« PreviousContinue »
Mr. Thomas. There are about 11,000 Indians and 19,000 Eskimos and Aleuts.
Mr. JOHNSON. What makes up the balance of the population? You have more than 60,000 people in Alaska, have you not?
Mr. Tuomas. The balance is white; there are about 30,000 white people and aboui 30,000 natives.
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes.
Mr. Thomas. We class as natives anyone having any aboriginal blood, no matter how small the amount may be.
We have never had any treaties of any kind with the Indians or the Eskimos. We have never had any reservations, as such, unless the Annette Islands may be so considered.
NUMBER OF CHILDREN OF SCHOOL AGE AND NUMBER ENROLLED IN SCHOOLS
According to the 1930 census, there are 8,554 natives of school age. Of this number, 4,464 were enrolled in the schools conducted by the Indian Office during the fiscal year 1936, and about 1,800 were enrolled in schools conducted by the Territory of Alaska. Included in this 1,800 are about 300 children of a quarter or more native blood, and about 1,500 of less than a quarter native blood.
There are also about 1,000 children enrolled in the missionary schools conducted by the various religious denominations, and there are about 1,290 native children who are not enrolled in any schools in Alaska.
NUMBER OF VILLAGES AND PUPILS WITHOUT EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES
Mr. Thomas. One thousand two hundred and ninety.
Mr. Thomas. Because we have not been able to get sufficient money to establish schools for them. The population is small and scattered. We have secured reports from our supervisors in Alaska with reference to where about 900 of these children are located, and they are in places where the children of school age are sufficient in number to warrant the establishment of a school. The following table lists these villages and gives the number of children of school age in each.
ESTIMATE FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF SCHOOLS There are in Alaska some 25 or 30 Indian villages with 20 or more children of school age who are without any educational facilities whatever. The following is a partial list of these villages:
Village and number of children 1. Aniak
40 | 15, Skammon Bay... 2. Apokak.
29 16. Tagiaiak.-3. Cutoff...
17. Valdez Creek. 4. Egevik..
18. Iliamna.----5. Fish Village
19. Mekoryok... 6. Gasigluk.
20. English Bay... 7. Gulkana.---
21. Cape Halkett. 8. Kialek.-----
22. Colville.---9. Komogamute.
23. Barter Island. 10. Kotmute.-..
24. Chandalar... 11. Napaimute...
25. Kwiguk. 12. Oliklok
26. Tukchuk ---13. Savanusk 14. Safanak...,
* I might say that the estimate that we have before us now includes the establishment of schools in three of these villages.
Mr. JOHNSON. How much was provided for that in the budget estimate?
Mr. Thomas. This estimate provides for the salaries of three community workers at $2,000 each, or a total of $6,000 for salaries, and $2,500 for fuel and supplies for the three stations referred to. There is also provision in the construction estimate for new school buildings at these three new places; at six places where we already have a school, and at one place (Nunivak Island) where we propose to discontinue our school at Nash Harbor and open a new one at Cape Etolin (Mekoyruk).
Mr. Johnson. How much is the total amount of construction in the bill for Alaska?
Mr. THOMAS. The total amount for construction of new school buildings is $119,000. It is not included in this estimate, but in a separate construction estimate, in which the total amount for Alaska is $305,000. Of that amount $186,000 is for a hospital, clinics, and nurses quarters.
I would like to state also that we make no payments of any kind to the Territorial schools or to the religious schools, the missionary schools, in Alaska. The Territorial legislature has passed resolutions asking for reimbursement for the cost of educating native children in the Territorial schools, but nothing has been appropriated by Congress for that purpose.
Mr. Johnson. That has reference to private schools?
Mr. THOMAS. No. That has reference to schools for white children conducted by the Territory of Alaska.
During the 1936 fiscal year we operated 101 community day schools, in which we endeavored to work toward the objects which Mr. Beatty described yesterday in discussing the Indian schools in the States, with the exception that there is practically no agriculture among the natives in Alaska; or, at least, very little.
Of these 101 day schools 48 are 1-teacher schools, where we have only 1 employee; 38 are 2-teacher schools; 13 have 3 or more teachers.
We also have two vocational boarding schools, one at Wrangell, in southeast Alaska, and one at Eklutna, on the Alaska Railroad, not far from Anchorage. Each of these schools enrolled this year approximately 115 pupils.
I think that covers the situation in general, Mr. Chairman. If there are any further questions which you wish to ask, I would be glad to answer them.
INCREASE IN ESTIMATE FOR 1938 Mr. JOHNSON. Are there any questions, Mr. Lambertson, that you would like to ask?
Mr. LAMBERTSON. What increase have you over last year?
Mr. Thomas. The increase for Alaska in this estimate that we have before us—this does not include new construction-is $33,120. Mr. JOHNSON. We would like to know just what those items are.
SALARIES OF COMMUNITY WORKERS Mr. THOMAS. The increases in this estimate, which amount to a total of $33,120, consist of the following items: $6,000 for salaries, which covers the salary of a community worker at each of three places
where we have never had a school before. These are as follows: At English Bay, which is situated at the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula, not far from Seward; at Colville, on the Arctic coast east of Point Barrow, which is away up on the northern side of the continent in a very isolated region, and having a very cold climate; and at Kwiguk, which is situated at the mouth of the Yukon River. In each of these places we have from 57 to 71 children of school age,
The estimates also provide for the construction of a new building at each of the following places—I am referring now to the construction estimate: One at a place called Mekoyruk, at the northern tip of Munivak Island, which is located in Bering Sea. We propose to transfer our teachers from another school on that island to this particular village, for the reason that at the present village, which is at Nash Harbor, the population is decreasing. There are only about a dozen children of school age at Munivak, whereas at Mekoyruk, on the same island, there are 38 children of school age; and we believe we should have a school for the larger group.
There are also six other places where we propose to construct new school buildings. We already have teachers in these places and have conducted schools there for some time.
One is at Teller, on the west coast of Seward Peninsula, west of Nome; one at Nondalton, which is on Lake Clark; one at Hooper Bay, which is a large, primitive Eskimo village on the shore of Bering Sea; one at Nonapitchuk, which is on the Kuskokwim River.
With reference to this last-mentioned place, I would like to state that since the estimate was submitted, the director of education for Alaska, Mr. Hirst, has recommended that instead of constructing a new building this coming year at Nonapitchuk, we substitute Umnak, which is situated on an island of the same name in the Aleutian group, and which he thinks is more urgent.
The other places are Pilot Point on the north coast of the Alaska Peninsula-also known as Ugashik—and at Gambell, on St. Lawrence Island, where we have been trying for some years to operate a school in a building more than 50 years old which belongs to the Presbyterian Church and is practically falling apart.
I might also say, in speaking of this construction item, that under the leadership of Mr. Beatty, the Director of Education, and the Commissioner, we are endeavoring to have our Construction Division study the building situation in Alaska and design the kinds of buildings that are needed and prepare more accurate estimates for submission to the Budget and the committee than we have heretofore. A member of the Construction Division is en route to Alaska at this time in connection with that purpose. Mr. Beatty, the Director of Education of the Indian Bureau, is also en route to Alaska to study the situation there.
TRAVEL EXPENSE The travel item consists of small increases for supervision, for appointment travel, for expenses of boarding-school children going to and from institutions, returning destitute Indians to their homes, and $1,000 to cover the expenses, or a portion of the expenses, for some 25 or 30 teachers in the interior of Alaska to attend a proposed summer demonstration school at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.
PURCHASE OF EQUIPMENT The equipment increase of $9,200 consists principally of new furniture and equipment at the 10 places where new construction is proposed.
RELIEF OF DESTITUTION IN ALASKA The increase of $7,920 in the item for relief of destitution is erplained in detail in the justification. In connection with that I might state that this makes a total amount for that purpose of $32,920.
The $25,000 which was granted by Congress for the current year was completely exhausted on the 1st of April, and we have had to transfer an additional $2,500 from other items and instruct the Director of Education in Alaska that this would have to last for the last 3 months of the current fiscal year.
The total amount for the relief of destitution for natives of Alaska is very small in comparison with the amount expended by the Territory on the relief of destitution among the whites.
Mr. Johnson. How much money has been spent by the Territory for the relief of whites? That is a very interesting statement that you have just made.
Mr. THOMAS. I have here a report of the auditor for the Territory covering the biennium 1935 and 1936, in which he lists, under "Public welfare," a total of $752,000. This includes $154,492 for the maintenance of the Pioneer Home for the Aged, $292,000 for old-age allowances, $97,000 for dependent children, $141,000 for relief to the needy, $13,000 for miscellaneous hospital claims, $900 for miscellaneous relief, and a few other related items. The foregoing covers the period from January 1, 1935 to December 31, 1936.
Mr. JOHNSON. Have you any further statement on that, Mr. Dodd?
Mr. DODD. Just a moment, please. I was checking those items as Mr. Thomas was speaking of the amount for relief. The amount, in line 15, of $32,900 should be $32,920. Apparently that error was in the Budget as well as in the bill. I have just added them up, and I will verify the figures; but the total of the item is $699,980, whereas the Budget estimate is an even $700,000. The figure that Mr. Thomas gave you represented the actual allowances for increases granted by the Budget. So that $39,900 should be $39,920.
LETTING OF CONTRACTS IN ADVANCE OF APPROPRIATIONS
Mr. THOMAS. There is one item of increase that I have not men. tioned. It is the last one mentioned on page 147. That is $7,000 additional for freight and the operation of vessels.
We have always had a great deal of difficulty with that item. Our boats get up there late, and the appropriation passes late. Our ships get caught in the ice, and they are delayed and suffer damage. The repairs to the boats come out of this item.
Mr. Johnson. Have you any further statement to be made, Mr. Dodd?
Mr. Dodd. There is a statment that I would like to make in connection with this item.
We discussed earlier in this hearing the necessity of using long symbol numbers to identify appropriations and limitations within appropriations. Here is a fair sample of an item that makes an
appropriation in a lump sum of $700,000, the control appropriation being “Education of natives in Alaska.” Inside of that $700,000 are 9 or 10 subtitles. Each of them has a limitation symbol number.
I do not know to what extent the committee wants to have broken down in the text of this item the amount that goes for salaries and the amount for travel and the amount for supplies, and so on. You will notice on page 208 our complete break-down, giving the number of employees in each grade, and their salaries, the total for salaries, the total for supplies, communications service, travel expenses, transportation, heat, light, power, and so on.
I would like to offer for the consideration of the committee an amendment which would strike out all of the text beginning with the word “included”, at the end of line 12, and ending with the words "in all”, in line 19. That is on page 206. And after the word "that”, in line 21, strike out the remainder of the text and all the text appearing on page 207 and insert in lieu thereof the following:
Hereafter when appropriations for any fiscal year for education and medical relief for natives of Alaska have not been made prior to the first day of March preceding the beginning of such fiscal year, the Secretary of the Interior may authorize such officer or officers as may be designated by him to incur obligations for the purchase of materials, supplies, and equipment of not to exceed 75 per centum of the amount available for such purposes for the fiscal year then current, payments of these obligations to be made from the appropriations for the new fiscal year when they become available.
We have in the Indian Service at the present time an act passed in August of 1894 (U. S. C., title 25, sec. 99) which authorizes the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to advertise in the spring of each year for bids and to enter into contracts, subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, for goods and supplies for the Indian Service required for the ensuing fiscal year notwithstanding the fact that the appropriations for the fiscal year have not been made; and the contracts so made shall be on the basis of the appropriations for the preceding fiscal year, and shall contain a clause that no deliveries shall be made under the same and no liability shall attach to the United States in consequence of such execution if Congress fails to make an appropriation for such contract for the fiscal year for which those supplies are required.
We operate in the States under that provision; we assemble our data in the fall and winter and advertise and make up contracts for the supplies for the new fiscal year in February, March, and April. In other words, we have many of our contracts made now for the goods and supplies that will be delivered after this appropriation bill becomes a law.
But that does not help us in the Territory of Alaska. The shipping season opens about May 15 and closes about September 15. That gives us only a few short months to advertise and get our supplies delivered and on the ships and up there and delivered up there.
This provision, as I say, helps us in the United States; but it does not help us in Alaska.
In the appropriation for the Alaska Road Commission I find this provision of law—this ia an act of February 12, 1925, as modified by the act of June 30, 1932 (U. S. C., title 48, sec. 326):
Roads, BRIDGES, AND TRAILS; OBLIGATIONS IN ADVANCE OF APPROPRIATIONS.When an appropriation for the construction and maintenance of roads, tramways, ferries, bridges, and trails for any fiscal year shall not have been made prior to the 1st day of March preceding the beginning of such fiscal year, the Secretary