126. Burke Act, May 8, 1906
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205 money matters he has had for the last half century has been toward making him an easy victim to such waves of civic heresy as swept over the country in the early nineties. That is not the sort of politics into which we wish the Indian to plunge as he assumes the responsibilities of citizenship. . . . . I like the Indian for what is Indian in him. I want to see his splendid inherited physique kept up, because he glories, like his ancestors, in fresh air, in freedom, in activity, in feats of strength. I want him to retain all his old contempt for hunger, thirst, cold, and danger when he has anything to do. I love the spirit of manly independence which moved a copper-colored sage once to beg that I would intercede with the Great Father and throttle a proposal to send rations to his people, because it would pauperize their young men and make them slaves to the whites. I have no sympathy with the sentiment which would throw the squaw’s bead bag into the rubbish heap and set her to making lace. Teach her lace making, by all means, just as you would teach her bread making, as an addition to her stock of profitable accomplishments; but don’t set down her beaded moccasins as merely barbarous, while holding up her lace handkerchief as a symbol of advanced civilization . The Indian is a natural warrior, a natural logician, a natural artist. We have room for all three in our highly organized social system. Let us not make the mistake, in the process of absorbing them, of washing out of them whatever is distinctly Indian. Our aboriginal brother brings, as his contribution to the common store of character, a great deal which is admirable, and which needs only to be developed along the right line. Our proper work with him is improvement, not transformation. . . . [Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs , 1905, pp. 1–5, 12.] 126. Burke Act May 8, 1906 The Dawes Act was significantly amended in 1906. Discretion was authorized in the length of the trust period for allotments, and citizenship was to be granted at the end, rather than at the beginning, of the trust period. An Act To amend section six of an Act approved February eighth, eighteen hundred and eighty-seven, entitled “An Act to provide for the allotment of lands in severalty to Indians on the various reservations, and to extend the protection of the laws of the United States and the Territories over the Indians, and for other purposes.” Be it enacted . . . , That section six of an Act approved February eighth, eighteen hundred and eighty-seven, entitled “An Act to provide for the allotment of lands in severalty to Indians on the various reservations, and to extend the protection of the laws of the United States and the Territories over the Indians, and for other purposes,” be amended to read as follows: “Sec. 6. That at the expiration of the trust period and when the lands have been conveyed to the Indians by patent in fee, as provided in section five of this Act, then each and every allottee shall have the benefit of and be subject to the laws, both civil and criminal, of the State or Territory in which they may reside; and no Territory shall pass or enforce any law denying any such Indian within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law. And every Indian born within the territorial limits of the United States to whom allotments shall have been made and who has received a patent in fee simple under the provisions of this Act, or under any law or treaty, and every Indian born within the territorial limits of the United States who has voluntarily taken up within said limits his residence, separate and apart from any tribe of Indians therein, and has adopted the habits of civilized life, is hereby declared to be a citizen of the United States, and is entitled to all the rights, privileges, and immunities of such citizens, whether said Indian has been or not, by birth or otherwise, a member of any tribe of Indians within the territorial limits of the United States without in any manner impairing or otherwise affecting the right of any such Indian to tribal or other 206 property: Provided, That the Secretary of the Interior may, in his discretion, and he is hereby authorized, whenever he shall be...


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