130. Winters v. United States, January 6, 1908
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210 valuations at which the same lands have been held since white enterprise has developed them; and yet the authors of these works have been so hypnotized by their abhorrence of such merely physical iniquities that they have overlooked entirely the vastly greater moral damage wrought upon the same victim under the guise of a benevolent desire to civilize him—at long range. As if self-reliance were not at the very foundation of our own civilization ! The evils of war, of graft, big and little, of business frauds and all other forms of bad faith are capable of remedy in the same monetary terms in which we measure and remedy evils among our own race; but what compensation can we offer him for undermining his character, and doing it by a method so insidious and unfair? Unhappily our generation can not go back and make over from the start the conditions which have come down to us by inheritance. We can, however, do the next best thing, and avoid extending or perpetuating the errors for which we are not responsible, and we can improve every available opportunity for reducing their burden. Just as we have undertaken to free the Indian from the shackles which the reservation system has imposed upon his manhood, so we should recognize it as a duty to free him from the un-American and pauperizing influences which still invest his path to civilization through the schools. The rudiments of an education, such as can be given his children in the little day school, should remain within their reach, just as they are within the reach of the white children who must be neighbors and competitors of the Indian children in their joint struggle for a livelihood. Indeed, this being a reciprocal obligation—the right of the child, red or white, to enough instruction to enable him to hold his own as a citizen, and the right of the Government to demand that every person who handles a ballot shall have his intelligence trained to the point that reading , writing, and simple ciphering will train it—I believe in compelling the Indian parent , whether he wishes to or not, to give his offspring this advantage. My interpretation of the duty laid upon me by the statute in this regard has carried me even to the use of physical force and arms in the few instances where reasoning and persuasion failed and the Indians have defied the Government. For a little while still, as I have said, the reservation boarding schools must stay for lack of something adequate to take their places; but as fast as one of these can be replaced with day schools the change should be made, and I am pleased to have been able, in my short term of office, to give this movement its start. For the continuance of our 25 nonreservation schools there is no longer any excuse. We spend on these now nearly $2,000,000 a year, which is taken bodily out of the United States Treasury and is, in my judgment, for the most part a mere robbery of the taxladen Peter to pay the nontaxladen Paul and train him in false, undemocratic , and demoralizing ideas. The same money, spent for the same number of years on expanding and strengthening the Indians’ home schools, would have accomplished a hundredfold more good, unaccompanied by any of the harmful effects upon the character of the race. . . . [Reports of the Department of the Interior, Administrative Reports 1907, 2:17–20.] 130. Winters v. United States January 6, 1908 Water rights of Indians are a vital issue as Indians seek economic development of their reservations, and the basic document on Indian water rights is this 1908 Supreme Court decision, which decreed that where land was reserved for an Indian tribe, there was an implied reservation of the water necessary for the irrigation or other development of the reservation and that the tribe was not subject to the priorappropriation rule of the state. This right to water was amplified in Arizona v. California (1963). This suit was brought by the United States to restrain appellants and others from constructing or maintaining dams or reservoirs on the Milk River in the State of Mon- 211 tana, or in any manner preventing the water of the river or its tributaries from flowing to the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. . . . Under the just and reasonable construction of this agreement with the Indians [establishing...