On the Redskins

43687v CC with Ruth Muskrat Cherokee 1923Miss Ruth Muskrat, a Cherokee Indian, presents Mr. Coolidge with a copy of The Red Man in the United States, a survey of the present day American Indian 12-13-1923Committee of 100 on Indian Affaires 12-13-1923

Note the book being presented to President Coolidge in these photos by Miss Ruth Muskrat and her Cherokee delegation on December 13, 1923. The book was a study of conditions on the reservations and around the country for him to address. The book they were proud to give him was entitled, The Red Man in the United States, a Survey of the Present-Day American Indian. The problem is not that we, as a people, are failing to be sensitive enough but that we are overly sensitive about the inconsequential and non-essential things. We wring our hands about potentially giving offense with words while we overlook and disassociate any responsibility that a century and a half of the reservation system has done in destroying lives, killing the spirit as well as the body and leaving generations of people stripped of dignity and beholden to government. Under Coolidge, they secured a long awaited and full citizenship. Moreover, he ensured the Meriam Report investigated independently of Washington’s bureaucracy what needed to be done. Commissioned in 1926, completed in 1928 and funded entirely through the Rockefeller Foundation, without any taxpayer money, the Meriam Report shook the status quo, overturning the old land allotment system and exposing the inherent failures of a Federal paternalism over education, health, social life, economics, and political consent. Partnered citizens not continued segregation as subordinates became the standard under Cal. While the Report would see early implementation by able administrators, the gains made would be undermined after Coolidge left public life.

A group of those who contributed to the meticulous study of conditions at 95 locations in 23 states done by the Institute for Government Research (Brookings Institute).

A group of those who contributed to the meticulous study of conditions at 95 locations in 23 states done by the Institute for Government Research (Brookings Institute).

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