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yet I do not mean to magnify its potentiality or to be an alarmist. There is a danger only if it is ignored and allowed to grow unchallenged. Specifically, I refer to the danger which lies in the much repeated propaganda that Indians occupy a favored place in the Nation and that the way to deal with Indians is to throw them on their own, to abolish the services developed in their behalf, and to remove all protection from their property. This is dangerous propaganda precisely because it is an over-simplification of the situation, it deals with half-truths which may be, and are, interpreted to fit any false premise. (I speak not of attacks o the Indian Service, and am not seeking exemption from attack for the Indian Service; but I am concerned because attacks on the Indian Service are part of the strategy of peddling half-truths which in the end constitute attacks on the Indian people.) The remedy now, as it was twenty years ago, is to inform public opinion as to the true conditions and as to the real objectives of the Indian people. There has always been need of an Indian organization for just such purposes. The victories of twenty years ago which resulted in saving, for example, the Pueblos' lands and the Indian title to executive order reservations, were in large part the result of actions taken by the Pueblo Indians. It was their coming together and speaking in a common voice which finally won the attention and the conscience of public men. There are great tasks lying waiting for a national organization of Indians, and I have not the least hesitancy in saying that there are among the Indian people individuals capable of matching any tasks, given the support of competent organization. Indians by themselves as detached individuals may accomplish great things in their individual lives and in the life of their peoples but it can only be through competent and inspired group organization that the greater problems facing the whole Indian people will ever satisfactorily be dealt with. You have my strongest wishes for success in your undertaking, and you have my assurance that the Indian Service welcomes a strong Indian organization. Sincerely yours, (Sgd.) JOHN COLLIER Commissioner. The afternoon session continued with each individual introducing himself and making such remarks as he felt he wanted to make. HENRY STANDING BEAR: (Sioux from Pine Ridge). My friends, there are such times like this I make it my policy to let other fellows do all the talking. I only want to express my idea about the organization in one word. This is what we should have done years ago. Whether it is sponsored by the employees of the Indian Bureau or what, that does not make any difference. If each one of us is going to be men, all right, let us get behind this. If our friends in the Indian Service try to anything out of the way, we will take care of them. -7-
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