123. Indian Commissioner Jones on Indian Self-Support: Extract from the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, October 15, 1901
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198 122. Citizenship for Indians in the Indian Territory March 3, 1901 Since the Dawes Act excluded the Five Civilized Tribes and other groups in the Indian Territory, those Indians did not fall under the citizenship provisions of that law. In 1901 Congress granted citizenship to all Indians in the Indian Territory by an amendment to the Dawes Act. An Act to amend section six, chapter one hundred and nineteen, United States Statutes at Large numbered twenty-four. Be it enacted . . . , That section six of chapter one hundred and nineteen of the United States Statutes at Large numbered twentyfour , page three hundred and ninety, is hereby amended as follows, to wit: After the words “civilized life,” in line thirteen of said section six, insert the words “and every Indian in Indian Territory.” [U.S. Statutes at Large, 31:1447.] 123. Indian Commissioner Jones on Indian Self-Support Extract from the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs October 15, 1901 In the first two decades of the twentieth century much attention was paid to moving the Indians toward self-support. The annual report of Commissioner William A. Jones in 1901 included a clear statement of this interest. . . . . In the last annual report some attention was given to the obstacles in the way of the Indian toward independence and selfsupport , and three of the most important were pointed out and made the subject of discussion. It was shown that the indiscriminate issue of rations was an effectual barrier to civilization; that the periodical distribution of large sums of money was demoralizing in the extreme; and that the general leasing of allotments instead of benefiting the Indians, as originally intended, only contributed to their demoralization. Further observation and reflection leads totheunwelcomeconvictionthatanotherobstacle may be added to these already named, and that is education. It is to be distinctly understood that it is not meant by this to condemn education in the abstract—far from it; its advantages are too many and too apparent to need any demonstration here. Neither is it meant as a criticism upon the conduct or management of any particular school or schools now in operation. What is meant is that the present Indian educational system, taken as a whole, is not calculated to produce the results so earnestly claimed for it and so hopefully anticipated when it was begun. No doubt this idea will be received with some surprise, and expressions of dissent will doubtless spring at once to the lips of many of those engaged or interested in Indian work. Nevertheless, a brief view of the plan in vogue will, it is believed, convince the most skeptical that the idea is correct. There are in operation at the present time 113 boarding schools, with an average attendance of something over 16,000 pupils, ranging from 5 to 21 years old. These pupils are gathered from the cabin, the wickiup, and the tepee. Partly by cajolery and partly by threats; partly by bribery and partly by fraud; partly by persuasion and partly by force, they are induced to leave their homes and their kindred to enter these schools and take upon themselves the outward semblance of civilized life. They are chosen not on account of any particular merit of their own, not by reason of mental fitness, but solely because they have Indian blood in their veins. Without regard to their worldly condition; without any previous training; without any preparation whatever, they are transported to the schools—sometimes thousands of miles away—without the slightest expense or trouble to themselves or their people. 199 The Indian youth finds himself at once, as if by magic, translated from a state of poverty to one of affluence. He is well fed and clothed and lodged. Books and all the accessories of learning are given him and teachers provided to instruct him. He is educated in the industrial arts on the one hand, and not only in the rudiments but in the liberal arts on the other. Beyond “the three r’s” he is instructed in geography, grammar, and history; he is taught drawing, algebra and geometry, music, and astronomy, and receives lessons in physiology, botany, and entomology. Matrons wait on him while he is well and physicians and nurses attend him when he is sick. A steam laundry does his washing and the latest modern appliances do his cooking. A library affords him relaxation for his leisure hours, athletic sports and the gymnasium furnish him exercise and...