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FiftK Year Number 11
Are the Indians on Pine Ridge Reservation Increasing or Decreasing?
In all their relations with others, anion"" themselves, or with the Govern
ment. the ultimate object of these Indians is that they may live as a people,
and perish from off the face of the earth, and no other question pertaining to
their physical being is of as much importance to them as is that of whether
they ar*- increasing, or decreasing in number.
To demonstrate the correct answer to this question requires the intro
duction of their vital statistics, and as the earlier statistics regarding their
numbers are based on estimates only, and the vital statistics prior to 1890 are
very imperfect.previous to the latter date there are
a calculation on.
These Indians were first counted in 1886, but the count was acknowledged
to be unreliable. They were counted again when the U. S. census was taken
in 1SJMI. and this count was adopted at the Agency, and made the basis for an
annual agency census, but as these do not give the Indians and Mixed-bloods
seperately they can only be used as a check against the total population in
making the calculations required to answer the question.
Beginning in 1890 a careful record of births, deaths and transfers that
occurred on the reservation was kept down to the present time.
The last count of the population on this reservation was made when the
U. S. census was taken for 1900 which gave the Indians and Mixed-bloods
seperately. and taking this as a basis, and useiny the records of births, deaths,
and transfers in the calculation, it was carried back to 1*90. and brought
down to 1905. at which latter date it agrees with the annual agency census in
regard to the total number of enrollable persons.
The statistics obtained in this manner are as follows:
Year. Indian s. Mxd. bids. Total.
1890 49S3 1428 0411
1897 4934 14(53 i397
1898 4889 1485 0374
1899 488(5 1513 (5421
1900 4888 1594 0482
1901 4902 1630 0538
1902 4919 1077 0(9ti
1903 49*1 17h() 0711
1904 4952 1778 (730
From 1890 to 1905 the total population has gained 311). But while the
Mixed-bloods have gained 300 the Indians have lost 31. and the answer is that
the Indians are decreasing.
This answer should be explained, for the Indians during the year:
181)7. lost 49 1901. gained 14
18.8. lo^t 45 1902. gained 17
181)1!. lost 3 1903. gained 2
l!!00,gained 2 1904. lost 29
From the year 1890 to 1!'H the proportion of the death to the birth rate
was reduced at an increasing ratio each year. *o that during these seven
years they were gaining, and during the last four ot these years they were
increasing in number, and if the answer had been given at the close of the
reliable data to base
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