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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])

Reports of superintendents of independent schools,   pp. 415-440 PDF (11.7 MB)


Page 438

438     REPORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. 
shed are necessary, for reasons already made known to your Office. An appro-
priation for improvements is now available, and it is hoped that my recommen-
dations for the erection of these improvements already before your Office
may 
be approved in time for the completion of the buildings before the extreme
cold 
weather of our northern winter begins. 
Religion, morals, etc.--Weekly services are held in the school by the mission-
ary priest of this district, and the children attend services of their respective
denominations in Ilayward. Sunday observance and right living, honesty, and
proper conduct are inculcated by precept and example. Exercises are held
reg- 
ularly every Sunday by the school employees for such children as do not attend
other services. 
Runaways have been reduced very materially the past year by making the 
school an attractive place; by promptly returning and, when necessary, by
pun- 
ishing offenders for repeated offenses; by withholding the privilege of a
visit 
home during the summer vacation from those who desert. By these means we
hope to break up entirely the habit of running away from school. 
The homes of a number of the Indian children are homes in name only. 
Drunkenness, immorality, and vice prevail in many of them. Most of this 
degradation is the result of the Indian's association with dishonorable white
men. Liquor selling to Indians has not increased, notwithstanding the Heff
decision. A change made a year ago in officials on the reservation has produced
good results along this line. If regular marriages were enforced among these
people and illegal cohabitation punished, the moral condition of the Indian
would be greatly improved thereby. 
While your Office has defined the school as a reservation boarding school
for 
the Indians of the Lac Courte Orille Reservation, it is in fact a nonreser-
vation school and is practically without relation to the reservation. We
are 
compelled to seek children for attendance where we may find them, while large
numbers of the children on the reservation are not in attendance at any school.
The mission influence is against sending these children to any Government
school. The Government farmer on the reservation uses his influence to secure
the attendance of the children, but the Indians are advised by those opposed
to 
the school that they are not compelled to send their children to the school,
and 
they do not do so. 
A large number of Indians live in northern Wisconsin, north of a parallel
drawn through Chippewa Falls, who are practically without school privileges.
A few of them are enrolled in the district schools of the State, but their
attend- 
ance is uniformly very irregular, and instead of being encouraged by the
whites 
to attend school they are made to understand that their attendance at school
is 
not desired. 
At several places these Indians live in small villages located upon land
owned 
by the railroad company or by private individuals. These villages have been
so 
located for many years, and the Indians do not understand why they are not
entitled to hold possession of the land. It will be but a few years until
they 
are forced to leave their homes, and it is impossible to tell where they
may find 
a place to settle. The country is rapidly filling up with settlers. All Govern-
ment lands have been taken up and a number of the Indians will be thrown
out 
of the homes they now occupy on lands they have held for many years to wan-
der up and down the streams and live upon the cold charity of those who have
appropriated their homes. Steps should be taken at once by the Government
to 
secure the sites of these villages for the Indians before they are heartlessly
driven from the homes they have so long occupied. 
WILLIAM A. LIGHT, 
Superintendent and Special Disbursing Agent. 
REPORT OF SCHOOL AT TOMAH, WIS. 
TOMAH, Wis., September 16, 1905. 
The attendance has been up to that of previous years, there having been an
average of 235. We depend upon having quite a number of Winnebago pupils,
and they reduce the average attendance, as it has been impossible to get
them to 
enter school until late in the fall. All of these Indians pick cranberries
and 
they keep their children out of school until this crop is harvested. I believe
that 


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