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No. 18 (May 1957)
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Our knowledge in New Zealand of the “Red” Indians of the United States is limited pretty much to what we have picked up from films and adventure stories of the pioneer days. Many of these have dealt with the Indians as a dying race. But there are today very considerable numbers of Indians throughout the country, living often in groups on reservations and under the special protection of the Federal Government. In more recent years the Government has set up a wide and complicated range of special services to Indians. Discussion now centred on the stepping down of the Government from its position of special protector and trustee and the taking by the Indian of his place in the community as an ordinary citizen.

Although the position of the Indian is not the same as that of the Maori, the facts about the Indians as discussed in this article must be of interest to many readers

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BOOKS

United States Indians

House of Representatives Report No. 1503. 82d Congress 2d Session, Union Calendar No. 790. Report with Respect to the House Resolution authorising the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs to conduct an Investigation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Pursuant to House Resolution 698 (82d Congress)

This is a weighty title and the volume concerned is correspondingly heavy. It contains some 2,000 pages of closely printed material on the Indians of the United States and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which is the department of the Federal Government concerned with Indian administration. This book probably contains more facts about the Indians than could be found in any other single volume. Certainly there is more information in it than most of us would ever have the time or the inclination to take in.

The material was assembled for or by a Committee (actually a sub-committee of a Committee) of the United States House of Representatives which in 1952 was directed by the House to investigate the activities of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In a “Summary Statement” of one and a half pages (1 ½ pages out of 2,000), the Committee sets out its belief “that all legislation dealing with Indian Affairs should be directed to the ending of a segregated race set aside from other citizens” and recommends that the objectives should be “(1) the end of wardship or trust status as not acceptable to the American way of life, and (2) the assumption by individual Indians of all the duties, obligations and privileges of free citizens”. It should be noted that in the statement the Committee expresses doubts about some of the information provided by the Bureau and reproduced in the book.

At the date of compilation of the figures, there were something like 403,000 Indians on tribal rolls, of whom 19,000 were “full-bloods”. About 61,000 Indians are said to be unable to speak English, and almost the same number to be illiterate. Nothing is said of the definition of “Indian” as used, and it is presumed that there must be at least some individuals with a degree of Indian blood who are submerged in the general population and not included in these figures.

The Indians reside in 26 states and in the Territory of Alaska. The greatest number, 93,000 odd, is in Arizona, and the smallest, 392, in Louisiana. There seem to be about 80 main tribes or tribal groups, broken up into several hundred bands and clans and living on or around some 375 reservations, which range in size from less than

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This is the home of a modern Indian of the Hopi tribe. The ceiling construction has not changed for centuries and the floors are usually hard-packed earth, though some of the newer ones have linoleum covering. Behind the wall at the left are storage spaces. At night mattresses are taken from these spaces and spread on the floor. One modern cot is seen on the rear. (USIS PHOTOGRAPH)

10 acres to over 2,000,000 acres. Apparently, the majority of the large reservations contain much desert and infertile land.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is a huge organisation, dividing the country, for administrative purposes, into eleven geographical areas each with a large Area Office. These Area Offices among them control a total of about 60 Agencies together with various Field Offices. The number of employees is not shown, but must run into many thousands. The Bureau covers a wide range of activities. It is concerned with banking, collection and distribution of rents, control of land transactions, education, farming, forestry, health, irrigation, law enforcement, roads and welfare. And these are on no small scale. For example, the Bureau operates 61 hospitals and over 300 schools of varying grades. In effect, the Bureau is the whole of Government for most Indians. State Governments in all but a few cases have no jurisdiction whatsoever over Indians. Indian relationships are direct with the Federal Government, almost as if they were collectively a fortyninth state.

Our interest in New Zealand must go in the direction of comparing the Indian position with that of the Maoris. The result of any comparison can be surmised fairly well from the Statement of the Committee of the need for ending the special segregated status of the Indians and for their assumption of the privileges and obligations of free citizens. It is clear that the nature of Indian administration is intensely paternal and bureaucratic and that the status of the Indians is verging on what we might describe as that of persons under disability.

The general character of the administration is due, apparently to several essential features of long standing which tend themselves to militate against any slackening of Government leading strings. These are, I would say, the reservation idea, the communal ownership of much property; and the concept of the State as trustee for the Indians. The origin of these features is, of course,

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historical. The Indians, generally, are not on their original ancestral lands, and many of them were pushed thousands of miles towards the west, in stages until they were placed on reservations which were at last to be really reserved. Naturally enough most of the reservation lands are those which appealed least to the settlers. Land was reserved for tribes as a whole and individuals did not receive title other than their beneficial rights as members of a tribe. Tribal funds were built up by tribal land use and the like and are still tribal. The tendency in the relatively few cases where groups have been released from tutelage, has been to incorporate the group by statute thus continuing the communal notion.

The difficulty now lies in fully releasing shares of land and other property to individuals and withdrawing the paternal tentacles of the Federal Government without too serious a shock. Some steps in this direction have been taken by issuing individual grants to land, but on an extremely small scale.

Many other comments could be made by those of us familiar with Maori Affairs. In particular, one cannot but feel that the setting up of an independant judicial tribunal to control and effect land transactions would have been a vast improvement on the system whereby the Bureau itself by means of its administrative officers does this work. It is also interesting to see how the old familiar trouble of involved multiple ownership is adding to land troubles.

The impression one gets from the statistics and other material in the book is that the social and economic status of the Indians, generally speaking, is low, and that the primary reason for this is their segregation and special status as mentioned in the Committee's statement. The old communal organisation has in my view unjustifiably been made to live on, long after its appropriateness has dwindled.

Apart from all these more serious considerations there is a wealth of fascinating stuff in the book. In particular, the “Directory of Indian Tribal and Band Groups”, of about 450 pages, giving historical and other data on all known Indian groups, is, one would think, an invaluable reference work for anyone connected with Indian Affairs, and for many who are not. A directory of this sort for Maori tribes and hapus would be invaluable to New Zealand historians and Maori scholars.

EXCITEMENT AND SUSPENSE

The Old Man and the Sea‘—Ernest Hemingway. With illustrations by C. F. Tunnicliffe and Raymond Sheppard. Jonathan Cape. 1955.

Ernest Hemingway was born at Oak Park, Illinois, in 1898. At sixteen he began to earn his own living at a variety of labouring jobs, and after

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serving in the 1914–18 war, returned to newspaper work. His life-long interests in fishing, shooting, ski ing, and the bull ring have supplied much of the raw material of his books, and taken him to many different corners of the world. He now lives in Cuba.

Hemingway published his first book before he was twenty-five, and was immediately recognised as an outstanding writer and one of the most influential figures in the field of modern American fiction. In 1954 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature for his narrative art as shown in his most recent book, ‘The Old Man and the Sea.’

This is the story of an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream. His closest friend was a young boy who loved him and served him like his own son; and his only other interest, now that the days of his youth were far behind him, was baseball. Fishing was his life and his livelihood, and he had gone eighty-four days without taking a fish. In the early dark of the eighty-fifth day he put out to sea alone, out past the other boats, out of sight of land, out to where the big fish lived in an ocean a mile deep. And there he hooked his fish—a giant marlin eighteen feet long and stronger than a strong man in his prime. For two days and two nights he followed and fought the fish with all the patience and experience that the spent years had left him, and on the third day he won. Then came the sharks.

It is a simple tale about an old man, a fish, and a boy. Nothing more. But into it Hemingway has put all the courage, humility, endurance, and suffering that can be contained in one man's life. It is written in a quiet and deliberately restrained prose, but its excitement and terrible suspense make it a book to be read at one sitting. This 1955 edition is a beautiful example of book production, and the excellent black and white illustrations are entirely suitable.

Four of Mr Hemingway's earlier novels have been published by Penguin Books and are easily obtainable. They are: ‘Men Without Women’, ‘A Farewell to Arms’, ‘To Have and Have Not’, ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’.—J.C. Sturm.

MAORI BATTALION HISTORY READY

The War History Branch advises that the Unit History of the 28th Maori Battalion, 2 N.Z.E.F., is now completed. Any ex-member, or next-of-kin of any deceased member, is entitled upon application to receive a free copy.

Applications should state Army Number, Rank and Name, and give the address to which the book should be sent.

Forward applications to War History Branch, Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington.

RIPOATA O TE HUI I NGARUAWAHIA

Ki te Etita

Katahi ano ka kite iho i te Ripoata o ta matau hui i Turangawaewae Marae, Ngaruawahia, i te Koroneihana o Kiingi Koroki.

Kei te he te korero o te Ripoata ko taku kaupapa he whakakotahi mai i te iwi Maori ki raro i Te Kiingitanga. Kaore tena i te huarahi e kotahi ai taua te Maori. Otira, e kore ke taua te Maori e kotahi, i te kotahitanga tinana. Na te whakahaere a Ratana ka ahua tata te kotahi. Ko te kotahitanga o te Maori he kotahitanga i runga i nga whakaaro mo nga take e pa ana ki te iwi Maori katoa.

Ko te kotahitanga o Te Kiingitanga, he kotahitanga i roto i a Tainui ake. Ko tona waewae kaha ko nga komiti marae i taua takiwa. He komiti enei no mua iho, ko tana mahi he hapai i Te Kiingitanga i roto o Waikato.

Na te patai a nga iwi o waho, me pehea matau e whai waahi atu ai ki ta matau Mokopuna? Ka whakautu a Waikato, koianei pea tetehi huarahi he tuku mai i nga terekete o o koutou komiti marae.

Ko te korero aku a Waikato ki nga iwi o Te Motu, he kotahitanga toku, kei whea tou? I te taenga ake o Peta raua ko Nehe, ka kitea atu tera pea ta raua kotahitanga mo te iwi Maori ko Te Social Credit. I manaakitia ta raua take i Te Koroneihana. Heoi, kaore he whakahoa roopu pooti mema a Te Kiingitanga. Na reira i te korero-tanga o Peta raua ko Nehe i te marae ka tukuna hoki tetehi taima ki a Iriaka kia puta ai te waahi ki a ia.

Kia kaha tatau ki te whakatuputupu i o tatu roopu, ko Te Riiki tena, ko Te Ringatu tena, ko Te Ratana tena, a me Te Kiingitanga. Ko te waahi ki Te Kiingitanga ko te pupuri i te mana Maori hei tirohanga atu ma nga uri whakatupu, he taonga penei ano toku to te Maori. Kei hea afu koia i roto i a taua i te iwi Maori te mauri ranga tiratanga Maori penei i ta Waikato raua ko Maniapoto? Toitu tonu tana tu mai ra no. Ahakoa pehea te tineia e nga tikanga o te a o hou, u tonu, mau tonu.

Ko taku tenei, hui mai taua te iwi Maori, ki te waihanga i taua, ahakoa he aha te roopu, te kotahitanga ranei. Tuituia o taua hinengaro a whaia hoki he huarahi e mau ai nga taonga ataahua ao taua tupuna i tenei wa o te pakeha

Kia ora mai,

Na ta koutou mokai,

Maharaia Winiata.

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