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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1905, Part I

Reports concerning Indians in Washington,   pp. 355-371 PDF (8.3 MB)

Page 355

UINTAH AND OuRAY AGENCY, UTAH, August 15, 1905. 
Since my last report the school has improved In many respects. The farm has
much improved by proper cultivation, the grounds leveled, and the loose stones
hauled off; 
an orchard of 170 trees set out, which promises to do well; the brick buildings
and coated with paint, and many inside improvements made. With all this the
and buildings have taken on a very homelike appearance. 
Literary.-The schoolroom work has been hampered by the same disadvantage
which it has always labored-only one teacher for all grades, ages, and sizes.
this, the pupils did very good work. The furloughing of employees May 31
stopped the 
work intended to be done on the school gardening. 
Industrial.-This part of the work has been carried on much more satisfactorily
during previous years. The installation of the water system in part last
year did away 
with the drudgery of hauling water from the river and gave time for the teaching
of more 
useful things to the boys. Repairs on buildings, fences, farm work, and improvement
grounds have kept the industrial teacher and his detail busy. The girls were
in cooking, laundering, sewing, and housework, and made creditable progress.
Health. The health of both children and employees has been excellent, there
being but 
one serious case of sickness during the year, a case of pneumonia caused
by the boy going 
into the river while the water was yet very cold. This, however, did not
prove fatal. 
Employees.-The constant changing of employees has worked a great hardship
on the 
school. In this isolated region it is very difficult to obtain competent
temporary em- 
ployees, while permanent employees get a mistaken impression of the school
by some dis- 
couraging reports made when things were not in as good condition as now;
hence the 
trouble in fillifg the positions. 
Steps are now being taken to abandon this school and sell the buildings and
farm for a 
town site. The union of this school with the Uintah boarding school will
be a great 
advantage in many respects. The new school plant anticipated will be a great
ment over the two small plants now in use, the buildings of which are not
in the least 
OSCAR M. WADDELL, Superintendent. 
MILES, WASH., August 29, 1905. 
The jurisdiction of the agency has covered a very large territory, including
the Colville and Spokan reservations, in Washington; the Coeur d'Altne Reser-
vation, in Idaho; the allotted lands of the north half of the Colville Reservation,
opened to settlement in 1900, as well as the homesteads and allotments of
Wenatchi Indians to the southwest; the Chelans and Okinagans on the west,
and the Kalispels to the northeast of the agency proper, besides numerous
tached Indians not under any particular agency. To reach many of the settle-
ments, wagon journeys of from 50 to 250 miles or more are necessary, and
would be a physical impossibility for an agent to give personal attention
to the 
various interests of this extensive domain. 
Fortunately the Coeur d'Alene Reservation has, by Congressional enactment,
been detached from the Colville Agency, to date from July 1, 1905, and this
give considerable relief from responsibility, though Coeur d'Alene affairs
necessarily had but little more than nominal attention from the agent hereto-
fore. The Coeur d'Alne Indians have fine lands, which they have made good
use of, their farms, buildings, and improvements comparing favorably with
those of their white neighbors. 
The Colville and Spokan reservations, particularly the former, are more 
isolated, with no means of communication other than ordinary or bad moun-
tain roads; yet improvement, though slow, is assuredly made, and when these
Indians have the advantages arising from contact with bona fide white settlers
progress will be much more rapid. The Spokans have fine crops this year,
and will probably furnish all the grain and hay needed for the agency and
Fort Spokane boarding school, besides which they supply the wood fuel, amount-
ing to more than 900 cords. The Colville Indians are barred from participation
in these benefits by reason of distance and impracticable mountain roads;
they are self-supporting, and serious cases of destitution are seldom known.
If one-half of the propoed railroads, electric lines, and plans for the utili-
zation of the water-power possibilities of the Spokane and Columbia rivers
should materialize a wonderful change will be worked in this section, and
these Indians will be almost immediately surrounded by a civilization that
would soon absorb them. Conditions are encouraging, and I see no reason to
fear for the future of the red men of this Northwest, They are good people,

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