Schools for the Indians

Schools For The Indians.

Location, capacity, attendance, etc., of non-reservation schools during fiscal year ended June 30, 1901.

Location of schoolDate of Opening Number of EmployeesaCapacityEnrollmentAverage attendance
Carlisle PaNov 1, 187985b 9501,040970
Chemawa, Oreg. (Salem)Feb. 25, 188043500569502
Chilocco, OklaJan 15,188444400508399
Genoa, Nebr.Feb 20, 188430300283248
Albuquerque. N. Mex.Aug. 188434300336315
Lawrence, Kan, (Haskell Institute)Sept 1, 188457700746633
Grand Junction, Colo.188621170229177
Santa Fe, N. Mex.Oct 29, 189029300346316
Fort Mohave, Ariz.Dec. 21, 189021170170164
Carson, Nev.Dec. 22, 189022200250192
Pierre, S. D.Feb. 13, 189113150150114
Phoenix Ariz.Sept. 189155700743684
Fort Lewis, Colo.Mar. 189238300347301
Fort Shaw MontDec 27, 189230300340302
Perris ColJan 9, 189318150223204
 Flandreau, S. Dak.Mar. 7, 189334350383339
Pipestone Minn.Feb. 189316150109101
Mount Pleasant, Mich.Jan. 3, 189323300291200
Tomah, Wis.Jan. 19, 189322225215190
Wittenberg, Wis.cAug 24, 189512100114103
Greenville, Cal.cSept. 25, 189581007858
Morris Minn.cApr 3 189718150176152
Chamberlain, S. DakMar. , 189813100118109
Fort Bidwell, CalApr. 4, 189871505944
Rapid City, S. DakSept. 1, 189811100105100

a. Excluding those receiving less than $100 per annum.                 b. 1,500 with outing pupils.           c. Previously a contract school.


For the purpose of exhibiting the enrollment and average attendance at all schools for the fiscal year 1901, aggregated and compared with the fiscal year 1900, the following table is presented:

Enrollment and average attendance of Indian schools, 1900 and 1901, showing increase in 1901; also number of schools in 1901.

Kind of schoolEnrollmentAverage attendanceNo. of schools, 1901
19001901Increase (+)
or decrease
19001901Increase (+) or decrease (-)
Government schools:
   Non-reservation, boarding7,4307,928+ 4986,2416,917+ 67625
   Reservation, boarding9,60410,782+1,1788,0949,316+1,22288
   Day5,0904,622– 4683,5253,277+ 248138
Contract schools
   Boarding2,3762,376 2,0981     2,098
   Day 3030242          24
   Boarding specially appropriated for4001302          27032921112181
      Total2,806130-2, 6762,45121112,3401
Public246257+ 11118131+ 13(3)
Mission boarding1,0623,531+2,4699463,120+2,17447
Mission day213 272+ 59193205+ 125
         Aggregate26,45127,522+1,07121,56823, 077+1,509304

1. Taken up in mission schools.     2. Hampton        3. Nineteen public schools in which pupils are taught, not enumerated here.

The following table gives a summary of schools and attendance extending through a period of a quarter of a century:

Number of Indian schools and average attendance from 1877 to 1900.

YearBoarding schoolsDay schoolsTotals

1. Some of the figures in this table as printed prior to 18% were taken from reports of the Superintendent of Indian Schools. As revised, they are all taken from the reports of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Prior to 1882 the figures include the New York schools.

2. Indian children attending public schools are included in the average attendance, but the schools are not included in the number of schools.

In our last report we expressed the opinion of our board that ” separate boarding school facilities for Indian children had very nearly reached the proper limit,” except among the Navaho. Our observation of the work for another year confirms us in this opinion. Our conviction is clear that as rapidly as possible the Indian children should be put into schools with white children and should thus be fitted for that full American citizenship which lies directly before them all, under the operation of the general allotment law. We deprecate the effort, so manifestly prompted in many cases only by selfish local interest on the part of white people, to secure additional Indian schools where they are not needed. We believe that nothing more should be done to perpetuate that separation between Indians and whites, which it is now the aim of the Government as rapidly as possible to do away with. We do not think that industrial training should displace that instruction in the rudiments of knowledge which is required for intelligent citizenship; but we commend all efforts made through school life to emphasize for the Indians the value of self supporting labor and of practical acquaintance with such industrial pursuits as an Indian may hope to follow, not necessarily upon his own reservation, but among the whites and wherever he may live.

Schools For The Navaho.

We beg to renew under this head the recommendations made in our last annual report.

Steps should at once be taken to establish a system of local semi-industrial schools for the Navaho Indians. This is by far the largest body of Indians who are still left without anything approaching adequate provisions for the schooling of their children. Their nomadic life as herders of sheep and cattle renders difficult the problem of introducing among them right standards as to marriage, family life, and the education of their children. But this should be undertaken by the Government at once.

We suggest the feasibility of a system of local schools, largely industrial, where manufactures, with wool spinning as their basis, should be taught. Possibly Fort Defiance might become a center for the more advanced school work, and a system of industrial and elementary schools might be built up as feeders to this school. The plan, if undertaken, should be under the direction of some competent superintendent who knows these Indians, their needs, and their peculiarities. He should be a man of exceptional qualifications and strong character, who by persistent and kindly effort in work of this kind could win the confidence and support of the Navaho. Such a man could bring the children of this tribe under the influence of education. It will take several years to develop these schools, and the man for the work should be given a good salary (larger than the number of pupils at first might seem to warrant), and should be insured permanent tenure and effective support by the Department for several years before large results could be seen.

We trust that some plan for educating the Navaho may be entered upon this year. For this tribe of 20,000 people the Government provides schooling for an average attendance of only about 200 children. Much more should be attempted at once.


Board Of Indian Commissioners. Thirty-Third Annual Report Of The Board Of Indian Commissioners. Government Printing Office. 1901.

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