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The papoose
Vol. I. No. 2. (January, 1903)

Object to Indian schools,   pp. 17-18


Page 17

Object to Indian Schools
A Number of Tribes Ask That Their Children Be Edu-
cated with the Whites
SN organized effort will be made this Winter by a
number of Indian tribes in the West to persuade
Congress to call a halt on the further extension
of the non-reservation school system. The
Santee Sioux and Omahas have petitioned the
Nebraska delegation to get the Secretary of the
Interior to make a ruling to allow them to send
their children to the common district schools of the State
and take their chances for an education alongside the white
children of the community. The head men declare that
under the present system their children do not gain the in-
dependence and self-reliance that they should acquire, and if
educated with white children the spirit of emulation inevit-
ably would tend to spur them on and lead to better results
than are now attained. The fact that Indian children are
kept by themselves makes them feel that they are not the
equals of white children mentally, and so hinders their pro-
gress. The Rev. James Garvie, a member of the Santee
Sioux tribe, speaking of the idea of educating Indian children
in the public schools, says:
" Indian children should be sent to the public schools of
the States and Territories as rapidly as possible. Do not
keep Indian children or Indian men and women separated
from other Americans, herded by themselves. When they
live among whites and live the home life and the school life
of the whites, pay taxes, and vote, and share in local affairs
they are as good citizens as any we have. They are easily
assimilated in our American neighborhood life and political
life as are the Scandinavians and the Germans-more easily
than the ignorant Polish laborers who come to us from old
centres of civilization."
Mr. Garvie has sent his own children to non-reservation
schools in Kansas and to the common schools, and believes
they did much better in the latter. The white people living
on the borders of the reservations protest that the Indian
children cannot keep up with the white children and are a
clog to the schools.
The idea was tried in some communities a few years ago,
and did not work because the Indian children were exempt
from the compulsory school law and were irregular in their
attendance. It is claimed that under recent amendments of
the law, Indian children, if they were now sent to the pub-
lic schools, would be liable to compulsion. The adoption of


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