APRIL 15, 1958
NEW YORK—Rep. Francis E. Walter's attack on the Fund for the Republic is a threat not just to this fund but to all educational foundations. If he succeeds in getting the Treasury Department to revoke the Fund's tax exemption there is no reason why many other educational foundations should not find themselves in the same predicament.
Great good has come to this country because of the fact that men who have made a great deal of money have seen fit to establish funds which can be used to do things for which other money might not be available. There is much that government itself cannot do; and it is rather rare that private individuals can foster certain studies or initiate certain research as lone individuals. The various funds, which free a certain amount of capital from taxation, have made it possible to do things that needed to be done. Rep. Walter has shown himself narrow and prejudiced in this matter. I hope that common sense will prevail and we as a nation will be able to go on enjoying the benefits that come to us from having educational foundations able to perform the kind of work that the Fund for the Republic has been doing.
Once again the problems of the Indians within our nation call for the sympathetic attention of our people. I have never felt that, as a whole, the citizens of this country recognized sufficiently their responsibility to the people who inhabited the continent when we took it over. Recently I received a letter from the Association of American Indian Affairs, Inc., which reads in part:
"The American Indian community are beseeching our Interior Department and its Bureau of Indian Affairs to help them keep the little land that remains out of all they once held. Our Interior Department has said there will be no help."
Strong, sorrowful appeals by the Blackfeet, the Omahas, the Northern Cheyennes and the Midwestern Inter-tribal Council have come in, and these can be obtained from the American Indian Fund, 48 East 86th Street, New York City.
These appeals are human documents which cannot be ignored. In a way, the American people are allowing their government not to live up to the agreements originally made when we were the ones who had most to gain by these pacts with the Indians. Once upon a time they roamed freely throughout the length and breadth of our land. Our agreements with them not only enabled us to live peacefully with the Indians but also to take over large portions of their land.
Under the guise of advancement and giving them more rights, we have been doing things to them of late—both within our states and through our national government—which are no credit to our sense of responsibility and our integrity as regards what has now become a weaker race within our borders. I hope that many people will write in for the Indian Affairs Newsletter which publishes these appeals, and then let their representatives know how they feel on this subject. It is particularly important where there still are large numbers of Indians on reservations.