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tion on such lines of public work as are
properly within the sphere of the Seminary.

Any citizen of Kansas interested in this
work is invited to correspond with the Semi-
nary, and to be present at its meetings when








"^WW-TE have always had with us the
^^^ Indian problem since our fore-
fathers first landed upon this continent.
We have experimented with this Indian
for centuries and still find him a problem.
Even now there is no commonly accepted
opinion of what, is best to be done under
the general management. However, it
may be said that within recent years, great
progress has been made in the country,
not only as to what may be done, but by
actually doing something practical and
systematic for the welfare of the Indian.
The government has at last shaped some-
thing like a definite policy for his penna-
nent treatment. The greatest point that
has been made is in education, and this is
of quite recent date. Thorough and effi-
cient education is the only means to help
him permanently. To feed him, clothe
him, and give him land, farming imple-
ments or stock, and tell him to engage in
industrial pursuits is of little use. To
educate him in the way of industry under
wise supervision, to show him how he may
begin and carry on industrial and self-
supporting life, is the prime object. In
ord>er to accomplish this it is necessary to
give the greatest painstaking attention to
the education of the Indian. The older
Indians of the tribe may be past systematic
education, past a decided reform, but
there can be aroused in them a sentiment
for something better and higher for their

The great difficulty now in educating
him is to give the proper kind of treat-
ment during the process of education and
to insure the utility of educated powers.
The great problem is to take members of a
savage or barbarous race, little acquainted
with the arts and sciences and industries
of modern life, and less inclined to
follow them and to familiarize them with
the common arts, sciences and indus-
tries, and at the same time plant within

them a desire for improvement in these
especial lines. It has been stated by one
acquainted with Indian affairs, that "an
Indian will do just what a white person
would do under similar circumstances."
This may convey a wrong impression,
unless we examine carefully into what
constitute similar circumstances.

In the first place there is a wide gulf
between the civilization of the Indian and
of the white race. Nowhere has this be-
come more apparent than when we attempt
to educate the Indian and turn him to
practical affairs of modern life. When he
iirst came into contact with the Anglo-
Saxon he was still in a state of savagery,
or in some cases had entered the first
stages of barbarism. He came in contact
with the race which has not only passed
through all these stages, but had entered
the great stage of commerce, passed
through it and is now in the height of the
industrial age. He came in contact with
a race that has not only accomplished in
an industrial way all the stages of progress
of which the human race has passed
through, but developed a high state of
learning and culture. Moreover the cult-
ured race had a compact and stable polit-
ical organization. All this was strange
and new to the uncultured mind of the
native of the forest, and he who attempts
to solve the problem of Indian education,
either theoretically or practically, will
observe that the. circumstances surrounding
the Indians are so far different frpm those
surrounding our own race that the two rates
may not be placed in similar conditions.

The fundamental processes of educa-
tion of any race may be earned on
under one of more modes of development:
1. That of self-development and self-
determination. 2. The process of imita-
tion. 3. Compulsory activity. The first
process is a necessary process to all true
education; without it the best quality of



development is lacking. The other two
processes are more or less artificial.
If we examine the Indians of the west,
that still retain their tribal relations, we
shall find that the self-determining princi-
pal is almost entirely wanting in the tribes
of pure blood. There is no tribe on
record of pure blood that has expressed
any desire to "rise higher in civilization,
accompanied with a set determination
to accomplish anything single-handed.
And it is still this lack of self-determination
and self-development that makes the dis-
position of the Indian different from the
sturdy Anglo-Saxons, who have had this
from the beginning of history and have
developed it during two thousand years of
positive progress, yielding, as a result,
some of the best types of culture of both

If we turn our attention to the second
jjhase of education, that of imitation, we
shall find on this score that the Indians
have made some progress in adopting the
manner and customs of the people with
whoui they have come in contact for a
long period of time. We shall find they
have made progress in civilized life; and,
it may be stated here, also, that just in
proportion as their own blood has become
mixed with that of the white race they
have shown this desire for imitation. The
third, or compulsory process, has not yet
been directly applied to tribes and races,
although in some cases to individuals.
Certain expedients have been tried by the
government, from time to time, to force
Indians out of their natural gait; but these
have been usually incidental and unsys-
tematic. Not until of late years has any
well developed plan been adopted for the
purpose of forcing the Indian into the
ranks of modern civilized life. This is an
artificial process, but it is the last resort
to save the race. Properly pursued it may
lead to self-development.

The last two phases of education must
of necessity be more or less artificial, for
imitative education is not as permanent as
the self-determination, but it is largely

brought about by the development of infe-
rior powers of the mind and nature. We
will find that the imitative education though
valuable, has failed to prepare a nation or
tribe for sturdy, independent existence.
We can never be sure that a nation or
tribe has become educated in the way that
will make him independent and strong,
until the self-determining princijDles arouse
him to his 'needs with the desire to fulfill
them regardless of what others are doing
or have done. The Indian is then not in
a condition at the present for the self-
determining principles unaided by outside
influences. In imitation he has not made
rapid progress. There are those tribes,
and fragments of tribes, that have lived in
the presence of civilization these hundred
years without reaping any permanent re-
sults of the same. Left to compete openly
and unaided with the modern, industrial
system, they perish. And, indeed, they
have lived in this condition without any
desire to take on anything beyond the
worst forms of our own system of civiliza-
tion. Other tribes have been broken in
their tribal relations and barbarous spirit
and have turned to our civilization. They
have been isolated within solid walls of
compact life and have been found by cir-
cumstances to adopt modern modes of
life. The education which is forced can
in no way be as beneficial as that which
springs spontaneously within the pupil,
but it is the best we have to give the
Indian, and this superficial education must
be forced upon him with the hope that
there may spring up within him what may
lead these tribes in due time to higher
development. The recent law passed for
the compulsory education of Indians is a
step in the right direction. In time it may
be made of more permanent value by de-
velopment and extension, and although we
may point to the fact that these people
may be in time persuaded to adopt the
means of a higher culture and a better
education, yet there is no time to wait for
such developments in respect to the Indians
of to-day. Their iniuiedialc echication is


their only salvation.- They must be forced
as far as possible to transfer their mode of
living so that they may transform their
lives after the mode of modern industrial
and civil life.

It is not to be supposed that parents of
Indian children are capable of determining
whether education is good for their children
or not. Indeed, it is not to be supposed
that those who have reached" advanced
years should turn away from their savage
life, when we consider the past relations of
the United States government with its
Indian wards, as they may be called.
The nation may stand /// loco parentis
and may feel great responsibility for
these Indians, but in whatever form or
shape the duty arises, what is to be done
must be done at once, and thoroughly, or
the good which has already been gained
will be lost.

The compulsory education act passed
by congress and approved March, 189 1,
provides as follows:

"And the Commissioner of Indian Affairs
subject to the direction of the Secretary
of the Interior, is hereby authorized and
directed to make and enforce by proper
means such means and regulations as will
secure the attendance of Indian children
of suitable age and health at schools es-
tablished and ihaintained for their benefit. "
In the following October Commissioner
Morgan set forth a list of rules and regu-
lations to be observed by all Indian
workers. The law applies to all Indians
subject to absolute control and under the
especial protection of the United States,
but the law does not apply to the Indians
residing in the state of New York, the
Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, the Five
Civilized Tribes and the Indians residing
in states and who have become citizens of
the United States. The commissioner
said that so far as practical the preferences
of Indian parents or guardians of Indian
youth of sufficient maturity and judgment
will be regarded, but children of a suitable
age must attend school, either public or
private. All those between five and eigh-

teen years of age who are determined, by
a special medical examination, to be in
good health, are compelled to attend
school. As a rule Indian children will
attend the schools established for their
benefit on their respective reservations,
but in case such schools are already filled
they may be required to attend non-reser-
vation schools. Should any refuse they
are referred to the Indian office for treat-
ment under this act. The aim and object
of this law, as explained by Commissioner
Morgan, is to insure education to all
Indians of the rising generation and to
prepar them to enter modern civilized
life and to assume life's duties. The
duties of agents, supervisors, and superin-
tendents, are explicitly defined. The
chief duty of the agent, however, is to
keep the government schools filled with
children. The supervisors of education
have the care of certain districts; they
inspect the same and report upon different
schools within their district. They have
the power to transfer the children from one
school to another and from reservation to
non-reservation schools. The superin-
tendents of non-reservation industrial
training schools and of reservation govern-
ment boarding schools shall, on or about
the first of April of each year, send to the
office a report stating, as far as possible,
the condition of the schools and the num-
ber of pupils enrolled for the fiscal year.
This law, with its regulatfons, is calcu-
lated to cover the entire field of education
and to compel the attendance of all stu-
dents of a suitable age, and thus take
from all Indian parents the responsibility
and care of educating their own child-
ren. It is thought by this that the rising
generation will be strong enough on com-
pleting the requirements and training of
modern industrial life to withstand the
downward tendency of the ignorant and
barbarous tribes.

It seems a sad thing to force cliildren
against the wishes of their parents, to attend
school away from home, but it is the only
hope or salvation of the Indian race. The


tribal inspiration and the tribal influence
must be broken up, and the Indians must
be taught to take their stand among the
people of their country, to toil for their
bread and to engage in the industries of
common life. They must be prepared for
intelligent citizenship; they must know
how to gain and hold property; they must
understand their rights and be content
with what belongs to them and ask for no
more. With such education the greater
part of the Indian problem is solved.

To the Indian teacher or worker this
mieans a great deal, for he knows too well
the influences that are brought to bear
upon the Indian children who desire to
attend school after having once been there.
If the present and coming generation be
forced to obtain an education and to
prepare for any one of the arts or indus-
tries of civilized life the great work has
been well begun. If the government can
go far enough to insure the results of this
education to these students, a sure foun-
dation of the great work will have been
laid. In the education of our own youth
we have been changing very much of late
years. In the first pilace we realize that
students must not only respect general
culture, but must be fitted for something
i:seful and particular. Every year wit-
nesses the development of our educational
system towards making a direct contact of
the school with practical life. We take pains
not only to develop the mind and give it cul-
ture and to train it for usefulness in any good
pursuit, biit we try to find for students posi-
tions of usefulness in the common occupa-
tions after they have completed their educa-
tional work. It may be proper in theory to
prepare the Anglo-Saxon youth for his life
work, to develop what we call the powers
of the mind, and then let him go forth
into the world to make a place for himself.
This is the old theory, and in some re-
spects it is a good one, but the lists of
competition are drawn so closely and the
places of business so well filled that»we
feel disposed to give even our bold and
hardy English youtli all the assistance

possible to prepare him for the activities
of life. He may know something" of many
things, but we must assure him that at the
point of contact of his life with the world
he must know some one thing well and
know how to take hold, and if necessary,
he must be shown how.

The Indian youth finds it even more
difficult on the completion of his education
to enter any chosen profession. The civ-
ilization on most of the reservations is
developing slowly, and the number of
industries which are practiced are com-
paratively few. There can be but few
positions of trust or usefulness until they
are made for the Indians who have already
been educated. The greatest difficulty "of
Indian education is the relation of the
educated individual to general society.
What is the social, industrial, and political
status of the educated Indian? An answer
to this question will bring vividly before us
the true Indian problem. As has been stated,
we cannot expect the average Indian to go
among white people and compete, unaided,
with the Anglo-Saxon youth in the business
enterprises of the world. It is not a ques-
tion of personal ability, but of personal
relations. A youth brought up in the
tribe, or on the reservation, finds it 'ex-
ceedingly diflicult to make the connection
between school life and the practical life
of the world. The Indian youth, educated
at one of the best schools, returns to his
home in the native tribe where he finds
himself surrounded with all the influences
of the camp life; he finds but little to do,
knows not how to get a living. He may
be ridiculed for having adopted citizen's
clothes an«d manners and because of his ed-
ucation; he may be importuned to turn aside
from the course he has adopted and to
return to the old habits of camp life. If
this be the case, of what use is his educa-
tion to him; literally thrown awd'y. This
cannot be blamed upon ■ the work of the
schools. Since there are thorough and
efficient training schools the students are
prepared by practical training for the
pursuits of life, as well as given a general


learning. No fault can be found in the
reservation schools or the denominational
schools in their earnest endeavor to give
the Indians a thorough and efficient edu-
cation. The great question at stake is the
utility of education after once it has been
accomplished, and in this we must see that
the outlook is indeed gloomy, unless the
government extend its work of educational
reform into the very heart of society.

A plan has been developed through the
influence of Captain Pratt, of Carlisle
Institute, which is termed the "Outing-
System." When an Indian youth has
completed his education and is prepared
to render useful service he is placed in
some good family upon certain terms, and
is to be protected from the baneful influ-
ences of uncivilized life. We can conceive
of no better method for the development
of Indian character. In close relationship
with the family he becomes more and more
accustomed to civilized life and habits
and the thoughts and the best principles
of the American home. He is enabled to
ply his trade or calling from day to day,
from year to year, until he becomes pro-
ficient. He is self-sustaining; his character
has become strong under the influence of
home surroundings; he has gradually,
through home influence, obtained character
and independence, and is enabled, if
necessary, to take his place among the
people in the struggle for existence.

It is found that the reformatories of
different classes of industrial schools have
worked upon his plan for many years and
it is found to be the one salvation, not
only for white but for Indian children. It
is impossible to train a pauper -or a crimi-
nal, or a child of any kind which has
existed under evil influences, and then
return him to the same low surround-
ings without his being drawn back to the
old position of life. It is even more true of
the educated Indian youth; he must struggle
with and against the habits of the tribe, ac-
(juired during centuries of life without civi-
lization. He must meet all difficulties of
race prejudice from above and below. A

careful examination of the results of edu-
cation of our best schools has shown us
the dangers of the ways of the pres-
ent system of Indian education. To
those who are not conversant with the
present Indian school system it may be
stated that there are what are known as
reservation schools, where pupils are taught
in elements of learning. These schools
are provided through the government
agency or else under similar circumstances
by religious denominations. Here children
are trained in the simple elements of edu-
cation and prepared for higher work.
After they complete, the course they are
allowed to enter one of the great traifting
schools for higher education. There are
at present no Indian colleges. Those who
have been prepared for college education
have entered some one of the universities
or colleges of America. Haskell and Car-
lisle are the principal high schools of the
Indian educational system. When pupils
have completed a term at a training school
they are allowed to return to their homes;
they should be placed in town or on farms
to work.

Let us consider for a few moments the
work done at Haskell and we shall see that
it is thorough and competent, and has
done all that its means will allow. There
is found a body of thorough and efficient
workers who have done all that could be
done with the means placed in their hands.
We must remember that Haskell Institute
has not been in progress for many years;
there have yet been but about nine years
of school life at Haskell, scarcely enough
to develop the original plans for the edu-
cation of the Indian youth. Yet, in this
time wonders have been accomplished in the
training of the mind, in mastering" common
elements of learning, and also in the train-
ing of the youth in industrial pursuits.
And he who ds interested at all in the
future of the Indian race should visit
Haskell and inspect the methods and sys-
ta*ns, and he will see the students have
ability to learn, the capacity to absorb;
and see that the Indian youth is prepared


to take a fair grade of education. All the
criticism that can be made is that not suf-
ficient opportunity is given him for the use
of that education. If he return to the
reservation he is in danger of taking up the
old life and allowing the real results of his
education to lapse. The best way to
understand what is meant is to examine
the results of Indian education. For this
purpose let us take up a few of the exam-
ples of students who have attended at
Haskell or Carlisle for some years:*

Example i. An Indian of New York
attended Haskell about five years. He
completed the common school course,
mastered the carpenter's trade successfully
and filled the position of assistant school
carpenter during the last two years of his
stay. Since going home he has been
engaged in building houses for the Indians,
working for contractors and constantly
making good use of th'e knowledge gained
at school.

Example 2. An Indian girl of the Pot-
towatomie tribe attended Haskell three
years, completed the common school
course and took some special training for
teaching. After finishing her course she
was appointed to teach a primary grade at
the Otoe boarding school, and all who saw
her work in the school room can recom-
mend her as a very successful teacher. In
the fall of '1891 she married a former
Haskell student g.nd they are now living
in Wichita, Kansas.

Example 3. An Indian youth of tlie
Kaw tribe was at Haskell about three years
and proved to be a very thorough student
as far as he advanced. He learned the
carpenter's trade and has been employed
as agency carpenter at the Kaw agency
since he went home.

Example 4. Another young man, of the
Pawnee tribe, stayed at Haskell about three
and one half years. He was an average stu-
dent and learned tailoring and blacksmith-
ing. Since returning home he has been
employed as ^assistant blacksmith.

*The writer is indebted to Supt. Charles F. Meserve
and Principal H. B. Peai^s for the follrwing data.

Example 5. A young man of the Cher-
okees attended Haskell three years. He
completed the common school course and
took one year of the high school work and
then learned the carpenter's trade. He has
beea working at the trade since going
home, and his employers speak well of

Example 6. Henry Cadue, of the Kick-
apoo tribe, was at Haskell three years.
He completed the work in the primary
grades and learned the carpenter's trade.
Since leaving school he has supported
himself and mother by working at his

These examples show the capacity of
the Indian youth for education and its
practical use wIumi <)])iK)rtnnity is given
for its application. Other examples might
be given of those who have become more
proficient in learning at Carlisle, Haskell,
and elsewhere. One Indian having studied
medicine has gone back to the Sioux reser-
vation to practice among his people. The
results of Indian education are best observ-
ed through manual training. Here their
ca])acity is shown at best advantage, and
from industrial education we may expect
to obtain the best improvement of the race.
Industrial education is so essential that it
should be made compulsory, and every
Indian should, beside his general education,
be taught to do one thing well. He should
be taught a trade or given a means of
earning his own living. At Haskell all
students are required to work at manual
labor half of the time; but not all learn
trade's, although all must pass through a
systematic course. During the first quar-
ter a boy is engaged in learning how to
farm; if he does well at this he is then
given something else to do. The students
are changed about from one thing to
another in order to give them a variety of
occupation and thus educate them in the
common affairs of life. About- three-
fourths of those who graduate have learned
one thing well, or have a means of earning
a living. It may, be said that this does

Online LibraryKansas. UniversitySeminary notes published by the Seminary of historical and political science → online text (page 17 of 62)