April 10, 1901

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

That is a matter in connection with which there is a very great difference of opinion.

I have given a good deal of personal attention to the question and my own conclusion, reached about a year ago after con-

suiting with men of experience, is : That

the money we spend for boarding schools is the most effective, and that we are-getting better results from it than the money we spend for industrial schools. It is the general conclusion of all familiar with Indian education that the ordinary day school is very ineffective, and that wherever a boarding school can be substituted for a day school it is desirable to do so. It is a little more expensive but the work is far more effective. The reason is that when the Indian child comes from the wigwam to school the influences centered upon the child at school are generally effaced by the home associations of the child. The boarding school is 1 think the best. It is not any more effective in regard to each pupil than is the industrial school, but the latter is much more expensive and in my judgment we get better value for our money than in the case of the former. When I took charge I found that the principals of the industrial schools kept the pupils for a length of time which seemed to me to be unreasonable, and I had to issue an order which resulted in a considerable number of pupils being discharged; they having been kept there as long as the state could be expected to keep them. The principals of the schools feared what would happen to the pupils if they left the schools, and of course that was some reflection upon the operation of the system. If a pupil spent five or six years in an industrial school at a cost to the state of $2,000 or $3,000, it was a poor commentary on the system if the pupil had to be kept in school after that for protection. One of the difficulties we have to face is to determine what shall be done with the pupils after they leave the industrial schools. They have then become so far removed from the ordinary Indian that they ought to be in a position to get along as well as an ordinary white man. But experience shows that in very few cases is the Indian boy or girl capable of taking care of himself or herself in contact with the white race. My own view is that the same amount of money spent on a boy or girl in a boarding school would result in training a very much larger number, and would have a better general effect in elevating the whole Indian race. I dealt with this matter at some length in the House a few years ago, and there was considerable discussion on the subject. I said then that while I was inclined to form that opinion I was not sufficiently clear on the subject to condemn an institution which had been founded before I took office, and I had not arrived at the conclusion that they were not doing sufficiently satisfactory work to warrant a radical change in the whole organization. With one exception there has been no industrial institution founded within the last four years. That exception is in British Columbia, where a church society offered to put up the building and incur all the preliminary expenses.

Mr. SPItOULE. That corroborates the information I have had, namely, that the industrial schools are comparatively a failure, and that the money spent in that direction is almost thrown away, because unless the Indians are kept under control after they leave the school they relapse into a condition little better than before they went to school. If these schools are not giving moderately good results the question arises as to what we should do. We have had them long enough on trial to enable us to determine whether they are a success or a failure, and it is important that the Indian Department should consider as to whether it would not be better to change the system.

Mr. CLANCY. Have the supplies forthe Indian Department been bought by

tender ?

The MINISTEli OF THE INTERIOR.

Yes, altogether.

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James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

Would the minister lay on the Table the tenders for some very large supplies of groceries and clothing which are mentioned in the Auditor General's Report ?

The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

When I said 'altogether'; all the supplies that can be scheduled before the beginning of the year are printed in a list. We advertised for tenders extensively, and we award to the lowest tenderer in each case. The only goods not purchased in that way are small articles for which there arises a demand during the year. Where it is possible to be done, the great bulk of the supplies are purchased by tender. Did the hon. gentleman call my attention to a particular case ?

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James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

Groceries bought in the city of Ottawa. The hon. gentleman will find them in the Auditor General's Report all the way from J-IS to the conclusion of surveys for the North-west Territories and Manitoba.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

The supplies to which my hon. friend refers on page 54 are small supplies for which a demand arises in the year, and for which we cannot advertise for tenders in the beginning of the year. Take, for instance, blankets, flour, and agricultural implements. These are purchased in accordance with an estimate sent to us by the Indian commissioner, and for these we ask for tenders. But articles required during the year, for which no definite estimate has been sent by the commissioner are purchased in the places where they are required.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

Yes, certainly.

Indians-Manitoba and North-west Territories -Grist and saw-mills, $1,113.

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James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

On page J-54 the liou. gentleman will find this item : Amount of deficits to March 31, 1900, $7,942.92. I

would like the hon. gentleman to explain what that means.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

That was the shortage in the management of the Elkhorn industrial school, which was paid by the department. The school had been established on the basis of ipllO per pupil per annum being granted, but it was found to be absolutely incapable of being managed on that basis, and the department paid the deficit, and has had to take the school over, and it is now managed as a government school.

Indians-Manitoba and North-west Territories -General expenses, $142,320.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

As the minister has promised to give my hon. friend from Marquette some explanation in regard to the sale or lease of that printing press, and in view of the acting minister last session having stated that no lease or other disposition had been made of the press, I think it would be well to reserve this item or some other for the purpose of getting the information which the hon. gentleman promised us.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

I will give it on the supplementary estimates.

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CON
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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

Six altogether.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Have any of them been disposed of during recent years ? 1

understood that it was the intention of the department as early as possible to dispose of these to private individuals, as they were somewhat expensive and did not yield a very great return.

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

I do not think it would be advisable to follow that policy. Where we can get the Indians to take an interest in them," I think it is desirable to retain them.

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Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

What special interest can the Indians take in them ? If the mill is there to do their grinding is it not as valuable to the Indians in the hands of a private individual as it is in the hands of the department ?

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

A private individual would run the mill for the purpose of making money, and would not be under the control of the department.

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Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

I imagine that the department could make such regulations as Mr. SIFTON.

would ensure the use of these mills to the Indians on a certain basis that would give them all the advantages of the mills and yet enable the department to save something in the running of them. [DOT]

Indians-British Columbia-Industrial and

boarding schools, $68,750.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

Does the same rule apply in British Columbia with regard to those articles which can be purchased by tender, as in Manitoba and the North-west Territories ?

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The MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR.

There are very few supplies required for British Columbia, and they are purchased locally. My hon. friend will see that the conditions are not at all the same as in Manitoba and the North-west Territories, where we buy in very large quantities.

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CON

Edward Gawler Prior

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. Mr. PRIOR.

How are the medicines purchased-by local tender or contract ?

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April 10, 1901