In 1871, the BIA had just gotten some direction from President Ulysses S. Grant, in fact, a change in national Indian policy, to go ahead and train the Indians to be civilized so that they may earn their way to citizenship. The reservation at Grand Ronde had just been surveyed in preparation for land allotment, and the school system was not working well. for about a decade the protestants in Oregon had been operating a manual Labor school, the on-reservation boarding school and children had been dying. So the Indians were discouraged and were not sending their children to die … Continue reading Commissioner Brunot Lectures Tribal Chiefs on Moral Living, 1871
Previous essays have addressed the poor treatment of the tribes on the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation into the late 1860s. In 1869 during his inauguration speech, newly elected President U.S. Grant stated that he would support a path to citizenship for tribes that became civilized. (In this essay I will not quibble with the idea of civilization even though we can rightly question which people were proving to be civilized and which were proving to be lawless and uncivilized.) Indian Agents took notice of Pres. Grant’s statement, which amounted to a change in federal Indian policy and began to ask … Continue reading Petition to Survey the Reservation and to Live in Peace, September 20, 1869
Albert B. Meacham was an Indian agent in the 1860’s and 70’s and oversaw some changes in the reservations. He attempted to give the tribes some voice in this situation, worked to get the tribes to adopt western medicine, and began warning the tribes that their treaty funding was about to end. In short, he seemed to care about the tribes and his reports suggest that he deeply cared about what the tribes had gone through for some 16 years. He even wrote a book of his experiences, Wigwam and Warpath, which addresses nearly all of the tribes in Oregon. … Continue reading Meacham’s Final Appeal to Fairly Pay the Tribes Removed to the Coast Reservation.