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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1905
Part I ([1905])

Reports concerning Indians in Idaho,   pp. 196-202 PDF (3.3 MB)


Page 197

REPORTS CONCERNING INDIANS IN IDAHO. 
197 
The enrollment at the Fort Hall school for the year was 189, with an average
attendance of 167. Owing to the fact that there were many changes in the
force of school employees during the year and that the many positions made
vacant by transfer and resignation being filled by temporary employees, the
school work as a whole was not as satisfactory as was hoped for, although
I 
can report progress. 
The construction of a much-needed irrigating ditch costing $3,300, paid for
from "proceeds of Indian labor." Has done much toward improving
the school 
grounds. This ditch, however, was completed too late for planting trees and
doing much toward beautifying the school grounds about the buildings. Next
year I expect to plant a number of good hardy shade trees, which will do
much 
toward beautifying the entire premises. 
Agriculture.-The Indians of the Fort Hall Reservation have been more 
anxious for work this year than ever before in the time I have been associated
with them. The number of acres cultivated during the year was 3,250. Num-
ber of acres broken during the year, 250. Rods of fence made during the year,
i9,200. 
When the order for weekly payments to be made to the irregular Indian 
employees was received, it was thought at first glance that it would work
a 
hardship on some of the Indians who were living 25 to 35 miles from the agency
to come to the office each Saturday to receive their wages; but after the
first 
week I was importuned by many Indians who had never shown a disposition 
to work before with the request, "Apotsy," (interpreted meaning
" Indian 
father ") "I want to work, make 'em ditch, catch 'em water."
 The outcome was 
that 25 miles of irrigating ditches were made solely by the Indians of the
res- 
ervation, which means that a number who have never shown a disposition to
attempt anything at farming have broken up several acres of raw land and
are trying in 'a small way to raise some kind of a crop. In driving over
the 
reservation it is now a common sight to see many little homes where corn,
wheat, oats, potatoes, garden vegetables of many kinds, and alfalfa are grow-
ing luxuriantly. 
I find that much more interest is taken by the Indians here in the matter
of 
raising a good grade of cattle. They have furnished the entire amount of
gross beef for the school and also for issue to the old and decrepit Indians.
This amount Was 90,000 pounds for the school and 300,000 pounds for the 
agency. The Indians are anxious to sell their cattle to the Government, and
as long as gross beef is required there will be no question as to the ability
of 
the Indians to furnish the necessary amount of beef. Their cattle are of
much 
better quality than heretofore, and this is attributed to the fact that more
of the Indians than ever before are paying much attention ti feeding their
cattle 
during the winter months. They do not sell the amountof hay they formerly
did, but feed their own cattle during the hard months of winter. 
The Indians are very proud of their school plant, and they point to it with
pride when visitors are here, telling them that this is their school and
was built 
with their own money. They are well pleased and well satisfied that their
children are near them, and just here I desire to quote from the report of
the 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1904, as follows: 
Home education of the average Indian, not out of his environment but near
his own 
people, will and does produce lasting results. Civilization is around him
in his Western 
home. He will soon find natural contact with this civilization. It will strengthen
him 
with his own race. Necessity if not justice has decreed that the Indian must
live, for 
years at least, on these western reservations and allotments, and he should
not get out of 
touch with his kindred. 
I read the above quotation with much pleasure and satisfaction, for, in my
opinion, this method is the true one looking toward the civilization of the
Indian. 
Marriages.-Thirteen marriages have been performed by me in the agency 
office and five by the missionaries located on the reservation. Very few
cases 
of illegal cohabitation were reported during the year just closed, and I
am glad 
and proud to report that matters of this kind cause very little trouble among
the 
Indians under my charge or to this office. I can state with much pride that
the 
moral status of the Bannock and Shoshoni Indians is improving very fast and
that the "court of Indian offenses" has had very little to do on
this line. 
Sanitary.-The agency physician has given his attention both to the agency
Indians and the pupils of the Fort Hall School. The report of Dr. Frank H.
Poole is as follows: 
Venereal disease Is notably on the increase, at least an increasing number
are seeking 
treatment at my hands. Ignorance of the nature and seriousness of the untreated
dis- 
ease operates to deter them from applying for medical aid during the stages
when the 
disease is amenable to treatment, and rarely do cases in the primary stages
come under 


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