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)
REPORTS CONCERNING INDIANS IN ARIZONA. 165 /'As to sanitary conditions among the Oraibi, the physician, Dr. Chas. W. Par- sells, reports as follows: My residence among these people covers a period of only four months. As with most Indians, a stranger is avoided, if possible; so that some time was necessary before I was accepted and my endeavors appreciated. The general health of the Indians has been good. No contagious diseases occurred, except conjunctivitis, and a few cases of chickenpox in one of the smaller villages. A great many sore eyes are always present, and, as there seems to be no way to isolate any of these cases, it is our worst foe. With water 2 miles away, the small quantity obtained is not willingly used for washing; consequently the diseases. A plentiful supply of good water within easy access of the villages would make wonderful improvement in health, especially of the children. As to the sanitation of the villages, much credit is due to the field matrons, who insist on keeping the streets and houses clean. In Oraibi two large cesspools have been completely filled and are now on level with surrounding streets. Were it not for the numerous dogs and burros, which keep the streets in filthy condition, the whole com- munity would be in fairly good shape. The houses, especially in winter, are not sanitary. A large family sleeping in one room, tightly closed, is not according to sanitary rules. But what of 30 or 40 school children confined for hours in a very small room, with low ceilings and no ventilation except windows? A new modern building, large enough to accommalate the children, or another building to relieve congestion in present rooms, is badly needed. Tuberculosis in some form is by far the greatest cause of death among the school children. In the past four months there have been 38 birtths and 13 deaths. The report of Dr. Jacob Breid, physician at Keams Canyon, says: There have been but few cases of seidous illness during the year. There were two cases of pneumonia, one of which recovered, and the other was sent to his home, where he died. Seven children were excused on account of tuberculosis; two of these have died, one has quite recovered, and the others are improving. A number of cases of influenza developed, but these were mild in form and short in duration. Acute conjunctivitis was present the greater part of the year, but all have recovered or very much improved. There is great need of a hospital where these cases can be isolated and given the care and treat- ment they require. The demand for medical treatment among the Indians at the Mesa villages has in- creased a great deal. The "medicine man " is still present, but he is becoming less antagonistic as he observes the efficiency of certain remedies. It is natural for him to oppose anything that will eventually destroy his business. A number of cases of influenza and pneumonia occurred during the spring. The heavy rains made their dirt-roofed, unventilated houses pools of mud and filth. A hot fire filled these rooms with vapor, permeated by an odor that was extremely offensive. The changing of the fireplace for a stove, while a convenience, has permitted the Indians to build houses without any means of ventilation. Venereal diseases and tuberculosis are very prevalent, and these are aided by their practice of consanguinous marriage. Some parents find it very difficult and others even impossible to rear children. At the First Mesa, population 671, there were 55 births, a rate of 8.2 per cent; and 53 deaths, a rate of 7.9 per cent. No statistics are available with regard to the Navaho, but I am sure that the birth rate is lower and that the mortality is also lower. Tuberculosis is common, but their general condition is better and their dwellings are far more sanitary. THEO. G. LEMMON, Superintendent and Special Disbursing Agent. REPORT OF PRINCIPAL TEACHER, ORAIBI DAY SCHOOL. I took charge of this school October 1, 1904, the whole force of employees from Second Mesa day school being transferred here together. We found an enrollment and attendance of 153. The school was in most excellent condition and did honor to my predecessor. During the year 13 pupils were transferred to the Keams Canyon school, 1 entered a white family in California, and 1 died. The progress of the pupils has been eminently satisfactory. Few schools can report such a complete condition of harmony among its employees, auid I believe that it would be hard to find in the entire service more competent and faithful Indian employees than are those at this school. The needs of the school are: (1) A water supply, our water now being hauled a mile over deep sand; (2) a stable, enough hay having been ruined by water during the year to have paid for a new roof; (3) a building for sewing room, laundry, and bathrooms. A. H. VIETS, Principal Teacher. REPORT OF PRINCIPAL TEACHER, SECOND MESA DAY SCHOOL. The literary department of this school has been in charge of three teachers. Efforts were made throughout the year to get the children to use English in conversation. This is the hardest problem we had to face, and we did not meet with the degree of success we anticipated. My assistants worked patiently and perseveringly, and credit is due them for the results actually accomplished.
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