University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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 South Dakota,   pp. 328-352 PDF (11.7 MB)


Page 329

REPORTS CONCERNING INDIANS IN SOUTH DAKOTA.                329 
shows a total number of 2,526, an increase of 4 in births, and 45 transferred
from Pine Ridge Agency, making a total increase of 49 over last year's census,
which is divided as follows: 
Males--------------------                               1.238 
Females--                                               1,288 
Males over 18 years of age_                              686 
Females over 14 years of age                             888 
Children between 6 and 16 years of age                   604 
The reservation is divided into eight districts, all of which are leased
for 
grazing purposes. The proceeds of the same will amount to over $90,000 per
annum. There is an established cattle trail at the extreme northern boundary
of the reservation, 6 miles wide and 84 miles long. The proceeds from the
trail will net the Indians about $24,000, collected from parties driving
stock 
from the Missouri River to the country west of the reservation. 
Agriculture.-Farming on the reservation has not been a success, as the land
is 
not adapted to this purpose, being in the semiarid region. The usual amount
of 
garden truck was raised along the river and creek bottoms and was a success,
owing to the unusual amount of rainfall. The hay crop is very important on
this reservation, owing to the fact that nearly all of the Indians are stock
rais- 
ers. The Indians cut more hay during the last year than they have in any
two 
previous years combined. 
Stock. raising.-This is the main industry of this reservation. It has been
more carefully looked after, and there is a very great improvement in the
quality 
and quantity of horses being raised here. All of the beef required for this
agency and for the use of the schools has been purchased from the Indians,
and 
they also ship several thousand head to Chicago and other stock markets.
Fewer 
cattle have been lost during the past year on account of straying from the
reser- 
vation than in any former year, for the reason that the whole reservation
is 
fenced and divided into districts, which will average about four townships
square. 
Leases.-The whole reservation, except a tier of townships on the north side,
which is used for a cattle trail, has been leased. More than 95 per cent
of the 
Indians realize the benefit of leasing their tribal lands. They see the benefit
derived from the proceeds, which amount to $90,000, or about that, per annum.
The head of each family is allowed to range free of charge 100 head of stock
in the vicinity of their homes. 
Rations.-The contraction of the ration policy and the expansion of the labor
policy are doing a great deal toward the civilization of the Indians. It
has 
taught them the worth of labor, and they are showing this most markedly in
the intelligent purchases they now make of materials and supplies for their
homes. This policy is tending to make them independent and self-supporting.
They eagerly seize the opportunity of working whenever they are able. In
sev- 
eral cases the older Indians, who are not expected to work, will call at
the office 
and give up their ticket, stating that they desire to work, and will not
draw 
rations for a month or two at a time. Of course, when cold weather comes
these 
old people are unable to stand the hardship and they are issued a ration
ticket. 
My attention has been called to the fact that'since the Indians commenced
work- 
ing there his been less stealing of cattle and horses on this reservation.
We 
saved during last year on contracts 33,940 pounds of corn and 83,397 pounds
of 
flour not needed for rations, owing to the labor system. There was also a
sav- 
ing on general issues. 
Allotments.-One thousand eight hundred and four allotments have been made
since the work commenced five years ago, 465 allotments being made during
the 
year. Several allotments were changed by the allottees making new selections.
There are about 60 "kickers" that have refused to take allotments
so far. How- 
ever, they are being instructed as to the benefits of selecting allotments
and 
building up homes where they can make permanent improvements. Several of
the "kickers'" of last year have selected allotments this year.
Education.-The agency boarding school and four day schools have been 
maintained on this reservation by the Government, and each has had a success-
ful year. Concerning the larger pupils that attended nonreservation schools,
Rapid City has the largest number, Pierre school the next, and the Flandrean
school the next greatest number. Only two pupils are reported as having run
away from the nonreservation schools during the past year. 
Missions.-The' missionary work on this reservation continues to be ably 
--A 


Go up to Top of Page