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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1892
61st ([1892])

Reports of supervisors of education,   pp. 619-646 PDF (13.1 MB)


Page 625

REPORTS OF SUPERVISORS OF EDUCATION.                 625 
For the boys the industries must necessarily be varied to suit environment.
The leading industry for Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas must necessarily
be stock; in Ntbraska agriculture and fruit-raising. In all cases a thorough
knowledge of gardening should be acquired. The caring, for cows is an industry
that has to be cultix ated. Poultry, too, is one of the most profitable industries
that can be placed in possession of the Indians. This properly belongs to
the 
girls. In some of the schools this has been carried on with great success.
MORALS. 
More than one-half the reservation boarding schools are under the charge
of 
some religio us denomination. Of course in these schools special religious
instruc- 
tion is given and usually with excellent results. In nearly all the Government
schools a Sabbath school and prayer meeting is sustained and moral instruction
has never been neglected. 
SIZE OF GOVERNMENT BOARDING SCHOOLS. 
The Episcopal people seem to prefer small schools, about 50 pupils, arguing
that 
the small school is more like a family. There is reason in their plan, but
as the 
Government plan contemplates a great graded system, it seems to me that the
larger school is better. Ant if a graded school is better than an ungraded,
then 
the more grades the better. There is little danger of any Indian school on
any 
reservation being too large. I would not advocate the establishing any new
school of less size than 100. 
RESERVATION S3CHOOLS. 
Fort Peck.-The Indians upon the reservation are mostly Sioux, with a portion
of Assinaboines. They had. October, 1891, 200 pupils gathered into one school.
In November a fire broke out and all the large buildings were burned to the
ground. About 65 of these children were gathered into the old log buildings
that formei ly had been used for school. From the schoolroom work now found
in this school, it must have been, under more favorable circumstances, in
the 
first rank of schools. I found no language work in any school so good. Other
schoolroom and industrial work is of a superior character. The fire was a
real 
disaster to this people, for a large portion of the young people have gone
back 
to camp and are drifting back to heathenism. When the new buildings are 
erected it will take time to bring it back to its old position. 
Eight acres of garden, irrigated by pumping water from the Missouri River,
is all the agricultural work they can carry on. If Poplar Creek could have
an 
irrigating ditch a great part of this people could be provided with a portion
of arable land. Until that time they must depend almost wholly upon the Gov-
ernment ration and stock-raising. That has not been neglected at the school.
Fort Belknap.-The Gros Ventres and Assinaboines compose this reservation.
There are two boarding schools here. The St. Paul's Mission (Catholic contract),
an old school with capacity of 160, and the new Government school built last
year. 
The St. Paul's is located 35 miles from the agency in a pleasant little nook
in 
the Little Rocky Mountains. It is a very successful school, the language
and 
arithmetic work being particularly meritorious. Rains seem to fall here suffi-
cient to make a favorable showing on the farm. They have a good farm and
large herds. Good instruction in both pursuits is given. The buildings are
mostly log, but they are roomy and comfortable. 
The new Government school has two fine brick structures for dormitories and
schoolrooms, with a good outfitting of other buildings. They are capable
of 
accommodating 100 pupils. Last year there were 59 boys and 29 girls. Polygamy
is practiced on this reservation and the girls are hard to get. Fifteen more
girls should be put into this schcol. The work of this school has necessarily
been pioneer work. They have made a good start and will start off on the
new 
year with bright prospects. They are now dependent upon the Milk River for
their water. It is the worst stream in Montana for domestic purposes, alkaline
at all times and sometimes stagnant and fetid. The water at Snak- Butte would
supply this want and would be sufficient to irrigate the gard'ens. As these
peo- 
ple must depend upon stock growing. instruction xwill be shaped in that direc-
tion. This school could profitably be increased to 100 pupils. 
Blackfeet.-The Blackfeet Indians are not progressive, and they are polyga-
8397 i A-4:0      , 


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