Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions

An institution for the protection and promotion of Catholic Indian mission interests in the United States, established in Washington, 1874, by Archbishop Bayley; reorganized, 1894. Supported, until 1887, chiefly by the Catholic Indian Mission Fund, expenses are now paid by an annual contribution from Mother Katherine Drexel, amounting to over one half, and the annual Lenten collection for Indian and Negro missions. Constantly in communication with officials of the Indian Office, the organization supervises the missions, to a limited extent, bishops and missionaries looking to it for support. President Roosevelt, recognizing the value of the Bureau, gave it marked consideration, and by his order contracts producing a yearly income of $100,000 for the benefit of the contract schools, payable out of Indian tribal funds, were granted, 1904, and confirmed by the United States Supreme Court, 1908. Other advantages gained through the Bureau include: the right for the Indian parent to choose a school for his child; restoration, 1906, of rations totaling $20,000, belonging to pupils of mission schools by right of treaty, and denied them, 1901; exemption of Catholic pupils in government schools from Protestant worship and instruction, and provision of Catholic worship and instruction for them; passage of a law granting patents in fee simple for lands on Indian reservations held by the Church as tenant at will.

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