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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the years 1921-1932
([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 36

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
employees, but it is becoming much easier to fill positions from appli- 
cants certified by the United States Civil Service Commission than 
at any time for several years past. The most difficult to obtain in this
manner are physicians and trained nurses, particularly the latter. 
The continuing shortage of experienced teachers throughout the 
country also has its eftect upon a most important branch of our 
service, although the necessity for temporary employment is con- 
siderably reduced. 
Of the number of employees retired under the act approved May 
22, 1920, 24 were eligible fo annuities and five were not entitled to 
such benefit because they had served less than 15 years at the age of 
retirement. Of those who reached the age of retirement, 32 were 
retained on duty under the provisions of section 6 of the law. It 
may be added in this connection that, under a decision of the Civil 
Service Commission, any person employed in an excepted position or 
appointed under a noncompetitive examination by obtaining a classi- 
fied status through a regular competitive examination may be given 
credit for time previously employed in computing the length of serv- 
ice rendered under the retirement act. This should work to the ad- 
vantage of many intelligent and progressive Indians who are now 
filling excepted positions or are employed under a noncompetitive 
examination granted because of Indian blood, and should be an in- 
ducement to them and to others to secure a classified status through 
the necessary competitive tests. 
The reclassification of the departmental civil service is receiving 
consideration in Congress that seems to foretell enacted legislation 
on this subject in the near future. Probably the most important 
object sought is uniform compensation for work of the same kind 
wherever performed, and if nothing further were accomplished this 
result would be of great stabilizing value to all activities affected, 
including those of the Indian ;Bureau, and should lead to more 
permanency in our field personnel, even if the law were not at once 
applicable to that body of workers. This bureau has at times felt 
embarrassment through withdrawals from its service because of 
more attractive remuneration for practically the same character of 
work performed in other branches of the Government. 
There are now in the office and field of the Indian Service fewer 
employees than for some years past, and in view of postwar needs 
for the strictest economy of public funds, the number will not 
be allowed to exceed the imperative demands of all matters arising 
out of the relations of the Government's wards. This many-sided 
and largely human task deals with both individuals and groups and 
requires a wide range of knowledge and experience. To carry it for- 
ward we must have not only administrators but teachers, lawyers. 
physicians, nurses, mechanics, farmers, accountants, and a corps of 
inspectors for special and confidential duties, together with many 
others for chiefly nontechnical work, whose    combined  service 
touches every phase of the peculiar life we are endeavoring to pre- 
pare for successful assimilation with the White man's civilization. 
These men and women are with little exception faithful, capable, 
loyal, and often self-sacrificing workers, whose average annual 
salary of but little over $800 strongly suggests an interest in their 
work not measured by money alone. 
36 


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