May 28, 1930

LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

My hon.

friend knows that right at his own home on the delta there is a very large settlement of orientals who have been there for a number of years. I happen to know that from observation. I had not heard they were leaving the land; they are farming it under leasehold. I had not heard that they were more extravagant in the use of land or took the life out of it more quickly than their white competitors. That is news to me, I confess.

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Mr. MeQUARRIE: It is quite true nevertheless. I presume the minister is not aware that the great majority of the farmers throughout that district have decided not to lease any lands to orientals. The minister has not that information?

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

No.

Mr. MeQUARRIE: I want to ask another question in regard to unused Indian reserves. What is the policy of the government in connection with lands that are not being occupied by Indians at all? How many reserves have we like that in British Columbia?

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

I think we have in the neighbourhood of 1,200 in the province of British Columbia. I frankly confess we are not anxious to sell Indian lands, but when there are no Indians going to make use of them and they are of any particular value for agricultural purposes, they are usually sold or put under leasehold. Use is being made of them in some way, but the Indians of course receive the benefit of the receipts from the leases, and in this way we are assisted in carrying on the Indian work. As I say, we are not keen on selling Indian lands; we believe there is little enough land reserved for the Indians without depleting it further.

Mr. MeQUARRIE: When the department proceeds to lease lands, does it advertise them in any way or give opportunity to the public generally to know that such lands are for rental?

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

Usually we

have applications for them and we seek to make known, in the locality in which the land is located, the fact that it is for rental. In the case of sales they are always by public auction and more often than otherwise there is only one individual interested, or there may be two. We try to meet all who are desirous of obtaining 'leases of these lands.

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Item agreed to. Indians-general, $336,500.


CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Perhaps the minister will give us a few words of explanation in connection with the item of $137,000 for the prevention of the spread of tuberculosis. I had a communication in respect to that the other day.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

We are not anything like meeting the requirements of the case in regard to the suppression of tuberculosis amongst the Indians. Indeed, there is in Canada scarcely a band of Indian which is not more or less affected by tuberculosis.

Unfortunately the disease has spread to rather an alarming degree, so much so that we are really anxious about it. I am asking for the apointment of an assistant Indian medical officer, but even that does not touch the fringe of the question. Something further will have to be done, and a very considerable sum of money spent on this work in order to meet the situation'. I am having a survey made at the present time of the hospital facilities in every province in Canada, because we believe, rightly or wrongly, that it will be more economical for the department to work through the existing hospitals of the provinces than to attempt to set up large institutions of our own with the incidental cost. Of course in some instances we shall have to establish hospitals. Moreover, growing out of this is another demand, a demand for some sort of institution to house our old people, but I frankly confess our chief cause of alarm at the moment is tuberculosis and the ravages of this disease amongst the Indians and also the danger of the spreading into the communities that surround them as a result of so much of it being found on the reserves. Year by year we shall have to increase the vote for this purpose. I consider it a real menace and we are giving it very careful attention in the hope of meeting the situation as far as it is .posable to do so, not to eradicate,, but to suppress, if possible, the spread of the malady.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Last week I was at the

Byron hospital near London and I saw some Indian inmates of that hospital. During the past year I had occasion to observe the ravages of this disease in the Sarcee band near Calgary, where the band is certainly in a very precarious condition, where diseases of other kinds than tuberculosis have undermined the vitality of the survivors, and something must be done. The same thing is equally true in regard to other reserves in Alberta. I have had no opportnuity to see other reserves but one, and therefore I cannot with any degree of certainty speak about the matter. The minister anticipated a suggestion I was going to make to him, and it is this: We have a Department of Health and there should be the closest cooperation between the two departments. This overlapping is one of the things that disturb people greatly. The federal Department of Health should be of some service in matters of this kind. The hon. gentleman has referred to a subject that, I think, is of considerable importance, namely, the tying of the efforts of the department to those of the provincial organizations in some way. I do not know just how this can best

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be accomplished. Take, for instance, the large institution near Robertson, west of Calgary, where large numbers of tubercular patients are being treated. From the inquiries I have made, it did not seem to me you could take the Indian patients to that sanatorium and have them treated with the other patients there..

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

What we

are doing-and we are trying to extend it- is to provide a sum of money to build extensions to those institutions, and they are operated as Indian annexes.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The hon. member knows what was done at Gleichen in connection with trying to put up little houses for them. It is their way of living that makes them so susceptible to the inroads of this disease. Certainly there are a great many people who are intensely concerned as to whether or not the existing conditions are not a menace to the public health of the surrounding community, as the minister has said. The deaths last year were very considerable, especially among the younger men and women on the reserves. The sum of $137,000 properly expended in one year in a concentrated effort at one particular point might provide facilities that would ensure that community against the ravages of this disease being so apparent next year, but a sum like $137,000 spread over as thinly as it has to be to take care of the whole situation, I am afraid, accomplishes very little good. I am bound to say that the facilities that have been provided in connection with the Sarcee and Blackfoot reserves and at one or two other places have done an amazing amount of good. But the Indian does not take kindly to the preventive measures that have to be taken to ensure anything like reasonable results. The reason I brought this matter up was that there might be on Hansard for the benefit of those who are tremendously interested in this matter a statement from the minister to which I could refer them, indicating a realization on his part of the dangers of the situation and as to what steps are being 'taken, not to eradicate, but to bring about an attitude of mind on .the pairt of those concerned by which they will 'let nature operate so as to prevent their becoming victims of tuberculosis.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

We have

been expending very large sums of money on the building of educational institutions, and I think we have now reached the stage where we shall not require so much money for that purpose. Both this year and last, in conjunction with the Department of Health at Ottawa and the provincial departments of

health, we have been making a survey with a view to establishing additions to the institutions already built to take care of the Indians who are suffering from this and other diseases.

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CON

Robert James Manion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

May I suggest that there is this point to be remembered? The Indians are more susceptible to any disease taken from the white men than are the white men themselves, and a good deal of the work done should be directed not so much to taking care of the Indian after he has taken the disease as to preventing him from taking it. Tuberculosis is a disease which comes upon patients particularly after having had measles, and keeping the Indians from getting such diseases as measles will render them less susceptible to tuberculosis. Preventive measures of that sort will do more good than looking after the Indian after he has taken the disease.

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Item agreed to. Indian education, including the construction of school buildings, $2,409,500.


CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Perhaps the minister

would give us some statement as to how this money is to l>e expended. The minister knows the demands in connection with buildings in certain parts of western Canada, and I think it would be desirable to have a statement on Hansard for reference.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

We have

in operation this year boarding and day schools in the various provinces as follows: Prince Edward Island, 1; Nova Scotia, 11; New Brunswick, 10; Quebec, 33; Ontario, 96; Manitoba, 55; Saskatchewan, 39; Alberta, 21; Northwest Territories, 6; British Columbia, 62; Yukon, 7; or 341 in all. There are no boarding schools in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick or Quebec, but there are 13 boarding schools in Ontario; Manitoba, 10; Saskatchewan, 14; Alberta, 19; Northwest Territories, 4; British Columbia, 16; Yukon, 2.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Is this new construction?

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

No, these

are schools in operation. The new construction is as follows:

Shingwauk Home, Ontario (C.E.).. ..$ 50,000 Norway House, Manitoba (United) .. 15,000

Birtle, Manitoba (Pres.) 125,000

Muscowequan, Saskatchewan (R.C.) .. 145,000

Beauval. Saskatchewan (R.C.) 25.000

Albert Bay, British Columbia (C.E.) 10.000

Blue Quills, Alberta (R.C.) 125,000

Edmonton, Alberta (United) 14,000

Old Sun, Alberta (C.E.) 50,000

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Providence, Northwest Territories

(R.C.) 15,000

Cariboo. British Columbia (R.C.).. .. 26,000

Carcross, Yukon (C.E.) 10,000

That is our program for now construction and improvements to existing buildings for this year.

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CON
LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

We have a

day school at Aklavik, with 40 pupils; one at Fort Resolution, with 80 pupils; one at Hay river, with 50 pupils; one at Providence, with 65 pupils.

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CON

Thomas Edward Simpson (Chief Government Whip)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SIMPSON:

Is the amount the minister mentioned for the Shingwauk Home at Sault Ste Marie to be used for the construction of a new building? The old building has been there for over fifty years, and they are hopeful-I understand that they were led to believe -that a new building would be erected.

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May 28, 1930