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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1905, Part I
([1905])

Report concerning Indians in Iowa,   pp. 221-223 PDF (1.5 MB)


Page 222

22   REPORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. 
thereby. The empty honor of the chieftaincy is not so much the prize sought
after as the perquisite attaching to the office by virtue of an act of Congress
giving to Push e to ne qua an annuity of $500, which they ignorantly believe
attaches to the office by right and which they believe will inure, to the
suc- 
cessor of the said chief. 
Some advanced steps have been taken by these people during the past year,
which is noticeable in the fact that some new frame houses have been built
by them and are now inhabited as permanent homes by their families, and the
further fact that the Indian costume is largely being discarded by the younger
members of the tribe. 
Their advancement toward a higher civilization is necessarily slow because
of the influence of the older members of the tribe, who strenuously adhere
to 
the ancient Indian customs and mythology, and who claim with some degree
of truthfulness that their manner of dress and habitation are better adapted
to 
their ideals and requirements than are those of the white race. Opposition
to civilization and education are not characteristics belonging exclusively
to the 
Sauk and Fox Indians of Iowa, for I have found the same disposition strongly
manifested by members of the Potawatomi, Winnebago, Sauk and Fox of Okla-
homa, and others who have from time to time visited our people, and whose
presence among them has given a stimulus to their desire to be " let
alone" in 
their ignorance and superstition. The most retrogressive of our people are
not 
worse nor more pronounced in their opposition to education than are many
of 
those belonging to other tribes who visit this reservation and spend a portion
of 
their time in the camp with them. 
A careful census taken June 30, 1905, shows the following number and 
classification of the Sauk and Fox Indians enrolled and living at this reserva-
tion at the said date. 
Total number enrolled (males, 180; females, 162) ---342 
Over 18 years of age (males, 94; females, 82)            176 
From 6 to 18 (males, 64; females, 62)-                  126 
Under 6 (males, 22; females,18)----------------------------40 
Births durifig the year--------------------------------- 12 
Deaths during the year-  -12 
It is noted that of the 126 children enrolled, whose ages range from 6 to
18 
years, that not more than 80 would be available for school purposes, as some
of them are married and others are incapacitated because of debilitated health,
sore eyes, and other causes. It is noted further that among the Indians not
enrolled who are making their homes at this agency there are several children
of 
school age whose parents have brought them with them for the declared purpose
of keeping them out of school. There are at least two families who are enrolled
at the Sac and Fox Agency who have openly made this declaration, and their
presence adds force to the opposition here. If there is any law through the
operation of which these people can be sent to their homes it should be enforced.
The 3,000 acres of land owned by these Indians is a kind of public domain
so far as the Indians are concerned. Each Indian adult is privileged to build
his wickiup or house wherever his inclination leads him, or cultivate any
piece 
of land he may select, provided, always, that the site selected for his home
or land for cultivation has not previously been filed upon by some other
Indian 
for similar purposes. The prior claim holds good until voluntariy relinquished,
and the Indians recognize property rights in the same as though the occupant
held a warranty deed for the property. There is still quite a large acreage
of very fine agricultural land lying idle on this so-called reservation which
would raise immense crops of corn if broken up and properly cultivated, but
which is utilized only as pasture ranges for a lot of almost worthless ponies.
The status of these lands now comprising the so-called Sauk and Fox Reserva-
tion in Iowa is being investigated by the State authorities, and it is hoped
that 
in the end order will be restored and the status of these Indians and their
holdings in Iowa will be definitely determined. A recent decision of the
district 
court of the State of Iowa to the effect that an Indian can not bring suit
in the 
State courts, neither can he be sued in the said courts, in short, that 
the State has no jurisdiction over these Indians, and the further fact that
some 
of these Indians are demanding a cessation of the taxation of their lands
has 
given rise to this investigation, and the trusteeship of the governor of
the State 
of Iowa and of the Indian agent and their successors in office is undergoing
an 
examination which will probably result in placing these lands under the trustee-


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