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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1884
([1884])

Reports of agents in Nevada,   pp. 126-130 PDF (2.5 MB)


Page 126

126               REPORTS OF AGENTS IN NEVADA. 
SANTEE AGENCY, NEBRASKA, 
Augu st 15, 1884. 
DEAR SIR: In forwarding my statistical report for the school year now closed,
I 
will call attention to a few points: First, the attendance has been remarkably
regu- 
lar. From the first of November to the last of June the average does not
vary but 
10.6. And among the boarding pupils the month of June shows the largest number
for the year. The total largest average is in March. When we began work here
fourteen years ago, and for some time afterward, the larger number stayed
only 
during the three winter months. There has been like steady progress in the
grade 
of the studies pursued and the proficiency in them. Very gratifying is the
advance 
in speaking English and in English composition, and this has been accomplished
without loss from the co-ordinate use of the native language in the school-room.
In 
the boarding halls the English is the predominant language. 
Our industrial department has taken quite a step ahead during the year. The
farm has been enlarged and a commodious barn has been built 26 by 60 feet.
The 
carpenter shop has been enlarged to double the size formerly, and a blacksmith
shop has been built and fitted out with five forges, so that since January
last the three 
shops, blacksmith, carpenter, and shoeshop, gave daily instruction to thirty
young 
men and boys. Besides this, we have kept many employed on the farm and in
the 
miscellaneous work around; and in the spring by your favor we took charge
of the 
brick yard, and ten of our young men had industrial training there. Our object
has 
been to give the fundamental ideas of industrial occupations rather than
to make 
accomplished tradesmen. And yet the work we exhibited at the National Educa-
tional Convention at Madison, Wis., won great praise for its excellence.
The hand- 
stitching of the shoes was as good as machine work, and there was no better
forging 
work exhibited from any of the older industrial schools than that of our
Indian boys. 
Last fall we began the building of a large dining-hall for the use of the
whole school, 
and having capacity to seat 200 pupils. A good deal of work on this has been
done 
by our pupils, digging for the basement, tending the masons, and also on
the carpen- 
ter work. The industrial training of the girls and young women has been carried
,on much the same as before and with great efficiency. 
The help that we have in our work from native assistants is worth noticing.
Three 
men and one young woman have served as teachers in the school room, and two
other 
young women have served in the industrial training department, all with very
valu- 
able results. 
This normal training school sustains such a relation to the whole Dakota
nation 
that it is a sort of an educational barometer, and we find an increasing
number 
throughout the Indian country who are intent on gaining an education, not
only for 
their own advancement in knowledge, but that they may become the instructors
of 
their people. This is a most hopeful sign. For even though very many more
of the 
best white teachers ought to be employed in the education of the Indians,
yet before 
the work can be successful as a whole, we must raise up a strong corps of
teachers 
from among the Indians themselves, who, though they may have less scholarly
equip- 
ments, have the greater advantage of sympathy. From the condition of the
educa- 
tional and religious work among this people as well as from their progress
in civil 
institution and their building of civilized homes, there is ground for great
encourage- 
ment. 
It is with great regret that I learn that you are about to resign your official
respon- 
sibilities here and retire from the place you have so long and so acceptably
held. I 
should feel that we ought to demur at your decision had you not fairly earned
the 
right to rest from your unremitting labors for the advancement of this people.
And 
it is right and fitting that I should bear testimony to the good work that
has been 
going on among this people during all the years you have had the oversight
of them, 
.and for which the credit in large measure belongs to your faithful labors.
I am, yours respectfully, 
ALFRED L. RIGGSI 
Principal Santee Normal Training School. 
Maj. ISAIAH LIGHTNER, 
Uited State8 Indian Agent, Santee Agency, Nebra8ka. 
NEVADA AGENCY, NEVADA, 
August 15,1884. 
SIR: Two tribes of Indiana, the Pah-Utes and the Pi-Utes, and their reservations,
*are embraced in the Nevada Agency. These Indians have acquired very many
of the 
habits of the whites. They wear citizens clothes except only when too poor
and un- 
:+ble to get them. They largely work for the whites in nearly every department
of 


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