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America’s Concentration Camps: The Facts About Our Indian Reservations Today

America’s Concentration Camps: The Facts About Our Indian Reservations Today

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America’s Concentration Camps: The Facts About Our Indian Reservations Today

Longueur:
267 pages
4 heures
Éditeur:
Sortie:
Dec 1, 2018
ISBN:
9781789124149
Format:
Livre

Description

In this book, which was first published in 1956, Kentucky newspaper editor, publisher and writer Carlos B. Embry presents a detailed examination of the legal, political and socioeconomic status of Native Americans.

“A devastating survey of the plight of the American Indian touches on the history that preceded the retreat to the reservations, the nature of the Indian Bureau and its seeming philosophy of perpetual paternalism, and tells the story of the tribes through the viewpoint of their leaders.”—Kirkus Review
Éditeur:
Sortie:
Dec 1, 2018
ISBN:
9781789124149
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Carlos Brogdon Embry, Sr. (1906-1974) was an American newspaper editor and writer. He was born in Baizetown, Kentucky on January 21, 1906, the second eldest child of Marion Armstrong Embry and Lola Eva Albin Embry. He attended Western State College in Bowling Green, where he graduated with a Bachelors in 1929. The next year he became owner and editor of the Ohio County Messenger, in Beaver Dam, Kentucky. In 1935, he founded Embry Newspapers, Inc., which published newspapers in seven western Kentucky counties. Embry was a 10th district Republican state senator from 1946-1950. He was first married in 1940, to Mary Jane Carroll Morrison, and then to Zora Romans Embry. His book, America’s Concentration Camps: The Facts About Our Indian Reservations Today, was published in 1956. Embry died in Ohio, Kentucky on August 27, 1974 at the age of 68 and is buried in Sunnyside Cemetery, Beaver Dam, Ohio, Kentucky.

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America’s Concentration Camps - Carlos B. Embry

This edition is published by Papamoa Press – www.pp-publishing.com

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Text originally published in 1956 under the same title.

© Papamoa Press 2018, all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted by any means, electrical, mechanical or otherwise without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Publisher’s Note

Although in most cases we have retained the Author’s original spelling and grammar to authentically reproduce the work of the Author and the original intent of such material, some additional notes and clarifications have been added for the modern reader’s benefit.

We have also made every effort to include all maps and illustrations of the original edition the limitations of formatting do not allow of including larger maps, we will upload as many of these maps as possible.

AMERICA’S CONCENTRATION CAMPS

THE FACTS ABOUT OUR INDIAN RESERVATIONS TODAY

BY

CARLOS B. EMBRY

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS 3

DEDICATION 4

FOREWORD 5

PART I—STATEMENT OF THE CASE 9

Chapter 1—RED BROTHER’S KEEPER 9

Chapter 2—THE NON-VANISHING AMERICAN 19

Chapter 3—ILL FED, ILL CLAD, ILL HOUSED—AND ILLITERATE 22

Chapter 4—THE RED MAN AND FIREWATER 24

Chapter 5—THE RED MAN AND THE LAW 26

Chapter 6—WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE INDIAN BUREAU? 36

PART II—EVIDENCE OF THE WITNESSES 40

Chapter 1—THE INDIAN AS A TOURIST ATTRACTION 40

Chapter 2—NO MINORS, INDIANS, DRUNKS, OR DOGS ALLOWED 47

Chapter 3—IT TAKES MONEY TO BE CIVILIZED 51

Chapter 4—AND THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SHEEP 57

Chapter 5—TROUBLE IN KEAM’S CANYON 70

Chapter 6—OKLAHOMA’S RICH INDIANS 79

Chapter 7—THE PAWNEES FAILED TO READ THE FINE PRINT 84

Chapter 8—THIRTY-TWO MILLION DOLLARS 88

Chapter 9—HOW RICH ARE THE RICH INDIANS? 97

Chapter 10—CHIEF JOSEPH’S SUCCESSOR WORKS AT THE SAWMILL 102

Chapter 11—WHAT! SAID THE AGENT. NEVER VOTED YET? 106

Chapter 12—THEY STRUCK IT RICH 111

Chapter 13—PASSING THE BUCK 116

Chapter 14—GET GOING—AND NEVER COME BACK! 118

PART III—PLEADING THE CASE 124

Chapter 1—INDIAN NEW DEAL A FAIR DEAL? 124

Chapter 2—FORCED COMMUNISM OR FREEDOM? 133

REQUEST FROM THE PUBLISHER 145

DEDICATION

Dedicated to

Zora and Cee Bee,

my favorite helpers

INDIAN RESERVATION: A parcel of land set aside for Indians and completely surrounded by white thieves.

—GENERAL SHERMAN (ascribed)

FOREWORD

THE Indian is the worst fed, the worst clad, and the worst housed of any racial group in the United States, It follows that he has the highest illiteracy rate. He gets the poorest schooling, the poorest medical care, and the poorest government services of anyone in the country.

While the average life of a white person in the United States is now sixty-eight, and that of a Negro is sixty, the life expectancy of a baby born on the Papago reservation in Southwestern Arizona is seventeen years. The figure is approximately the same for the Navajos, the Hopis, the Utes, the Sioux, and other reservation Indians.

Poor housing is one of the causes of this discrepancy. The typical house of the Indian of the Southwest is the hogan. This is a one-room dwelling built of logs and mud, with a dirt floor and no window; or a small dome-shaped house made by plastering clay over grass on a framework of poles. This is the home for the entire family. The size of the average family unit is slightly more than seven persons. There are no toilets, no electric lights, and no telephones. There is almost no furniture, seldom a stove or bed. Heating’s provided by a fire on the dirt floor in the middle of the room. A hole is left in the ceiling to allow the smoke to escape.

People living near a reservation frequently call their Indian neighbors filthy. Dirt and disease are the inevitable results of overcrowding and the absence of proper sanitary facilities. The reservation Indian usually has to carry water for considerable distances.

Lack of ample and well-balanced food is another cause of the high mortality rate on the reservations. Fried bread, potatoes, and coffee are the mainstays of the desert Indian’s diet, with a little mutton or beef on special occasions. There is a woeful deficiency of protein foods, including milk, butter, eggs, and green vegetables.

As a result of this sub-standard of living, the Indian has an extremely high death rate from tuberculosis, diarrhea, dysentery, trachoma, dental caries, skin and venereal diseases, in addition to malnutrition, or simply starving to death.

Opportunities for physical advancement on Indian reservations are practically non-existent. The Indian, as an individual or as a tribe, cannot buy, sell, mortgage, or lease land on a reservation without the consent of the Government. This statement does not begin to convey the handicaps under which he is forced to operate. He lives in a capitalist economy, in which the bulk of business is carried on through credit, but it can be said of the Indian that he has no credit whatsoever. Just consider what would happen if the mortgages on all the farms and farm equipment throughout the Middle West were called tomorrow morning. If this unlikely eventuality came to pass, the inhabitants of that prosperous farming region would be reduced to the condition of the reservation Indians.

In the early sixteenth century Pope Paul III observed that Indians were human beings. At the time this was considered a momentous pronouncement. I think we all agree today that the Indian is not only a human being, but that he is potentially a valuable citizen of the United States. Yet to this very day we hold his race in bondage. We have set him apart as an inferior, incapable of being integrated into our society. We have fostered and perpetuated this condition through the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior. This Bureau is a government within a government, employing some 12,500 persons, predominantly white in the lower echelons, and entirely white at the top. It is an archaic governmental agency that should have been abolished when the Freedman’s Bureau for Negroes was discontinued.

Until a few years ago I myself took it for granted that the Indian had now been integrated into our society, and that he enjoyed all the privileges and freedoms of any other citizen. My knowledge of the subject was, in fact, pretty much limited to what little I remembered from what little I had learned in school texts; I had a nodding acquaintance with Pocahontas, Sitting Bull of the Sioux, and the Bird Woman who accompanied the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Since that time I have met and talked with literally thousands of Indians, from the Great Smokies in North Carolina to the Pacific Coast, and from the Canadian border to the Rio Grande. The first important thing this did for me was to wipe out all my preconceived notions about the Indians of North America. The more I learned how ignorant I had been about our Red brothers, the more disturbed I became. I still do not consider myself an Indian expert, but only a layman who has had the good fortune to come in contact with many types of Indians and who has given much time and thought to their present plight. Yet I feel that as a layman I may be in a better position than an expert to pass on my findings to my white fellow-countrymen, whose misconceptions may resemble my own before I started this study.

Fundamentally, Indians have the same virtues and the same vices as people of other races. As with other people, it is not difficult to find striking contrasts among them. Some are religious and conscientious, others have a devil-may-care attitude. Some are ambitious, others are lackadaisical.

In my travels I have met all sorts. On the seamier side there was Uncle Joe, whom I visited at Pawhuskie, Oklahoma, in a one-room, run-down cottage, and who passed around to the young bucks of the neighborhood, a gallon jug half-filled with a colorless fluid of high potency, imbibing himself until he passed out completely. In Hominy, only a few miles away, I met another aged Indian who was a very different kind of man. He was to conduct the religious services at his church that night, and he spoke at length and wisely about his people.

I also had the experience of having my automobile stolen by two Cherokees in Oklahoma. The next afternoon they were found having a grand time, swapping my clothes for drinks, and arranging to trade my shaving kit for more gas. They had already absorbed a bottle of hair tonic and were making inroads on a bottle of cough medicine found in my luggage.

But this episode was offset by many pleasant road encounters. In the Southwest I had a flat tire during one of those infrequent but violent hailstorms that flay that dry country. I was particularly helpless because I was getting over a broken ankle and still used two canes. There was little traffic, but eventually a flivver rolled up. Two young Indians stopped, got out, and, ignoring the storm, changed the tire for me. They refused to accept anything for their services.

In Browning, Montana, at a filling station, an Indian woman overheard me ask where the Indian agency and tribal headquarters were located and if taxi service could be obtained. She promptly volunteered to drive me there, and would not accept any money.

I have seen Indians working hard to earn a living, and I have seen them sitting around idly at the agency headquarters or in some trader’s store, waiting for the next per capita payment or handout. I have found them working to develop recreational programs, or to improve the religious or economic conditions of their people, and on the other hand I have seen them wasting their time with the Indian stick game or some other form of gambling. Some try to get a first-rate education. Others, emulating their fathers, seem to prefer just to be let alone by the whites.

Naturally there are differences in the ways of thinking of the white man and the Indian. Experts will agree that these are largely due to differences in environment and background. The governmental restraints under which the Indian has been forced to live for generations past have certainly had an effect upon him. The paternalism of our Government has produced many economic cowards among this once proud people. They fear being turned loose as a free people lest they lose their land through taxation, and are hesitant to leave their reservations because they feel that Uncle Sam may yet meet his treaty obligations to them (despite the fact that, of the hundreds of treaties negotiated between our Government and the various Indian tribes, not one has been kept).

In this book I have tried not to act as a judge or a moralist, but only as an objective observer. My purpose is not to proselyte but to state the facts as I found them, so that the reader may draw his own conclusions.

At the end of the Civil War, this country was faced with the problem of integrating two small minority races, the Indian and the Negro. The results speak for themselves. Although ninety-five per cent illiterate at the end of the Civil War, the Negro was emancipated. In less than one hundred years he has emerged as the dominant minority race, desegregated (at least legally), numbering over fifteen million, and well established in the American economy.

About the time our Government freed the Negro, it began to relocate the Indian on vast areas of worthless waste lands in the West, where ever since they have been treated as a defeated, dependent people. D. M. Madrano says of them, They were driven from their native lands like cattle, and were ostracized, paternalized, supervised, baptized, scrutinized, and finally victimized." Since then, the Indian has been under the absolute control of the Secretary of the Interior, whose vast and dictatorial powers are exercised through the reservation Superintendent.

While the Negro population grew, our Indian population steadily declined until after the turn of this century. Even today, a conservative estimate places the number at far less than half of what it was when America was discovered. And the surviving representatives of the race are in a worse economic plight than any group in the United States.

Why are we yet holding this people in virtual economic, social, political, and legal slavery?

Perhaps it is because non-Indians, who constitute over ninety-nine per cent of our population, do not even realize that America has an Indian problem. We are on the whole less aware of this problem than we are of the no less terrible problems of the underprivileged of Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world.

Leaving aside the moral and legal rights involved, it seems to me that if, after more than two centuries, we whites have not been able to elevate the Indian to a position of competence in our society, we should free him as we did the Negro and let him do the job himself. As a result of the time and thought I have devoted to this subject, I have been able to formulate other ideas about what might be done to improve the present alarming situation, and some of these also appear in this book.

But the first step is to acquaint the American public with the facts. I believe that once the evils are exposed, our national sense of fairness will go a long way toward forcing constructive action.

CARLOS B. EMBRY

PART I—STATEMENT OF THE CASE

Chapter 1—RED BROTHER’S KEEPER

WE ARE ALL immigrants or descendants of immigrants in this country, declared President Eisenhower in one of his speeches. But the President failed to point out that an entire minority race—the American Indian—came to this country so long ago that its origins are lost in the mists of prehistoric times.

The prevailing theory among historians is that the Indians crossed from Asia by way of a land bridge that existed then across the Bering Sea. The Navajo legend relates that they came by air on a huge rock shaped like a bird in flight. According to the Hopi religion, the red men ascended from the Underworld.

Whether we accept scientific theory or legend, immigrants is hardly the right term for the people who met the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock and the Spanish conquistadores a century earlier, while the relics of their culture indicate their presence in this country for millennia.

It has been rather aptly said that the pious Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock first fell upon their knees and then upon the aborigines. The Spaniards, avid for Indian gold, scarcely bothered to fall upon their knees. White settlers, explorers, and adventurers, coming from Europe to the Atlantic seaboard, did not usually find fierce, hostile, and warlike natives. Had this been so, the early colonists would have been pushed quickly into the sea. The opposite was true. The Pilgrims had scarcely landed before Massasoit and his tribesmen began to teach them how to plant and cultivate maize, and introduced them to the wild turkey which was to become our symbol of Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims also learned from the Indians the art of the clambake and corn roast, and how to prepare corn pudding, succotash, popcorn, grits, and hominy—though we whites taught ourselves how to ferment bourbon. Many plants unknown to the Europeans had been cultivated and developed by the Indians for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years. These included Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and such luxuries as maple sugar, peanuts, chocolate, tobacco, and chewing gum. Yet the Indians relied on hunting and fishing for the major part of their sustenance. Their farming activities were limited to gardening. The whites, however, at once set about clearing away the forests and developing farms. Hence the Indians had to move back, and they did so obligingly. At the start, neither race could foresee the inevitable clash. Neither knew that thousands upon thousands of whites were to sail across the Atlantic and continue to ask the Indians to give way until there would be no land left for them between the Atlantic and the Pacific except some more or less worthless tracts set up as reservations. When the pattern became set the Indians quit moving obligingly, for the most part, and fought for their villages and hunting grounds almost to the point of extermination. It was estimated that there were some 800,000 Indians in this country when it was discovered. By 1900 the number had been reduced to approximately 240,000. Not for nothing was the Indian called the Vanishing American.

As the Indian began to offer resistance to being pushed back, our Government accomplished its purpose by purchase, by treaty, or by force—whichever it deemed most expedient at the time. The white man salved his conscience by taking the position that he was dealing with savages, and that any means was fair which attained his goal. After a treaty was made, Congress might change the provisions of the pact, ignore all or part of them, or enforce all or part of them. Frequently Indian tribes were not properly represented, or were sold out by minor tribal leaders, in the drafting of the treaties themselves.

In the early days our Government dealt with the Indian tribes as if they were sovereign nations. Treaties defined the boundaries between the United States (or the separate states) and the territories of the various Indian tribes or nations According to the terms of the treaties, tribes or nations not only had, within their territory, full jurisdiction over their own citizens, but likewise jurisdiction over citizens of the United States that any other power might lawfully exercise over its emigrants. Until 1834 the law required an American citizen or inhabitant to procure a passport before entering a region secured by treaty to the Indians, but of course this law was constantly violated with impunity.

The first Congress, within five weeks after convening in 1 1789, delegated the handling of Indian affairs to the newly-created Department of War. While the primary problems of handling Indian affairs have long since ceased to be military in nature, the type of control established at this time continues to this day to play a large part in Indian law.

The following year Congress enacted a statute which has been used by the Indian administration to give it broad, blanket, plenary powers over Indians down to the present time. It was titled An Act to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes. The act dealt not only with the conduct of licensed traders, but included such matters as the sale of Indian lands, the commission of crimes and trespasses against Indians, and the procedure for punishing white men committing offenses against Indians. While it was stipulated in the act that it should be in force for the term of two years, and from thence to the end of the next session of Congress, and no longer, the substance of the provisions contained in it remains law to this day.

A Bureau of Indian Affairs was first organized in the War Department in 1824 with a chief and two clerks. It was named the Department of Indian Affairs in 1832, with an enlarged staff consisting of a commissioner, clerks, agents, and subagents. In 1849 the Indian administration was transferred from the War Department to the newly created Department of the Interior, where it remains today.

A brief sketch of the history of our Government’s dealings with the Delaware Nation of Indians furnishes the classic example of the results of the Indian policies followed since Colonial days. Our relations with other tribes follow a parallel pattern, but with many instances of even more ruthless barbarism.

The first treaty between the United States and the Delaware Nation was made in 1778. It stated, among other things:

Whereas the enemies of the United States have endeavored by every artifice to possess the Indians with an opinion that it is our design to extirpate them, and take possession of their country; to obviate such false suggestions, the United States guarantee to said Nation of Delawares, and their heirs, all their territorial rights in the fullest and most ample manner as bounded by former treaties.

The treaty

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