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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1892
61st ([1892])

Reports of agents in Washington,   pp. 487-511 PDF (12.8 MB)

Page 509

REPORTS OF AGENT$ IN WASHINGTON.                     509 
year has been reduced $1,500 from the amount allowed during the past year
will not be able to continue the work at the shops and mills as he'retofore.
There is also a herd of about 300 head of cattle belonging to the Government
on the reservation, an Indian being employed as herder. I have asked for
thority to sell the herd. as I do not consider it economy to retain it, and
I trust 
the authority will be granted. 
Indian police.-We have a force of eight Indian police, including a captain.
This police force is a great help to the agent, but their pay is so small
that few 
care to accept the position, and it is very difficult to procure the service
of capa- 
ble Indians who are willing to devote their time to the business, at a Salary
but $10 per month. The same may be said of the Indian court; the salary of
judge is only $5 per month. 
Statistics.-The table of statistics accompanying this report will present
in a 
concise form the result of our work during the year, so far as it is possible
correctly present the same at this early date. Much of the data is from neces-
sity simply estimated, yet I have been very careful to refrain from rose-colored
statements. The Indians as a rule are willing to work for a reasonable compen-
sation when they can secure employment, and those that havea supply of water
have good gardens and small fields of wheat and oats. 
Schools.-The attendance of pupils at the agency boarding school, the past
was nearly double that of the previous year; 123 were enrolled, while the
attendance was 103. Many of the children were brought in from the camps of
wild Indians and could not speak or understand a word of English, and at
end of the term there was a marked improvement, and I consider the school
quite a success and hope to be able to report still more improvement another
year. I submit herewith a report from the school superintendent, as a part
my report, also the school statistics for the year. 
Recommendation.-I would most earnestly recommend, that a liberal allowance
from the irrigation appropriation, be granted for the purpose of irrigating
lands on this reservation: also that a practical and experienced farmer be
ployed, to assist and instruct the Indians in properly irrigating, and laying
and repairing roads, and such other work as is very necessary in assisting
advising the Indians in taking care of their grain and hay. 
Indians belonging to but not residing on this reservation are variously esti-
mated at from 1,000 to 2,000. As a rule they continue to live in aboriginal
They buy from the "Boston man" (white man) a little flour, coffee,
calico, and 
occasionally a blanket, and live in small villages, a few families in a place,
along some of the mountain streams, where fish can be obtained. In summer
they always go to the mountains; the men lie around the camp , perhaps occa-
sionally hunting, while the women are laying in a supply of roots and berries
for winter use. The camas root is their staple food, and it takes the place
our bread, and grows in great abundance on the marshy fiats in the mountains;
a great many of the reservation Indians depend largely upon this root for
food. The plant resembles an" onion in size and shape, is dried in the
sun, then 
I aked in the ashes; sometimes being ground and mixed with flour. In the
the Indians again return to the lower valleys to spend the winter, participating
in their various dances. Often their supply of provisions is exhausted, and
spring finds them, many of them, in a starving condition. Many of the children
are scrofulous and consumptive, and die very young, and vdry few healthy
dren can be found among them. The same is true of about one-half of the res-
ervation Indians. 
Very respectfully, 
U. S. Indian Agent. 
Fort Siincoe, Wash., August 19, 1892. 
SIR: I have the honor to present the following statements and observations
in regard to the 
field-matron work on this reservation: 
Number of Indian families visited ---------------------------------------115
Number of above families previously visited----.. --:-.--------_-__-_...-.-.-...
Number of persons in above families .........................300 
Number of families living in houses                            9 
Number of famuilies living in tepees, haogans, or otlier Inchen abi-tat-i-ons-

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