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])

Report of superintendent of Indian schools,   pp. 385-414 PDF (13.4 MB)


Page 386

386    REPORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. 
at the schools. A striking instance of this was given at one of the 
day schools on the Pine Ridge Reservation. On days when the ther- 
mometer registered 35' and 40 below zero not a single pupil was 
absent, although many of them were quite younv and some came 
from homes more than a mile distant. 
SCHOOLS VISITED. 
ARIZONA. 
NAVAHO SCHOOLS 
At the time of my visit the enrollment at the agency school was 
231, which exceeds the capacity. The progress made in class-room 
work was satisfactory, considering the fact that a majority of the 
children have been in school less than two years and knew little 
English when they entered. Owing to the lack of water for irri- 
gating purposes, little practical instruction in agriculture can be 
given. There is a garden of about 8 acres attached to the school, 
but adverse conditions make the raising of crops both difficult and 
uncertain. Only limited instruction can be given in the mechanical 
trades, as the facilities are poor. The girls receive instruction in 
cooking, sewing, and general housework to as great an extent as the 
crowded condition of the school permits. They are also given instruc- 
tion by a native teacher in blanket weaving, in which the tribe has 
excelled for generations. The Little Water Boarding School is 
located 35 miles from the agency. A telephone line connecting this 
school with the agency is much needed. The St. Michael's Mission 
Boarding School, conducted by Catholic sisters, is located just off 
the reservation and is doing excellent work. They have a good plant 
and an attendance of about 80 pupils, all Navaho. 
The combined capacity of the twoGovernment boarding schools 
under the Navaho Agency is less than 300, and the enrollment is 
about 400. The number of children of school age is approximately 
2,250, and more than half of these do not attend any school. In 
view of these facts it is recommended that the capacity of the agency 
school be increased. Some of the buildings are old and not adapted 
to school purposes. The hospital is located in an insanitary build- 
ing, which also contains three class rooms and employees' quarters. 
This arrangement is undersirable, and a menace to the health of the 
pupils and employees. The following buildings are recommended: 
A school building, containing class rooms and an assembly hall, a 
hospital, a girls' dormitory, enlarged dining room and kitchen, and 
a shop building. The present inadequacy of school facilities on this 
reservation could be still further remedied by establishing one or two 
small boarding schools at suitable locations and by establishing a 
system of day schools. 
The Navaho have shown themselves willing to work, and their 
services are in demand wherever labor is needed. In addition to 
the work given them by the agent, many have found employment 
off the reservation. A considerable number are employed by the 
railroad company, and others are working in the coal mines. The 
greatest source of income is from their sheep and goats and the sale 
of Navaho blankets. These blankets have become well known, and 
the demand for them exceeds the supply. 


Go up to Top of Page