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About The Chemawa American (Chemawa, Or.) 19??-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 1, 1915)
THE CHEMAWA AMERICAN
1EAL IIEIP FOR THE INDIANS
The present Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Cato Sells, of Texas, has
riot only taken a keen and unsual interest in behalf of improving the
social and educational conditions of the Indians, but he hassucceded in
commanding the country's interest to this work. There has never been
a time when so intelligent and general an understanding of the real
Indian prolem existed among the public generally.
Especial attention, therefore, is likely to be attracted to the announce
ment that the Indian Service committee on courses of study for the In
dian schools has completed preparation of a scheme which will give
direction to all this work in future. Its basis is the division of the school
day into two equal parts; one half-day is devoted to industrial and the
other half to academic training. The boys are given practical courses in
farming, gardening, blacksmithing, carpentering, dairy management,
saddlery, etc.; the girls, in cooking, sewing, laundering, gardening,
poultry care, and the like.
Uncle Sam does things of this sort well, because he provides neces
sary facilities and knows where to find experts to use them. If the precise
educational system that is to be carried to the Indians of the younger
generation, could also be applied in the country generally, it would be
one of the most practical services that the Government could render.
There has been endless discussion of plans for Government aid in voca
tional training, but accomplishment has been meager. The experi
ment with the Indian schools should be watched closely by all educators;
it promises to develop much that will help in the proper expansion and
improvement of the schools everywhere.
It is, of course, easier to do s.ich a work for the Indian children than
for the community generally, because the Government assumes that
the Indians are destined to country life. They a e going to be farmers;
thousands of thems have already proved that they make excellent farm
ers and most useful citizens. This presumption narrows the range of
instruction for which provision must be made, and insures more effective
work. Yet the plan that is being applied to the Indian schools is by no
means impractuab e for the rural schools gnierally; properly adapted,'
it would be the realization of the best ambitions of students of the mod
ern educational problem. Washington, D. C, Times.