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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1891
Part 1 ([1891])

Report of the commissioner of Indian affairs,   pp. 3-146 PDF (58.9 MB)


Page 3

!2 
REPORT 
OF THE 
COMMISSIONER             OF INDIAN        AFFAIRS. 
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, 
OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, 
October 1. 1891. 
SIR: I have the honor to submit the Sixtipth Annual Report of the 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs. 
A SETTLED INDIAN POLICY. 
A variety of causes have of late conspired to stimulate public in- 
terest in the subject of Indian administration, and to provoke a very 
widespread discussion of the so-called Indian problem. As was to be 
expected, there has been a great diversity of views expressed, and 
many discordant theories advanced as to its proper solution. I think, 
however, there is coming to be a very general consensus of opinion as 
to the essential elements that should enter into the settled policy of the
Government in all its dealings with these people, and I venture to sug. 
gest the most important of them here with a view of furnishing a test 
of the present administration. 
(1) Comprehensiveness.-It is important that any theory shall rest pri- 
marily upon a careful induction of all pertinent facts. No two reserva- 
tions are exactly similar, and no two tribes present the same condition.
The Indians, while alike as belonging to one common race and as sus- 
'taining to the United States Government the general relation of wards, 
differ among themselves very widely in language, manners, customs, 
religion, and environment. They represent a great number of distinct 
phases of human development. 
Some are yet very degraded, living a mere animal life with few of the 
characteristics of humanity, while others have already become absorbed 
, into our national life and are not distinguishable from their fellow 
citizens. Some still live by hunting and fishing; others, like the 1Nav.
77-7- -T -7   - '- 


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