Commissioner Jones is Pleased
- Publication: Omaha Daily Bee
- Date: 22 September 1898
- Publication Place: Omaha, NE
- Pages: 5
- TEI XML: transmiss.news.odb.18980922d.xml
COMMISSIONER JONES IS PLEASED.
Head of the Indian Bureau Talks of the Exposition Congress.
Commissioner Jones of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, who has been in the city several days, returned to Washington last night. While here the commissioner spent considerable of his time at the Indian camp, conferring with a number of the leading Indians with reference to their needs on their respective reservations. He held a long conference with Geronimo, the noted Apache chief, and upon its conclusion he said that he is glad to know that the old man is rapidly adopting the ways of the whites.
Commissioner Jones in speaking of the work of the Indian congress said in his judgment Captain Mercer has worked out the details in fine shape and is doing everything that lies in his power to acquaint the white people with the home life of the Indian. The exhibition has been a pleasing one to Commissioner Jones, who says he feels a great interest in the Indians and their future, believing the time will come when they will entirely abandon their tribal relations and accept the methods and customs of the whites.
Relative to Indian schools, Commissioner Jones said: "At this time we have between 20,000 and 25,000 Indian children in school. They are bright and learn rapidly. The greatest drawback to the education of the Indian is we cannot furnish them all with employment after they graduate from the schools. At school they adopt the ways of the whites and many of them continue to follow them after they return to their , homes. Our records show that 76 per cent of the Indians who have been educated are doing fairly well, that is, they have not gone back to the blanket. Some are farming, others are raising cattle or working for white men who are in the stock business and a great many are employed by the government as interpreters.
"The eastern school has had much to do with the improved condition of the young Indian and has had much to do with showing them that eventually they must become self-supporting. I am in favor of the reservation schools, but think that they should be used as preparatory for the students entering the schools where trades are taught in connection with the ordinary branches.
Mascot for the Tribes.
Like white men, the Indians have an idea that in order to have hood luck and keep out of harm's way it is the correct thing to have a mascot. They have wanted one ever since they came into camp, but not until yesterday did they find just what they wanted. Now they have a live mascot and it is Francis, the 5-year-old son of George Stewart, interpreter for the Crows. In the last Indian battle George and a younger brother rode a burro and were immediately nicknamed the "Two Little Black Crows." As they were getting out of the way of the fighting Indians, High Wolf, the chief of the Cheyennes, suggested that the elder lad would make a good mascot. I The suggestion was taken up and yesterday the lad was given the job. He was painted like a veteran warrior and dressed in the most fancy garb conceivable. There was not much of this garb, however, as it consisted only of a breechclout as big as your hand and strips of fur around his ankles. It was enough, though, and as the little fellow pranced into the ring and danced and sang he not only amused the white people but the Indians as well.