June 21, 1950

RAILWAYS, CANALS AND TELEGRAPH LINES


Eighth report of standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines.-Mr. Breithaupt.


INDIAN ACT

CONSOLIDATION AND CLARIFICATION


The house resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Harris (Grey-Bruce) for the second reading of Bill No. 267, respecting Indians.


LIB

Donald Ferguson Brown

Liberal

Mr. D. F. Brown (Essex West):

I trust, Mr. Speaker, that I may be permitted to make a few observations in connection with this bill, for two reasons. One is that I represent the constituency of Essex West which comprises the city of Windsor and one township, both south of the city of Detroit. I say "south" because that is geographically correct. The city of Windsor is one of the oldest settled portions of Ontario, if not the oldest. In 1701 the city of Detroit was settled at that time and there was erected a palisade fort. The church of Ste. Anne was one of the first buildings. A few years later the Indians and the white people crossed to the south side of the river and there they formed a settlement which is now called the city of Windsor. In that area there was formed the parish of the Assumption under Father Richardi. It is interesting to note that within the last few days an historical site in that area has been declared; I refer to the home of Francois Baby, brother of Hon. Jacques Baby whose portrait adorns one of the corridors of this building. It is over on the Senate side of this building. At that time he was one of the speakers of the legislative council.

As the minister stated in his opening remarks, in that area we had the Wyandot Indians on the reserve in Anderdon township, a few miles south of my constituency, now in the constituency of Essex South. I think the assimilation of that band of Indians is certainly a pattern which we can well copy throughout the whole Dominion of Canada. I think it is a pattern which could well be used and the goal at which we could aim. Those Indians became assimilated as a group. The residents of that reserve received their final commutation I believe in 1911. They were an intelligent and an industrious people. They have taken their place in the social life of the city of Detroit and of the city of Windsor

I think in a way far above the average of most people whose origin was other than the Anglo-Saxons.

To give an illustration, the descendants of many of those people who were on the reserve, and their descendants, have taken a prominent place in the city of Detroit. One person in the city of Windsor, who was a lawyer, followed his profession successfully for many years and became a member of the provincial legislature. He represented that constituency with distinction in the provincial house. His name was Sol White. His descendants have carried on in the city of Windsor, taking a prominent part in the social and the civic life of that community.

I think that is about the goal that we are aiming at. We want the Indians to be assimilated economically. I do not say that they should be assimilated as to blood, but they should be economically assimilated. We can only have them so assimilated if we are convinced in our own minds that we were born equal.

I should like to take up some of the time of the house on this bill, Mr. Speaker, for another reason. In 1946 the government set up a committee not to deal with lands, buildings, transport lines or trade, but to deal with human beings; with the lives and the hopes of those human beings numbering over 130,000. The Indian committee was set up, comprising twelve members of the other place and twenty-two members of the House of Commons. Unfortunately, or probably fortunately, a great many of the members of the House of Commons who were on that committee are not here today, mostly by reason of appointments to the other place, other appointments as in the case of our distinguished Clerk of the House, and others by the fortunes of election. I think there are today left in the house about ten members who were on that committee. The whole theme of the committee was to help the Indian to help himself. Time alone will tell whether that was successful. Time alone will tell whether we were able to sow any seed. I hope so. I have no hesitation in saying that this committee operated regardless of political affiliation, regardless of partisanship, in an honest desire to be of service.

At this time I should like to pay my respects to one who was of great service to this committee, the late Senator Fred Johnston of Saskatchewan, who was the first co-chairman of the committee. It is also appropriate at this time to mention with reverence the late John R. MacNicol who was always interested not only in Indian affairs, but particularly in Indian affairs. He travelled extensively to

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see the Indian population of this country. He was very regular in his attendance in the committee and he was very conscientious. I am sure he will be missed by many of the Indians in Canada today.

On that committee we were fortunate in having the services of a lawyer who was a full-blooded Indian. Norman Lickers was a member of the Six Nations tribe and was Indian by descent. He was trained in the profession of law in Ontario. Mr. Lickers was of great assistance not only to the committee during the hearings which it held in Ottawa, but also in drafting the report made to this house.

I might say that the committee was of one mind. It presented a unanimous report. It was willing to bury any partisanship; it was willing to keep the high goal of service before it. For that reason, I think, more than all others it was possible to bring in a unanimous report, which was concurred in by this house.

A part of the committee was formed into a commission which went down to the maritime provinces and viewed the conditions of the Indians there, their method of living, their homes, their industries, their schools, and their hospitals throughout Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Cape Breton and other parts of Nova Scotia, also going up into Quebec. It took us three weeks. The ten members of the commission derived a great deal of profit from that visit. On a subsequent occasion I myself went out to Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Regina, and as far west as Port Alberni to see the fishing Indians at the end of the Alberni canal in British Columbia.

In referring to the committee on another occasion I think the minister said that 129 meetings were held. I am not sure as to that. It is possible. Of course that does not include the meetings of four subcommittees which dealt with various subjects, under the chairmanship of various members of the committee. They met at regular intervals. Therefore I suppose one could say that the committee met far more often than is indicated by the number of formal meetings. However, I do not think that it is the number of meetings that really count. The committee was endeavouring to give everybody an opportunity of presenting their viewpoints on the subject. We heard Indians from the maritimes, from Quebec, from the west, including British Columbia, and from the far north. We heard persons not of Indian descent, who had some knowledge of Indian matters and Indian affairs, from all over

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Canada, and the result has been this bill. Whether or not we can recognize the child we are not too certain.

However, I do believe that we should endeavour to take what we can of this bill that is of value and then strive, and strive hard1, both within, and without this chamber, to bring about the assimilation of the Indians as I have described in my own area.

I do not quite agree with the bon. member for Calgary East (Mr. Harkness), who was a member of the committee, that we should delay passage of this bill. I have not as yet been convinced of that. If there is anything of value in this bill we should proceed with it at once. It may not be to our satisfaction, but it is at least something. It is something better than what we have today. Of course some may not agree with that. I am convinced that it is better than what we have today. Many of the recommendations of the committee have been implemented by the government; others have not. But I do not think that any good would come from having this matter put over indefinitely. I say, take what you can get today, and then fight for the rest.

One of the loudest complaints of the Indians throughout the three years in which we were hearing evidence, hearing the witnesses and1 discussing the matter with the Indians and with other people, was the interminable delays by the department in all of the administrative activities. For instance, an Indian might rent a piece of property on a reserve. The money for the rent could not be paid directly. The lessee therefore would have to pay it to the Indian agent, now known as the Indian superintendent. In due course he would forward it to Ottawa. Ottawa in turn would put it into the consolidated revenue fund or in some other branch. In due course the money would be applied for and would be paid out, but the delays were so intolerable to the Indian that he became rebellious, and I think righteously so.

In the liquidation of an estate upon the death of an Indian possessed of property the matter would be handled so slowly, in such a cumbersome way and with such long delays, that it is reasonable to assume the Indian was quite right in rebelling strenuously against such delays, which were intolerable. He had no way whatsoever of making any plans for the use of funds that were his in any way.

I will agree that since the committee has been set up, since the administration has been aroused to the need, and by force of public opinion, these delays have to a large extent been eliminated. I am sure that so long as

we have ministers such as the Hon. James Glen, or our present minister, those conditions will not be tolerated in the department.

I think at this time it might be appropriate for me to pay my respects to the minister, because this is the first opportunity I have had to do so. I know he has taken a great interest in this work, because on occasion he has kept me after hours discussing the matter. I am sure that so long as he is in charge of the department we will have efficient and sincere administration. However, we are not certain that he will always remain in that position. Mind you, I think he will be there for many years; but, after all, time passes on and successions do take place, even in the ministry. However, I congratulate him upon having done an excellent job. While I may or may not like the bill, I am sure he has done the best he could with the material at hand.

I note that one of the recommendations of the committee was that a claims commission should be set up. Such a commission would consist of three or four members who would take care of the various claims that have been made for many years by the Indians, and settle them once and for all. The argument is now offered that such claims can now be made to the exchequer court. That may or may not be the solution. But I doubt very much that it would have the psychological' effect that a claims commission would have. The United States has set the pattern because over there they have set up a commission which has worked most efficiently. It has been their experience that when a justifiable claim is made by an Indian it is disposed of, and that is the end of it.

Many claims were made to the committee by Indian organizations. I have a list of them here. They said they had been promised certain things at certain times by different officials or governments, both provincial and federal. Such claims as sores have a tendency to fester. They have a tendency to grow from a small beginning to great proportions. I should think that a claims commission would be a valuable addition, and not only would its value be apparent to the Indians, who would have their say and their day in court, but it would eliminate many of the grievances now being taken care of, so far as possible, by the administration.

Provincial rights may have been infringed. I remember one occasion in New Brunswick when Indians had gone on to public property -or it may have been private property-and had taken off black ash. It may be that some departmental head or government official at some time or other had said that black ash was public property and that they had the

right to take it. In any event a claims commission could settle a claim of that kind once and for all. If the Indians had the right to that black ash they could be given it, or a supply could be made available. Otherwise the Indian would be subject to provincial law. Perhaps I might explain that black ash is used in the making of baskets, and is greatly in demand in some quarters.

While the matter of voting may not be pertinent to this bill, yet I think there are some provisions which have reference to that matter. It is my view that the vote should have been given to the Indians, without any strings attached. However, we have the bill before us, and I am content to have this seed sown now, although I think it was a mistake not to give the Indians the vote. I believe it would have been better to have taken the long-range view and to have given them the vote, and for these two reasons: The first is that it makes the Indian more conscious of government and, secondly, it makes the government and politicians more conscious of the Indian. That condition is desirable, because if we are going to assimilate the Indian into the economic life of Canada, and Into our social life, he cannot be assimilated by a process of segregation.

In New Zealand they have a system whereby they elect a certain number of Maoris who sit in their parliament. I do not approve of that system, because I believe that is a process of segregation, pure and simple. There the Maoris vote for their own representatives. In my view that would not be acceptable in Canadian political life. We certainly do not want to have any one section of our country stand as a festering sore; rather we want the people to be assimilated so that they will join as one. It may be that they may hold different views and different opinions, but socially they are one.

In South Africa they have a system whereby the blacks elect a certain number of whites to represent them. I do not favour that system, either. In my view the Canadian system of representation is the proper way of selecting governments for this country. While I will not say I was disappointed, I do believe a mistake has been made in this connection. However, in due time that will be corrected. Time will show whether we are right.

I was most interested in the announcement made a few days ago by the minister that a form of pension would be paid to aged Indians. Not only are these Indians in need of this assistance, but the granting of such a pension will boost the morale of the Indians and also of the Canadian people when they realize that these people who are

Indian Act

so greatly in need are being given the necessary assistance. I would think that this pension of $25 per month would be better under the administration of the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin). It should be placed on the same basis as other pensions. I hope also that the recommendations made to the committee on old age security will also bear fruit and I am hopeful that all the people of Canada will be placed on the same basis so far as pensions are concerned.

It was recommended by the Indian affairs committee that the administration of Indian affairs be headed by a commissioner with two assistants, one of whom should be an Indian. Eventually that will have to be done and I am sorry that the government has not seen fit to implement that recommendation. Some may say that there are no Indians qualified for that position, but that is not correct. There are many Indians in Canada who are highly educated, who possess great cultural qualities. There are many Indians who are doctors, lawyers, magistrates, legislators and they are to be found in many other professions. As I say, eventually I think the government will realize that at least one Indian should be on such a commission. It would lift the morale of the Indian and make him feel that he was part of the Canadian life. It would give a spiritual boost that would last through the centuries if he knew that one of his brethren was at the head of the administration of Indian affairs.

I would not like to conclude my remarks without making some comment on the parliamentary inquiry that was made. As the minister said in his opening remarks, the Indian Act was last amended in 1880, about 70 years ago. If it is not provided in the bill, I think it should be announced that a parliamentary inquiry into Indian affairs will take place every five years to begin with, and then perhaps, later on, every ten years. A matter like this should not be left for 70 years before being reviewed. We are not dealing with material things, we are dealing with the lives and habits of 130,000 people, a people whose numbers are increasing at the rate of five per cent per annum.

While this might be more properly discussed on the minister's estimates, I think a larger allowance should be made for departmental travel. One of the curses of Indian administration is the fact that by force of circumstances the administrators are required to sit at their desks in Ottawa without the advantage of having firsthand contact with the matters they are administering. In my own case I know I have gained great benefit by going to see the things I was dealing with;

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it has given me an entirely different viewpoint. It has broadened my outlook considerably with respect to the Indian question.

Finally I would recommend that there be set up among the white people advisory committees to bring about greater intercourse, socially and educationally, between the Indians and the white people. We provide aid for crippled children, we provide aid for the blind, we provide aid for this and that, but here we have 130,000 needy people in our midst and we do nothing whatsoever to assist them to become good Canadian citizens. Much could be accomplished along these lines.

Before closing I should like to pay my respects to the department for setting up the homemakers' clubs which might be likened to the women's institutes throughout Canada. Through these clubs the women on the Indian reserves learn to do things in and about their homes, things that are artistic and things that are necessary. They are being encouraged by the department and are doing a magnificent job. I repeat that there should be set up advisory councils or committees or auxiliaries, call them what you like, to assist these people. Let us help ourselves in getting their viewpoint and let us help them in getting our viewpoint for the betterment of all Canada.

Topic:   INDIAN ACT
Subtopic:   CONSOLIDATION AND CLARIFICATION
Sub-subtopic:   FUNDS AND EXPENDITURES, ETC.
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PC

John Alpheus Charlton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. A. Charlton (Brani-Wentworth):

Mr. Speaker, in making the few remarks I have to make on the second reading of Bill No. 267, respecting Indians, I should first like to congratulate the minister on having finally brought forward this legislation. I had the privilege of sitting on the committee in 1946, 1947 and 1948. After three years of deliberation by that committee and after having waited some 70 years to revise this act, I am disappointed in the provisions of the bill that has been brought forward. I believe many more people across Canada are disappointed in what is contained in the bill to amend the Indian Act. For too many years our Indians have been governed by antiquated legislation. Having waited so long, I am very sorry that the new bill is apparently being pushed through in the dying days of the session, especially in view of the fact that the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) said on May 5, in answer to a question by the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker), as recorded at page 2205 of Hansard:

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the tone of the representations made by the hon. member for Lake Centre and the spirit in which he made them. Nevertheless it is our understanding that the Indians are anxious to have this legislation brought before parliament. This matter has been discussed. The department felt it had all the information required for the drafting of the legislation, and that it

[Mr. Brown (Essex West) .1

would be desirable that the bill be given first reading and be distributed, and then that a sufficient lapse of time be allowed so that interested chiefs and other members of their bands may see what it contains and make representations. Of course it is legislation in the interests of the Canadian nation, but more particularly for the Indians themselves. If it appeared from their reaction to the bill that they would prefer not to have it adopted at this session but rather to have further discussions with them and further consideration of the legislation, their views would be given sympathetic consideration.

If the Prime Minister meant what he said at that time, surely sympathetic consideration means more than forcing the bill through at this late stage after giving the Indians at the most two weeks to study the bill from the time it received first reading. I know in many cases they have not even seen the bill yet.

The statement has been made on several occasions that it is the desire of the government to gradually assimilate all Indians. The minister used a different term this afternoon and said that the desire was for an integration of all Indians into the general life and economy of the country. This statement is borne out by the interpretation in a number of newspaper articles. In the Ottawa Journal of June 1, 1950, there is an article with the heading:

Canadian Indians to get full citizenship in few years

The article reads in part:

Canadian Indians in a few years will enjoy full citizenship rights, including the franchise, it was predicted in informed quarters today.

In the Globe and Mail of June 8, 1950, there is an article with the heading:

Offer vote, liquor in new Indian bill

The article reads in part:

Provision for enfranchisement of Indian bands at the discretion of the government where more than 50 per cent of the band has voted for the franchise is laid down in the long awaited Indian Act amendments introduced in the commons today. Such action, however, automatically wipes out the reservation and establishes it either as a municipality or part of a municipality.

Why the bill is being rushed through at this time the government alone knows. Certainly such a procedure is not in accordance with the statement made by the Prime Minister on May 5. Surely sympathetic consideration should mean more than that. I have certain editorials indicating public opinion as to Bill No. 267. In the London Free Press of June 9, 1950, there is an editorial headed:

Is Government "Indian Giver" in New Bill?

The editorial reads:

Government action to help Indians in Canada attain full citizenship rights is long overdue. The new bill which is being introduced by Hon. Walter E. Harris is based on long and careful study. There

Indian Act

are indications that it may not be as far-reaching as many people hoped. Apparently it aims at a gradual evolution from the present position of wardship.

In the Vancouver News-Herald of June 17, 1950, there is an editorial headed:

Betrayal of the Indians

The editorial reads in part:

Who is responsible for the shamefully inadequate piece of legislation that has been offered to the commons as a new Indian act?

The North Shore Review of Friday, June 16, 1950, in an editorial headed "Governmental hypocrisy", has this to say in the first paragraph:

If federal government plans to rush through its inept revision of the Indian Act are not checked, Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent will go down in history as an inglorious traitor to our native citizens.

Topic:   INDIAN ACT
Subtopic:   CONSOLIDATION AND CLARIFICATION
Sub-subtopic:   FUNDS AND EXPENDITURES, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Harris (Grey-Bruce):

Do you believe

that?

Topic:   INDIAN ACT
Subtopic:   CONSOLIDATION AND CLARIFICATION
Sub-subtopic:   FUNDS AND EXPENDITURES, ETC.
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PC

John Alpheus Charlton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charlton:

In the Vancouver Sun of

June 19, 1950, there is an editorial headed: "Not Good Enough", and the first paragraph reads:

The bill introduced into parliament by the government to revise the Indian Act is a vast disappointment to friends of the Indians. It should be withdrawn and given further consideration before it is submitted to the next session of parliament.

These editorials represent the views of some of those who have taken a kindly interest in the troubles of the Indians. Surely, Mr. Speaker, our first citizens deserve better treatment. They pay most of the taxes we pay. They willingly fought beside their white brothers in two world wars. I was rather amazed at a statement made by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mr. Harris) a few days ago which appears at page 3815 of Hansard. It reads:

It has often been said-and I think some of the hon. members opposite and perhaps some on this side have said it-that the Indian was a second-grade citizen at the moment. Without admitting that, I hope the house will understand that we are trying to make him an equal citizen; but I do not think we should go one step further and make him a preferred citizen as against all others in the community.

I think most Indians will resent the statement that anyone has rated them as second-grade citizens. Certainly they have taken their part in most of our activities. As I said previously, in two world wars they fought beside their white brothers and gave their lives. Surely after the treatment they have had in the last seventy-four years they deserve a little extra consideration at the present time. In endeavouring to express the feelings of the members of the Six Nations reservation at Brantford, I think I can do no better than to quote from the brief which they presented

at the time of the sittings of the special committee. The final portion thereof reads as follows:

Finally, apart from the preceding brief which deals almost entirely with matters affecting the revision of the Indian Act, we would draw your attention to certain remarks of various witnesses who have appeared before you, whose statements we have read with considerable interest and with astonished amazement. To refer to one in particular your witness was speaking of the reserve at Brantford, our own Six Nations-"I think we must look forward to their gradual assimilation." We very much resent those remarks as we are proud of being Six Nations Indians. We are thankful we have sons and daughters, and we hope that they, like ourselves, will grow up with pride in the fact that they are first Six Nations Indians, and secondly good Canadians.

We as a people bitterly resent these suggestions of assimilation or absorption, and cannot accept such as inevitable.

We remember well the words which appear on Chief Red-Jacket's monument in Buffalo: "When

I am gone, and my voice is no longer heard, the avarice and guile of the white man will prevail. My heart fails me when I think of my people, so soon to be scattered and forgotten."

What possible justification can there be for it to be so frequently urged that Indian reserves must be broken up before the Indian can attain his rightful place in equal partnership with his fellow Canadians?

That is signed by the secretary and chief councillor of the Six Nations reserve. I have taken the stand previously in the house as well as in the committee that it is not the desire of most Indians, certainly not those of the Six Nations at Brantford, to be assimilated fully and completely into Canadian citizenship if that will mean they must give up all the rights they have so well earned and so well deserve. That they must give up the right of exemption from personal income tax in order to get the vote is just one thing. No wonder for the past few years the Indians have been pessimistic, sceptical, distrustful and suspicious of their white brothers and what they have done. They have been pushed aside on small sections of land, in some cases not very good land, and left to get along as best they could, with very little say in their own affairs.

In conclusion I would ask the minister to reconsider the advisability of rushing this bill through at this time.

Topic:   INDIAN ACT
Subtopic:   CONSOLIDATION AND CLARIFICATION
Sub-subtopic:   FUNDS AND EXPENDITURES, ETC.
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PC

Harry Oliver White

Progressive Conservative

Mr. H. O. White (Middlesex East):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to take part in this debate on the Indian Act because of the fact that near my home there are two reserves, the Munceys and the Oneidas, and in addition I have had the privilege of visiting the Cree Indians at Moose Factory and also the Indians on the Pacific coast at Alert Bay and Kingcome Inlet.

I do not suppose it would be possible within the immediate future to right all the wrongs that have been done the Indians in

Indian Act

this country in the last couple of hundred years, and particularly since 1867. I do not intend this evening to go into all the things that could and should be done to improve the Indian Act, but I want to point out a few things that I believe are apparent to every Canadian who has given any thought to the problem now before us. Through the years mistake has followed error, so that today the Indian, still a ward of the government, has not taken his rightful place in the councils or the economic life of the country. Any plans we make here should take that fact into consideration.

One of the first steps along that line should be to provide education that, as far as may be possible, is equal to that which is available to our own children. Certainly it will not help solve the problem to continue into the future a system that has proved a failure ever since 1867. The original citizens of this country deserve a better deal than they have had so far. Let us not propose to prolong these injustices. In many attempts to deal with the Indian affairs branch I must confess that while I was courteously received, actually the problems were not attacked as I felt they should be. I had the impression that I was being given a bit of a run-around, and that they were dealing with me as they have dealt with the Indians for the past seventy or eighty years. When any information was desired, instead of taking the word of the Indians or their neighbours they referred to the officials administering the act, and of course they got the answer you would expect; that everything was all right and no change should be made. That, I think, is the wrong approach. They more or less exhibited toward me the feeling that I also was a ward of the government.

I mentioned that education was the first great step toward bringing these citizens fully into the economic and political life of the nation. I had an opportunity to visit one of the Indian schools at Moose Factory. Something was said about many of these Indian schools being operated by one or other of the religious organizations of this country. I must say the one I had the pleasure of visiting was in my opinion very efficiently operated. They were trying to do the best possible job with very limited finances. I believe that has been one of the handicaps that have beset those concerned with the education of Indians throughout the country. While at Moose Factory-and I am sure the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) will appreciate this-I also had the opportunity of visiting the new hospital

being built there. It is a fine building, though at the moment I am saying nothing as to its cost.

Many of the problems that seem almost insurmountable today will fade into insignificance when equal educational opportunities are provided for all citizens. The hon. member for Brant-Wentworth (Mr. Charlton) just mentioned the part played by the Indians in two world wars, when they proved they were at least our equals. I believe they can do the same thing in every other field of endeavour if given the proper opportunity. I would not want to guess how many million dollars we have spent to rehabilitate Europe, though all that Europe ever gave us was a headache. Let us spend a small fraction of that amount on the first Canadians in this country.

Mr. C. W. Hodgson (Victoria, Onl.h Mr. Speaker, I am taking part in this debate this evening because I have been following the work of the Indian affairs committee for the past three years. That is because there is an Indian band and reserve in my riding. Previous speakers have said their bands were the best. They are all wrong; I represent the best band of Indians in Canada. In taking part in this debate I do not want to take advantage of a privilege I enjoyed last evening, when I was one of the Indians representing that band at an interview with the minister. I want to congratulate him and to thank him for the courteous treatment he accorded us in listening to our requests and arguments for over two hours of his time. We know that he is busy, particularly at this time at the end of the session, with his estimates and this bill coming down.

I have had a great deal to do with Indians. I have not any letters, excerpts or extracts from papers to read to you because I have had a personal interview with my Indians from time to time, and I think I understand what they require. I think they should be treated in the same way as any other Canadian citizens. I have seen these Indians in uniform; I have seen them on their farms on the reserve; and I have seen them in many other places. With regard to my band, I want to say this. The chief was not here last night, and that is the reason I was in at that interview; but he arrived this morning. He is eighty-one years of age, and is smarter than most of us at fifty. He enlisted in 1914 and he took into the service with him at that time every young Indian who was eligible in that band. I think that is a record. He himself came out at the end of the war with a D.C.M. and an M.M. He also has a personal coin which was presented to him by the late General Sir Sam Hughes, on his return home.

This band of Indians that I represent, in Rama, Ontario, are just about as intelligent as any other group of citizens that I know about. They have their own Indian village. They have good farms. They have their own village hall. They have their own schools. I want to say that out of that school have come teachers with second class permanent certificates and I think one or two-one in particular-ministers of the gospel have left the reserve and gone to work in other parts.

I do not speak now because I think this bill is all bad or that the Indian legislation is all bad. There is some good in it. I think the time is over-ripe for giving the Indian the vote. That is one thing that has come about recently. He should have had it before. It is, however, a start in the right direction. He may have to be subjected to the income tax in order to receive that privilege, but I do not think that will affect him greatly because there are few who ever come within the category of paying income tax. In this band in particular, apart from the farmers, quite a number of the younger men work at the chemical plant within a mile and a half of the reserve; another group work in Orillia in the factories. Of course they are subjected to income tax at their place of work each and every pay day, so they will not be affected by that provision in that respect. Nor will it affect the Indian who was a veteran of either of the great wars. All in all, I think the minister can take it up with his officials, take it a little bit further and give them a free vote the same as everybody else.

Out of this band, as well as teachers and ministers, have come great athletes. We have good ball players, good hockey players, and good lacrosse players. One thing we must not forget is that if the Indians have deteriorated in any respect, it is not their fault. It is our fault for the treatment we have given them. Looking back a few years, I can quite well remember that the greatest long distance runner of all time was Tom Longboat, a full-blooded Indian.

There is in this bill one piece of legislation that I do not just like. Probably it is a move in the direction of freedom, but it has gone either too far or not far enough. I refer to the rights or privileges of an Indian to have alcohol or alcoholic drinks. At page 34 the bill goes on to say what happens to the Indian or to set out the penalty he will get if he is caught in possession of intoxicants off the reserve. Then down a little farther it deals with the penalty he will get if he is caught in possession of intoxicants on the reserve; so whether he is on the reserve or off the reserve he is subject to fine and imprisonment in any

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case. Then the bill goes on to provide for certificates of analysis as evidence and the section reads:

In every prosecution under this act a certificate of analysis furnished by an analyst employed by the government of Canada or by a province shall be accepted . . .

I do not think that is really the law with regard to a white person.

Topic:   INDIAN ACT
Subtopic:   CONSOLIDATION AND CLARIFICATION
Sub-subtopic:   FUNDS AND EXPENDITURES, ETC.
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LIB

Joseph-Alfred Dion (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. We are not in

committee, and the hon. member may not refer to any particular clause of the bill. He must confine his remarks to the principle of the bill.

Topic:   INDIAN ACT
Subtopic:   CONSOLIDATION AND CLARIFICATION
Sub-subtopic:   FUNDS AND EXPENDITURES, ETC.
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PC

Clayton Wesley Hodgson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hodgson:

Very well, Mr. Speaker,

That part of the act fines him if he is caught, with liquor on the reserve or off the reserve. But a few lines farther on the act goes on tot say that he can consume liquor in a beer parlour or cocktail lounge or other public place. That provision allows the Indian to go. in and have a few bottles of beer. He knows that he cannot take any home. He knows that he cannot have any at home when he gets home, so therefore he is going to gulp down five or six bottles of beer, get half or three parts drunk and then go out. Then he is the victim of every bootlegger he knows, the same as any white man would be who was dealt with under the same circumstances. We should either allow these people to go into, the liquor store, buy their liquor and take it home or they should not be allowed to have it at all. We should do either one thing or the other. There is no half-way method of handling liquor, whether you are dealing with Indians or Canadians of any other description.

Topic:   INDIAN ACT
Subtopic:   CONSOLIDATION AND CLARIFICATION
Sub-subtopic:   FUNDS AND EXPENDITURES, ETC.
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PC

Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Smith (Calgary West):

The voice of

experience.

Topic:   INDIAN ACT
Subtopic:   CONSOLIDATION AND CLARIFICATION
Sub-subtopic:   FUNDS AND EXPENDITURES, ETC.
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PC

Clayton Wesley Hodgson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hodgson:

Yes, the voice of experience. I was in the army with some of these Indians, and they did) not get drunk any oftener than any of the rest of us nor were they any wilder than any of the rest of us when they did get drunk. Because their great-greatgrandfather killed somebody with a tomahawk when he was full of firewater, there is no reason why that fact should be held over their heads for a hundred years afterwards. Probably if we looked back at what some of our ancestors have done, we might find that it was something just a little bit worse than that.

Topic:   INDIAN ACT
Subtopic:   CONSOLIDATION AND CLARIFICATION
Sub-subtopic:   FUNDS AND EXPENDITURES, ETC.
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   INDIAN ACT
Subtopic:   CONSOLIDATION AND CLARIFICATION
Sub-subtopic:   FUNDS AND EXPENDITURES, ETC.
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PC

Clayton Wesley Hodgson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hodgson:

That is one point at least on which I think this bill should be held over until the provincial conference has been held, because we all know that the administration of the liquor control act must be by the.

Indian Act

provinces. There must therefore be some acceptance of this act by the provinces before anything can be done about it.

Topic:   INDIAN ACT
Subtopic:   CONSOLIDATION AND CLARIFICATION
Sub-subtopic:   FUNDS AND EXPENDITURES, ETC.
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PC

Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. A. L. Smith (Calgary West):

I assure you, Mr. Speaker, that I shall not occupy your time for more than a few minutes. I want to make it plain that I do not speak as an expert. But I was born in a place called Assiniboia, which is now called Regina, Saskatchewan. In fact, the town did not even have that name. It was called "Pile of Bones". They had a legislature called the northwest legislature before the provinces were born. But the first job that paid any money-that is, aside from 25 cents a week for washing dishes and doing the dusting in my mother's house

was selling cloth at the treaty meeting time of the Indians on the Piapot reserve when they got their $5 a year. We had an industrial school there. We played a game called football. It was not described as the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) describes football. He is a younger man, and he and other people invented a stupid name, which they brought from England, called soccer. Therefore I do have some considerable knowledge of these people.

A few moments ago I heard an hon. member mention the name of Tom Longboat. I went to Osgoode hall in Toronto in the winter of 1906-07 or 1907-08. I got to know Tam Longboat very well. That was when Lou Marsh took him over to London, and he was so far ahead in the Olympic race at that time that he lost all his opponents. The Italian won out that year. I remember Lou telling me how he tried to revive Tom. Tom was so far ahead that the judges did not know where he was. He went down. This was the first time I had ever heard the expression: "I even bit his ear in order to bring him back into running form." However, that failed. After that he went down to Montreal and took part in the road race of that year, which was only a matter of six miles and something. I do not think his opponents have finished yet.

But in any event I speak not with authority. I do not claim that at all. But I do claim to have some knowledge of these people which I have gained in a humble way. I think I have some knowledge not of their capabilities which we get in statistics, but of other things, remembering as I do Tom Longboat, and the fine characters whom I have known from my school football days, or soccer, as this great coach called it who spoke in California the other day. However, it is a game that you play with a leather thing that contains a rubber bladder filled with wind. Frankly I am not expressing my view

of the speech he made down there. I was merely describing the football regardless of what shape it may take.

I want to confine my remarks to one thing and one thing only. I present these remarks to the minister who has charge of this bill. In my constituency, entirely within my constituency, there is a reserve called the Stony Indians. May I say this for them. Search the annals of the criminal courts of Alberta as you will and you will not find one Stony who has ever been convicted of any crime, no matter how minor.

I know some of these fellows. They have never made me a chief. The answer to that is simply this: I have never been a chief

publicity seeker. That is the only reason I have not been made a chief of that tribe. Let any of the great people, such as the governor general, come in there from the outside and we will get them made a chief in one of the two tribes we have, the Sarcees or the Stonies, without any trouble. We will give them a ten-gallon hat and hope they will have fun wearing it. I happen to know these people pretty well. I remember when Mr. Glen was in charge of this department. He sent for the hon. member for Calgary East (Mr. Harkness) and myself with respect to spending some money to buy some ranching country. He said: "Of course I cannot do it if there is going to be trouble." I have never had that kind of a call from the present minister. In any event, I assured him, as did the hon. member for Calgary East, that there would be no trouble.

The Stonies are a hunting tribe. They never were farmers, as were the Blackfeet and some of the other people we have in that province. They bought the ranches. They paid plenty of money because the Stonies, being hunters, were interested in animals. They had bad luck in those very bad winters we have had. The hon, member for Calgary East and I agreed most heartily with Mr. Glen, and it went through this house without any difficulty. I mention that, Mr. Speaker, only for this reason. The request came from them. It got consideration, and all anyone had to do was what Mr. Glen did, speak to us, who were the only people interested because it was right near our home city. The thing went through quickly. I am quite sure it was a charge on the funds of the band, because they did have considerable funds at that time.

Here is the question I want to put to the minister: Why in the world does he want to put this thing through the house in the closing days of the session? I assume

Indian Act

that he will answer. I listened to his opening statement, but I failed to find anything in it which justifies the urgency of doing it at this time. You can correct me, sir, or anyone else can, but I listened to the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) in this house some time ago. I cannot quote him accurately, but I gathered from what he said that the bill would come down. I remember his words. He said that plenty of time would be left for representations with respect to the bill. Perhaps I am not word perfect in what I have said, but, sir, I give you my word of honour that I took what he said to mean this: we would get the bill this year, we would find out what was in it and that plenty of time would be given to interested persons to make representations.

Now, speaking only for the little territory that I represent, I know the bill has not been distributed in time to permit these people to make representations. It is no answer to them to say that they will not agree; that they did not agree before the committee which sat on Indian affairs, and was followed by the commission on Indian affairs. That is no answer. My whole point is this: They are entitled to be heard. I put this, sir, as one of the bases of law in this country. First, that no man shall be condemned without being heard, without being given the opportunity of putting his position forward. I use the word "condemned" first because of its narrow interpretation in the basic law of this country. I add to that this thought, that no person shall have his rights taken from him, added to or subtracted from, unless he has the opportunity of being heard. I believe the minister will agree as to our personal friendship. He knows of my admiration for him as an individual. However, as a minister of Indian affairs I hope I may be forgiven if I withhold my praise.

I- have not been active in the practice of law for some time, but I do remember an instance where the charter of a corporation was cancelled. It was within my knowledge that they were a gambling outfit-and that is all they were. I have acted for lots of gamblers, and I know how they operate. They got themselveS incorporated, and gave themselves a name-I have forgotten just what it was. The authorities in my province cancelled their charter, and the case went to the courts.

Someone may say that the final decision was morally wrong, but the fact is that the cancellation was set aside on the broad basis that they had not been notified, that they had not been heard, or given an opportunity to advance their position, whatever it might have been.

So I say to the minister now that he will avoid infinite trouble if he will just allow these people to be heard. In doing so he will be following the finest precedents in British and Canadian jurisprudence. I make no effort to discuss this or that section, but I do say this, that it is no answer to say that the Indian population will not agree. I do not think they will, and I do not know why they should. They have recently shown an independence of mind which I suggest permits me to make that statement, and with justification. But never let it be said that the parliament of Canada passed an act dealing with the whole Indian population of our country without first having heard them.

That is my real point. Let us suppose we do not do that. Let us suppose we put this thing through now, as the minister has suggested-at least I think he suggested it. What would it mean? It would mean that we have dealt with a portion of our population who are bound together toy their ethnic origin, a people who were here long before we were, and that we are saying to these people, "This is the law."

I know the answer can toe made that all the Indians in Canada were invited to attend before the committee. Like the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell), I spent a good deal of time there, although I was not a member of the committee. So we come to two courses of action. The first is that we will put this thing through and, as the minister has said, let it be amended next year or the year after. I compliment the minister and all the members of that committee upon having done a fine job in endeavouring to produce, perhaps not a Magna Carta but at least a charter for the Indians of Canada. The second course would be that, having placed the bill before the house, he would not insist upon proceeding with it.

Second thought is sometimes better. In dealing with this numerically small section of our population let us never forget that we are dealing with a whole race of people who have been here infinitely longer than we have. It would seem that in this instance we are telling people who happen to have different coloured skins, "Thus and so is the law. That you will do, and without a hearing."

I come back, not to British law but to British jurisprudence under which no one shall be condemned and no rights shall be taken way except he be heard. I could cover the French law, if hon. members wished. I admit it comes from an entirely different origin, namely from the early Roman law. However the development in French civil law was after the absolute monarchs of France gave way, and after the intendants in this

Indian Act

country ceased to have absolute authority. From both of these has developed the principle that there must be no interference with the rights of anyone without first having given him the opportunity to be heard.

Someone will readily say, "If you bring the Indians here, they will not agree." No one can help that; that is democracy itself. If all the people in west Calgary had agreed I would not be here-I would be a long way off, and someone would have taken my place. So I put it on this solid basis, that there is no rush about this matter. I gathered from the remarks of the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) that all summer would be given to those of us who assume we are entitled to be called legislators, and to this government who assume that they are God Almighty above, and a dozen or two of the apostles-[DOT] they do not stop at the twelve. I had understood that there would be that opportunity given.

It is no answer to say that the Indians would not agree. We may not agree, but. the majority opinion rules in a democracy.

I know the minister's intentions are good. But, if he will hear these people, either agreeing or disagreeing with them, and despite differences of opinion on this or that section of the bill, he will have no trouble with an Indian charter. Let it never be said that, in dealing with an entire group whose skin happens to be a bit different in colour, we have said, "This way thou shalt go, and no other; there shalt thou lie"-and I am spelling that word in its proper way.

I do not think I can be accused of being political when I ask the minister to delay this legislation. There are no benefits that anyone could imagine, let alone think of, to be derived from hurrying this through at this time. The minister has nothing to lose by delay; he has everything to gain by waiting until next year before presenting this new charter under which we shall welcome our Indians to brotherhood. This charter should not be put through until we have had a chance to hear what they think of it.

I repeat that there is nothing to be gained by hurrying and there is everything to be gained by waiting. This is not an emergency. If I were sitting where the minister sits I probably would take the same view. He has taken on a new job and it is characteristic of him that he wants to get it started. But impatience has never been a virtue. No matter how idealistic the minister may be, he should not rush through this legislation until the people who are opposed to it or who are in favour of it have been heard.

Topic:   INDIAN ACT
Subtopic:   CONSOLIDATION AND CLARIFICATION
Sub-subtopic:   FUNDS AND EXPENDITURES, ETC.
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LIB

George Matheson Murray

Liberal

Mr. G. M. Murray (Cariboo):

Mr. Speaker, I would not have taken part in this debate were it not for the fact there are some 3,000

[Mr. Smith (Calgary West),11

Indians within the riding of Cariboo, and among those Indians are some educated, wide-awake and progressive young men and women. They are not like the hon. gentleman who has just spoken and who has been so long in southern Alberta among the Stonies and the Blackfeet that he has got into the habit of putting off things until tomorrow-

Topic:   INDIAN ACT
Subtopic:   CONSOLIDATION AND CLARIFICATION
Sub-subtopic:   FUNDS AND EXPENDITURES, ETC.
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PC

Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Smith (Calgary West):

At their request.

Topic:   INDIAN ACT
Subtopic:   CONSOLIDATION AND CLARIFICATION
Sub-subtopic:   FUNDS AND EXPENDITURES, ETC.
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LIB

George Matheson Murray

Liberal

Mr. Murray (Cariboo):

-or next week.

Topic:   INDIAN ACT
Subtopic:   CONSOLIDATION AND CLARIFICATION
Sub-subtopic:   FUNDS AND EXPENDITURES, ETC.
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June 21, 1950