Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

a

The Omahas have a mission school, but they desire other arrangements made with the funds. Day schools, conveniently located, are asked for. The Pawnee manuallabor school is spoken of as being very beneficial to that tribe. The conduct of those educated in it has made a favorable change in the minds of the headmen. The Ottoes and Missourias were without schools; they are regarded as capable of being readily improved in their physical and moral condition.” The Sacs and Foxes have no school. They are reported as dissolute and idle, while the Iowas, under the same agent, with a good school in operation, are reported as improving steadily.

The Indian tribes in Eastern Kansas have had, as a rule, some sort of educational facilities. Where these have been persistently maintained the Indian’s condition is good; where intermittent, or wholly neglected, the reverse is true. Among the Kickapoos

. only twelve out of sixty-four of suitable age are attending school. They now express desire for more schools and teachers. The Pottawatomies are better off in this respect. A Catholic mission has long been maintained among them, and in 1869, 225 children were attending school. There is a band, however, who persistently decline to send their children. Recently they agreed to coöperate in the organization of schools among themselves. There is the widest difference between their condition and that of tho farming Pottawatomies, several hundred of whom have taken their lands in severalty and become citizens. The Sacs and Foxes of the Mississippi have, owing to divided councils, not made as much educational progress as they might have done. The Munsees are Christian Indians, cultivating small farms, and educating their children. The Shawnees, now removing to the Indian Territory, have had schools for years past, and are, as a rule, quite prosperous and progressive. The Kaw, or Kansas Indians, give encouragement to the idea of a mission school, and show more than usual willingness to benefit by such efforts. Most of the other tribes in this superintendency have removed to the Indian Territory, or are now doing so. The “Plain Indians," Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Kiowas, &c., who have kept a portion of this frontier in alarm, are now gathered on reservations in the western part of that Territory, under military control, and subject to influences of an important character. General Hazen, United States Army, in a letter to this Bureau, asks if there are any funds at its disposal which could be used for the promotion of education among these tribes, now first placed on reservations. He says the whole school scheme is very backward in the Indian Territory. The agent in charge declares these Indians anxious to improve. The Wichitas may be made an “enterprising and self-sustaining people.” The agent says "several of the chiefs are desirous of having a school for their children, and some have expressed a wish to have some white women among them to teach their squaws the arts of civilized life.” General Hazen, in closing his report, says:

“No more theories or experiments are needed, but an honest administration of the benefits granted by Congress, and honest industry in farming and teaching, with the wholesome example of Christian morality on the reservations, and the most absolute coercion outside of them."

THE INDIAN TERRITORY. Such mention of the nomadic tribes now located within this section as is deemed necessary was made in the remarks on Kansas, for the purpose of regarding the civilized Indians by themselves.

There are five nations, all of them formerly residents of the Southern States. They represent the most powerful tribes of their race east of the Rocky Mountains, excepting the Dakotas. Having had for two generations and more the advantages of an ordered form of government with elective officers and written constitutions and laws, their condition, educationally, becomes a matter of grave importance. Unfortunately there has intervened the terrible curse of civil war, which almost destroyed their corporate existence; yet the activity displayed by each of the five nations since the war closed, is the best evidence of the genuine growth that had been attained.

The Cherokees number, according to census of 1868–69, 14,000 persons; the Creeks, 12,294; the Choctaws and Chickasaws, 17,000 (the latter being about 4,500;) and the Seminoles 2,136; in all 45,430. This includes several thousand colored persons, now by treaty citizens of the various nations. Each nation provides by law for the establishment of district schools, as well as others of a higher character. The several constitutions have declarations siunilar to the following: “Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government, the preservation of liberty, and the happiness of mankind, schools and the mears of education shall be forever encouraged in this nation."

There is a superintendent of schools elected or appointed in each nation, which is divided into districts, having school boards in charge of the buildings and schools thereof. This is the general organization. Only partial returns are accessible. From them it appears that in March 1869, there were among the Cherokees 32 schools in operation within nine districts. The condition of the buildings in five was reported as good. Thirty-two teachers were employed, at an average salary of $40 per month, except in one instance. The total monthly payments for teachers at that date was $1,280. Taking ten months as the school year, the cost of teachers alone would be $12,800.

There were formerly two or three excellent high schools in operation, and at least one female academy of superior character. These were all stopped by the war, and have not as yet been set in operation again. S. S. Stephens, Cherokee superintendent of public schools, in his report, says:

“The progress of our common schools during the past year has been great; our people are manifesting the interest which the importance of the subject demands. It is manifest to all thinking persons that we are trying to keep pace with our ever-advancing age; the hatred of inen is every day lessened by the gradual improvement of our people; let us have our high schools put into operation. I trust that when you are called upon to act on this question we shall all take lofty ground and cast our votes that the blessings of education shall be conferred on every child of the nation."

The average attendance was 886, while the number enrolled was 1,614. Fourteen more schools were provided for by the last legislative council, and are probably in operation at this time. The teachers are nearly all Cherokees, the females being chiefly graduates of their national academy. The Cherokees have large educational and orphan trust funds in the hands of the General Government, the annual interest on which is over $19,000.

The character of the Choctaw organization is similar to that among the Cherokees. The superintendent reports, under date of September 1869, the “total number of schools in the three districts, 69; total number of scholars, 1,847; amount of money expended in the three districts for schools from September 1, 1868, to March 31, 1869, $19,369 04.He also reports that- ,

“Twenty Choctaw children are educated in the different States under the forty youths' funds treaty stipulation-six male at Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee; five male scholars at King's College, Bristol, Tennessee; two female at Martha Washington College, Abingdon, Virginia ; four female at McMinnville College, Tennessee; one female at Paris, Texas; one male at Kentucky. One has returned home. Seven thousand dollars have been deposited in the hands of each of their treasurers, in advance, from 1st of February 1869, to the 1st of February 1870, to be used for the benefit of the above-mentioned twenty scholars. Also, two young men are educated in the States by special acts of the general council-one at Bristol, Tennessee, at $250 annually; one at Dartmouth College, at $350 annually.”

Two high boarding-schools have been reopened during the present year. Superintendent Le Flore says there is a great desire among parents to educate their children in the States, so that they can learn the English language.

No general reports are accessible from the Creeks and Chickasaws. It is stated that among the former nearly one-half read their own language; many write it. There are twenty day schools, and twice as many are needed. School-books in the Indian languages are very much desired. There is an excellent mission school at Tallahassee, carried on jointly by the nation and Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, the latter paying superintendent and teachers, the former paying all other expenses. Superintendent Worcester writes that there are eighty scholars, and says: “We have been greatly encouraged by the eagerness with which the people send their children to the school, and by the evident desire of the Creek national council to sustain us to the utmost of their ability."

The Seminoles had three schools in operation during 1869, with 140 scholars. A fourth school is now started, and the Presbyterian Board is nearly ready to occupy a new mission-house. The superintendent says: “It is very gratifying to witness the avidity manifested by both parents and children for education in this nation. The principal chief and other chiefs have frequently visited the schools and addressed the pupils, urging them in the most earnest and affectionate manner to obey their teachers and improve their present golden opportunities."

It is evident that an excellent foundation is laid. But much greater facilities are needed, as well as a better system and improved buildings, apparatus, and text-books. Two-thirds of the school population are without any education, or at least-are not in attendance. Leaving out the additional population of nomadic Indians west of the present Cherokee boundaries, there are from 8,000 to 10,000 partially civilized people moving in from Kansas. A general system ought to be devised and placed under the direction of a suitable person, paid by the government, and with the means of organizing and directing public schools at his command.

66

INDEPENDENT AGENCIES.

The principal of these are in charge of the various Chippewa bands, located in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, and numbering about 19,000 persons. Of those in the first-named State, a good report is made. The Pembinas are roving, and generally beyond the line of settlement. The Red Lake band are reported as "a sober, industrious, and well-behaved tribe.” They have made earnest and repeated requests for a school. The Mississippi Chippewas have no school, though an effort is making to establish one. There is a school for the Pillagers, a tribe to whom a bad character as well as bad name is given, conducted on the manual-labor plan.

An excellent general character is given the Lake Superior Chippewas, thongh little is said as to school matters. The agents say of them: “That these Indians are susceptible of improvement and civilization there can be no doubt, but to reclaim and civilize them is a work of time—the work of a generation, or perhaps generations. Patience, justice and truthfulness being constantly exercised toward them, is sure to result in their gradual improvement. They are mostly connected with the Catholic missions, ong located among them. In Michigan, the Ottawas and Chippewas are generally inclined to become citizens.

The Stockbridges and Oneidas, of the Green Bay (Wisconsin) agency, appear to be doing well. Their agent says:

“The Stockbridges are generally well educated; most of them speak, read, and write our language, and are capable, under proper guardianship, of becoming an intelligent, enterprising, and prosperous people.

“The Oneidas are steadily advancing in the acquisition of the manners and customs of civilized communities. It is believed that the best interests of the Oneidas will be promoted by allotting farms to such as desire them, and creating with the avails of their surplus lands a permanent fund for the maintenance of schools among them.”

They have schools near Keshena and at Oneida, with an average attendance of 251 scholars.

The “New York Indians” number in all 4,991, of whom 2,427 are children. The schools are under the State laws. There are in all' twenty-two district schools, which are reported as very well attended. On the Tonawanda reservation buildings for a manuallabor school are in process of construction. The State legislature provides for one-half the needed amount, and the Indians find the balance, and eighty acres of land for farm purposes. The attendance at the schools is larger and more regular, and the tribes are improving socially, morally, and financially. These Indians are reported to be increasing in number, which was the case also with the nations within the Indian Territory, before the rebellion.

There are several small bands of vagrant Indians scattered through various States, and nothing is said about or done for them in the matter of education.

THE INDIANS IN ALASKA AND THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. The newly-acquired northwest Territory contains, it is estimated, an Indian population of at least 70,000 souls. They present characteristics differing widely from those we have been accustomed to observe. With the exception of the Esquimaux they are represented as active and intelligent. According to a report made to the War Depart. ment by Major General Halleck they may be classified under four general divisions, and again subdivided in eighteen tribes and bands. · Hon. Vincent Colyer, of the Indian peace commission, who visited the Territory, gives interesting facts bearing on the present condition of these tribes, the existing facilities for education and the progress already made. At the first village he reached the houses were arranged interiorly like ship's cabins, and had doors and windows, with glass sashes. He found them quick in imitation, even to the extent of skillful drawing. Some of the young men were good mechanics. The Koloshan division, living in Southeast Alaska, are quick, shrewd, and willing to learn. Surgeon Bailey, United States Army, medical director, says of the Indians about Sitka, that they are “a civil and well-behaved people. They do not want bayonets to keep them in subjection, but they do need honest, faithful, and Christian workers among them, who will care for them, teach and instruct them in the useful arts, and that they are responsible beings.” Mr. Colyer called a meeting of the chiefs to ascertain if they cared for schools, &c. To all such propositions they gladly assented, promising to secure the children's attendance, and also that of the unemployed people at the schools. Among the islanders, Mr. Colyer found a considerable degree of intelligence. In one (Oukamack) he found over a hundred able to read in the Russian language. A priest of the Greek Church lives among them. At another island the natives were erecting a new church, the cost of which they defrayed themselves. The Aleutes are nominally members of the Russo-Greek Church. A few can read and write. The few schools on these islands are hardly worthy the name. Various witnesses are cited by Mr. Colyer, who all testify to the Indians capacity for improvement. The interior tribes are said to be a peaceable race. The Aleutians, he says, “ are a very quiet race, and nearly all Christians,” (Greek Church.) Mr. Dodge, ex-mayor of Sitka, says of the Alaska Indians, that “they are of a very superior intelligence." The Sitka post trader says they “are industrious and ingenious." He urges industrial mission schools. · It is suggested that their tribal life should be utilized as local municipal germs. We should provide a good system of schools and instructors in the useful arts; give magisterial powers to the heads of missions and to the principal teachers; encourage the

chiefs in the habit of regarding themselves as civil officers charged with preserving the law. An experiment of this character in British Columbia has worked well. There can be no escape from the duty devolving upon the General Government in this matter. The facts are sufficient to warrant the hope that the pressing necessity for comprehensive action will be at once recognized.

INDIANS IN BRITISH NORTH AMERICA.

At the last session of the present Congress, F. N. Blake, esq., United States consul at Hamilton, Ontario, British North America, made, through the State Department, an interesting and valuable report as to the management of Indians in British America," from which the following extracts and information relative to schools and education are given :

“In each Indian settlement of importance, there is, at least, one school. Altogether, in the different parts of the Dominion, these schools are not less than fifty-three in number. The teachers appear to be selected with due regard to the religious tenets of the tribe, and to other circumstances. The Wesleyan Methodists are conspicuous in promoting the diffusion of education among the Indians, but in addition to this denomination and the New England Society already mentioned, the Seminary of Montreal, the Church of England, the Congregational Society, and the Colonial Church Society also contribute, and yet aid is far more frequently given from the funds of the Indians themselves than from any other single source. It is always furnished when other means are inadequate. In such cases the payments are made out of the funds of the band at quarterly periods, by checks from the office of the Indian branch. Occasionally the salaries of the clergymen are supplied from the same sources. It is also usual in some of the bands, when assembled in council, to vote provisions for widows, the aged or infirm, and other persons in indigent circumstances.

[blocks in formation]

“ The desire of the Indians for schools is one of the most significant indications of the progress toward improvement, which, however slow, does certainly exist. Those who are best informed in regard to them agree in saying they so far appreciate the blessings of civilization that even such of them as prefer for themselves the wild freedom of a savage life are anxious that their children should be educated like those of the white man. The young people entertain more decidedly than their seniors a proper sense of the benefits of education ; and it should not be forgotten that in this, as well as in every other method of assimilation to the ways of civilized man, the Indians who have adopted Christianity are, as might well be expected, far more progressive, and cling less to the ways handed down to them from their forefathers, than those who yet adhere to paganism."

According to the tables annexed to the report, there are in the four provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, an Indian population, under the control of the Dominion Government, of 23,192 persons. These figures are based on census returns made in 1867 and 1868. An increase of 207 persons for the last year is shown. The school returns for 45 schools show an attendance of 2,626 boys and girls. One school is set down as an industrial school. Seventeen schools are sustained out of the funds of the bands, seven in part therefrom; while the balance are supported by religious organizations, or the famous "New England Society,” well known to all students of colonial annals. It still maintains ten schools, eight of them among the “Six Nations"-descendants of those who followed Capt. Brandt from New York to Canada, after the Revolution. The funds referred to as used for the maintenance of schools, is obtained from the proceeds of land sales; a matter which is kept strictly within the hands of their Indian Bureau. So also of the proceeds derived from the sale of timber, cut from the general reservation. Out of the interest derived from these funds are the appropriations made. It is very evident that the Indians are doing better, morally and intellectually, in the British colonies than among us.

Mr. Blake describes the industrial school at Brantford, chief town of the Six Nations. At the time of his visit 80 children were in attendance. The school has substantial buildings and a fertile farm of 200 acres. A plain English education is the aim sought by the teachers. The children are also fed and clothed at the expense of the “New England Society," which has this school in charge. Provision is made for sending those who show proficiency and ability to higher schools. A striking feature is the care taken to instruct in practical agriculture. The Indians prefer farming to mechanical pursuits, not from inaptitude to the latter, but from the comparative independence of the former. The boys work at stated tasks in the fields and barns, under direction of the farmer, and the girls are instructed in household duties, and such labors as belong to farm life, including the dairy, spinning, &c. Since the pupils have been boarded, greater progress has been attained. The reason for the success achieved under this plan is stated by Mr. Blake to be the fact that the parents usually resided far from the school and were always tempted to retain the children at home, in order to do something about the house or farm. If such statement is true of the civilized farmers of the Ontario “Six Nations,” how much more it is of our semi or wholly nomadic tribes! Industrial schools such as this at Brantford are absolutely essen-, tial to the success of any systematic attempt at educating the Indian children of this republic. Such schools-one at least for every tribe or considerable band-is demanded as the controlling unit of any comprehensive effort.

[ocr errors]

GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR INDIAN SCHOOLS, ETC. In Table A, hereto annexed, will be found a compendious presentation, showing, for the year 1869–70, the estimated Indian populations, the number of schools, teachers, and scholars, so far as they are ascertainable, as well as the appropriations made for educational purposes, with some of the funds contributed by religious bodies or paid by the tribes themselves for the support of schools and missions among them. This table is necessarily incomplete. Nor, can all the sums spent by the Indian Bureau for school purposes, be definitely ascertained. Superintendents and agents have discretionary power. There are large appropriations for ten or twelve tribes which include education as one of a number of objects for which the sum named is to be used. It is estimated that the total amount appropriated by the General Government was $246,418 90; that by religious bodies at $16,585 56, and by the Indians $26,022 92; being a total of $289,027 38. The number of schools is estimated at 153, teachers 194, and scholars at 6,904, while the total Indian population is estimated at 380,629 persons.

Table B, also annexed, shows the liabilities of the United States for educational purposes under existing treaties. The authority, therefore, is the report for 1869 of the Indian Commissioner and the statutes of the United States for 1869–70. It appears then that the liabilities, exactly stated, (excluding Indian school trust funds,) as per existing treaties, amount to $143,400 62. Two hundred and twenty thousand dollars is added for appropriation running indefinitely or at will of the Executive. Add to these figures the Indian bonds held in trust for the schools and orphans of various tribes, ($1,441,420 69,) and we have a total liability of $2,104,320 71. The distinct educational appropriation on this total annually called for under treaty amounts to $135,831 56.

The trust funds held for the purposes embraced in this paper belongs to the tribes named and are, as set down to them, as follows: Choctaws

$390, 257 80 | Cherokees, school and orphan.. 382, 942 89 Creeks .. 200,000 00 Delawares..

11, 000 00 Seminoles 70, 000 00

2, 000 00 Kickapoos

100, 000 00 Osages. 69, 120 00

1,441, 420 69 Miamies.

50, 000 00 Pottawatomies

166, 10000 Taking the Indian population, as stated in Table A, at 380,629, and estimating the children and others for whom instruction should be provided, at one in three, and we have a school population of 123,543. Estimating at the rate of one in four, and we have a total of 95,132. The average between these figures will be 109,437. It may be thought that the ratio is too large, but when it is remembered that a thorough system of Indian education must necessarily include younger children than any ordinary system does, as well as those of adult age, the highest figures, rather than the lowest, will be within the mark. Contrast the necessity with what is being done. If we add, for defective information, &c., to the number of scholars now given, (6,904,) enough to make the total 10,000, which is a liberal estimate, we shall see only one child in ten or eleven receiving even the simplest rudiments of education.

Appropriations for Indian educational purposes were first made in 1806. The total expenditure is estimated at about $8,000,000, while it has been estimated that at least $500,000,000 have been expended in Indian wars. It is estimated that the educational expenditure now stands as one dollar in ten of the total appropriations for the relief and civilization of the Indians.

RELIGIOUS SOCIETIES. The Presbyterian, next to the Catholic Church, stands foremost for its efforts at civilizing and educating the Indian tribes in the United States. According to tabular statements, furnished by the Rev. John C. Lowrie, Secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions, it appears to have maintained, in whole or part, since 1834, missions to eighteen tribes, besides having the charge of the New York Indian Orphan Asylum. The highest number in any one year has been 9; the lowest 2. Since 1837 these missions have received material aid from the General Government to the extent, in all, of......

$429,958 27 The board has expended, for Indian missions, during the same period.. 390,100 80 Making a total of.....

820,059 07

During the period of thirty-five years, over which the efforts of this board extend there is an aggregate report of 7,730 scholars.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »