United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1905, Part I
Report of superintendent of Indian schools, pp. 385-414 PDF (13.4 MB)
386 REPORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. at the schools. A striking instance of this was given at one of the day schools on the Pine Ridge Reservation. On days when the ther- mometer registered 35' and 40 below zero not a single pupil was absent, although many of them were quite younv and some came from homes more than a mile distant. SCHOOLS VISITED. ARIZONA. NAVAHO SCHOOLS At the time of my visit the enrollment at the agency school was 231, which exceeds the capacity. The progress made in class-room work was satisfactory, considering the fact that a majority of the children have been in school less than two years and knew little English when they entered. Owing to the lack of water for irri- gating purposes, little practical instruction in agriculture can be given. There is a garden of about 8 acres attached to the school, but adverse conditions make the raising of crops both difficult and uncertain. Only limited instruction can be given in the mechanical trades, as the facilities are poor. The girls receive instruction in cooking, sewing, and general housework to as great an extent as the crowded condition of the school permits. They are also given instruc- tion by a native teacher in blanket weaving, in which the tribe has excelled for generations. The Little Water Boarding School is located 35 miles from the agency. A telephone line connecting this school with the agency is much needed. The St. Michael's Mission Boarding School, conducted by Catholic sisters, is located just off the reservation and is doing excellent work. They have a good plant and an attendance of about 80 pupils, all Navaho. The combined capacity of the twoGovernment boarding schools under the Navaho Agency is less than 300, and the enrollment is about 400. The number of children of school age is approximately 2,250, and more than half of these do not attend any school. In view of these facts it is recommended that the capacity of the agency school be increased. Some of the buildings are old and not adapted to school purposes. The hospital is located in an insanitary build- ing, which also contains three class rooms and employees' quarters. This arrangement is undersirable, and a menace to the health of the pupils and employees. The following buildings are recommended: A school building, containing class rooms and an assembly hall, a hospital, a girls' dormitory, enlarged dining room and kitchen, and a shop building. The present inadequacy of school facilities on this reservation could be still further remedied by establishing one or two small boarding schools at suitable locations and by establishing a system of day schools. The Navaho have shown themselves willing to work, and their services are in demand wherever labor is needed. In addition to the work given them by the agent, many have found employment off the reservation. A considerable number are employed by the railroad company, and others are working in the coal mines. The greatest source of income is from their sheep and goats and the sale of Navaho blankets. These blankets have become well known, and the demand for them exceeds the supply.
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