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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1879
([1879])

Reports of agents in Montana,   pp. 89-100 PDF (5.6 MB)


Page 94

94 
REPORTS OF AGENTS IN MONTANA. 
CONCLUSION. 
The Indians are provided with the authorized ration every week that they
are here 
to receive it; their grievances have in the main been removed; they are urged
to 
adopt the modes of civilization; they are treated as men and women-human
beings- 
and are taught that the only road to prosperity and happiness lies over the
path of 
civilization and industry. 
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
A. R. KELLER, 
United Stat8 Indian Agent. 
The CoMIMIssIoNER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
FLATHEAD AGENCY, MONTANA, 
August 12, 1879. 
SIR: The Flathead res! rvation, consisting of 1,433,606 acres of land, a
large portion of 
which being well adapted to agricultural pursuits and grazing purposes, is
dotted every- 
where with Indian farms and habitations, where heavy crops of wheat, besides
other 
grains and vegetables, are raised ; and the past year shows a steady increase
in the 
number of Indians thus engaged in civilized pursuits. The fact is beginning
forcibly 
to dawn upon them that food and raiment must be obtained from mother earth,
and 
slowly, but surely, they are advancing step by step in agricultural pursuits.
But they 
need encouragement and assistance in the way of implements of labor, a supply
of 
which should always be at the agent's command, so that when an Indian is
induced to 
fence in a farm he can be assisted. I Such a line of policy in a few years
would put 
every head of a family upon a permanent home, and from past experience I
find that 
the Indian who has once tasied the benefits of civilizing pursuits becomes
anxious and 
ambitious to extend his operations, increase his herds, and surround his
family with 
the comforts of life. 
By reference to accompanying statistics it will be seen that an estimate
of some 
20,000 bushels of wheat, 4,000 bushels of oats, besides large quantities
of potatoes, 
turnips, and other vegetables has been made of the product of the reservation
during 
this season, which is a large increase over last year. 
EDUCATION. 
Tho establishment last year of a boarding and industrial school for boys
and girls 
on this reservation was a most judicious step, but the fund for feeding and
clothing 
the children is altogether too small, as the desire among parents for the
education of 
their children is so general that the number far exceeds the amount appropriated
to 
provide for them. The school is in a flrisbing condition, and under the present
man- 
agement of the Sisters of Charity, who have competent teachers for boys in
field, 
mills, and shops, as well as the school-room, the children are making rapid
progress. 
A printing-office is also in operation tit the mission, where one of the
boys receives 
instructions in the art of printig. A dictionary of the Kalispel or Flathead
Indian 
language, compiled by the missionaries of the Society of Jesus, containing
640 pages, 
has just been completed at this office, and in order to show its character
I copy the 
following preface from its pages: 
The design of the present work is to aff)rd assistance in the study of the
language, mainly to those 
who have dedicated themselves to the teaching and regeneration of these Indian
tribes. 
The method of classifying the Indian words according to their etymology,
or udedr the roots from 
-which they originate, though frauglit with no little difficulty to the unlearned,
has, however, been 
pursued, and by many advised, as the only proper one in view of the highly
educated character of the 
missionaries for whose perusal the work is intended. 
That a better order, a better diction, and a better typographical dress could
have been made use of, 
is freely acknowledged by the author, who labored under no inconsiderable
difficulties to bring this 
edition, such as it is, to consummation, and he hopes that others, availing
themselves of his labor, may 
correct the many blunders, and giveit that finish of which the language is
capable. 
The author owes much to the manuscript dtctionary of Rev. G. Mengarini, who,
first of all the 
Jesuit missionaries, posesed himself of the genius of this languae, and besides
speaking it with the 
I)erfection of a native Indian, reduced it also to the rules of a grammar.
The abbreviations used inthe dictionary seem plain enough without further
explanation. 
The Arabic numbers between parentheses refer to the difforeat conjugations,
which will be found in 
the appendix. 
SAINT IGNATIUS MISSION, M. T., July 31, 1S79. 
MISSIONARY LAB RS. 
All of the Indians of this reservation are brought under the influence of
religion and 
are practical Caiholics. Polygamy is punished as a crime by tribal law, and
the mar- 


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