United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1892
Reports of supervisors of education, pp. 619-646 PDF (13.1 MB)
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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