restricted access 111. Relief of the Mission Indians, January 12, 1891
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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 manhood and womanhood in their pupils, exciting in them an ambition after excellence in character and dignity of surroundings, and they should carefully avoid any unnecessary reference to the fact that they are Indians. They should point out to their pupils the provisions which the Government has made for their education, and the opportunities which it affords them for earning a livelihood , and for achieving for themselves honorable places in life, and should endeavor to awaken reverence for the nation’s power, gratitude for its beneficence, pride in its history , and a laudable ambition to contribute to its prosperity. Agents and school superintendents are specially charged with the duty of putting these suggestions into practical operation. [House Executive Document no. 1, 51st Cong., 2d sess., serial 2841, p. clxvii.] 110. The Board of Indian Commissioners on Civil Service Reform January 10, 1891 The need for competent administration of Indian affairs led to a demand on the part of reformers for application of civil service rules to the Indian service. An early example of such proposals was a letter of the Board of Indian Commissioners to President Benjamin Harrison on January 10, 1891. Board of Indian Commissioners, Washington, D.C., January 10, 1891. The President of the United States: Sir: As the United States Board of Indian Commissioners, we wish to express to you our conviction, based upon close observation of Indian affairs and now for several years expressed in our reports, that for many of the greatest evils of the Indian service a remedy can be found only by securing permanence in the service for capable, efficient, and honest men and women. Recognizing your steadfast purpose to secure justice for the Indians and to advance their preparation for American citizenship, and believing that upon the whole the Indian service is now in better condition than ever before, we respectfully call your attention to the fact that a single executive act on your part can at once secure permanence in the service for the greater part of the officers and employés. And we respectfully request, and in the name of the most intelligent opinion of the wisest friends of the Indian throughout the country we strongly urge, that the civilservice rules and regulations be at this time extended over all that part of the Indian service which can be reached by executive action to that effect. By vote of the Board. Merrill C. Gates, Chairman. E. Whittlesey, Secretary. [Annual Report of the Board of Indian Commissioners , 1890, pp. 4–5.] 111. Relief of the Mission Indians January 12, 1891 After long neglect of the rights of the Mission Indians of California to their lands, Congress established reservations for these Indians. The law provided also for allotment of land in severalty. 181 An Act for the relief of the Mission Indians in the State of California. Be it enacted . . . , That immediately after the passage of this act the Secretary of the Interior shall appoint three disinterested persons as commissioners to arrange a just and satisfactory settlement of the Mission Indians residing in the State of California, upon reservations which shall be secured to them as hereinafter provided. Sec. 2. That it shall be the duty of said commissioners to select a reservation for each band or village of the Mission Indians residing within said State, which reservation shall include, as far as practicable, the lands and villages which have been in the actual occupation and possession of said Indians, and which shall be sufficient in extent to meet their just requirements, which selection shall be valid when approved by the President and Secretary of the Interior. They shall also appraise the value of the improvements belonging to any person to whom valid existing rights have attached under the public-land laws of the United States, or to the assignee of such person , where such improvements...


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