“The Indian youth finds himself at once, as if by magic, translated from a state of poverty to one of affluence. He is well fed and clothed and lodged. Books and all the accessories of learning are given him and teachers provided to instruct him. He is educated in the industrial arts on the one hand, and not only in the rudiments but in the liberal arts on the other. Beyond the three r’s he is instructed in geography, grammar, and history; he is taught drawing, algebra and geometry, music and astronomy and receives lessons in physiology, botany, and entomology. Matrons wait on him while he is well, and physicians and nurses attend him when he is sick. A steam laundry does his washing, and the latest modern appliances do his cooking. A library affords him relaxation for his leisure hours, athletic sports and the gymnasium furnish him exercise and recreation, while music entertains him in the evening. He has hot and cold baths, and steam heat and electric light, and all the modern conveniences. All the necessities of life are given him, and many of the luxuries. All of this without money and without price, or the contribution of a single effort of his own or of his people. His wants are all supplied almost for the wish. The child of the wigwam becomes a modern Aladdin, who has only to rub the government lamp to gratify his desires.
“Here he remains until his education is finished, when he is returned to his home—which by contrast must seem squalid indeed—to the parents whom his education must make it difficult to honor, and left to make his way against the ignorance and bigotry of his tribe. Is it any wonder he fails? Is it surprising if he lapses into barbarism? Not having earned his education, it is not appreciated; having made no sacrifice to obtain it, it is not valued. It is looked upon as a right and not as a privilege; It is accepted as a favor to the government and not to the recipient, and the almost inevitable tendency is to encourage dependency, foster pride, and create a spirit of arrogance and selfishness. The testimony on this point of those closely connected with the Indian employees of the service would, it is believe, be interesting.”
So there the matter stands. Nothing of any great importance was really done to help the Indians except the conferences at Mohonk, N.Y., until, in 1902, the Sequoya League was organized, composed of many men and women of national prominence, with the avowed purpose “to make better Indians.” In its first pronunciamento it declared: