United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1905, Part I
Reports concerning Indians in North Dakota, pp. 278-291 PDF (7.0 MB)
278 REPORTS OF THE DEPART]MEINT OF THE INTERIOR. There has been but little improvement in the condition of affairs among these Indians. They are divided into factions, as you are aware, and can not agree upon any policy to pursue in getting rid of the difficulties with which they have to contend. While these Indians are self-supporting, they hold their lands in common, the title being in the band, and but little material progress Will be made by them under these circumstances. It is my judgment that there will be but little improvement in the condition of affairs among these Indians until some plan is adopted so that the Department will have more control of their property interests than at present. DE WITT S. HARRIS, Superintendent. REPORTS CONCERNING INDIANS IN NORTH DAKOTA. REPORT OF SUPERINTENDENT IN CHARGE OF DEVILS LAKE AGENCY. FORT TOTTEN, N. DAK., August 17, 1905. The Fort Totten school is conducted in two divisions, the headquarters at the old Fort Totten military post, and the Grey Nuns' department in separate buildings about 1 mile north of the other, the Devils Lake Agency situated between. The headquarters school at the old military post has a normal capacity of about 235 pupils, and it is intended that it shall maintain an average of about 225 pupils. Early in September measles appeared in this school, and further enrollment was closed for several weeks. The epidemic continued *at intervals until after the holidays. This epidemic interfered considerably with the attendance during the first half of the year, so that the general average did not much exceed 215, reducing the average for both schools to 323, or two less than the number for which appropriation was made. The general interest among the pupils and the discipline maintained in some of the schoolrooms and departments were not as good as desired, and did not compare favorably with past work. This was due in part to the epidemic of measles and the sickness resulting therefrom, and partly to listlessness or incompetency on the part of a few employees. This defect was largely remedied before the close of the year, so that the school closed in better condition than prevailed earlier. While the general success of the school was not so positive as in former years, still there was no marked failure in any department, nor nothing calling for radical action to remedy. The industrial features of the school generally maintained their high stand- ing, and with possibly one exception no complaint could be properly made. This school is exceptionally well equipped and organized in industrial lines, and care must usually be exercised to prevent monopolizing the interest of the pupils to the injury of literary work. The agricultural and dairy departments made exceptionally good showings, the products in aggregate reducing the public expenses of the school not less than $5,000, and furnishing varieties and additions to the pupils' bill of fare surpassed by few schools in the service. The year of 1904-5 proved to be one of more than ordinary sickness, in addition to the epidemic of measles. There was probably more sickness than in the two previous years combined, and with two changes in the resident physician, with resulting temporary services, many hardships to both pupils and employees resulted. No immediate deaths resulted, though in one or two cases pulmonary troubles followed the measles, finally resulting fatally after the pupil had returned home. The enrollment of the Grey Nuns' department was most satisfactory. This school has formerly maintained an average of 90 to 100, and in one instance about 105. This has usually required an excessively large enrollment by reason of the intermittent attendance. The school filled up more promptly than usual, and the attendance was remarkably regular. Notwithstanding much sickness the last half of the year, the average for the full year exceeded 100. The epidemic of measles which prevailed in the other school during the first half of the year was kept from this school until after the holidays. But as the pupils of this school were almost entirely Sioux full bloods, and as measles had not been epidemic for many years, almost the entire school was stricken.
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