University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the years 1921-1932

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary of the Interior for the fiscal year ended June 2, 1921,   pp. [1]-69 ff. PDF (26.8 MB)

Page 6

SuPERvIsIoN.-In order to advance the schools to a larger measure 
of usefulness in the program for the betterment of the -Indian, a 
chief supervisor of Indian education has been appointed. He will 
inaugurate thoroughly constructive methods and practice for the 
schools, and for this purpose he has been intrusted with a large 
discretionary power in carrying forward the educational policy of 
this bureau. The Indian country has been divided into districts and 
a supervisor of schools is assigned to each. These will work under 
the immediate direction of the chief supervisor. This reorganiza- 
tion ought to accomplish splendid results along educational lines 
and to work out a greater unity of purpose and action throughout 
the service, especially in developing a spirit of friendly cooperation 
with public-school authorities wherever it is practicable to place 
Indian children in public schools. The time has come when the 
great work of educating Indian youth, which is the recognized ob- 
ligation of the white race in this country, should be more effectually 
organized for the best results possible under economic safeguards, and 
I have earnestly requested the school service everywhere to cooper- 
ate heartily with this effort to achieve a more unified and construe- 
tive progress. 
Probably but comparatively few of the taxpaying citizens of the 
country realize what a complex problem the education of.the Indian 
youth is. The Indians are distributed throughout more than one- 
half of the States. Some of them group themselves within limited 
areas, while others live as individual families scattered over large 
territories. Some are non-English speaking people, just emerging 
from a life of ignorance and superstition, while others are almost 
ready to take up the full duties of citizenship. In fact, there are all 
classes and conditions between the almost "untouched Apache and the
independent Navajo of the Black Mountains of Arizona, and the 
intelligent, ambitious, forward-looking Cherokees, Choctaws, and 
Chippewas. This makes a complex and vaxfrd pytgw of schools 
necessary. Some must be educated in boardin'g.hq]s, ome in day 
schools. Others are provided for. in mission  los o *4 still others 
are ready for mingling with children in the pubic M., qols. 
Of the approximately 86,000 Indian childrei qfopho l, age it may 
be said, speaking in terms of thousands, that 'bout 00O,000 are en- 
rolled in the Government schools and abput     "11 number- in 
non-Government schools. The day and boaroq     i6ls under Gov- 
ernment control offer academic courses fro tOi  first. grade through 
intermediate and grammar grades; in a few ins    ::through what 
is equal to junior high school. Vocationall.n sf equal grade 
are offered, with special emphasis put upo n, agrJuture and home 
economics. In the large nonreservation scioos _  trade courses 
are provided. Of not less, probably oft.esg e, Irimportance than 
the academic training is the industrial p ar4ioof Indian boys 
and girls for independent citizenship, ;  ,tIreore these courses 
must be maintained. However, because  :J th  t4that the schools 
are distributed over so much territory, aa  of,:t!t4urther fact that 
schools of such varied types, offering so uiny d rnt courses, must 
be provided, the problems of supervisio  ri of p rocuring a well- 
trained teaching force are difficult. Th.  ~  .qss  that if the In- 
dians of this country are to become pro4 i    iizens the educa- 
tional program must be carefully plani dtd vigorously carried 

Go up to Top of Page