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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1884
([1884])

Reports of agents in Dakota,   pp. 20-63 PDF (21.1 MB)


Page 21

REPORTS OF AGENTS IN DAKOTA. 
21 
boarding school for girls; near the agency, but all the cases were of a very
mild nature. 
Simple meningitis was observed in one or two camps last summer and the disease
is 
making its appearance again at the date of this report. The cases treated
by the 
agency physician have all recovered, but every one of them followed an essentially
chronic course. The total number of cases treated during the year has been
1,725; 
number of births, 123; number of deaths, 72. Consumption and scrofula, as
in years 
past, have prevailed largely among these Indians. Eye affections and eczema
have 
been particularly prevalent. Bronchitis in its acute and chronic forms occupies
a 
prominent place during the winter and early spring months. 
But little success can attend the treatment of these diseases in the habitations
of 
the Indian. What is needed at this agency is a suitable hospital, properly
constructed 
and liberally supplied, wherein can be treated these cases and others so
sadly in need 
of hospital accommodations. It is believed that a sum of money sufficient
to con- 
struct and equip a hospital of twenty beds could not be otherwise better
expended at 
this agency. 
INDIAN POLICE. 
The police force now consists of one captain, one lieutenant, four sergeants,
and 
sixteen privates, selected from the various bands located through the length
of the 
agency reservation. They are active, vigilant, and prompt in the exercise
of their 
position in maintaining order throughout the different Indian camps and in
the pro- 
tection of the interests of the Government in many ways. They realize fully
their 
responsibility, merit the consideration and kind attention of the Government,
and 
should be much better reconIpensed for their services than the small pittance
of $5 
per month now allowed them. 
A police headquarters and guard-house is greatly needed at this agency for
the bet- 
ter protection of Government property and punishment of disobedient Indians,
in 
order to secure enforcement of Departmental and agency orders, and I sincerely
trust 
that I may be authorized to erect the same at an early date. 
TRANSFER OF INDIANS. 
Among all Indian agencies there are a number of discontented and dissatisfied
In- 
dians whose indolent habits prompt a desire on their part continually to
seek a change 
by constant roaming from one agency to another. In many instances they leave
their 
home agencies surreptitiously, and upon arriving at another agency importune
the 
agent to write, soliciting a transfer from their old agency to the one they
have for the 
present selected as their home. This practice is a constant source of annoyance
to an 
agent, and results detrimentally to the interests of the Indian and the service.
It 
necessitates a continual change of the issue rolls, deranges the census reports
on which 
estimates are based and by which supplies and annuity goods are purchased
and dis- 
tributed, and finally engenders a feeling of discontent among other Indians,
rendering 
the n less tractable and obedient. This pernicious practice of transfers
should be dis- 
countenanced and peremptorily discontinued by Departmental orders. 
CIVILIZATION. 
In reviewing the progress made by t e Indians at this agency during the past
year, 
I find good cause for congratulation. The Indians have remained on the reservation
quietly and peaceably. Nearly all have adopted, wholly or in part, the white
men's 
dress; they are industrious, tractable, and apparently satisfied with their
position. 
The rapid settlement of whites on the Government lanis on the east side of
the Mis- 
souri River, tunning parallel with the entire length of this reservation,
hasnecessarily 
thrown the Indians and whites in closer relationship than is desirable. Numerous
towns and villages have lately sprung up on the east side of the Missouri
River in 
which there are always, as in all new settlements on the frontier, a few
white men 
whose influence with the Indians cannot be otherwise than detrimental, viz,
by the 
sale of liquor, arms, and fixed ammunition; by encouraging and hiriiia Indians
to 
resume their wild dress and give dances for amusement of whites ; by persi
ading them 
to sell annuity goods issued by the Government. and finally by prostituting
their 
women. All these are great obstacles in the way of civilization, and requiie
constant 
and careful watchfulness on the part of the agent. 
An element of great evil is the residence of squawmen among the Indians.
As a 
rule their influence with the Indian is bad and their example pernicious.
During the 
present year I contemplate removing from this reservation several of this
class whose 
past conduct has merited this action. 
There are, I am led to believe, at all agencies a number of Indians who are
more 
or less dissatisfied, and this agency is no exception to the general rule.
Complaints 


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