Color Sketch of Indian School Diploma
Color Sketch of Indian School Diploma
Unsigned, ca. 1897-1904
Crayon on paper
16 3/4" x 23"
National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

Color Sketch of Indian School Diploma
This partially completed sketch for a diploma honors William A. Jones, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1897–1904. Jones was an experienced teacher, businessman, and politician. As commissioner, he improved efficiency in the Office of Indian Affairs and argued for compulsory education for Indians and for Federal support of Indian schools. He believed Native Americans should be taught how to plant, cultivate, and reap, then "practice what he has been taught or starve." To further sever native children from their background, Jones did not permit his students to reenact their customs in "Wild West" shows. In keeping with the policy of eradicating Native American culture, this diploma design includes no images associated with the Indian way of life.

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