February 25, 1936

LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

When did that happen,

may I ask?

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
LIB

George Ernest Wood

Liberal

Mr. WOOD:

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

I am afraid that the claim of the Six Nations Indians, a claim that originated over a hundred years ago, to $160,000, with accumulated interest, is one that the government could not entertain. I do not know the merits or demerits of the claim that the hon. member for Brant has put forward. Since this question originated 102 years ago or thereabouts, the federal government as we know it to-day cannot be responsible for the matter. If my memory of history is correct, this happened during the time when Upper Canada was still being governed as a crown colony. The hon. member spoke to me some little time ago about this question, but I have not had an opportunity of going into it. I am afraid I cannot hold out any hope that we will meet a claim, which originated over 100 years ago for $160,000 with interest to date. I am afraid that a serious consideration of such a proposal would send my colleague, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) to the hospital.

There are some 6,000 Indians in the reserve to which my hon. friend refers. From information I have been able to obtain, I understand they have done remarkably well. There is a question whether the Indian Act, which after all is the act under which matters pertaining to the Indian population of Canada are administered, comes into conflict with the suggestion he makes. At the moment I cannot pass any critical judgment on his request. My information is that the majority of the teachers in the schools on the Brant reserve are of Indian origin. My hon. friend shakes his head. Perhaps my information is incorrect, but I understand that at any rate a number of the teachers have been trained from Indians who have been pupils in the years immediately past. It is desirable as a general rule that the Indians should be made as independent as possible of outside assistance. No one would have greater pleasure than I if the Indians throughout Canada could attain a position whereby they would be not only self-supporting but able to look after such matters as education and other things as their white brothers do.

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
LIB

William George Clark

Liberal

Mr. CLARK (York-Sunbury):

I am very much interested in these Indian reserves and I was pleased to hear the minister so sympathetic toward and so willing to investigate the Indian problem. I have known many Indians for many years and at times I have been ashamed of their treatment by the Indian agents. More attention should be given to the employment of these agents. Only those who have a certain sympathy for the Indian,

I Mr. Wood.]

who would not have a disposition to exploit them, who would desire to help them, should be employed in this capacity. I recall having employed an Indian guide who was a fine type of man, but I found out that his relatives were being treated very unfairly by the Indian agent.

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
CON

Mark Cecil Senn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SENN:

I listened with considerable interest to what the hon. member for Brant (Mr. Wood) had to say about the funds which were invested in the Grand River Navigation Company. A part of this reservation is in my own riding and I know the Indians feel very strongly on the matter. I do not intend to carry this matter any further as the minister has given his answer. I was also interested in the allegation of the hon. member that political interference was present in the appointment of teachers on the reservations. I have had many interviews with the Indians about this very matter. Prior to the change which took place in 1932, as described by the hon. gentleman, there was considerable jealousy and quarrelling among the Indians as to who should teach in their schools. At that time the appointment was made by the Indian council and it often became a matter of politics within the reservation. From time to time the personnel of the council would change, and teachers were changed to suit the opinions of those newly elected. I believe this was one of the reasons why the change was made giving the Indian department the appointment of teachers.

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
CON

Edgard Jules Wermenlinger

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WERMENLINGER:

What amount in this item will be used for the construction of dwellings? Will this cover repairs to dwellings and the construction of new buildings? What amount is to be spent in the village of Caughnawaga for this purpose? This village is just across from Verdun on the main highway to the United States by way of Malone and I think it is important that it should present a good appearance. I should like to know what amount is to be spent.

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

I have not the amount for Caughnawaga. The total amount for dwellings is $19,350, but the hon. member will bear in mind that that covers the whole vote.

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The whole of Canada.

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

The whole of Canada. I am not at the moment in a position to say what portion of the vote will be applied to Caughnawaga.

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That would be exclusive of band funds.

Supply-Indian Affairs

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

That is exclusive of band funds.

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
CON

Edgard Jules Wermenlinger

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WERMENLINGER:

Would that be for new dwellings?

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
LIB

Vincent-Joseph Pottier

Liberal

Mr. POTTIER:

How many Indians are there in Nova Scotia?

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

Approximately 2,000.

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
LIB

Vincent Dupuis

Liberal

Mr. DUPUIS:

The hon. member for Verdun spoke of the reserve at Caughnawaga.

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

The hon. member is no longer there.

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
LIB

Vincent Dupuis

Liberal

Mr. DUPUIS:

No; I was disfranchised by the previous administration and forced to move eastward. Nevertheless I take an interest in Caughnawaga and I notice that the leader of the opposition has still a weakness for it. I daresay he recalls his last visit there. In that reserve, which is one of the largest in Quebec, the Indians have a territory of approximately

11,000 acres of good farm land which is practically without cultivation except by ' white people who rent the farms. Very often we have requests from these white people, who are on the reserve with the permission of the Department of Indian Affairs, to investigate complaints they make to the effect that they are not being well treated. In some instances these white men are barely tolerated on the reserve, and not being able to get work they are on relief. They have not the means of supporting themselves and they are in a peculiar position. Though they live on the reserve, the Department of Indian Affairs is not obliged to make provision for them, and the provincial government, under the relief laws, is not bound to support them. They are therefore left without support.

It is a matter of importance for the department to come to the rescue of these white men in view of the fact that the department itself allows them to live there. A considerable quantity of land there has been abandoned, and I suggest to the government that it would be wise to look into the situation and see whether it would not be better to allow these Indians to sell this very important piece of land, either by auction or otherwise. It is important inasmuch as it is near so large a centre as Montreal, and the Indians are not inclined to cultivate it. They are rather inclined to specialize in hazardous work, such as employment in connection with the Dominion Bridge Company or other steel works. This is their only occupation, and if the Department of Indian Affairs were allowed to sell this large area the amount derived from its

sale could be used for the benefit of the Indians themselves and would assist the department in the administration of the reserve.

I make this suggestion to the department in good faith, hoping that they will take action. As the hon. member for Brant stated-, the Indians of Caughnawaga generally speaking are likely to attain the same level as the so-called civilized white man, and I think if they were given more freedom, if they could inspire the government with a little more confidence and were allowed to sell their land on certain conditions, within a few years this large area of good land could be disposed of, one farm after another, so that the people in the surrounding district might use it for farming purposes.

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

How many Indians are there?

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
LIB

Vincent Dupuis

Liberal

Mr. DUPUIS:

Around 3,800.

Mr.CRERAR: Less than that; a little under 3,000.

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink
LIB

Vincent Dupuis

Liberal

Mr. DUPUIS:

As matters stand now, it would cost the Department of Indians Affairs a considerable sum to take care of these Indians properly from the point of view of education and hygiene. For the most part the village is built on rook, so that the construction of sewers and a water system would cost a great deal; the department would have to spend too much. For this reason, indicated by the officials of the department when I investigated the matter, the inhabitants are unaible to follow the rules of hygiene, and the doctors themselves say that in Caughnawaga some of the diseases that are prevalent on the reserve are undermining the health of the population. I believe the population of this particular reserve is diminishing, owing to the fact that at present the department is unable to give the Indians the legitimate attention they should receive.

If the government would accept this sug-' gestion and allow the Indians to sell their farms, retaining the proceeds at their disposal, the majority of the Indians would follow the ordinary pursuits of life, while those who preferred to retain their status could be more easily taken care of.

Another aspect of the question which interests me is hospitalization. If it is as it was when I was member for Laprairie-Napier-ville, they have an old building as their hospital which is far too small for the needs of the reserve. If the department were to spend the amount required for that purpose the cost would be considerable, because I think it would have to erect a new building. I

Supply-Indian Affairs

do not want to embarrass the minister. I make this suggestion only with the hope that the department will study the necessity of applying this policy. But may I know from the minister how much money has been voted this year for Caughnawaga, and especially how much is going to be applied for the hospital and for education?

Topic:   ANALYSIS OF CONCESSIONS GRANTED TO CANADA BASED ON UNITED STATES IMPORTS FROM CANADA-CALENDAK YEAR, 1929
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Permalink

February 25, 1936