June 22, 1908


Amendment agreed to, and section as amended agreed to.


LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

I move to strike out subsection 5 of section 2 to make it conform to the terms of the section just adopted.

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Subtopic:   ST. MARY'S POST OFFICE.
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Motion agreed to, and Bill reported. Mr. OLIVER moved third reading of the Bill.


CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Before the Bill is read the third time, I would like to ask the minister if he has formed any idea of the extent to which this provision is likely to be availed of ? In other words, to what extent will it open the doors to Chinese immigration in British Columbia and the other provinces ?

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LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

To a very limited degree. The abuse that exists in British Columbia is because of the advantage which has been taken of the provision now in the Act by those who had not been students in China, and who were not as a matter of fact bona

fide students in Canada. The evil, or that which we consider is an evil, will be absolutely cured by this provision, and we think that the door is not opened wider by it than ordinary international courtesy would entitle it to be.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the third time and passed.


SUPPLY-THE INDIAN DEPARTMENT.


Mr. FIELDING moved that the House go into Committee of Supply.


CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG (East Lambton).

Mr. Speaker, before you leave the Chair I wish to call the attention of the House to the position of the Indian Department. I will show that that department is run in the most careless and reckless manner, that this government, since it came to power, has sold some 020,000 acres of Indian lands at prices ranging from 10 cents an acre up, the total money received for them being only a little over $1,500,000, and that it has disposed of dozens of islands belonging to the Indians at $1 a piece. I do not think the Minister of the Interior is conversant with what has been and is going on in the Indian Department ; or if he is, he is deserving of the severest censure. I admit that the department which the Minister of the Interior has charge of is altogether too large for the amount >of time and energy that he can bestow upon it. I am sure he will be frank enough to say that, so far as the Indian Department is concerned, he knows little or nothing about it and has given it very little attention. The total expenditure of the Indian Department is over $1,500,000 per annum, of which practically half goes to the officials and only half reaches the Indians. In this connection, I desire to give a number of figures which will show that the department and its affairs require immediate attention. We have to-day an Indian population under treaty of 85,000. The total Indian population is about 110,000, so that there is considerably over 20,000 outside of treaty. A large amount of money is taken from the funds each year on account of Indians outside of treaty, but we cannot learn that much of this expenditure really goes to the benefit of these Indians. The statistics I shall give cover mainly the ten years from 1895 to 1905. The next fiscal period after that is only nine months and does not afford a good basis of comparison. When this government came into power, Mr. Hayter Reed had charge of the Indian Department. As far as we can learn, he was conducting the affairs of that department in a businesslike and straightforward manner. But he was superannuated on something like $2,000 a year. And to show you the value of the man, it is only necessary to say that he is receiving $15,000 a year from the Canadian Pacific Railroad as superintendent of their

system of hotels throughout the Dominion.

Here are the figures showing the payments on account of Indians outside of treaty for ten years. I call the attention of the minister to these figures, which he can verify by referring to his annual report. I think he will find no justification in that report for the increase of these expenditures year after year :

Payments made to Indians outside of treaty:

1895 $ 2,900

1896 3,700

1897 1,400

.1898 7,200

1899 5,400

1900 8,100

1901 9,400

1902 18,100

1903 19,700

1904 26,600

And, from all that I can learn, these expenditures have materially increased since that time, though the benefit to the Indian outside of treaty has not been very apparent. Some time ago I had an interview' with two missionaries, thoroughly acquainted with the district outside of treaty. They assured me that there are not 10,000 nontreaty Indians outside the Yukon. And when I told them of the large expenditures made for Indians outside of treaty, they gave me the instance of 3,000 Indians around James bay without a single doctor or official to care for them. They told me of another district in Moosonee and Keewatin, in which there are 10,000 Indians with no doctor or government official. And. besides most of these 10.000 are treaty Indians. It would be interesting to have a detailed statement of the expenditure of about $30,000 per year which the minister is making in connection with Indians outside of treaty. In 1904-5, the number of officials in the outside service of the Indian Department was 397: salaries paid to these officials $143,000. The total number of officials, inside and outside service, was 1,064 and the total salaries $343,769. In ten years up to 1904-5, the increase in the number of officials in the outside service was 80, the increase in the number of doctors was 106, and the increase in the amount of salaries was $35,800. The increase in the number of teachers was one. (And I may remark in passing that when I come to criticise the educational branch of the Indian Department, the minister will see that it has been sadly lacking in any advanced legislation or means of helping the Indians to receive a better education.) The total increase in the officials, outside and inside services, in the ten years referred to was 233, and the increases in the salaries made a total of $46,000. During this time there was practically no increase in the number of Indians under treaty. The number of Indians in the Yukon was 3,302. On May 9, 1906, there were three Indian Mr. ARMSTRONG. '

schools in operation in the Yukon, one boarding school and two day schools.

According to an answer I received from the Minister of the Interior, there are no officials of the Indian Department in the Yukon up to 1906.

The following figures show the condition of Indian affairs for the several provinces :

- Indians. Government doctors. Payments to doctors. Other officials.! Salaries.

$ 9

Ontario 20,850 58 14,427 157 36,000Quebec 11,218 32 3,127 65 8,980Manitoba

N. W. Ter.- Saskatchewan 6,850 26 8,388 202 55J190and Alberta Man. and N.W. Ter. generally B. Columbia.... . 17,393 63 21,724 319 100,920 16,144 45,54025,it2 52 13,958 112 Mew Brunswick 1,600 41 3,222 61 5,590Nova Scotia.. .. 1,993 42 3,605 70 6,775P. E. Island ... 1,288 y 787 11 600

The total number of Indians under treaty was 85,553 and the number of doctors was 323, an increase in ten years of 106. The cost of medical attendance was $69,332, an increase in ten years of $35,810. The officials numbered 1,064 and they received $343,768 in salaries, -an increase in ten years of $46,160. The total amount paid to doctors and officials by the Indian Department amounted to $413,000. The minister should take this into his consideration. Hs will find that of the $1,500,000 expended In a year on account of the Indians at least $750,000 goes towards the wages of officials, the payment of doctors and the administration of Indian Affairs.

Comparisons between the expendi/tures on these accounts in the different provinces disclose remarkable differences.

It might be worth the minister's while to endeavour to ascertain the cause of these differences in expenditures between Manitoba and such provinces as Quebec and British Columbia. As I understand, he will find many of the officials in Manitoba have been actively engaged in partisan work for this government, that they are' devoting a great deal of their time to looking after the welfare of members of this House and Liberal members of the Manitoba legislature. He will find from the reports all over Canada that the Indians have been in remarkably good health for a number of years, and that there has been no great amount of contagious disease in the districts to which I have referred.

I cannot understand the great differences in the expenditures in the different provinces. I have given a great deal of attention to this department for the last two years,

and I can assure the minister that after making a somewhat thorough investigation of it I consider that it is high time he should take a direct interest in that department or else that the government should appoint a minister who would take a direct interest and see that the moneys, instead of being squandered as they are, are used for the benefit of the wards of this nation. The Indians not under treaty are as follows:-

No. of

District. Indians.

Ungava 5,060

Franklin district 2,500

Athabaska 1,239

Mackenzie district 4,419

Yukon 3,302

Keewatin _ 5,834

Total 22,084

In 1905-6 these Indians had expended on them some $26,000.

The minister should also consider the number of reserves in each province. It

is as follows :-

No. of

Province. Reserves.

Ontario If 6

Quebec 110

New Brunswick 65

Nova Scotia 37

Manitoba 129

British Columbia 21

Saskatchewan 165

Alberta 215

Prince Edward Island 144

I wish to call attention to the fact that in the province of British Columbia, according to the minister's own statement that I have in ' Hansard,' he admitted that they had 1,040 reserves with 25,000 Indians, and possibly that goes to explain the manner in which affairs are conducted in the Indian Department in that province. In Saskatchewan the average population of a reserve is 165 ; in Alberta, 215 ; in Prince Edward Island, 144 ; in British Columbia only 21. The minister will see the- wide range in the numbers located on the different reserves. Let him look up the Indian Report of last year and he will find that he has a great number of reserves where men are being paid as agents while there are very few Indians on the reserves. I shall be able to show him later on that there are a number of reserves having only 25 or even 10 people, and a great many of them having a very small number, and that attention and those advantages cannot be given to them which they would receive if the number on the reserve was larger. I will be able to show the minister the manner in which the reserves are conducted in the United States, and the large number of Indians that are on the reserves of that country. In the large industrial schools of the United States there are 30 or 40 different tribes represented, and these are receiving an education from the state in a thoroughly up to date business way. If he will investigate the United States reports he will see that their Indians are making wonderful advances towards civilization, while the Indians in the Dominion of Canada are practically where they were 100 years or more ago. They are not on the whole making any great advances towards citizenship. The minister may say that it is scarcely possible to make a good citizen of the Indian, but if he will look into the manner in which the Indians are treated in the United States and see what they are accomplishing towards civilizing the Indians, he will be convinced that we as a nation should be ashamed of the manner in which we are treating the Indians, and the slow progress they are making towards good citizenship. It is all very well to bring in Doukhobors and people of that class, with less intellect than the average of our Indians, and make them citizens of Canada and give them the franchise, hut it is not worth while, apparently, judging from the minister's administration of the department, to take the Indians of this Dominion and elevate them and bring them up to the standard of citizenship.

Now in Quebec, with an average of 410 on the reserves, the Indians are in better circumstances. According to the figures for the other provinces, there are 64 reserves with less than 100 of a population; there are 71 reserves with less than 75, 57 reserves witli less than 50, 24 reserves with less than 30, 35 reserves with less than 20, 6 reserves with less than 5, and 1 reserve with less than 10. Surely some radical change is needed in the policy of locating Indians on the different reserves, and the minister might consider the advisability of a policy of concentratiofn. Let him consider that the Indians already in the Dominion of Canada own land and property to the value of $82,000,000, and that last year they were able, in spite of many drawbacks, and in spite of the position they are placed in by the manner in which their affairs are conducted, earn over $5,000,000 from their personal efforts. According to the statement of the Department of Indian Affairs the property owned by these 85,000 Indians in the Dominion of Canada, amounted to over $32,000,000. There is, therefore, no excuse for this government not to give them a proper education and proper care. The agricultural statistics of 1904-5 show the value of the implements and vehicles owned by them amounted to $819,000; live stock and poultry, $2,148,000 ; real estate and personal property, $28,960,030. The report of the minister for 1906 show's that $5,000,000 is the aggregate earnings of the Indians from all sources, exclusive of all interest moneys, annuities and rentals. The increase from 1903-4 to 1904-5 was $248,9*3. The expenditure by this government from

consolidated fund was $1,177,364. The expenditure from Indian trust funds was $346,660. The total expenditure in that year amounted to $1,524,024. Now I wish to impi'ess this point upon the minister, that an expenditure of $1,500,000 on the Indians, one half of that goes for administration. If he will look at the pay given his officials, salaries to doctors, expenditures in connection with treaties, and expenses of his agents in conducting their establishments and purchasing supplies, he will find that about $750,000 of the $1,500,000 goes towards expenses in conducting affairs of the Indians. It seems to be an extraordinary condition of affairs that one-half of the money which is expended on the Indians is required to expend the other half. I would urge upon the minister the necessity of giving them better consideration in many regards. In the provinces of Quebec and Ontario the expenditure on 32,000 Indians amounted to $17,000; in Nova Scotia, $8,000, in New Brunswick, $6,000; in Prince Edward Island, $1,000; while 24,000 Indians in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories cost $869,900. I wish the minister to pay particular attention to this statement. In British Columbia $148,000 was expended on the Indians and on the office in connection with the administration of the British Columbia Indians; in the Yukon district, $9,600 was expended; for general and miscellaneous, $13,000 was expended, making a total of $1,117,000 in addition to $346,000 from the Indian trust fund or a total expenditure of $1,524,000. In 1S95 the expenditure to consolidated fund on Indians was only $881,000 and from the Indian trust fund, $263,000, making a total of $1,114,000. The expenditure from consolidated fund on Indians in 1905 had risen to $1,177,000, giving an increase over 1895 in that branch of the work of $295,091. The expenditure from the trust fund in 1905 was $346,660 as against $263,000 in 1895, an increase in the 10 years of $83,000.

I wish I could impress upon the Minister of the Interior the importance of investigating these figures in connection with the administration of the Interior Department and the Indian trust fund. There is no excuse in the world for this large increase of expenditure which in 10 years has amounted to $378,665. I hope the'minister will be able to give us some definite knowledge of where this money has been going and what return we get for it. I think if the minister consults the official documents he must admit that there is no great improvement in the condition of the Indians in 1905 over 1S95. The report of the Indian Department shows that the general health of the Indian outside of tuberculosis is good and that the physicians have reported 20,220 cases of illness. But among this number there are 1.111 cases of toothache and some other of the most ridiculous things you could imagine a doctor re-Mr. ARMSTRONG.

porting on. Out of the leases reported, 3,167 were tuberculosis diseases, and yet I am satisfied the department has taken no active steps toward eradicating that disease or protecting the Indian children from contamination. I would like the minister to explain how it is that the physicians in charge of 41,000 Indians did not report at all in that year, although their salaries are going on just the same ? It is stated in the report that the agricultural pursuits show great improvement, that the live stock has increased. The returns from all sources would seem to show that the Indian is able to make himself sustaining if he is given the opportunity. The work of the missionaries has, I must say, done a great deal towards assisting the Indian race, but I believe the day is coming when we as a people will urge upon the Dominion government to take their wards from denominational schools and give them a free system of practical education that will be for the general benefit of the race. From a return I asked for on the 22nd of June, 1906,

I find there were no officials or school teachers employed by the government in the Ungava, Mackenzie and Franklin districts. The minister might tell us why that is! Hie question is whether we are going to carry civilization to the Indians or carry the Indians to civilization. Unless we take an active interest in them we cannot expect them to develop in civilization. Judging by the management of the Indian schools in the Dominion It is apparently the hope of the government to keep the Indians for all time in darkness. If the minister will look up the reports and follow up the work of the agents as carefully as I have done he will come to the conclusion that the Indian agents on the different reserves are largely keeping the Indians in the dark. The agents are anxious to keep the Indians in a position that they will not become citizens of this country so that these agents may not lose their positions. That may seem to be a very unfair statement to make, but I believe I can prove to the minister's own satisfaction that the agents are practically keeping the Indians in the position they are. The Canadian Indians are not making the advancement the United States Indians are. The Indian agents of the different districts of the United States will take 50 young men off a reserve and engage them to a railway contractor or on the public works of the United States. And they will stay with the Indians and get the best salary they can for them and see that they expend it properly and educate these Indians and make good citizens of them. In many Indian districts in the United States the police are largely Indians, and if the minister goes through the Indian districts of that country as I have he wiil see Indians worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, with beautiful brick homes and living in towns with streets and stores, and if

lie sees that as I have seen it he must conclude that the race is worthier of greater consideration than it is receiving at the hands of this government. The object of our Indian Department seems to be to increase the number of officials and to squander the money of the Indians and give them as little enlightenment as possible. The increase of the number of school teachers in charge of the Indian schools in 10 years was just one, and yet in every other direction there lias been an extravagant increase amounting to $340,000. It is only a year ago since prominent representatives of the Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist Churches called on the minister and urged on him the necessity of revolutionizing the system of education. Such men as Hon. Mr. Blake, Mr. Cassels, the Rev. Mr. Farrar, the Bishop of Moosonee, Bishop Holmes, Dr. Tucker, the general secretary of the Missionary Society of the Episcopal Church in Canada, made suggestions.

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LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

What was the suggestion of these gentlemen with regard to the education of the Indians?

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

I was not present when these representations were made, but the press reports indicated that they urged upon the minister the necessity of improvements in education and improvements in general in the western districts. I could show him from the newspaper reports of the day the speeches these gentlemgn made wherein they stated that the Indians in the west are in a deplorable state. I had a long interview with some of these representatives and one man said to me personally: If you want to see the result of the education of the Indian schools in the west go to the cemetery.

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LIB
CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

I am s.tating nothing but facts and the hon. gentleman can try to refute them later on. These gentlemen said to me : The Indian boys and girls are not cared for in, these institutions as they should be; when the Indians leave the industrial school there is no place for them to go but to return to their old haunts and environments; the industrial school in Calgary has only 20 pupils. If the minister looks at the expense of that school he will find it is exorbitant in comparison with the number of pupils and the amount of care given them. There is no need of a school there. Too many hangers on is the cry from these men; the Indian industrial schools are a misnomer. This man told me that 50 per cent of the Indian children died from want of proper care, that from 2 to 5 children die in every family because of the ignorance of the parents. They suggested trained nurses should be sent to teach the mothers how to care for their children. They said the day schools at present were

a failure largely due to non-attendance; that numbers of these schools had only an average attendance of from l to 2 children. They said this state of affairs could be found in 300 of the day schools in the west. Does the member for Nanaimo (Mr. Ralph Smith) thiuk this is a condition of affairs that is going to civilize the Indians?

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LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

I want to tell the hon. gentleman that so far as he refers to the Indian schools in my district there is not a single word of correctness in his statements. They have first-class schools, they are treated in a first-class manner, and they are making wonderful improvement.

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

That may be in the hon. gentleman's district. I am well aware that the Indians of British Columbia have better care taken of them and have been making some advancement. But let the hon. gentleman take the Indian population all over the country and see what the result will be. I am merely quoting from the words of these gentlemen and if the minister would bring down the reports from the different agencies I would be able to back up the statements of these gentlemen. The teachers receive from $200 to $300 per year, and it is no wonder they give inefficient work. The minister knows the department has admitted that the teachers have no qualifications. The only qualifications required, as this man said, to teach the Indians in the west was that the teacher should be a supporter of the present government Compulsion is not used and half the schools would be closed to-day if people knew of the average attendance. The hon. gentleman from Nanaimo shakes his head, but if he will get outside of British Columbia and the district in which he lives

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LIB

Ralph Smith

Liberal

Mr. RALPH SMITH.

I am speaking for my own district. The hon. gentleman made special reference to the west, and I assume that British Columbia is in the west.

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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

I didn't know British Columbia was the whole of the west.

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LIB
CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

It is only a small part of it where these Indians are located. But I will show the hon. gentleman something that is going on in British Columbia.

I turned up the Auditor General's Report for the year 1907 and I find in the Fraser agency of British Columbia there are all kinds of expenses: Cross cut saws, 3, $27; British Columbia Telephone Company, rent of telephone, $3S; harness, $33; artificial arm, $76; cleaning of an Indian orchard, $400; grant to the industrial fair out of the Indian fund, $500; salary, nine months to IR. C. McDonald, $900, and he has an assistant-

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June 22, 1908