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)
172 REPORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. The Indian school band attends the annual encampment of the Arizona National Guard, and one or two companies of Indian school cadets join with the local companies of the militia in maneuvers and ceremonies on holidays and special occasions. The frequent inspection of the Indian school companies by the officers of the National Guard is helpful and encouraging to the military spirit among the native Americans. A conference of returned students was held at the school during April. On account of the high water, the Gila and Salt rivers being unfordable for weeks at a time, and on account of the work these former students were doing, the attendance was somewhat reduced, but 125 were enrolled, former students of Phoenix, Carlisle, Albuquerque, Grand Junction, Santa Fe, Tucson, and some from other schools. The gathering was very interesting and helpful to all con- cerned. Those present certainly appreciated the work of both Government and mission schools, and showed that they are actually overcoming the difficulties they meet in their endeavor to gain a larger life. The work in the shops has been quite satisfactory, the boys receiving careful instruction in the trades and in the manual-training department. Early in the spring the Arizona dam was damaged by the high waters in the river, and for about two months there was no water to irrigate the farm. As a result several large fields of alfalfa that had been sown during the wiliter and spring and which, until the washing away of the dam, promised an excellent stand, perished. There was one good crop of grain hay. The following extracts from the report of the principal teacher show to some extent what has been done in the literary department: The class-room work opened in September with an unusually large attendance. Thirteen teachers reported for duty, but with the large attendance the number of pupils per teacher, including the principal teacher and music teacher, who had no regular classes, was too large to enable the pupils in some of the rooms to do good work. It became necessary to relieve the pressure in some of the rooms. The principal teacher took a class for half a day, but the rooms were still overcrowded and the work so heavy that in January another teacher was asked for. The request was granted, and the position was permanently filled in February. On Wednesday evenings, with rare exceptions, the teachers of the literary department met to read and discuss practical works on education. Correlation of the work in the different departments of the school and current events were also given special attention. Working with the Hands, by Dr. Booker T. Washington, was rqad and thoroughly dis- cussed during the first half of the year. The Art of Study, by Hinsdale, was studied during the latter part of the year. These meetings were specially helpful. The work in this department was graded from the introductory class to the class of 14 menbers which completed the required work in the common school branches. The adult primary and the young primary pupils were taught in separate classes. Each class was given one period a week in which singing was taught by the teacher in charge of the music. A class of a dozen girls received a half-hour lesson on the piano for five days in the week. In connection with the class-room work of this department, and under the direct care of the class-room teachers, 14 gardens were made. Each garden was divided into 18 small 4ardens. Two pupils were assigned to each of these to do the necessary work of preparing soil, planting seed, weeding, etc. In these gardens the children raised good lettuce, turnips, beats, radishes, onions, and squash. Spinach, peas, and beans Were also raised, but not so successfully. The teachers showed great interest in their work, and the pupils thoroughly enjoyed it. On Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, Washington's Birthday, Easter, etc., appropriate exercises were held. The prize speaking programme in March and the commencement programmes were given great care and attention. The pupils of the school were organized into Sunday school classes, each of which was provided with a teacher. A half hour was first spent in the study of the lesson, followed by a half hour general session,which was devoted to singing, etc. A primary section held a session of half an hour for the six lower classes. During the latter part of the year the fifth, sixth, and seventh grades attended school all day on alternate days. This weakened rather than strengthened the school-roorn work. The confinement to mental application for an entire day soon seemed to produce weariness and restlessness, and the pupils failed to show the same ambition or have the same zeal as under the half-day system. Nearly all complained that they could not think as well by.afternoon, and that they found it difficult to remember from class day to class day any work which was left unflished. The teachers have shown commendable interest in their work throughout the year, and on the whole the progress in this department has been all that could be expected. An extract from a report of the work in the domestic departments, by the matron, follows: The work in the girls' home has been more satisfactory this year than during the preceeding year, on account of the extra assistance allowed there. With two white women and an Indian assistant, it has been possible to have more attention paid to the details, and especially to the care of the girls. The new floors laid in two dormitories and the painting and repairs in different parts of the building have been most satisfactory improvements, and the condition of the building in general is very satisfactory. In the laundry room in this building the girls do washing for about forty employees and members of their families, and many of the larger girls do much of their own laundering of dresses, etc., here.
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