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Educators have a special responsibility in this work, from which they cannot shrink. If a question arises for solution in the line of any other profession, as in that of law, medicine, or engineering, experts are expected to solve it. All admit that the success of any effort for the civilization of these wards of the Government turns upon the training of the young. The transformation of adults from the ideas, habits, and customs of barbarism to those of civilized life, will, according to all experience, be comparatively slow. But if these can be withdrawn from the war path, and by degrees induced to locate on reservations, and accept titles to land in severalty; their children can be reached, taught letters, agriculture, and other industries, and generation by generation carried forward, until the last traces of savage life bave passed away, and they are prepared to participate in all the duties and amenities of citizenship.
In the preparation of the accompanying paper on this subject much labor has been expended in the examination of the reports of the Indian Bureau, and the compilation of the correspondence and facts received from numerous other sources. Exact accuracy is at present impossible. Including Alaska, the Indian population is estimated at 380,629 persons; about 95,000 of these are within ages enabling them to receive instruction. But 153 schools are known to be in operation, with 194 teachers and 6,904 scholars. The appropriations made at the last session of Congress for this purpose are estimated at $246,418 90, of which $100,000 is in bulk, and placed under the discretion of the Secretary of the Interior for the maintenance of industrial and other schools. To the above amount, add expenditures by religious bodies, $16,585 56, and by tribes and individual Indians, $26,022 92, making a total for the current year of $289,027 38. Under treaty stipulations the liabilities for educational purposes are estimated at $135,951 56. The total liabilities for this purpose are given as $663,400 02, while the school and orphans' funds held in trust by the United States amount to $1,441,420 69, making the total liabilities $2,104,820 71. Special attention is invited both to the paper and the tables.
In a report made to the House of Representatives, in answer to a resolution of inquiry in regard to the progress of education in those regions of country affected by the emancipation of the slaves, every accessible fact was gathered, showing the sentiment, the legislation, and practice among civilized Indians. In regard to the education of the children of Indians and the children of those formerly slaves, much neg. lect and many abuses were revealed, imperatively demanding prudent but immediate action on the part of the Government, it appearing that the provisions of treaties were violated and large numbers were still
Indian agents and their helpers, by preparing suitable books of instruction, and by furnishing seed that will mature quickly, before the plant is destroyed by drought or by the grasshopperSurely there are many linguists, practical teachers, and agriculturists whose services can be secured for the great work of Christian civilization which you have undertaken."
growing up without any training in virtue and intelligence, preparing to add their weight to the vice and crime above which the better portion of these people endeavor to rise. The going back of the Pueblo Indians and others, as respects intelligence, since their territory has been added to the United States, is too shocking to American ideas to be longer tolerated. Does not the prevalent sentiment proclaim America, the leader in civilization, quite ready to receive an indefinite addition of territory and population for the purpose of elevating degraded peoples? And shall there be allowed to remain facts like these, showing great and positive degradation ever since their transfer from the Mexican rule?
I would here refer to what I have already said under the head of education in the Territories. It cannot be doubted that some beneficial method is within the reach of the legislative wisdom of Congress by which the whole subject of education, Indian, White, Mongolian, or whatever the race of settlers, can be combined under one responsibility in the respective Territories, assuring the laying of the best foundation for the best educational superstructure. It is useless to merge this great shaping and controlling instrumentality in any other responsibil. ity. All others may contribute to it, but this they are not likely to do unless education is committed to persons having it specially in charge.
On these points experience is conclusive. No State, city, town, or district attempting an efficient school system expects its success, save as certain persons are specially charged with raising and expending the funds, employing teachers, inspecting and regulating schools. Indeed, for the purpose of the highest efficiency this work itself is subdivided, one class of officers performing one portion of it, and another, another ; and in all cases, before moneys are expended in the erection of buildings, the appropriate and specified officer certifies that the quality and amount of work done is in accordance with the required standard. The application of this principle to all Indian schools, however remote, would unquestionably greatly increase their value. Incompetent teachers would be weeded out; the observations necessary to improve methods of teaching and the introduction of proper text-books would be made by competent persons; the results could be gathered in a concentrated form for the use of Congress and for public information. A new impetus would be given to all educational operations among the Indians, now so exceedingly embarrassing to the Commissioner aud other officers of Indian affairs, who are so earnestly and persistently attempting their improvement. Nor are these purposes without decided encouragement. A careful observer of the facts, among all the classes of Indians, amid all the discouragements, however degraded and hostile to civilization some of them are, cannot fail to notice the anxiety so often manifested for the establishment of schools and the education of their children. Red Cloud presents a striking illustration: his own heart inclined to resistance, his young warriors clamoring for hostilities. On coming to
see his “Great Father" and witnessing the aspirations of the numerous classes coming under his observation, and especially finding an Indian at the head of these affairs, his own' savage ideas are struck with the notion that he too may seek a greater sphere for the exertion of his influence, and that his sons may aspire to Congress, and he goes home in favor of peace.
The capacity for a higher civilization possessed by the Indians cannot be seriously disputed. What has been done with the nations located west of the Arkansas can be done with different degrees of success in every Indian tribe. The superintendent of public schools in the Cherokee nation, for the year ending July 15, 1870, reports 45 schools for Cherokee children, 3 for colored children ; with 973 males, and 955 females; total 1,928 enrolled, and an average attendance of 1,124. No information so recent has been received from the other civilized nations. All have, however, their school systems, officers, teachers, and schools; and, however they fall short of what ought to be, give a most abundant proof of what can be accomplished under thoroughly excellent educational management.
In Western New York, where Indian schools receive the benefit of State skill in management, additional evidence is furnished of the expediency of the policy here urged.* It involves a faithful adherence to the highest principles of human culture, carefully adapted in their adminstration to the condition of intelligence, prejudice, virtue, &c., of the Indian communities. Plainly, we cannot afford that any honest seeking among the Indians for light, or that any desire for books, for instruction in learning, industry, or virtue, shall be repulsed. On purely economical principles, cheaper than the wars for their destruction would it be to feed, clothe, and shelter all the adult Indian population, and by far cheaper to furnish text-books, board, and clothing, and the entire expense of the education of the young.
The best directed efforts in the past bave been too partial. The present policy is undoubtedly sufficiently comprehensive, if it secures the general public attention and support necessary for its complete efficiency. It is well worthy of formal inquiry by the Government, whether the text-books and methods of instruction used do not require revision, and better adaptation to the sensuous habits of the Indians. Too much confinement, too much abstraction, must be avoided; the eye, the ear must be attracted, Indian languages and customs mastered; government and trade among the adults must favor improvement among the young Activity and industry must go hand in hand with the pursuit of letters. The Indian himself must be a teacher and civilizer of his fellows. The establishment of a school among the civilized Indians for the training of teachers would be one of the most economical efforts that the Government could make. Men and women should
* The widely different results in the States of California, Nevada, and Oregon, whero no such policy is pursued, should not be ovorlooked.
be trained, not merely in the methods of teaching in the school-room, but in all the arts and occupations of life, and in a form most likely to win the savage child to the ideas, habits, intelligence, and virtue of Christian civilization, who should become familiar with agriculture, and horticulture, with the raising of stock, with the making and wearing of the white man's apparel; the erection and enjoyment of the white man's house; the use of books, newspapers, and associations for the promotion of individual and general welfare. Put into such a school the expense of sustaining a single regiment on our frontier, and I am confi. dent the success would soon justify the effort. Young Indians, male and female, would be found ready to avail themselves of its advantages, and would go out to disseminate the benefits to every tribe and kindred of the race.
Friend Janney, of the northern superintendency, makes the following interesting observations :
- In the establishment of schools for the education of Indian children and youth, it has been a question whether day-schools or boarding-schools should be preferred.
I have come to the conclusion that both may be advantageously employed, and that the day-school, in most cases, should be preparatory to the boarding-school.
The Indians are generally unwilling to give up their young children to be placed in a boarding-school where they would be separated from their parents almost entirely; yet it is desirable to withdraw them as early as possible from every influence that would pollute their minds or retard their moral improvement.
There should be on every reservation a sufficient number of day-schools, conveniently located, where, under the care of kind and judicious female teachers, the children should be taught to read and and write the English language. The perceptive faculties of this race being, in general, remarkably developed, it will be found that a system of object teaching is well adapted for their instruction in the rudiments of knowledge. On every reservation there should be one or two industrial schools, where the youth should be boarded and clothed; taught in the most useful branches of an English education, and trained to industrious habits. The girls should be employed part of the time in household occupations, and the boys in farming or the practice of the mechanic arts.
THE POPULATION UNDER THE EXCLUSIVE CONTROL OF CONGRESS.
There is under the exclusive control of Congress a population of 819,452 souls. The schoolless condition of these widely-scattered wards of the nation will be seen in the following tables. They are a serious commentary on the policy pursued and civilization afforded by our nation toward her outlying territorial citizens and the Indians.
Statistics of schools, teachers, and pupils in comparison with population in that portion of the
country under the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress.
a Including private and charity schools. b Given for one county only. c Being school, teachers, and pupils for the entire Indian population. d Taken from Dall's "Alaska and its resources.'
A careful student of the facts and suggestions coming from faithful educators among the Indians will be struck with their accordance with the principles sought to be engrafted upon our systems of elementary instruction by the disciples of Comenius, Pestalozzi, and Froebel.
The faulty training which too often precedes school work and the imperfections so prevalent in our primary instruction have turned the attention of many American teachers to the excellencies of the early training characteristic of the Kindergarten. Limitations in the conceptions of the teacher and the practical work of the school are measurably responsible for these faults. Neither children nor childhood are sufficiently understood or appreciated. Nor are the houses, apparatus, grounds, or instruction of our primary schools sufficiently adapted to the best and most healthful development of the body, mind, and disposition. Great improvements have been made within a few years. The necessity for special attention in this direction was less, manifestly, when the population of the respective communities was more generally resident in rural districts and had proportionably more of nature around them, impressing the senses. The increasing concentration of our population in cities adds to the necessity of a thorough revision of the earliest work of the school-room throughout the country.
The accompanying article, written by the American lady best qnalified