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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 New Mexico,   pp. 260-277 PDF (8.8 MB)


Page 271

REPORTS CONCERNING INDIANS IN NEW           MEXICO.       271 
school carpenter in a very satisfactory manner. The boys were thus taught
how to build a house from the foundation. 
The boys in the blacksmiths' department have done the general work of the
school, including repairs to wagons, horseshoeing, tinning, etc. The trade
is 
an important one, and those who graduate from this department readily find
employment. 
Over 800 pairs of shoes were made in the shoe shop, and while this trade
is 
not generally looked upon as the best for Indians, it is one of those trades
which teaches the Indian to do something and to do it well. A number of the
graduates from this school from this department are following their trade,
and those that have been trained in the shoe shop have made about the best
record of any pupils that have gone out from the school. 
A great deal of clothing has been manufactured in the tailor shop, and 
what I have said of the shoe shop may be also said of this department. My
tailor is an Indian and a product of this school; he is an example of what
an Indian tailor can do. 
In the engineer's department a class of boys have been taught how to 
operate a steam engine, to manage a heating plant, to operate a steam cooking
system, and to do general steam fitting and plumbing. An extension to the
water system of over 400 feet of 4-inch pipe was laid by the boys, new 
hydrants installed, and this work, including the calking of the pipes, etc.,
was done by Indian labor. All of this furnishes instruction and education
to the Indian youth. 
With the girls the instruction is not so diversified, as it must be principally
confined to housekeeping, sewing, and cooking. This they have done, and very
satisfactory. In addition to this the girls have made fancy work, bead- 
work, etc., which they sell readily to tourists. 
The manufacture of Navaho blankets has been carried on throughout the 
year, at first as an experiment and later as an industry furnishing employment
and funds for the girls. The class of Navaho blankets manufactured by the
girls has been above the type produced on the reservation and have readily
sold for about $20 each. There is no great money to be made even at these
prices, and it is perhaps better to devote the time to acquiring a knowledge
of 
dressmaking, housekeeping, and learning to cook-rather than trying to promote
and foster this ancient and crude Indian art of blanket weaving. 
Outing pupils.-The outing system which I instituted some three years ago
has been followed up the past year, and with marked success. A class of 37
Indian boys was sent to the sugar-beet fields near Rockyford, Colo., where
they worked for some six weeks. The net earnings of these boys when final
reports and collections have been made will amount to nearly, if not quite,
$2,000. A number of girls have been allowed to work in good families in the
city during the summer, and this has been an encouragement and an incentive
for them to better prepare themselves for cooks and housekeepers. 
The difficulty that arises when pupils begin to earn money is to teach them
to 
save something. The Indian is naturally a spendthrift, and he draws on his
account just as often and in as large amounts as the superintendent will
per- 
mit. I have tried to instill a spirit of saving in my pupils, but can't say
that 
I have been very successful. I told the outing pupils who earned money last
year that they must save 25 per cent of their earnings; I did hold them to
saving something, but not quite this amount. When some 36 of them went 
to their homes last June, they took considerable money with them, and I 
found upon a recent visit to the reservation that the fact that they had
had 
some money was a great incentive for them to work and earn more. In this
way the returned students are making a better showing than formerly, when
they simply returned to their homes, sat around, and let the old people do
the 
work, and gradually drifted back to the blanket. I have hopes that in the
out- 
ing system we will increase the value of our school training and make our
returned students and graduates stand for more than they have in the past.
Improvements.-Three substantial brick cottages have been built during the
year, mostly by school labor, as has been stated. The grounds have been 
extended, walks laid out, over 200 shade trees planted, the lawns extended,
and the water system improved and considerable new pipe laid. In the center
of the new park a fountain or reservoir with a capacity of 264 barrels has
been 
constructed. The plant has been kept in good repair. The advertisement is
now rUnning for a new dormitory, which will be a separate home for the girls,
and is greatly needed. A new lavatory system is to be constructed for t~ae
boys, and will add to the comfort and sanitation of the institution. 


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