University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs,   pp. 1-155 PDF (58.6 MB)

Page 15

the protection of healthy children from perilous contact with those 
who have been stricken are bound to be only partly effective; for, 
though we may weed every sign of the scourge out of the schools by 
excluding all children pronounced by the examining physician un- 
sound, we are only segregating these in order to make them grow 
up-if they do grow up-in ignorance. The establishment of such 
a sanitarium as I have here suggested would insure to the unfortu- 
nates the special care and the chance for recuperation which is their 
due, as well as the schooling needed to fit them for the serious busi- 
ness of life, instead of being sent home to serve as centers of infection
for both their own people and the whites of the neighborhood. 
A circular bearing date March 29, 1905, directed all agents and 
superintendents to make the necessary arrangements to pay thereafter 
their duly authorized Indian irregular employees-that is, Indian 
laborers-the wages due them at the close of each week, instead of 
monthly as heretofore, taking their receipts therefor in the usual 
manner. The reasons for the change of practice may be summed up 
in the statement that it is the policy of this Office to assimilate in 
every practicable way the status and treatment of the Indian with 
the status and treatment of the white man. The frequency and reg- 
ularity of his compensation enables him to pay as he goes, encourages 
thrift, and discourages the habit of heedless spending which runs 
the poor man of any race heavily into debt before he realizes it. 
Moreover, the delays in payments that have so generally obtained 
heretofore have had the effect of disheartening the Indian, who is 
not trained to look far ahead like the white man, and who is only too 
disposed to yield to the temptations of an idle life if he can see no 
speedy return from his labor. 
The inauguration of the new system has caused some little friction, 
but its continuance has fully demonstrated its "utility and benefit
the Indians and to the Service, and has obviated many of the errors, 
misunderstandings, and controversies that formerly prevailed. In 
only a very few instances have peculiar local conditions made neces- 
sary an exception to the general rule. 
The Indian police constitute a force which, with proper organiza- 
tion and pay, can be made to render very useful service to the agent 
or superintendent in his efforts to manage the affairs of the reserva- 
tion in the best interest of the Indians. The present force is not, as a
whole, a very efficient body. It is too poorly paid, the privates receiv-
ing only $10 a month and the officers $15 a month, with rations while 

Go up to Top of Page