Mr. D. F. BROWN (Essex West) presented the fourth report of the special joint committee on Indian Affairs, as follows:
Pursuant to orders of reference dated 13th February 1947, your committee has held 67 meetings and has heard 102 witnesses, including departmental officials, church dignitaries and Indian representatives from all provinces in Canada except the maritimes which were visited last autumn by a commission under the Inquiries Act, appointed by order in council PC. 3797, dated 11th October, 1946.
Embodied in the minutes of evidence, as appendices thereto, are 153 written briefs or submissions received by your committee from Indian bands or organizations and from other Canadian individuals or groups interested in the welfare and well-being of our natives of Indian descent. The minutes of proceedings and evidence cover approximately 2,500 pages.
Your committee was instructed to "continue and complete" the examination and consideration of the Indian Act. However, the actual recasting, or revision of that Act, which is long overdue, could not possibly be attempted until a full opportunity had been afforded to all interested parties to make representations in that regard. _ #
Your committee is agreed that the joint committee on Indian Affairs which was appointed in 1946 was warranted, as it reported to parliament, in adopting a programme which envisaged the revision of the Indian Act only during the 1948 session of parliament.
The 1946 joint committee on Indian Affairs, on August 15th last, also reported:
... The hearing of departmental officials has disclosed the necessity for certain administrative improvements which can be effected without the revi, lion of my existing legislation and which, when put into effect, will remove some of the causes out of which have arisen grievances and complaints of many Indians. ..
Indian Affairs-Report of Committee
Your present committee notes with extreme regret that recommendation No. 8 of the said report of August 15th, 1946, which was concurred in by both houses of parliament, has not yet been implemented.
That recommendation was:
...8. That more direct methods be employed for the return of rentals collected on the behalf of Indian lessors.
Your committee, therefore, recommends:
1. That immediate steps be taken by all responsible officials to remove without further delay this long standing grievance with regard to rentals due to Indians,
and your committee further finds and recommends :
2. That a commission, in the nature of a claims commission, be set up with the least possible delay to inquire into the terms of all Indian treaties, in order to discover and determine such rights and obligations as may therein be involved, or any subsequent substitution therefor, and to appraise and settle in a just and equitable manner any claims or grievances arising thereunder:
3. That the questions involving band membership be left for definition and determination during the 1948 session when the Indian Aot is next examined and considered;
4. That immediately parliament next reassembles a special joint committee be constituted with powers similar to those granted your committee on 13th February last;
5. That the matter of enfranchisement of Indians be left for further consideration when the Indian Act is under revision;
6. Certain Indian bands resident on "lands reserved for Indians", particularly in the province of Quebec, are compelled to pay taxes other than those imposed by dominion legislation. It is therefore recommended that a reference be made to the proper court to determine the legality of any taxation imposed on Indians;
7. That encroachments of persons other than Indian upon lands reserved for Indians are not reviewed with favour by either the members of the Indian band concerned nor by the Indian Affairs branch. It is recommended that the Indian Affairs branch take immediate steps, consistent with the wishes of the Indian bands concerned, to remove from Indian reserves all persons other than Indians who reside in, or carry on business on an Indian reserve;
8. That the whole matter of education of Indians be left over for further consideration. In the meantime, however, it is recommended that all educational matters, including the selection and appointment of teachers in Indian schools be placed under the direct and sole responsibility of the Indian Affairs branch;
9. That the administration of all aspects of Indian Affairs should be under one ministerial head.
10. The director of the Indian Affairs branch should be given the status, if not the rank, of deputy minister to permit him to have direct approach to his and other departmental heads; or, he should be named a commissioner who shall rank as a deputy minister and who shall have at least two assistant commissioners of whom one should be a Canadian of Indian descent;
11. That Indians who are qualified for any position in the administration of Indian [Mr. Brown.j
Affairs, at any level, be given a preference for appointment to such positions within that administration for which they qualify or are suited;
12. That when the Director of Indian Affairs becomes aware that an Indian agent will shortly be leaving the service, he should, in ample time before the said agent retires, request that the Civil Service Commission select and appoint a successor to the said agent, so that there shall be no interruption in the carrying out of the duties of that most important office in Indian administration. that of Indian agent;
13. That the retiring leave of any agent or officer in Indian administration be granted to him simultaneously with the payment to him in a lump sum of his leave payments instead of retaining him on the payroll pending actual retirement. This in order *that the position may be filled without delay by the person selected and appointed to succeed the retiring agent or officer;
14. That whenever possible a vacant position of Indian agent be filled by the promotion of an assistant agent who will have had the opportunity of receiving training in all the duties of an Indian agent;
15. That in view of the fact that Indian reserves are widely scattered across Canada, and in view of the diversity of the problems confronting those charged with the administration of Indian Affairs, the Indian Affairs branch should be decentralized and the regional directors he appointed to look after and to determine such matters as appropriately fall within this particular regional jurisdiction;
16. That the establishment for the Indian Affairs branch be increased to provide for the appointment of a sufficient number of Indian agents and Indian agents-at-large, to provide for the adequate and proper administration of Indian reserves.
17. That when a promotion from the staff of an agency is not possible, a promotion should, when practicable, be made from junior officers in the district who may desire promotion and who are suited and qualified for a senior post;
18. That when promotion within the staff of an agency is not feasible, the field of competition for applications from the general public should be made wide enough to ensure the selection and appointment of a fully qualified person;
19. That examinations, whenever possible, should be conducted by the district offices of the Civil Service Commission rather than at headquarters of the Civil Service Commission at Ottawa;
20. That Indian agents who have undergone a period of probation satisfactory to the Director of Indian Affairs should be made permanent civil servants at the end of such probationary period;
21. That, by order in council, appointments to the Indian affairs administration should no longer be subject to the "permanent quota" now in force, as imposed by treasury board regulations;
22. That the preference accorded to any veteran be consistently accorded with regard to all appointments to positions in the administration of Indian Affairs;
23. That future appointments of officials concerned with the administration of Indian Affairs should, where practicable, be re-
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striated to applicants who have had previous experience in the field. Field officers in the said administration should, from time to time, be posted to the divisional or headquarters office of such administration;
24. That in the best interest of the administration of^ Indian Affairs, if there be officials therein who are incompetent, or incapacitated, or for any reason unable to fulfil their duties, such officials should be superannuated or retired from the service, without undue delay;
25. That the project of building a central governmental hospital in northern Indian agencies, with nursing stations in far outlying districts be proceeded with at once; and
26. That some statutory provision be made for the adequate oare of aged, infirm or blind Indians; and that in the meantime rations given to properly care for Indians should be sufficient in quantity and quality. Whilst your committee would like to express
due appreciation to all those individuals and organizations who have rendered valuable assistance to the deliberations of your committee, we feel that occasion must be taken to single out for special mention the very -ibiable contribution made by Mr. William 7immenrian. ^ J,r., Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, U.S.A.. who came to Ottawa to inform your committee with regard to the administration c Indian Affairs in the said United States of America.
A copy of the minutes of proceedings and evidence is tabled herewith.
Mr. BROWN moved that the report be concurred in.