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71 st CONGRESS
REPORT No. 491
HIGH-SCHOOL BUILDING FOR INDIAN CHILDREN,
APRIL 21, 1930.-Ordered to be printed
Mr. WHEELER, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the
(To accompany S. 4098)
The Committee on Indian Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (S. 4098) to provide funds for cooperation with the school board at Browning, Mont., in the extension of the high-school building to be available to Indian children of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with a recommendation that the bill do pass without amendment.
The report of the Secretary of the Interior is appended hereto and made a part of this report.
DEPARTMENT O THE INTERIOR,
Washington, April 18, 1930. Hon. LYNN J. FRAZIER, Chairman Committee on Indian Affairs,
United States Senate. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: With further reference to your request of April 9, for a report on S. 4098, which would provide funds for cooperation with the school board at Browning, Mont., in the extension of the high-school building to be available to Indian children of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, I desire to invite attention to the inclosed memorandum from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. After a review of the proposed measure, I agree with Commissioner Rhoads. Very truly yours,
Ray LYMAN WILBUR, Secretary.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS,
Washington, April 15, 1930. Memorandum for the Secretary.
The following report was submitted on H. R. 10215, which is identical with S. 4098, with the exception of the amount of funds to be authorized; the House bill being for $25,000, while the Senate bill calls for $40,000:
“A report is requested by the chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs of the House of Representatives regarding H. R. 10215, which would authorize an appropriation of $25,000 to be applied in part toward the cost of construction of an addition to the public-school building at Browning, Glacier County, Mont., school district No. 9.
“The facts concerning this school district are as follows: The district comprises 892,494 acres of surveyed land and in addition thereto, a territory of about 612 square miles within the Glacier National Park, unsurveyed. The surveyed part of the district is all included within the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Of this total area, 753,137 acres of land belong to Indians who are reported to be wards of the Federal Government and which land is nontaxable by the State. This Indian acreage has an approximate valuation of $5,155,580. This, of course, is exclusive of the area within the national park. It appears then that there are about 139,357 acres in this school district which are taxable by the State. This office is advised that the nontaxable Indian area would, if taxable, yield nearly four times as much revenue as the taxable land of the district.
“The total expenditures of the public-school district for the fiscal year 1929 were $85,379, of which however certain overdrafts of the prior year, interest paid on bonds and redemption of bonds, would not constitute a correct charge against the operations of the year named. Making these deductions, it appears that the district expended about $61,051 for that year for current expenses, including some minor charges against capital. The revenues in question were derived in part from the State and county apportionments and the balance from district levies upon the taxable area.
“The school district owns a modern school plant in the town of Browning, which includes an elementary and a high school. It also possesses and operates several rural schools. The plant in Browning is valued at about $100,000. The school population of the district is approximately 1,265 children, of age between 6 and 21 years, of whom 124 are white and the remaining 1,141 are Indians, being members of the Blackfeet Tribe and a few other tribes. About 400 Indian children are yearly educated in the schools of this district, of whom the larger number are attending the school at Browning. About 300 Indian children are cared for in the boarding school and the one day school operated by the Indian Service and in a mission school. Obviously, there are a considerable number of Indian children not attending school but a considerable number of the latter are below or above the compulsory school age, or physically or mentally incapacitated.
“Concerning the extent of contributions which have been made by the Federal Government toward the cost of education of these Indian children by this public school district, it may be said that it has in the past donated a site of land for the school at Browning and $15,000 toward construction of a school building pursuant to an appropriation by Congress for such purpose about the year 1919. It has also for a number of years paid tuition for these 400 Indian children at a rate considered liberal in proportion to the customary tuition payments in other jurisdictions or States. The rate allowed per pupil per day for the current fiscal year is 45 cents. The amount of tuition so paid to the district during the fiscal year 1929 was $21,150.
“From the foregoing it is apparent that the Federal contribution toward support of a school district having about 106 white children enrolled in all of its schools and about 400 Indian children, has been rather small compared to the full cost of this school system which has been assumed by residents of the district, and especially the white citizens of the town of Browning. It is believed that attention should be especially invited to the fact that the people of this school district have extended the utmost cooperation to the Indian Service in its work of education of the Indians of the reservation, have willingly and freely received the Indian children in the schools and without complaint or excessive demands upon the Government at any time, and have assisted in every way possible. The school at Browning employs at least 14 teachers. It employs a full-time public health nurse and a full-time attendance officer. Owing to the language difficulty which full-blood Indian children have in starting schooling a special teacher has been employed to give full time to a small group of the non-English speaking beginners.
“In line with the policy of the Indian Office a considerable amount of vocational instruction has been introduced into the curriculum of the Browning School. A teacher of agriculture and farm-shop subjects is employed. There is also a teacher of commercial subjects and of music. The school has even extended its assistance to the adult Indian population by offering short part-time courses in such subjects as sewing, cooking, blacksmithing, and auto mechanics.
“Regarding the proposed school building, it has been found that the present building is insufficient to care for the number of children received.
In all rooms but one there is insufficient air and floor space. This building was constructed in 1920 and provided sufficiently for the enrollment at that time, when the average daily attendance was 191 children, whereas for the last school year ending June 30, 1929, the average daily attendance approached 500. This heavy increase in attendance would seem to plainly indicate the necessity for the additional space desired. The authorities of the district have estimated the cost of a new building or extension to be $60,000. It would appear then that the proposed contribution of the Federal Government would be about 42 per cent.
“The meritorious nature of this proposition would appear to be further evidenced by the following considerations: The cost of education of Indian children in reservation boarding schools has been over $225 per annum, whereas the cost in a nonreservation school has been from $250 to $300. The cost of educating 400 Indian children of the Blackfeet Reservation in the Salem Indian School then, for example, would be not less than $100,000 per annum, as compared to the present cost to the Government at Browning of $81 per annum per pupil. On the other hand, should it be proposed to provide at Federal expense a boarding school within the Blackfeet Reservation for accommodation of 400 additional Indian children, the cost for plant and equipment alone would not be less than $500,000, and would, in fact, be considerably more; and, in addition to the initial cost of the plant and equipment, there would, of course, be the usual yearly expenditure for operation of such a school.
Under all the circumstances so mentioned, enactment of this legislation is recommended.”
While it is realized this is a deserving enterprise, it is not believed that we would be justified in recommending an increase above the amount which was included in our former report. It is therefore recommended that the amount be reduced to $25,000.
C. J. RHOADS, Commissioner. O
REPORT No. 492
GUARDIANS FOR INCOMPETENT WAR VETERANS IN THE
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
APRIL 21, 1930.-Ordered to be printed
Mr. CAPPER, from the Committee on the District of Columbia,
submitted the following
[To accompany S. 2816]
The Committee on the District of Columbia, to whom was referred the bill (S. 2816) to amend section 1125, chapter 31, of the District of Columbia Code, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon, and recommends that the bill do pass with the following amendment:
Strike out all after the enacting clause, and insert in lieu thereof the following:
That there be added the following subchapter to chapter 31 of the District of Columbia Code:
SEC. (1125a). The probate court shall have jurisdiction to appoint guardians for incompetent veterans, and for minor children of disabled or deceased veterans entitled to receive benefits from the United States Veterans' Bureau, fo supervise the estates thereof, and to commit veterans to United States veterans' hospitals in accordance with the following provisions:
(1) As used in this act: The term “person” includes a partnership, corporation, or an association.
The term “bureau" means the United States Veterans' Bureau or its successor.
The terms “estate" and "income" shall include only moneys received by the guardian from the bureau and all earnings, interest, and profits derived therefrom.
The term “benefits" shall mean all moneys payable by the United States through the bureau.
The term “director" means the Director of the United States Veterans' Bureau or his successor.
The term “ward” means a beneficiary of the bureau and the term "guardian,” as used herein, shall mean any person acting as a fiduciary for a ward.
The term "incompetent person” shall be one not previously adjudged insane by a court and who has been rated incompetent by the bureau in accordance with law.
(2) Whenever, pursuant to any law of the United States or regulation of the bureau, the director requires, prior to payment of benefits, that a guardian be appointed for a ward, such appointment shall be made in the manner hereinafter provided.