OCR Interpretation

The Oglala light. [volume] ([Pine Ridge, S.D.]) 190?-19??, July 01, 1910, Image 16

Image and text provided by South Dakota State Historical Society – State Archives

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/2017270500/1910-07-01/ed-1/seq-16/

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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
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
Continued on page 28.

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