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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 Minnesota,   pp. 227-236 PDF (4.7 MB)

Page 232

ONIGUM, MINN., August 9, 1905. 
The attendance during the year has been quite satisfactory, though the same
was encountered this year as is general throughout this section, namely,
small attendance 
during the month of September, owing to the practice of parents taking their
with them to the rice fields and other remote parts of the reservation at
this time, and 
where they are not within easy reach at the opening of school. After school
has been in 
session a month or so the parents bring them in and find the school filled,
and then have 
an excuse for not putting their children in school. As has been the case
for the past two 
years, we have thus been compelled to turn away from 20 to 25 pupils who
should have 
been in school. 
The health of those who have been enrolled has been good, though ten were
returned to 
their homes during the year. Most of these were found developing incipient
One boy who was sent home suicided by shooting himself the same day he was
home. One other has since died, and still another is near the end at this
time. Ten 
pupils were transferred to other schools during the year. The total enrollment
during the 
session was 122. Average attendance for the year was 99. 
Since we have more pupils than our dormitories will accommodate, we have
been com- 
pelled to enroll a number as day pupils who live near enough to attend. However,
are not satisfied with the interest manifested by these day pupils, and feel
that they would 
be better cared for and better interested if we had them at the school throughout
the school 
session. Our older pupils as a rule transfer to the larger schools at the
proper age, and with a 
scholastic population of 280 pupils and only accommodations for practically
that number we are sorely perplexed as to what to do. We are endeavoring
to do our 
full duty to this number, but the thought constantly occurs to us that it
is generally 
conceded that the two-thirds majority rules. So long as the majority grows
up without 
education, the minority can not be blamed if they " return to the blanket."
The question 
of supplementing the educational system on this reservation has been presented
for con- 
sideration and action before, and is again urged as nothing short of negligence
to pass it 
by without looking it squarely in the face. If the Indian himself is to be
allowed to 
decide the question, it is already settled. He would prefer to grow up in
ignorance and 
superstition, and be ruled wholly by his emotions and passions, insubordinate
and unruly. 
As it is now, in soliciting pupils we can use no compulsion, and the pupil's
desire to 
attend must be appealed to; the question of must attend never enters his
The difficulties encountered in this locality in opening up of a garden for
the school are 
very great, and little can ever be accomplished along that line. This is
neither a farming 
nor a stock-growing country, and our efforts along either line are necessarily
However, under great disadvantages, we are endeavoring to give the pupils
of the school 
the benefit of the best instruction along these and other industrial lines
possible with the 
means we have at hand.- The other industrial features of the school are confined
mending, cutting, fitting, and making of garments, cooking, laundering, and
the ordinary 
duties of housework. The position of shoemaker having been allowed for the
year, will open up another field of Industrial work. 
The equipment in buildings, etc., for the number intended to be accommodated
in the 
school-60 pupils-is quite complete. We have an excellent water and sewer
acetylene-gas plant, steam heat, employees' cottage, and all the necessary
buildings for a 
small school, but we need more room, as we have outgrown our accommodations.
should have accommodations for 150 pupils, a steam laundry, small hospital,
and there 
would then be no reason why our school could not be doing better work, and
the majority 
rule would be on our side. 
Superintendent and Physician. 
WHITE EARTH AGENCY, MINN., September 5, 1905. 
The census for the year shows the following: 
Number of- 
Name of band.                     Males Females Children Total 
above 18 above 14 between 
years of years of 6 and 16 
age.    age.    years. 
White Earth Mississippi Chippewa-------------------------446    466     437
Otter Tail Pillager Chippewa-----------------------------166    231     180
Removal Mille Lac Mississippi Chippewa.-------------------- 154  192  151
Nonremoval Mille Lac Mississippi Chippewa---------------- 143  209    146
Gull Lake Mississippi Chippewa----------------------------66    110     102
White Oak Point Mississippi Chippewa---------------------- 31  42      40
Removal Leech Lake Pillager Chippewa                     76     100     
73    293 
Removal Cass and Winnibigoshish Pillager Chippewa-       14      16     
16     57 
Removal Fond du Lac Chippewa---------------------------27        23     
36     107 
Pembina Chippewa---------------------------------101             93     
68     324 
Total-------------------------------------1,224          1,482   1,249  
The school facilities of the White Earth Indian Agency consist of three 
boarding schools-the White Earth boarding school, located at the White Earth
Agency; the Wild Rice River boarding school, located at Beaulieu ; and the

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