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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])

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


Page 16

16     REPORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. 
on duty in certain cases, and they are expected to feed and care for 
their horses, as a rule, without additional compensation. With the 
changes which have come and are still coming over the reservations,- 
the duties of the police have become more complex and difficult and 
the cost of living higher. Because of the low rate of pay, therefore, 
the most desirable Indians are slow to accept service as policemen, 
and as a resl4+ the force has deteriorated in both character and 
competency. 
It is believed that a much-needed improvement would follow if the 
pay of the police were increased, the officers to $25 a month and the 
privates to $20 a month; if not only rations were provided for each 
Indian policeman on duty, but forage for his horse, and if inexpen- 
sive but comfortable accommodations were provided for both police- 
men and horses near their post of duty. The proposed increase in 
pay would doubtless cut down considerably the number of policemen 
who could be carried on the rolls, but without disadvantage to the 
service, for fewer men, if carefully selected, would more than double 
the efficiency of the now underpaid force. 
There should be a change in the uniforms also. The blue suit now 
prescribed by the regulations is not so well adapted to the use of 
Indians as would be a khaki uniform like that now worn by the 
Indian scouts in the Army, while the dark-blue hat could be 
exchanged with advantage for the soft gray army hat. 
METHOD OF PURCHASING SUPPLIES. 
An important part of the business of the Indian Office which 
attracts little public attention is the purchase of supplies necessary 
to meet the demands of the service. This is done annually, and the 
labor and responsibility involved are greater than would be guessed 
at a first glance. Estimates are sent in by the several agents and 
superintendents in the early spring of the things that they will need 
to carry on their operations for the coming year. These are tabu- 
lated, and then advertisement is made for bids to furnish the articles 
called for. The classification of the things bought and their approxi- 
mate cost may be seen in the statistics of the fiscal year 1905, which 
are given here in round numbers for convenience of study: 
Subsistence    -----------------------------------------$767,000 
Class 1. Blankets ------------------------------------------14,400 
Class 2. Woolen and knit goods-------------------------------57,800 
Class 3. Cotton goods---------------------------------------92,000 
Class 4. Clothing  ------------------------------------------198,000 
Class 5. Hats and caps--------------------------------------24,000 
Class 6. Notions -------------------------------------------21,200 
Class 7. Foots and shoes----                               83,200 
Class 8. Groceries----------------------------48, 600 


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