restricted access 133. Indian Commissioner Sells, A Declaration of Policy: Extract from the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, October 15, 1917
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213 and photographer are in the field securing photographs from which these stereopticon slides and moving pictures can be made. This exhibit will be sent to the different schools and reservations. One of the most important results of this educational work will be that it will instruct the employees at the schools and agencies of the Indian Service as to the methods of preventing disease, and in this way unite the entire service in the health campaign. Increased attention is being given to sanitary inspection. It is planned, wherever possible , to have a house-to-house inspection by a physician of all Indian homes on a reservation . This will make it possible not only to accurately learn the extent of disease and provide for proper treatment, but it will also make it possible for instruction to be given the Indians as to how they may improve the sanitary conditions of their homes, and thereby prevent disease in future. A beginning in this work was made last year on the White Earth Reservation, where the need was pressing. Two special physicians were authorized to carry on the work. More than 200 homes were visited and 1,266 persons examined . Of this number 690 had trachoma and 164 tuberculosis in its various forms. Only 25 per cent of the homes visited were considered sanitary. This work will be vigorously followed up during the present year until the whole reservation is covered. Arrangements have been made with the Bureau of Animal Industry to make an inspection and test for tuberculosis of all of the diary herds in the service. The sanitary inspection of the equipment and methods for the production and handling of the milk supply is included. This work is now in progress. The medical supervisor is having the schools in the service systematically inspected with special attention to ventilation, disinfection, and personal hygiene. He has recommended, where practicable, the construction of screened porches for sleeping quarters for pupils whose physical condition is not up to the standard. All pupils presented for admission to a boarding school are given a thorough physical examination. If a child is found to be affected with any disease that would probably be made worse by attending school or that would endanger the health of the other pupils he is not admitted. Three of the reservations where the greater number of day schools are located, namely, Cheyenne River, Pine Ridge, and Rosebud, have a dayschool physician, who makes regular visits to each of the day schools under his supervision to look after the health of the pupils and to see that proper hygienic and sanitary conditions are maintained in the schools. . . . [Reports of the Department of the Interior, Administrative Reports, 1910, 2:9–11.] 133. Indian Commissioner Sells, A Declaration of Policy Extract from the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs October 15, 1917 Commissioner Cato Sells worked to free the Indians from federal guardianship. In 1917 he issued a new statement of policy, which would speed up declarations of competence for individual Indians and force them out into the white man’s society. A DECLARATION OF POLICY. A careful study of the practical effects of governmental policies for determining the wardship of the Indians of this country is convincing that the solution is individual and not collective. Each individual must be considered in the light of his own environment and capacity for larger responsibilities and privileges. While ethnologically a preponderance of white blood has not heretofore been a criterion of competency, nor even now is it always a safe standard, it is almost an axiom that an Indian who has a larger proportion of white blood than Indian partakes more of the characteristics of the former than of the latter. In thought and action, so far as the business world is concerned, he approximates more closely to the white blood ancestry. On April 17, 1917, there was announced a declaration of policy for Indian affairs, as follows: 214 declaration of policy in the administration of indian affairs. During the past four years the efforts of the administration of Indian affairs have been largely concentrated on the following fundamental activities—the betterment of health conditions of Indians, the suppression of the liquor traffic among them, the improvement of their industrial conditions, the further development of vocational training in their schools, and the protection of the Indians’ property. Rapid progress has been made along all these lines, and the work thus reorganized and revitalized will...


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