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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 supervisors of education,   pp. 619-646 PDF (13.1 MB)


Page 624

624 
REPORTS OF SUPERVISORS OF EDUCATION. 
Just as great care must be taken to gather in the girls and educate them
as 
the boys. An educated Indian youth married to an ignorant camp girl is weighted
down so that he can not possibly ri.e. The case can be illustrated by the
prog- 
ross of the Sioux. They are a high type of Indian, proud, brave, self-respect-
ing, and rather progressive. It is worthy of note that those that were hostiles
a few years ago are now among the most progressive among them. They are 
now the largest tribe in the United States, numbering nearly 26,000, or more
than 
one-tenth of all the Indians in the United States. 
The mothers and daughters of these Sioux are usually the rulers of the homes.
The marriage relation is respected and the women are reputed virtuous. The
only cases of polygamy among them now are old cases. The Sioux women are
constantly rising in the social and domestic scale. I have visited the Sioux
homes and found them neat, with wooden floors to their houses, with cook
stoves, good beds, pictures upon the walls, and in some cases sewing machines
of their own buying. This state of affairs has been brought about by the
work 
of the schools and the missionaries. The girls have learned to cook, sew,
laundry, and do housework at the school, and they have taught their mothers.
They have married and carried their education into their homes. The girls
of 
the Sioux are generally in school. What may be said of the Sioux may be said
with equal truth of the Omahas and Flatheads. The Flatheads, though not so
pugnacious, are more advanced in civilization Polygamy is unknown among 
*    them. 
Astriking evidence of the progress the Indians are making is the constantly
increasing number of them who are filling responsible places. They are becom-
ing preachers, doctors, teachers, mechanics in all positions. Sixteen of
the 
teachers in this district are either full or mixed blood Indians, two are
agency 
physicians, many are preachers, and a large number are filling other positions,
and in most all cases with credit. 
The duties of the supervisor are outlined by the honorable Commissioner of
Indian Affairs: 
Each (supervisor) should be a trained school expert, charged with the duty
of visiting, re- 
porting upon, and advising with the teachers of all the schools within a
definite area, and 
should have such relation to Indian schools as is generally sustained by
county superintend- 
ents in the States. They should be required to devote their entire time to
the work, should be 
subject to orders from the Commissioner of indian Affairs, and be ready to
proceed wherever 
necessary upon telegraphic instructions to any part of the field. Their services
should be 
invaluable in determining building sites, selecting employds, investigating
charges. establish- 
ing new schools, and in generally building up the educational work. 
This outline has generally been followed. Assistance and advice have been
freely given, and in some cases important changes in schoolroom work have
been made. 
The greatest defect found in many of the schools, especially the Government
boarding schools, is the defective English and low voices of the pupils.
In April 
a circular letter was issued by the supervisor outlining a course of language
work for day and evening work. In some cases marked changes resulted. [f
English is deficient a school is apt to be deficient in other things. If
good Eng- 
lish is acquired, then other school studies come easily. 
Most of the superintendents and teachers bring to the work enthusiasm and
love of the work, but in some cases their efforts have been somewhat misdi-
rected, and their aims have been too high. They sometimes have seemed to
forget that the Indian child has everything to learn. But greater uniformity
has been gained, and good results gained. 
DAY SCHOOLS. 
Of these I have seen only eleven, nine of which were doing good work, and
could be called successful, and two that were failures. The scope of these
schools is necessarily very limited. I am not prepared to discuss their merits
as yet. It is certain that on some reservations they can be of little use
for sev- 
eral years. 
INDUSTRIES AT BOARDING SCHOOLS. 
Most of the industries for the girls, whether in contract or Government schools,
are the same, and an honest and successful effort has been made1 in every
school 
to give the girls a thorough knowledge in all domestic pur  uts. The girls
in 
the schools take kidiy to cooking and sewing, and readily 1,  ars all branches
of 
housework. In many cases they become expert in butter-making and in taking
care of poultry. When a girl has completed the reservation school course
she 
is usually competent in domestic pursuits. 


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