As one who has always stood in this house and in this country for the old customs and costumes. I have very much pleasure in seconding this motion. I think, we should not deprive our country, of what little picturesque life is left. Why should we try to force standardization on everyone? Why should we try to induce the Indian to live as we live? I consider their mode of life a very picturesque one. I would even venture to say that from an artistic point of view some of our people have receded from the Indian standard. I would very much like to retain as much as we can of these old customs and old costumes.
arisen in the eastern provinces to any extent, if at all. It more particularly applies to the western provinces. I am pleased, Mr. Chairman, to have the support of the hon. member for Melville, who has had much experience with Indians on his own reserves. He is aware, as I am, that if we are ever to make farmers out of our Indians-
-to those who are on agricultural reserves, who have attended certain pageants or stampedes in the west, and who at the present time are actually carrying on farming operations. When these stampedes occur every Unddan on the reserve frequently leaves and consequently neglects his crops and his cattle.
The white man may, but the white man does not receive from the government appropriations to assist him in the work he is carrying on. The Indian is in a different category entirely. As has been well said this afternoon, we have spent millions of dollars in an endeavour to make these Indians self-supporting by teaching them the art of agriculture. There is nothing to prevent an Indian or Indians from taking part in a small local show in the aboriginal costumes with the consent of the agent. If they desire to take part in some pageant or to show off the reserve, and if it is considered proper by the Indian agent, it is very easy for them to obtain his permission, and I cannot conceive that the agent will refuse permission in justifiable cases. This provision is merely designed, as I have stated as clearly as I can, to keep those Indians from attending such pageants or shows as will militate against the performance of their duties as farmers.
think I can compare with the hon. member for Melville, because for ten years I was an Indian agent and I learned how to handle them. I found that they got along much better and in a manner best calculated to promote their progress by not being too strict and by remembering that they were human beings who required recreation just as much as white men required it, and in fact more so for the reasons I have indicated.
- Mr. MURPHY: There is nothing to prevent them from taking part in those shows if they get permission from the Indian agent.
to be compelled to go to an agent who may be two hundred miles away, and it is not convenient. What if the agent is away or is not available? I suppose the best that can be said about this section is that to a large extent it is ignored.