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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 Arizona,   pp. 156-180 PDF (12.1 MB)

Page 160

necessary forage. We can not expect a policeman to do good work when he 
is underpaid or when he has no horse to use for want of feed. 
Indian training.-We are charged with the training of adults and children,
and our treatment is very much the same in the industrial part of it. White
Mountain Apaches are easily taught to see what is right, but is difficult
to lead 
them to choose and do of their own accord that which will better their condi-
tion. It is difficult to make them believe that that which is good for a
man is also good for an Indian; they say that they do not want so many things.
The farmers and the field matron are directly intrusted with the teaching
training of the Indian parents, and the results to date are not very satisfactory,
although it is not all the shortcomings of the teachers; the conditions are
difficult. If the Indians' teams were well broken, or if the home keeper
furnished with ordinary cooking vessels and dishes, it would not be so diffi-
cult. The farmer teacher becomes discouraged when he undertakes to train
an Indian in the proper way to harness and hitch the team when it is nothing
more than wild bronchos. The hardest work for the farmers and field matron
is to adapt themselves to conditions as they find them, and to do better
than the Indians with the few tools they find in the camps. 
There were enrolled in the Fort Apache schools 157 children, 70 girls and
boys. They are so detailed that half the time of each, except the kinder-
gartners, is spent in industrial training. T he most attention is given to
gardening, farming, and stock raising; the main industrial work for the girls
is housekeeping, making and mending clothing, laundering, and cooking. The
literary work consists in exercises in the common school studies. These children
excel other tribes in mathematical calculation, and they are lovers of music.
Their acute observation of form and color causes them to do excellent work
written spelling and drawing. 
Forest fires.-At the beginning of the fiscal year this reservation had its
est fires; during a period of six weeks the fire was beyond control. These
fires were high in the mountains and far from the agency or the Indian homes,
and in places almost inaccessible. There was not much damage to the large
timber, but the younger growth was almost destroyed. The greatest damage,
however, was the burning of the great beds of leaves that conserve or hold
the water on the mountain sides. The effect was seen in the great floods
came last winter from the continued rains and the deep snow. These great
can be prevented by quick action in the incipient state of the fire only.
If the 
forest-range force were ten times its present number, it could do nothing
arrest these destructive fires when well started and driven by high winds.
most practicable and effective remedy is to employ six or eight Indians during
the months of June, July, August, and September to ride the mountain range
at appointed places and be on the lookout for smoke from fires; or it may
as well that the forest supervisor increase his force during those months
that he would have men sufficient to protect that part of the forest on the
Indian land adjoining the Black Mesa Forest Reserve. 
The forest reserve should not be extended to include any part of the Indian
reservation, for such action would rob them of their best grazing lands,
and it 
would afford free pasture for whites for their cattle and sheep and deprive
the Indians of an income of $6,000 a year now received from permittees. It
would also destroy the hay lands and make it impossible for the Indians to
furnish hay forage, from which they receive annually from $10,000 to $20,000
for hay sold to the military at Fort Apache and to this agency. 
Last year the Indians were unjustly accused of starting those fires, when
the accusers should have known that it was a false charge. The truth is those
fires were started by reckless cowboys, soldiers, and by lightning. Few,
if any, 
of those fires were started by Indians. The largest and most destructive
started from the camp of two soldiers. 
Forest Supervisor Breen has cooperated with me, and we have done all that
anyone could do to protect the forests. The Mogollon Mountain range suffered
from forest fires throughout its length, but the season was unusually drougthy
and the high winds fanned the flames so that they were beyond control. 
The timber.-The most and best timber belonging to these Indians is in a 
belt on the northern and eastern sides. This belt is on the highest land,
it is from 5 to 10 miles wide and about 100 miles long. Below this pine-timber
belt the land is mainly covered with scrub cedar. The most valuable timber
is nearly all a soft pine, and it is good for all building purposes except
for floor- 
in g. There are patches Qf scrub-oaik timb~er, which is better suited for
fuel, but 

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