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Newspaper Page Text
THE OGLALA LIGHT. 15.
the backward among our own people, or in .the case of the immigrant. We are dealing with a people without generations back of them trained more or less in the ways of civilization. Within the next few decades we must foreshorten the road which is really centuries long, and while leading the Indian along it we must of necessity try to do in months what nature should do in years. We must not forget the order of process. For example, many an Indian is not ready yet to live under a perfectly constructed, highly developed irrigation system. He cannot be planted under it all at once, any more than a child from the east side of New York can be taken healthily in one jump into a Fifth Avenue home. He must first be given a little crude teaching from which he can see results' even though that teaching is only a plaything and a matter of one season. In one year* if gone at in this way, many Indians could be taught to use a highly developed irrigation system who without that preliminary training adapted to their growing intelligence would forever fail. All this means that our work must be frankly philanthropic us ing not the charity which pauperizes, but the help which nourishes self-help. Having undertaken this frankly philanthropic task, we can, if we recognize that there are means in our possession as a people to do it without bungling, see the course plainly. Prime above all other considerations in dealing with these 300,000 Indians in our midst is their health. There is no use in continuing all this great machinery of the present and deceiving ourselves with hopes of the future, if we are allowing tuberculosis and all rotten diseases of the blood to creep among these people. Liquor must be kept away from them more than it is kept away from our own weaklings. Ra tions must be frankly and wisely administered to the sick and to the old. No other of the means by which we would save the In dians to citizenship must be allowed to interfere with this prevention of disease. I am frequently met when I wish to take an Indian from a school because he is sick and can be cured somewhere else and the danger of his effecting some other pupils be averted, by the statement, You will cripple my school." Do the schools exist for the Indians, or the Indians for the schools? What is the use of a maimed and poisoned citizen? The people should give us an Continued on page 28. In-