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(3) Consolidation of the various right of way acts.
(4) A legislative definition as to the public-land laws applicable in Alaska.
(5) Amendatory legislation with respect to the disposition of title conferred under right of way acts, in the event of subsequent abandonment or forfeiture of such rights of way.
The Indian Bureau has laid great emphasis on its industrial program, and its achievements along this line stand out prominently, and the year has witnessed a marked advancement for the betterment of conditions under which the Indians shall be led to selfsupport.
Educational facilities and opportunities.—Beginning in the schools, stress has been laid on industrial and vocational training. At the Carlisle School a plan has been developed promoting special training along these lines, cutting off here and there the superficial and enlarging on the practical subjects. As the plan thus outlined is successfully developed at Carlisle, it will be extended to the other Indian schools. It is interesting to note that 19 Indian boys have been placed in the Ford Motor Co. establishment at Detroit, where they will receive actual industrial training.
In connection with Indian schools, the largest possible use has been made of the public schools in the several States convenient to the Indian population, and the attendance of Indian pupils in the public schools has been greatly increased during the past year, in many instances without drawing on the appropriation of $20,000 provided by Congress for the payment of Indian pupil tuition in those States where the public schools are not otherwise available to Indian pupils. When necessary, and in localities where large nontaxable Indian population reside, recourse has been made to this appropriation.
In the past attention has been given principally in an educational way to those Indians residing on reservations where they come closely in contact with the white population, and the field has been fairly well covered by the establishment of nonreservation schools for the more advanced pupils, boarding schools, and reservation day schools; and this applies, as a rule, to the entire Indian population, excepting the Navajos and Papagos in Arizona. Schools are being constructed in the Navajo country, and educational facilities of an average character are being given to these Indians.
The Papagos occupy a territory practically 120 miles long by 90 miles wide and extending from Tucson, Ariz., westwardly nearly to the Colorado River, and southerly from the line of the Southern Pacific Railroad to the northern boundary of Mexico. Scattered over this territory are approximately 6,000 Indians, the population
centering around 20 widely separated villages. This population has received little or no attention from the Government and practically no facilities for education. There has been expended for these Indians during the year $50,000 in the erection of school buildings at seven of these villages, and it is purposed to promote their education in an aggressive manner.
Health conditions.—With regard to the health of the Indians, it is shown that there are employed, approximately, 200 physicians. During the past year there were constructed six new hospitals, and plans have been made for the erection of others as rapidly as funds will permit. A vigorous campaign is being waged for the eradication of tuberculosis and trachoma, the two principal diseases with which the Indian population is afflicted. In conjunction with the hospitals for the treatment of the serious cases, the construction of school buildings is so planned that there will be available outdoor sleeping accommodations for the pupils for the promotion of the health of the children and to aid in the suppression and inroads of tuberculosis among the younger population.
Promotion of farming industry. It is noticed that there has been a marked increase in the number of Indians engaging in farming, and that further increase is measured principally by the ability of the bureau to furnish the necessary equipment. Much good has resulted from the agricultural fairs which have been held on the various reservations, stimulating among the Indians a healthy desire to compete successfully with their white neighbors. At some of the State fairs the Indians have successfully competed with the whites and have carried off some of the principal prizes. The farms connected with the several schools on the reservation have been practically converted into demonstration and experimental stations, and at each one farming is made an object lesson for the surrounding Indian community.
It is in connection with the promotion of the farming industry that the reimbursable fund, so called, is used to splendid purpose. There was appropriated by Congress at each of the past two sessions $600,000 to be used in promoting industry among the Indians. From this fund farming equipment is purchased and sold to the Indians on credit. The system has worked out successfully and has promoted financial integrity among the Indians, and has demonstrated that they possess the highest conscientious qualities. In some instances the Indians paid for this equipment before it was due under the contract, and no losses have yet been noted. Aside from the farming equipment, and probably to a greater degree, this fund has been used in the purchase of live stock, and on reservations principally valuable for grazing purposes there have been placed herds of tribal cattle, thus permitting the Indians to utilize the resources of the reservations for their own benefit. It has heretofore been the policy
to lease large areas of these reservations to white stock raisers, the Indians profiting only through per capita payments made from the lease moneys. The Indian Bureau looks with disfavor on per capita payments and discourages it, except where such payments are mandatory by law, or where the payments would manifestly promote the Indians' industrial advancement. The placing of tribal herds on Indian reservations has materially lessened the area to be leased by white stock raisers. The loss to the Indians, however, is not in the exact proportion of the area to be leased, as it is found that the demand for pasturage lands increases in proportion as the area to be leased diminishes, and where permits were formerly granted for $1.50 per head the Indians are now receiving from $2 to $2.50 per head.
At the Sacaton Experimentation Farm in southern Arizona, located on the Pima Indian Reservation, there has been developed a new type of cotton of the long staple Egyptian variety. This new type is extra fine, and has been given the name of "Pima.” The whites in the locality, as well as the Indians, have been planting this grade of cotton, and last year there were received for the product approximately $1,000,000. It has been shown that the climate and soil in the vicinity of the Pima Indian Reservation, in Arizona, are particularly well adapted for cotton growing, and it is gratifying to note that the Indians have developed a new type, which is equal, if not superior, to the best produced in the world.
Improvement in home conditions.—Improvement in home conditions is reported by the Indian Bureau. Plans of model houses have been prepared and introduced on the several reservations, and in the construction of houses for Indians from the reimbursable appropriation, where the Indians pay for the house as they procure funds, the new type of house is introduced. The cost of these houses varies from $400 to $600, according to locality and accessibility of lumber markets.
Irrigation of Indian lands.—On the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation, in Utah, there are thousands of acres of irrigable land, which have been allotted to the Indians and on which have been constructed irrigation systems. The Ute Indians are not among the more progressive type, and it has been a problem to the Indian Bureau how to induce these Indians to engage in agricultural pursuits. In addition there is danger of losing the water rights attached to these lands through nonuse under the State laws. To overcome this discouraging outlook vigorous efforts are being made to place these lands under cultivation and make beneficial use of the available water. To this end over $300,000 has been set aside from what is known as the “ Ute judgment fund.” This fund arose through a judgment in favor of the Ute Indians against the United States for $3,000,000, and the money
belongs to the different tribes of Utes, of which those under the Uintah and Ouray Agency have the largest share. The allotments are being leveled and prepared for water under the supervision of the superintendent, and where possible the lands are being leased to white settlers on the lowest and most advantageous terms. It is hoped in this way to bring into cultivation a very considerable part of the thousands of acres of irrigable land on this reservation.
Among the most important agencies for the industrial advancement of the Indians are the various irrigation projects. More than one-fourth of the whole Indian population reside upon reservations with an insufficient rainfall to make possible successful agriculture.
Approximately 400,000 acres are now irrigable through works already constructed upon more than 60 reservations, but this area is only a small part of that which must eventually be provided to allow all the Indians of these reservations means of self-support.
Investigations have been made of possible additional irrigation projects, notably on the Colville, Southern Ute, Western Shoshone, Wind River, Gila River, and several other reservations.
Especial attention has also been given to improving the water supply for the Navajo and Papago Indians, thereby greatly aiding the cattle and sheep industries upon which these thrifty peoples depend.
There has been a notable increase in the utilization of irrigation facilities by the Indians of the various reservations. The Indian Service is emphasizing industrial activities and employing effective means to arouse an interest in farming by even those tribes which have heretofore neglected their opportunities. Among the reservations upon which have been gratifying progress in area actually irrigated are Yuma, Crow, Uintah, Wind River, Klamath, Gila River, and many others.
The rapid enlargement of the irrigated area not only increases the ability of the Indians to become useful, self-supporting citizens, and makes productive the large expenditures for irrigation construction which have in the past been only partially utilized, but also more thoroughly establishes the Indian ownership of the valuable water rights upon the possession of which the protection of the various investments for irrigation depends.
The questions connected with water rights here suggested have been the subject of earnest study and upon several of the reservations exhaustive and extensive investigations have been carried on under the supervision of both legal and engineering experts. The importance of this work can be realized when it is remembered that the value to the Government of the expenditures already made of more than $12,000,000, and even the continued existence of the In
dians upon these reservations depends upon the proper safeguarding of the ownership of the water supply for these irrigation projects.
Although the fire risk on Indian forests during the past year was very high because of unusual meteorological conditions in the Northwest, the situation was effectively controlled and the actual loss from fire was relatively slight. During the year the first real step toward a systematic and comprehensive inventory of the timber resources of the Indians has been taken. On the Quinaielt, Klamath, and Menominee reservations parties have been engaged in examinations which contemplate not only detailed estimates of the stands of timber but also the preparation of reliable contour maps as a basis for the administration of the timber lands. The timber resources on these three reservations are very extensive. The Indian Service plans to extend the work to other reservations during 1916.
Improvement of liquor situation.—The liquor situation is reported as improving through the active campaign which has been carried forward against this traffic on Indian reservations and in the Indian country. The Indians themselves seem to be aroused to the evil effects of the use of intoxicants, which is evidenced by the fact that at several large gatherings of Indians during the past year no liquor of any kind could be obtained. This is particularly pleasing, in view of the fact that heretofore it has been common that such Indian gatherings were associated with much drunkenness. The wave of reform in the use of intoxicants, which has been spreading over the whole country, seems to have reached the Indian reservations.
Oil and gas industry in Oklahoma.—The oil and gas industry in Oklahoma has a wide bearing on that industry as it affects the Nation at large. The production was so enormous during the past year as apparently to affect the price throughout the Nation, and difficulty was experienced in properly caring for its transportation and storage. The price of crude oil fell to as low as 40 cents per barrel, but at this writing, owing to the decrease in production, prices have advanced to 75 cents per barrel. These prices refer to the Mid-Continent oil field, the grade being somewhat higher than that of the Healdton field. The production for the past fiscal year in Oklahoma was approximately 34,654,645 barrels, valued at $3,180,816.
In the Osage Reservation the proven oil lands are covered by what is known as the "Foster lease," embracing 680,000 acres. By its terms this lease expires in March of next year. Last year there were produced from these lands a total of 7,476,209 barrels, from which the Osage Indians received royalty in the sum of $560,155.62. The leasing of this area, after the expiration of the Foster lease, has been the subject of conference with the Osage Indians through their council and this department, and on August 26 there were approved regu