the leading graduates of Indian schools. The vocational guidance service should be thoroughly informed regarding the entrance requirements of the leading institutions and their arrangements in respect to scholarships and student aid. The Indian Service itself offers an excellent field for Indians with scientific, professional training in such fields as teaching, nursing, medicine, dentistry, social work, agriculture, engineering, and forestry.
The survey staff is inclined to question the advisability of attempting to establish in the boarding schools, courses to train persons for professions and callings where the more common general standards require high school graduation as preliminary to the special training. The object should be rather to give them in the boarding schools the required high school training and then aid them in going on into well-organized schools where they can get the necessary professional training and graduate equipped to meet the standard requirements.
The practice of conducting normal school training classes for Indian youth who have not the equivalent of an accredited high school course, and then giving these graduates preference for appointment in the Indian Service should, it is believed, be discontinued because the training is sub-standard. The Indians who wish to teach should be given a sound high school education and then be sent to a recognized school so that when they finish they can secure teaching certificates which will open to them the general teaching field. In the long run this course will be best both for the Indian teachers and for the Indian schools.
The present policy of placing Indian children in public schools near their homes instead of in boarding schools or even in Indian Service day schools is, on the whole, to be commended. It is a movement in the direction of the normal transition; it results as a rule in good race contacts, and the Indians like it. The fact must be recognized, however, that often Indian children and Indian families need more service than is ordinarily rendered by public schools, as has just been elaborated in the discussion of boarding schools. The Indian Service must, therefore, supplement the public school work by giving special attention to health, industrial and social training, and the relationship between home and school. The transition must not be pushed too fast. The public schools must be really ready to receive the Indians, and for some years the government must exercise some supervision to see that the Indian children are really getting the advantage offered by the public school system. The policy of having a federal employee perform the duties of attendance officer is sound, but more emphasis should be placed on work with families in this connection, in an effort not so much to force attendance as to remove the causes of non-attendance.
The Indian day schools should be increased in number and improved in quality and should carry children at least through the sixth grade. The Hopi day schools are perhaps the most encouraging feature of the Indian school system. More can perhaps be done in providing transportation to day schools. Where Indians come in to camp near the day schools, special activities should be undertaken for them. In general the day schools should be made community centers for reaching adult Indians in the vicinity as well as children, and they should be tied into the whole program adopted for the jurisdiction.
Improving General Economic Conditions. The primary object of the Indian Service in the field of general economic conditions should be to increase the amount and the productivity of Indian labor so that the Indians can support themselves adequately through earned income.
The first step in this direction should be to create a committee of specialists, consisting of representatives of (1) The Division of Planning and Development; (2) the local staff of the jurisdiction; and (3) state agricultural colleges. This committee should map out a program for economic development that offers maximum possibilities for success and that will not be subject to radical change with changes of local administrative officers or even with changes in the Washington office. The details will, of course, have to be modified and developed from time to time as experience dictates, but the fundamentals should rest on the natural resources of the country.
When the program has been worked out, the jurisdiction should be supplied with a sufficient staff of trained and experienced demonstrators to stimulate the Indians and to teach them the details both in production and in marketing. The number of these demonstrators will depend on local conditions, including the attitude of the Indians. If only a few Indians are ready to respond, a single demonstrator may be able to serve them. If response is general, several more will be required. The object should be intensive effort with those who will work so that they will be kept interested and kept at work until their efforts are rewarded. It would be a great mistake to economize by having so few competent demonstrators that their efforts are spread too thin. The aim should be an intensive campaign with those who are willing. As they make good, others will come in and the demonstrator can give special attention to the new recruits while still maintaining some contact with his successes. Special attention should be devoted to the returned student. The demonstrator and the superintendent should take him in hand immediately upon his return and lay before him a definite program and a definite challenge.
Although reimbursable loans are in disrepute in some jurisdictions, the survey staff is inclined to the belief that the explanation lies in the fact that the local staff available for economic training has been inadequate both in number and in ability. Provision should be made for reimbursable loans and the staff of demonstrators should be sufficient to supervise their application and use.
The tribal herd, as a means of establishing individual Indians in the stock business by selling them on credit the offspring of the herd, is likewise in disrepute, it is believed for similar reasons. Since much of the Indian land is suitable only for grazing, the experiment should be tried again with an adequate personnel.
At some jurisdictions the economic resources are apparently insufficient, even if efficiently used, to support the Indian population according to reasonable standards. In some cases the Indians were given poor lands; in others during the course of years the whites have gained possession of the desirable lands. Nothing permanent is to be achieved by trying to make the Indians wrest a living from lands which will not yield a decent return for the labor expended. Some Indians on more promising land are personally interested in pursuits which cannot be followed on the reservations. The "let down your bucket where you are" policy, wise as it is for certain conditions, cannot therefore be exclusively followed. The Indian Service must seek to find suitable employment off the reservation for Indians who have no real chance there or who desire to seek other employment. In some instances, as in the Navajo country, the situation can be met in part by securing them more land, but, in general, the solution lies in an intelligent employment service.
In developing an employment service the Indian Office will have to supply the motive force and the directing brains and, in some jurisdictions, full-time employment workers, but much can be achieved through establishment of cooperative relationships with existing labor placing organizations. Fortunately, the evidence tends to show that the Indians make good workers in industrial pursuits. Their main difficulty lies in making the initial contacts and in pressing for recognition and advancement.
This shift into industry cannot be made hurriedly or as a wholesale movement if it is to be successful. Employment finding should be individualized and should seek to place the Indians, usually the younger rather than the older Indians, in lines of work in which they are interested and which offer opportunity for advancement and for establishing a permanent home for themselves and, if they are married, for their families. The mass placing of large numbers of Indians in unskilled temporary jobs which offer no permanent opportunity and involve either separation from their families, or the makeshift of group camping, is at best a temporary expedient. Where it involves keeping children out of school and a low type of camp life, it probably does more harm than good. In placing Indians in temporary jobs of this character, the government should see that their wages are fair and their living conditions are up to a reasonable standard. The Indians should not be exploited as a source of cheap labor.
The policy of the government should be deliberately directed toward reducing the amount of unearned income available to the able-bodied Indian for living expenses. It is a stimulus to idleness and permits of a low standard of existence without work. Unearned income should be utilized to increase the economic productivity of the Indians.
The policy of the present administration in exercising extreme conservatism in giving fee patents to restricted Indians is eminently sound in theory. The practice can be materially improved by keeping much better records of the Indians' accomplishments in the fields that indicate competency and basing decisions as to competency not so much on opinion as on definite achievements. A suggestion worthy of consideration is that Indians who desire fee patents be required to serve a probationary period during which they must demonstrate their capacity to earn a living. In some instances Indians desire fee patents to all or a portion of their land in order to invest the proceeds in a business, in the purchase of a house, or in some other way that shows good business judgment. The policy of the Service in furthering sales for productive purposes or for permanent improvement of living conditions is to be commended.
Leasing of Indian lands should be materially curtailed. In theory, now, the Service opposes the leasing of lands of able-bodied Indians, but in the absence of an adequate field force to encourage and help the Indian in the use of his lands, the temptation is great to permit it to be leased rather than to lie idle. In some instances Indians have not only never lived on their allotments, they have never seen them and have no desire to go to the place where their land is. In such cases the land should, if possible, be sold and the proceeds used to purchase land for the Indian in the neighborhood where he desires to live.
The problem of inherited land should be given thorough detailed study by the Division of Planning and Development. It is doubtful if the serious nature of this problem was appreciated at the time the allotment acts were passed. Because of this feature of the allotment system, the land of the Indians is rapidly passing into the hands of the whites, and a generation of landless, almost penniless, unadjusted Indians is coming on. What happens is this: The Indian to whom the land was allotted dies, leaving several heirs. Actual division of the land among them is impracticable. The estate is either leased or sold to whites and the proceeds are divided among the heirs and are used for living expenses. So long as one member of the family of heirs has land, the family is not landless or homeless, but as time goes on, the last of the original allottees will die and the public will have the landless, unadjusted Indians on its hands.
The solution appears to be for the government vigorously to exercise its power of guardianship in the control and regulation of property secured by inheritance. If the land itself passes to the heirs, they should not be permitted to sell without government sanction unless all the heirs are competent. So long as any of the heirs are minors or incompetent, the government should exercise its control. The money arising from inheritances accruing to incompetent Indians should be expendable only for land or for other productive purposes. The government itself, through the use of a revolving fund, should purchase the inherited land and sell it to the Indians subject to restrictions, using their accumulation of inherited funds as part or all of the purchase money. If the inherited funds are not sufficient, liberal reimbursable terms should be arranged. The object sought would be two-f old: to prevent the rising generation of Indians from being landless and to stop the use of inherited money as a means of sustaining the Indians in a life of irresponsible idleness. This solution would meet the difficulty encountered when a young Indian has an inherited share in several different allotments, none of which are contiguous or large enough to give him a fair-sized working area. The estates could be purchased by the government and sold to the Indians in workable units, subject to restrictions.
Per capita distributions from tribal funds to be used for ordinary living expenses should also be rigorously restricted. They should only be available for expenditure for productive purposes. They are generally the proceeds of the sale or use of capital assets and do not represent Indian earnings. The government as guardian should conserve the capital of the ward and not permit him to dissipate his capital for living expenses. Let him know definitely that he must earn his living expenses, though he can use his capital as means for increasing his earnings.
These principles in the use of capital are believed to be sound, and the Indian must be taught them. Teaching them will be one of the duties of the superintendents and their field workers in the program of increasing the economic and productive efficiency of the Indians.
The policy of individual allotment should be followed with extreme conservatism. Not accompanied by adequate instruction in the use of property, it has largely failed in the accomplishment of what was expected of it. It has resulted in much loss of land and an enormous increase in the details of administration without a compensating advance in the economic ability of the Indians. The difficult problem of inheritance is one of its results. Before more allotments are made, the Service should be certain that it has the staff to do the educational work essential to the success of the policy.
In some jurisdictions the tribe is possessed of great natural resources which are not susceptible of individual allotment and which, from the standpoint of sound national economy, should be preserved in large working units so that they may be conserved and used effectively. The two outstanding illustrations are the timber lands on the Klamath Reservation in Oregon and the timber lands and the power sites on the Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin. Only to a limited extent is it possible for these Indians to work with these great resources.
The more progressive Klamath Indians are anxious to get possession of their share of the tribal wealth so that they may use it as capital in individual enterprise. The programs for the economic advancement of the Indians will often require that they have some small capital with which to work. Neither the allotment of the timber lands nor their sale in toto appear to offer a solution for reasons which are set forth at length in the economic section of this report (pages 460 to 462). The present policy of the gradual sale of timber and distribution of the proceeds in per capita payments is objectionable because the small doles are consumed for living expenses.
The survey staff suggests that an experiment be tried in these jurisdictions with the modern business device of the corporation. The corporation would own the property, keep it intact, and conserve and operate it as a great national asset. Shares in the corporation would be distributed pro rata among the Indians. The shares of incompetent Indians would be held in trust by the government. Indians of demonstrated competency could be given full possession of their shares to do with as they will. As the restricted Indians advance they could be given limited control over a part of their shares. They could be authorized, for example, to pledge them as collateral for a loan for working capital to be utilized in productive enterprise. As they demonstrate competency and success, they could be given increased control. On the death of an Indian, his shares could be distributed among his heirs without involving any sale of real property. The device would permit of the effective utilization of the great property and at the same time meet the needs of the advancing Indians.
The board of directors of the corporation could be made up in part of government officers and in part of elected representatives of the shareholders, with the government officers in the majority and in control. The representatives of the shareholders would, however, have a voice in the management and would have the opportunity to participate in the business, to understand its problems, and to learn how things are done. It is believed that the business committee of the Klamath Indians is made up of Indians sufficiently advanced to profit from the experience and to contribute to its success. If the experiment is tried at Klamath and Menominee and proves successful, it could be extended to other jurisdictions. This subject is discussed at greater length on pages 462 to 466 of the general economic report.
Taxation of Property of Indians. The question of subjecting the property of Indians to state and county taxes should be approached from the educational standpoint. It is essential that the Indians be educated to utilize the services furnished by local and state governments and that they learn the obligation to contribute to the support of these activities. On the other hand, the educational process should be gradual and the relationship between benefits received and tax payments therefor should be obvious. It is a serious mistake suddenly to change the status of an Indian from that of a tax-exempt person to a person subject to the full burden of state and county taxes, especially where the general property tax is in force, the brunt of which falls on land. The Indian has land value out of all proportion to his income from the use of that land, and thus the general property tax, when applied to him, violates the fundamental canon that taxation should be related to capacity to pay. An income tax would be a far better form of taxation for first lessons for the Indians. The imposition of the full weight of the general property tax tends to the loss of the Indians' land.
The Division of Planning and Development, in working out plans of cooperation with state and county governments, should give special consideration to this question of taxation and seek to reach an agreement with the state and local governments whereby the Indians will pay taxes with due regard to the value of the benefits received by the Indians and of the capacity of the Indian to pay. In the long run the state and local governments cannot profit from levying taxes against Indians which still further depress their already low standard of living and tend to make them landless. The Indians thus made landless are often Indians who have been released from federal supervision as competent. Under the law they become the responsibility of the state and county governments. These governments should be made to see the ultimate price which they must pay for the immediate privilege of subjecting Indian property to the full weight of state and county taxes.
Improving Family and Community Life. The program developed for each jurisdiction should place special emphasis on family life and community activities. Experience has abundantly demonstrated that the family as a whole is the social unit of major importance in the development of a people. The importance of community activities has also been generally recognized. Among the Indians, community activities are probably even more important than among white people because the Indians' social and economic system was and is communistic. Individualism is almost entirely lacking in their native culture. Thus, work with communities as a whole will follow a natural line and will result in accelerated group progress.
The program should embrace health, home making with special emphasis on diet, the use of money, the supplementing of income by home activities, and organized recreation and other community activities.
In all these activities the Indian point of view and the Indian interests should be given major consideration. In home design and construction the effort should be made to adapt characteristically Indian things to modern uses. For example, among Indian tribes the outdoor arbor in some form is almost universal and is used for many purposes. Several of the wealthy Osages with elaborate modern houses, the like of which relatively few white men can boast, have erected in addition elaborate adaptations of the arbor. These arbors gave them the chance for self-expression. The Indians will take more interest in their homes and in the improvement of them if the construction appeals to Indian taste and is well-adapted to Indian uses. There is no reason at all why the Indians should be urged to have dwellings which are replicas of what white men would build. Some of the Indians' ideas regarding outdoor rooms may be found worthy of adoption by the whites.
In supplementing the Indian incomes and in home decoration, encouragement should be given to native Indian arts and industries. They appeal to the Indians' interest, afford an opportunity for self-expression, and, properly managed, will yield considerable revenue, much more than can be secured by encouraging them to duplicate the handiwork of the whites. Their designs can be readily adapted to articles for which the commercial demand is reasonably good. Persons who have interested themselves in this field uniformly report that the demand for Indian art work of high quality materially exceeds the supply, and that insofar as there is an over supply, it consists of work of poor quality. A little intelligent cooperation and aid in marketing would doubtless tend rapidly to correct this difficulty.
In recreation and in other community activities the existing activities of the Indians should be utilized as the starting point. That some of their dances and other activities have objectionable features is, of course, true. The same thing is true of the recreation and the community activities of almost any people. The object should be not to stamp out all the native things because a few of them have undesirable accompaniments but to seek to modify them gradually so that the objectionable features will ultimately disappear. The native activities can be supplemented by those activities borrowed from the whites that make a distinct appeal to the Indians, notably athletics, music, and sewing, and other close work demanding manual skill. The Indians themselves should have a large hand in the preparation of the program.
The work for families and communities must be done by a well-trained, well-qualified personnel because to an exceptional degree its success turns on the quality of the workers employed. Mention has already been made of the personnel needed in these fields for the Division of Planning and Development. On the reservation five distinctive types of service must be rendered to families: (1) health promotion, (2) adult education for home making, (3) promotion of economic efficiency, (4) treatment of personal maladjustments, and (5) community recreation. Through the Civil Service Commission eligible registers should be established for each of these five classes of positions so that specially qualified persons may be available for communities with outstanding problems of a specialized character. It will not generally be found necessary or advisable even on large reservations to have a special employee for each type of service. On most reservations the present health situation will require, for some time to come, the entire time of the public health nurse. The other classes of duties will have to be combined and one well-qualified employee will have to perform several of them. The exact division will have to be worked out by the specialists from the central office, working in conjunction with the local authorities.
Maintenance of Order and Administration of Justice. The differences existing among the several jurisdictions with respect to such vital matters as the degree of economic and social advancement of the Indians, the homogeneity of the population, and their proximity to white civilization are so great that no specific act of Congress either conferring jurisdiction over the restricted Indians on state courts or providing a legal code and placing jurisdiction in the United States courts appears practicable. The law and the system of judicial administration to be effective must be specially adapted to the particular jurisdiction where they are to be applied, and they must be susceptible of change to meet changing conditions until the Indians are ready to merge into the general population and be subjected, like other inhabitants, to the ordinary national and state laws administered by United States and state courts exercising their normal jurisdictions.
The questions of how far the Indians in a given jurisdiction have advanced, or of what body of law relating to domestic relations and crimes and misdemeanors is best suited to their existing state of development and of what courts can best administer these laws, are too minute and too subject to change to warrant a recommendation that Congress attempt to legislate in detail for each jurisdiction.
The situation is clearly one where the best results can be secured if Congress will delegate its legislative authority through a general act to an appropriate agency, giving that agency power to classify the several jurisdictions and to provide for each class so established an appropriate body of law and a suitable court system. The power should also be given to advance, from time to time, the classification of any jurisdiction and to modify either the law or the court organization insofar as they are made by the agency and not by state law or act of Congress. The actions of the agency with respect to this authority should be given full publicity by suitable proclamation, orders, or regulations.
The officer with final authority to promulgate the decisions should be either the Secretary of the Interior or the President of the United States. The detailed study and the recommendation should originate in the Indian Service. The perfecting of this system should be one of the major projects of the Division of Planning and Development.
The details of this recommendation and the supporting arguments will be found in the section on legal aspects, pages 779 to 787.
Protection of the Property Rights of Indians. No evidence warrants a conclusion that the government of the United States can, at any time in the near future, relinquish its guardianship over the property of restricted Indians, secured to the Indians by government action. The legal staff of the Indian Service charged with the duty of protecting Indian rights should be materially strengthened and should be authorized to act more directly. The Service should have one high position for a general counsel or solicitor, who should be directly in charge of the legal work of the Service under the general direction of the Commissioner. It should have a number of either full- or part-time attorneys in the field, in close touch with the several jurisdictions, who may give prompt and energetic attention to matters involving Indian rights. Although the United States District Attorneys will doubtless have still to be generally responsible for the actual conduct of cases involving Indian rights, they should be assisted by these local attorneys of the Indian Service, who should be held primarily responsible for the full and detailed preparation of the case.
In cases where the Indian is poor and unable to pay court costs and attorneys' fees, he should be aided by these attorneys, and money should be made available to meet the costs.
The attitude of the Indian Service as a whole, and especially of its legal department, should invariably be that its duty is to protect to the utmost the rights and interest of the Indians. Even if some of the officers believe that the Indian's opponent has in some respects a meritorious case, the Service itself should be extremely slow in effecting any compromise. As a guardian or trustee its compromise should properly be acceptable to the court and subject to its approval. It would seem, as an almost invariable rule, much safer to carry the litigation through and to let a duly constituted court make the decision rather than for the Service itself to compromise without court action.
The Settlement of Claims. The unsettled legal claims against the government should be settled at the earliest possible date. A special commission should be created to study those claims which have not yet been approved by Congress for submission to the Court of Claims. This commission should submit recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior so that those claims which are meritorious may be submitted to Congress with a draft of a suitable bill authorizing their settlement before the Court of Claims.
The affairs of the restricted Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma require serious attention. It is specifically recommended that the period of restriction which under existing law will expire in 1931 be extended for at least ten or fifteen years. The duties and functions of the government probate attorneys among these Indians should be materially increased, and they should be made a strong organization for the protection of the rights and interests of these Indians.
Citizenship. All Indians born in the United States are now citizens. The Supreme Court of the United States has held that citizenship is not incompatible with continued guardianship or special protective legislation for Indians. The soundness of this decision is not open to question. It is good law and sound economic and social policy. In handling property, most of the restricted Indians are still children. True friends of the Indians should urge retention of restrictions until the Indian is economically on his feet and able to support himself by his own efforts according to a minimum standard of health and decency in the presence of white civilization.
Missionary Activities. The outstanding need in the field of missionary activities among the Indians is cooperation. Cooperation is needed both in the relationships between the government and the missionaries and in the relationship among the churches and the missionaries themselves. Positive action looking toward improvement, therefore, must take the direction of improving the mechanism through which cooperation can be made effective.
In discussing the recommended Division of Planning and Development in this summary, it has been pointed out how it would provide a mechanism for cooperation between the missionaries and the government. This subject is further discussed in the chapter on organization, pages 103, 139 to 140, and in the chapter on missionary activities, pages 812 to 820. No attempt will be made here further to elaborate this subject of the operation of the Division of Planning and Development.
It would seem as if the government might take one further step in providing a mechanism for cooperation. A national advisory council composed of representatives of each of the churches engaged in missionary work among the Indians would, it is believed, serve a valuable purpose. To it the government officers might refer for consideration and recommendation those major problems in the administration of Indian affairs which involve missionary activity. Thus, the churches would get a clear, definite understanding of their problems from the standpoint of responsible government officers. Faced with concrete problems, such a council might quickly see that a sound decision would be greatly facilitated if the churches themselves would alter certain of the facts in the case. The council would serve, too, as a clearing house for information. The recommendation is therefore made that the Secretary of the Interior communicate with the appropriate officers of the various church organizations to ascertain the feasibility of establishing such an advisory council.
The churches should give special consideration to the serious problems arising from the isolation of their missionaries. These workers should be given fairly adequate support and normal human contacts, and they should be visited more frequently by representatives of the churches or boards.
Unless funds are available satisfactorily to maintain all stations in operation, the question should be raised as to whether more effective results could not be secured through concentration of the resources on a smaller number of stations.
The missionaries should consider carefully a material broadening of their program and an increase in the number and kinds of contacts with the Indians. Their best work has usually been in the field of education. For adult Indians their main offering has been church activities similar to those conducted in white communities, and those activities apparently make little appeal to the Indians. The missionaries need to have a better understanding of the Indian point of view of the Indian's religion and ethics, in order to start from what is good in them as a foundation. Too frequently, they have made the mistake of attempting to destroy the existing structure and to substitute something else without apparently realizing that much in the old has its place in the new.
The Economy of Efficiency. The survey staff appreciates that these recommendations designed to make the Indian Service an efficient educational organization to accelerate the progress of the Indians will involve a material increase in the present federal appropriations for the Indians. The appropriations for the fiscal year 1928, including the $2,151,800 appropriated from tribal funds belonging to the Indians, total $14,991,485. The staff has not attempted to estimate in detail what will be required for outlays for new construction and for remodeling the existing plant, for higher salaries for existing positions, for new positions, for vastly improving the food supply for boarding school children and patients in hospitals and sanatoria, for furnishing noon meals to undernourished children in day schools, and for effecting cooperative arrangements with state and local governments. Conceivably, for several years, the additional amount required will be almost as much as the present appropriations.
In from five to ten years the heavy expenses for outlays to bring the plant and equipment of Indian Service institutions to a standard comparable with that maintained by other national, state, and private institutions should materially decrease. From that time on, if the Service is brought to a high state of efficiency, a gradual but progressive reduction should be possible in the number of positions required as more and more Indians become self-supporting by their own efforts and as progress is made in getting the states and local governments to render the service necessary for Indians in return for taxes paid by the Indians.
The fact must be remembered, however, that in some jurisdictions the Service is dealing with the first generation of Indians that has come in close contact with the white man. In some schools adult primary classes are found consisting of boys and girls in their teens who have never been to school before, who do not know how to read and write, and have to be taught English. They come from homes which are primitive in the extreme. When they return their parents, or more probably their grandparents, may destroy the white man's clothing that they wear and hold ceremonials to purge them of their contact with the white man. Even if the work with these Indians is highly efficient, it will take three generations to prepare them for modem life. These Indians are not ready for the schools and other agencies maintained by the states and local governments, nor are the states in which they live ready to receive them. With the most favorable developments, it hardly seems probable that the national government can completely work out its Indian problem in less that from thirty to forty years, although its expenditures for this object should materially decline long before that if the work is well done.
The belief is that it is a sound policy of national economy to make generous expenditures in the next few decades with the object of winding up the national administration of Indian affairs. The people of the United States have the opportunity, if they will, to write the closing chapters of the history of the relationship of the national government and the Indians. The early chapters contain little of which the country may be proud. It would be something of a national atonement to the Indians if the closing chapters should disclose the national government supplying the Indians with an Indian Service which would be a model for all governments concerned with the development and advancement of a retarded race.
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