American Indian and Alaska Native Newspapers and Periodicals, 1826-1924 - Vol. 1

By Daniel F. Littlefield Jr.; James W. Parins | Go to book overview

the Navajo Indians," which appeared in December, 1906, furnished a fairly objective and unemotional description of women's roles within the Navajo society.

The New Indian contained much information concerning education for American Indian students. Carson Indian Training School in particular received much attention. A regular feature was "Local and Personal," a compendium of school happenings. School program announcements appeared in the monthly, and a commencement issue of eight pages appeared at the end of the school year. Some student writing was published, along with excerpts from letters of former students, but, unfortunately, most were unsigned. The New Indian, especially in the early issues, featured biographies of some school officials. "Superintendent and Mrs. Asbury" and "Our Disciplinarian" are examples. The monthly also printed some theoretical articles on education, such as "American Schools in Cuba," which said that U.S. influence brought about the Cuban public school system. "Moral Training in Primary Schools" asserted that schools had concentrated on intellectual matters and neglected religious and moral training. This article, reprinted from Southern Workman, called for a reversal of that policy. Other articles on education included proposals from the Department of the Interior for improvements at the school and "extracts from Addresses and Papers of the St. Louis Indian Institute."

Following the practice of most school publications, The New Indian brought its readers prose and verse that were supposed to be morally inspiring and uplifting. Prohibition material was prominent and relentless, warning of the various ills brought on by alcohol. In 1905, for example, "A New Alphabet" was introduced, which proved to be a variation of the old children's rhyme: "A is the Ale that will soften the brain; B is the Bottle--be warned and abstain," and so on. Other subjects were addressed by "The Test of Good Breeding" (rules for polite society) and "Push--Don't Knock" (a verse on the value of positive thinking).

Photographs, mostly of the local landscape and school buildings, appeared throughout the life of The New Indian. Advertisements for local merchants appeared regularly, and from time to time, Guy W. Green of Lincoln, Nebraska, placed an ad for "Indian base ball players."

This publication is an informative source concerning government Indian schools during the period, providing a look at the attitudes and intentions prevalent among many educators of Indians at the time. The monthly also serves as a source of local and regional history.


Note
1.
Frank A. Virtue to S. M. McCowan, November 21, 1903, Chilocco--Print Shop, Archives Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, says, "The Indian Advance has been changed to 'The New Indian,' as you no doubt noticed in the last issue. We expect to make it much better than it is, but one of the greatest difficulties is that there is at present no fund available for us to draw from to better equip the school printery." The first issue

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