Not in Keeping with “Civilization”
Indian Office Orders End of Long Hair, Dances, and Feasts
William A. Jones, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in the Office of Indian Affairs, has ordered his agents and superintendents on the reservations to see to it that Indian men not be allowed to wear long hair. Jones states that long hair is “not in keeping with the advancement they are making or will soon be expected to make, in civilization.”
According to Jones’s order, if Indian men who are employed by the government do not comply, their food rations should be stopped. If they became troublesome, Jones believes that “a short confinement in the guard-house at hard labor, with shorn locks, should furnish a cure.”
Jones also ordered his reservation officials to end face-painting and traditional dances and feasts and to encourage the discarding of Indian dress.
When reporters questioned whether he had gone too far, Jones responded that his actions were in line with the policies set down by Secretary of the Interior Henry M. Teller. “At one extreme there is a cold brutality which recognizes the dead Indian as the only good Indian, and at the other a sickly sentimentalism that crowns the Indian with a halo and looks up to him as a persecuted saint,” Jones told reporters. “Between the two,” Jones continued, “will be found the true friend of the Indian, who, looking upon him as he really is and recognizing his inevitable absorption by a stronger race, are endeavoring to fit him under new conditions for the struggle of life. With these I desire to be numbered.”
Jones was appointed in 1897 by Republican President William McKinley. A business man from Mineral Point, Wisconsin, Jones has been very active in the Republican party.
By Dr. D. Jerome Tweton
Originally published as The North Star Dakotan student newspaper, written by Dr. D. Jerome Tweton and supported by the North Dakota Humanities Council.
Describe how community life has changed from past (i.e., pioneer and tribal) to the present
Identify examples of how different groups, societies, and cultures are similar and different (e.g., in beliefs, traditions, family relationships, celebrations, institutions, folklore)
Identify similarities and differences between past events and current events in North Dakota (e.g., in the lives of people from different cultures past and present)
Identify the characteristics of a sovereign nation in terms of tribal government in North Dakota
Explain the contributions of various ethnic groups (e.g., Native Americans, immigrants) to the history of North Dakota (e.g., food, traditions, languages, celebrations)
Describe similarities and differences between past events and current events in U.S. history (e.g., in the lives of people from different cultures past and present)
Explain how differences among cultures (e.g., differences in beliefs and governments) often result in conflict.
Explain how political leaders (e.g., Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, Martin Van Buren, John Tyler) dictated national policy (e.g., States’ rights, closure of National Bank, Indian Removal Act)
Analyze the rationale for western expansion and how it affected minorities (e.g. reservations, Indian Removal Act, treaties, Chinese Exclusion Act, Dawes Act, Manifest Destiny, Homestead Act)
Explain the significance of key events (e.g., settlement and homesteading, statehood, reservations) and people (e.g., Roughrider Recipients) in North Dakota and tribal history
Analyze Federal policy and action regarding American Indians (e.g. Dawes Act, changes in federal and state Indian policies, civil rights movement; current issues surrounding gaming, housing, distribution of wealth, and healthcare, Indian Reorganization Act, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Civil Rights Act, Indian Child Welfare Act, American Indian Religious Freedom Act, Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, Citizenship, American Indian Movement)
Explain how political and economic forces have affected the sovereignty of tribal nations (e.g., constitutional provisions; Supreme Court cases; laws used in forming the basis of the federal-tribal relationship; political and economic forces affecting sovereignty of tribal nations)
Explain the various purposes of social groups, general implications of group membership, and different ways that groups function (e.g., minority groups, cliques, counterculture, family relations and political groups)
Analyze conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among individuals, groups, and institutions (e.g., gender roles, social stratification, racial/ethnic bias)