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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1883

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,   pp. III-LXXI ff. PDF (28.2 MB)

Page III

Washington, October 10, 1883. 
SIR: In the performance of a duty imposed on me by law, I have the 
honor to submit herewith my annual report for the year 1883. 
In reviewing the operations of the last year it is gratifying to find 
that not only has no backward step been taken in the march of im- 
provement among the Indian tribes, but some decided advance has 
been made. Particularly i this true in the matter of industrial school 
education. Some tribes have been persuaded to send their children to 
industrial schools that have heretofore successfully resisted all efforts
to induce them to do so. Whatever of success has been attained in 
this matter is attributable largely to the increased appropriations which
uhe last Congress wisely made for this purpose. Whatever differences 
of opinion may exist in reference to many questions of policy as applied
ro the Indian tribes, one question may now be considered as settled 
)eyond controversy, and that is that the Indian must be taught to work 
for his own support, and to speak the English language, or he must 
give place to people who do. It is a grave mistake to suppose that 
in matters of detail and of minor importance the same rule will apply 
to all Indians, because some are as different from others as the people 
of different nationalities; but on the subject of labor and language, the
rule is and must be uniform and universal; and it is encouraging to 
know that the Indians of 1883 are in advance of th Indians of 1882 
in this respect. This subject is discussed more fully on page xxx. 
In my report of one year ago I called attention to many of the diffi- 
culties with which this office has to contend in administering its affairs,
and which it "vas hoped would be cured by legislation, some changes
in law and practice being absolutely necessary if efficiency and econ- 
omy were to be attained. But owing, I presume, to the press of busi- 
ness and the shortness of the session, the needed relief was not obtained;
so that we are now dragging along in many of the old ruts of the past, 
some of which have become dangerously deep. But inasmuch as my 
dtty is performed when I call attention to needed legislation and state 

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