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Image provided by: South Dakota State Historical Society – State Archives
Newspaper Page Text
SELLS, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, has recently called attention to a clipping from the St. Paul Pioneer Press with reference to Indians being exempt from the draft, which was reprinted in our issue of November-December. We are advised in this way that this item was neither authentic or correct, and that the only authentic ruling on the subject that has been issued by the War Department was contained in Office circular No. 1305-D which had the approval of the Provost Marshall before being issued. We pu blish herewith a full copy of this circular on the suggestion of the Comsmissioner. "With but few exceptions, where the period of time has been ex tended, the registration of the Indians under the Act of May 18,1917, and the regulations governing the same, has been completed. There is now to be taken up the matter of the selective draft of those who are eligible in every way for military duty and this circular has to do with that subject. Where the Indians were registered by you and your employees as of the Indian Service you should have in your possession the original and the duplicate registration cards. In some instances these cards were mailed here but were returned under date of June 30 by re gistered mail therefore, upon the receipt of this circular you should have in your possession the originals and duplicates. The draft is based on the liability to Military Service of all male citizens or male persons, not alien enemies, who have declared their intention to become citizens, between the ages of twenty-one and thirty years, both inclusive. The cards of Indians who, under the above statement of liability, are clearly liable to draft should be sent immedately to the local board appointed by the President in the area in which the Indians were registered. If your reservation com prises or is a part of more than one county, it will be necessary to segregate the cards by counties and mail them accordingly. You should send to the Local Boards both originals and duplicates. In the case of non-citizen Indians, the duplicate cards should be sent to the Commissioner of Indian affairs, and the other copy retained by you. Take up each case individually, and if there is any doubt what ever in your mind as to the status of the individual, or his clear liability to draft, resolve it in favor of non-citizenship and so classify 25.