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Statement on Indian Affairs.

January 03, 1930

I HAVE a press question with respect to the reorganization and progress in the Indian Bureau. I have emphasized the necessity for this reorganization by the appointment of Mr. [Charles J.] Rhoads as the head of the Bureau and of Mr. [J. Henry] Scattergood as his assistant, and Secretary Wilbur is giving it his very special attention.

We have presented to Congress a request for an increased appropriation of some $3 million for next year's budget, and, in the meantime, we have submitted an estimate in the deficiency bill for some increase for the balance of this year. The purposes of these increases are mainly to build up the education and health facilities, to change the direction of educational work and to develop the industrial improvement of the Indians. The support to the schools and health program has not been adjusted to meet the reduced postwar purchasing power of money. The result has been to ever pinch the allotments for food and clothing for Indian children. The present allowance is about 20 cents per day for each child for food, and it must be doubled if they are to be maintained in reasonable health. We have 338,000 Indians. The broad problem is to better train the Indian youth to take care of themselves and their property. It is the only course by which we can ultimately discharge this problem from the Nation, and blend them as a self-supporting people into the Nation as a whole.

The Indian Bureau is recommending to the Congress a number of changes in the laws bearing on Indian affairs. The recommendations are designed to secure better administration of the very large properties owned by the Indians and to correct many things in the administration of these properties that will make for citizenship.

Note: On August 11, 1930, the White House released the text of a report to the President, by Commissioner of Indian Affairs Charles J. Rhoads, detailing the progress and accomplishments of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Herbert Hoover, Statement on Indian Affairs. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/211315

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