109. Inculcation of Patriotism in Indian Schools, December 10, 1889
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179 asm for home, and the practical ability to earn their own living. This system has in it the “promise and the potency” of their complete emancipation. Thirteenth. Of course, it is to be understood that, in addition to all of the work here outlined as belonging to the Government for the education and civilization of the Indians, there will be requisite the influence of the home, the Sabbath-school, the church, and religious institutions of learning. There will be urgent need of consecrated missionary work and liberal expenditure of money on the part of individuals and religious organizations in behalf of these people. Christian schools and colleges have already been established for them by missionary zeal, and others will doubtless follow. But just as the work of the public schools is supplemented in the States by Christian agencies, so will the work of Indian education by the Government be supplemented by the same agencies. There need be no conflict and no unseemly rivalry. The Indians, like any other class of citizens , will be free to patronize those schools which they believe to be best adapted to their purpose. . . . [House Executive Document no. 1, 51st Cong., 1st sess., serial 2725, pp. 93–97.] 109. Inculcation of Patriotism in Indian Schools December 10, 1889 The effort to train the Indian children as American citizens was well illustrated by the “Instructions to Indian Agents in Regard to Inculcation of Patriotism in Indian Schools,” issued by Commissioner of Indian Affairs Thomas J. Morgan in December 1889. To Indian Agents and Superintendents of Indian Schools: The great purpose which the Government has in view in providing an ample system of common school education for all Indian youth of school age, is the preparation of them for American citizenship. The Indians are destined to become absorbed into the national life, not as Indians, but as Americans. They are to share with their fellow-citizens in all the rights and privileges and are likewise to be called upon to bear fully their share of all the duties and responsibilities involved in American citizenship. It is in the highest degree important, therefore, that special attention should be paid, particularly in the higher grades of the schools, to the instruction of Indian youth in the elements of American history, acquainting them especially with the leading facts in the lives of the most notable and worthy historical characters. While in such study the wrongs of their ancestors can not be ignored, the injustice which their race has suffered can be contrasted with the larger future open to them, and their duties and opportunities rather than their wrongs will most profitably engage their attention. Pupils should also be made acquainted with the elementary principles of the Governmentunderwhichtheylive ,andwiththeir duties and privileges as citizens. To this end, regular instructions should be given them in the form of familiar talks, or by means of the use of some elementary text-book in civics. Debating societies should be organized in which may be learned the practical rules of procedure which govern public assemblies. Some simple manual of rules of order should be put into the hands of the more advanced students, and they should be carefully instructed in its use. On the campus of all the more important schools there should be erected a flagstaff, from which should float constantly, in suitable weather, the American flag. In all schools of whatever size and character, supported wholly or in part by the Government, the “Stars and Stripes” should be a familiar object , and students should be taught to reverence the flag as a symbol of their nation’s power and protection. Patriotic songs should be taught to the pupils, and they should sing them frequently until they acquire complete familiarity with them. Patriotic selections should be committed and recited publicly, and should constitute a portion of the reading exercises. 180 National holidays—Washington’s birthday , Decoration Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving , and Christmas—should be observed with appropriate exercises in all Indian schools. It will also be well to observe the anniversary of the day upon which the “Dawes bill” for giving to Indians allotments of land in severalty became a law, viz, February 8, 1887, and to use that occasion to impress upon Indian youth the enlarged scope and opportunity given them by this law and the new obligations which it imposes. In all proper ways, teachers in the Indian schools should endeavor to appeal to the highest elements of...