January 31, 1958

PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Could I ask the hon. member what work he refers to in his last question? He asked if the work was let by tender; does he mean the cutting of the cordwood or the repair to the barges or something else?

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CCF

William Scottie Bryce

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Bryce:

I was interested in the cost of transportation.

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

You wish to know if the haulage work was let by tender?

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CCF

William Scottie Bryce

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Bryce:

Yes, and was the work that had to be done let by tender or just done through an agreement?

With reference to education I might point out that I first visited Norway House 15 years ago. There has been a great deal of improvement in that time but what is required there now is a high school where higher education will be available than can be had in the school they have at present. I am sure the people there will be agreeable to having the Indian affairs branch make arrangements with the provincial government. Actually one school could serve both purposes through the construction of an addition or some similar arrangement.

Many Indians there are not treaty Indians, and they require higher education. If they return to Winnipeg they find they cannot get a job tying parcels unless they have grade XI or grade XII education. It would be cheaper for them to get higher education at Norway House than it would if they had to go to Snake Island or Matheson Island, approximately 300 miles from home. I urge the minister to investigate the situation to see if higher educational facilities could be arranged at Norway House. I believe it could be done for relatively little cost.

I wish now to speak about the disgraceful condition of the roads. A highly graded road is not needed, because the roads are used in only two seasons of the year. When the river is open boats are used, and when it is frozen the people ski or skate on the ice. In the inbetween times conditions are bad and the children get their feet wet. I got my feet wet, too, although I was there in the summer. The improvements would not have to be elaborate or expensive, and even if a few logs were placed over the road it would protect the children.

When I raised this question previously and appealed to the former minister of justice, my good friend Mr. Garson, he said the problem was that of securing labourers to do the work.

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Supply-Citizenship and Immigration The present Acting Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is also Minister of Justice. He has access to the jails in this country that are full of prisoners, many of whom have been guilty of minor petty offences. Could these men not be put to work constructing these roads for the school children? There may be difficulty involved in having 10 or 12 prisoners put to work in this way, but the idea appeals to me as being reasonable.

I have in my hand a clipping from the Winnipeg Free Press of January 27, 1958, which says there are now more Indians living in Winnipeg than on any single reservation in Manitoba. The clipping is a report of a conference on Indians and metis recently held in Winnipeg. The question of education was stressed at this convention, and the delegates passed the five following resolutions aimed at improving education of Indians and metis:

1. Provision of provincial government scholarships to worthy students.

2. Institution of short, factual training courses.

3. Factual courses at local schools on urban life and its requirements.

4. Training for all students in differing cultures.

5. Provision of technical courses for Indians and metis.

The concluding paragraph of the article is most interesting. It reads:

Discussion on resolutions was stimulated by a delegate who claimed the only lucky Indians were those who had had T.B. He claimed that when cured, the rehabilitation program prepared them for city life.

I draw the attention of hon. members to this fact. Perhaps the minister or his officials have already read this article.

Mr. Chairman, I have only five minutes in which to bring this message to the minister's attention. The Indian committee, which sat for three years, made a number of recommendations, one of which was that we should set up a claims commission. In the correspondence which I have read to the minister today, and about which I have spoken, it is clearly shown that the Indians have one idea and the department has another. The Indian still thinks he is only asking for the God-given rights that were enjoyed by his forefathers, and about which he has been told.

One will say he wants a mower or a wagon. The thing is not possible any more. What he needs, if he wants to be a farmer, is a tractor and the necessary machinery. I do not know how many of the recommendations of that committee were ever put into operation, but here is one that should be put into practice now. Bring the Indians in and let them understand that these things will never come back and let us reach some common agreement with them, because as long as one man thinks one thing and another thinks another, we will never get anywhere.

I hope the department will give consideration to the matters I have brought to the minister's attention. In closing I should like to pay tribute to the ministers and priests and those associated with them in the work among the Indians in the north country. I should also include the doctors and the nurses. I have made ten trips into this region and know full well the trials and tribulations these people experience in their endeavour to bring health and education to the people they look after.

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IND

Henri Courtemanche (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Independent Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, but I must advise him that he has spoken for 30 minutes.

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SC

Frederick George Hahn

Social Credit

Mr. Hahn:

Mr. Chairman, I was very

interested in the remarks made by the hon. member for Selkirk with regard to item No. 72 of the estimates of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration. The hon. gentleman raised one or two questions which give me some concern in my own riding where there are several Indian bands in the region. The remarks he made with regard to hospitalization are highly applicable in my own riding as well, and I shall not devote any time to discussing that subject.

However, in discussing the first item yesterday two questions were raised which also are of concern to me, and before dealing with the main topic I wish to speak about I propose to deal with these questions. I am thinking now of the question of Indian leases, especially for tracts of land that are adjacent to the larger cities. In my area one band gave a 20-year lease to a group of contractors who are building summer huts that are not in keeping with the standard of the homes that others in the community have built.

The result is that some difficulty has been created, and the municipal authorities are unhappy about the present state of affairs. They inquire what could be done to bring these temporary homes on the Indian lands more in keeping with the homes built in the summer resort area, homes which have been built to last for a long period of time. Some very fine homes have been constructed, but those on the Indian property are, of course, by no means up to this standard and the situation is causing some concern to the municipal authorities.

Another question I wish to raise has to do with the amount paid by the department to local school boards for educating Indians in their areas. I understand the minister will be dealing with this question later. In particular I am interested in knowing how much the provincial government of British Columbia is to receive in compensation for the sums it expends to help keep these schools

in operation. I understand that my province carries more than its share of the task of supporting these local operations, and I am interested in learning what share the province can expect from the Indian affairs branch toward defraying the cost of educating the Indian children of the community.

My main purpose in rising at this time is to draw the minister's attention to a difficulty which has been created as a direct result of the action of his colleague the Minister of Fisheries in preventing fishing between Pattullo bridge, or New Westminster bridge, and Mission bridge. For centuries the Indians have fished these waters for commercial purposes, but three or four years ago the Minister of Fisheries saw fit to change the regulations so as to make it illegal for any commercial fishing to be done in the area I have mentioned.

This has caused the Langley band, in particular, a great deal of difficulty. I realize there are not many Indians in the band, but those who are in it use gill net boats and find themselves being forced out to sea if they wish to do any commercial fishing to get the money necessary for their livelihood. The difficulty is not that they are prevented from catching enough fish for domestic purposes; they are permitted to do that. But they require cash, as does every other individual, in order to carry on, and they are very concerned about the fact that during the season when they would normally be fishing on a commercial basis in their own area they are not permitted to do so.

The question of reopening this area to commercial fishing is being considered at the present time by the Department of Fisheries, but I understand the Indian affairs branch has not been consulted in this matter. I suggest to the minister and to his departmental officials that they should make some inquiries with regard to the difficulties which the Langley Indians are experiencing in order to discover what effect, if any, it would have on the livelihood of these people if the river were reopened to this band. I urge the minister to make representations to his colleague if, after discussion with the Indians, he finds that such a move would be of value to them. The privilege of fishing these waters has been denied to them only in recent times, and their views with regard to the reopening of these waters for commercial fishing should be taken into consideration.

I do not think their request is unreasonable. They ask only that they should be permitted to fish at the same time as the seiners are catching fish out in the bay. They feel they should have the right to take some of the

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration fish without being obliged to go out to sea, a way of fishing which would require much better and more seaworthy vessels than this band possesses, and which would involve them in an expense too great for them to meet.

The officials of the Department of Fisheries suggest that this is a question of conservation. I have discussed this matter with the Indians and they have assured me that at no time have they ever interfered with the requirements of the international sockeye salmon commission which has been in charge of conservation arrangements. They gave the commission no difficulty, neither did the commission cause the Indians any difficulty. The Indians are law-abiding and they respect the need to preserve the fishery, knowing this is necessary if they are to enjoy it in future years. They are quite prepared to accept the idea of conservation, but I wonder whether the minister could not persuade the Department of Fisheries to take another look at this matter and give these Indians the consideration for which they are asking.

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SC

Bert Raymond Leboe

Social Credit

Mr. Leboe:

Mr. Chairman, I have only a few very general remarks with respect to this item. I should like to pay tribute to the people who are working with the Indians in the various parts of Canada; to the doctors, missionaries, representatives of churches and hospital workers who are helping to carry out this service.

I realize, as I think we all do, that the solution of the problems is not easy. Up to now I do not think we have given the questions involved the serious attention they really require. In my opinion we have to take a new look at the whole Indian situation. Possibly if some arrangement were made with the provinces it would be much better than to carry on the administration of Indian affairs on a dominion-wide scale. The provinces could then handle these matters on the provincial level. I think the provincial governments would be much closer to the people concerned.

I have a special interest in the Indians because, although my father had a family of 15 children, 11 of whom reached adult life, when I was a young lad he took in three Indian boys who grew up with us. We played with them, fished with them, hunted with them, went to school with them and slept with them. Having had that experience, I think I am in a position to have some idea of what can be done for the Indians.

These boys were no different from any other Indians in any other part of the country. When they grew up two of the lads worked on the Canadian National Railways as sectionmen. Unfortunately one was killed

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Supply-Citizenship and Immigration in an accident and the other suffered a very severe stroke. The youngest of the three lads is a section foreman today on the Canadian National Railways. Having been raised in that environment, these boys did exactly the same things as other people in that district. There was no difference at all. They carried on in the same manner.

I do feel there is an opportunity to look into the Indian situation on a more humane rather than on a technical basis. I do not want to say anything at this time about hospitalization because I realize it comes under the Department of National Health and Welfare rather than this department. However, in other parts of British Columbia there has been great development in respect of the rehabilitation of Indians. In some sections of northern British Columbia we find that Indians are working in stores waiting on customers. They are also operating saw mills. They have running water in their houses, and are coming along very well.

I believe a study of the factors that brought that situation into being would give us a better picture as to what we should do with regard to other Indians. I also think some damage can be caused by neglect of Indians in cities. For some reason or other Indians who come into large centres are not as good at resisting the effects of alcohol as white people are. Many people regard the whole Indian population in the light of what they see happen in the case of a few Indians in some of these centres, and I do not think that is a true picture of the Indian at all.

For instance, recently the Prince George Citizen carried headlines dealing with a controversy going on between several organizations in British Columbia and the people in the area generally. The complaint was that there had been discrimination, and I do not think there is discrimination at all.

I can well understand that when an Indian is drunk and disorderly he is not going to be welcomed in restaurants and other public places, but the same thing happens with white people. Because of the colour of his skin, when an Indian is disorderly people say, "Oh, it is an Indian". Sometimes they have been removed from hotels and restaurants, but that also happens in the case of white people.

I do not think there is discrimination at all. There is no difference. Some of the people who do the greatest amount of hollering would be very loath to take such an Indian into their home and put him to bed on the chesterfield in the front room. I do not think they would; yet they will sit back and holler about discrimination. If there is any discrimination I think we should have

an investigation, but I do not think it is worthy of the people involved to bandy these things around to the discredit of the community and the Indians themselves. In my opinion we must take a much more humanitarian look at the whole situation and give real consideration to the problem from that point of view.

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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. Hansell:

Mr. Chairman, I only have a question to ask and will probably only take up to one o'clock. It is a good question I want to ask the minister, and I ask it because he has the dual capacity of Minister of Justice as well as being in charge of Indian affairs. I have had complaints from certain people that the Indians are not too careful so far as their hunting privileges are concerned. I know none of us want to be harsh with the Indians. We must make a good deal of allowance for them. They are people who have hunted for many years and it is in their blood.

However, the complaint comes to me that the Indians perhaps assume that they have a right to hunt at any time and anywhere. In addition, sometimes they are not too careful about the ethics of their hunting. They will shoot and sometimes leave game in a half crippled and dying condition. They will even shoot and cripple a mother elk and leave the calves there. People have said to me, "What are the Royal Canadian Mounted Police doing about this situation? Do they not know their business?" We know the R.C.M.P. know their business, and if anything the picture may be the other way. Perhaps the R.C.M.P. may be a little harsher with the Indian than with the white man who can really talk back to them. On the other hand, there may be some laxity so far as hunting privileges are concerned.

I see it is one o'clock. I do not need to say anything else, but perhaps the minister might comment on this matter when he answers the other questions.

At one o'clock the committee took recess.

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AFTER RECESS The committee resumed at 2.30 p.m.


PC

Erik Nielsen

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nielsen:

Mr. Chairman, it is appropriate that in rising for the first time in this house I should be given the opportunity to speak on a matter that is close to the heart of the Yukon, that is Indian affairs. I have listened with great interest to hon. members on both sides of the house when they were presenting to the minister the needs of the Indian population in their particular ridings; but if these hon. gentlemen feel they have

trouble, let me assure them their troubles are nothing when compared to the needs of the Indian people in the Yukon.

There are approximately 1,700 Indian people in the Yukon territory. This number comprises about 1 per cent of the total Indian population of Canada. There are about 800 additional Indian people in northern British Columbia who come under the jurisdiction of the Indian agent at Whitehorse. The Indian office for the Yukon, therefore, for all practical purposes can be taken to have jurisdiction over 2,500 souls. One per cent of the Indian population of Canada may not seem great, but when it is considered that this represents 20 per cent of the total population of the Yukon the matter becomes even more impressive.

I have read the annual report of the Indian affairs branch issued by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1957. I note that, just taking a few of the provinces, in the Yukon territory the total sum of $224,250 was expended during the year 1956-57. This is approximately $89.70 per capita. In the Northwest Territories the Indian population is approximately 4,023, and there has been expended there $229,657 or approximately $16.40 per capita. In Nova Scotia the total Indian population is 3,002 and the expenditure amounted to $656,882 or approximately $218.96 per capita. In New Brunswick the total expenditure was $353,977 or approximately $134.64 per capita. In Prince Edward Island, where there are 232 Indian people, the expenditure was $67,137 or approximately $246.83 per capita.

Perhaps the comparison might be more striking if it were made in this way. In New Brunswick, with 129 more Indian people than the Yukon, the expenditure was $139,727 more than the total expenditure in the Yukon on Indian affairs, or approximately $44.49 more per capita. In Nova Scotia, with 502 more resident Indians than there are in the Yukon there was an expenditure of $432,632 more than the total sum expended on Indian affairs in the Yukon. Another way of making this comparison would be to say that for the additional 502 Indian people in Nova Scotia, almost twice as much money was expended as for the 2,500 Indian people coming under the jurisdiction of the Yukon Indian affairs office, or approximately $129.26 per capita.

The only difference between the Indian in the Yukon today and the Indian in the Yukon 50 years ago is perhaps that instead of wearing buckskins he is now wearing blue jeans; instead of finding himself in a tepee he is in a canvas tent. This is all he has

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration protecting him from the elements during some of the coldest weather that is experienced in the dominion. This state of affairs has been allowed to exist during the whole of the past administration. The Indian settlement in the Yukon range from a settlement at Old Crow, approximately 120 miles south of the Beaufort sea, down to the upper Liard, which is just above the sixtieth parallel. The Indian population of the Yukon is scattered over 200,000 square miles. The four main needs of the Yukon Indian must be mentioned here; they are education, housing, industrial development and some sort of planned assistance for integration.

The Indian settlement at Old Crow, for instance derives its complete livelihood from trapping and fishing. I should like to draw the minister's attention to the fact that this village is situated on the Porcupine river, which runs into Alaska. The people in Alaska have established fish wheels on the Porcupine river and they are responsible for what I might call, for want of a better term, robbing the fish from the river. The end result is that this staple in the diet and in the economy of the Old Crow people is rapidly dwindling. May I suggest, Mr. Chairman, that some consideration be given to approaching the United States authorities in an effort to alleviate this problem.

The other staple, in so far as the Old Crow Indian is concerned, is caribou. These Indians rely upon the fish to feed their dogs, and if they cannot get fish, as at the present time they are unable to do, then they rely upon caribou. I recognize, Mr. Chairman, that there is an intensive study under way now with relation to the preservation of caribou. A study of the ways and means of alleviating this problem with respect to fish would go a long way toward the preservation of the caribou.

This year there was such a shortage of both these staples that the Indian people of Old Crow had to obtain assistance from Indian affairs-for which they are most grateful, I might add-in the flying in of dog food. I might say here that the subject of dogs at Old Crow is a serious one, for without dogs they simply do not get around the country; they do not live. It is their prime means of transportation. Without them they just cease to exist. The other Indian settlements in the Yukon are situated in such localities as Bur-wash, Champagne, Ross River, Mayo, Haines Junction, Whitehorse, Francis Lake, Carcross, Upper Liard, Aishihik, Snag, Teslin.

Another serious matter I might draw to the minister's attention is the fact that there are no reserves in the Yukon as such. In

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration other words, where the provincial Indian people have the opportunity of realizing now and in the future on the natural resources contained on the reserves, none such are available in the Yukon. May I therefore suggest that a study be made directed toward the feasibility of setting aside land in the Yukon which will belong to the Indian people there in perpetuity. These Indian people, of course, existed in the Yukon many years ago in much the same way as they did in the provinces. I believe consideration should be given to the establishment of some security of tenure for them.

While I am speaking on this matter of resources, I might also mention the fact that because there are no reserves in the Yukon, the total Indian population of Yukon has the franchise. I therefore respectfully point out to the minister that the annual report is incorrect in that regard. There are approximately 750 plus enfranchised Indians in Yukon. They are enfranchised in the sense that they may vote in federal elections, and that is all; they are still under the guardianship of the Indian affairs branch.

I have heard a number of hon. members refer to the deplorable conditions existing in the Indian villages in their constituencies. I cannot say with sufficient force that these same hon. members would be shocked at the conditions which exist in the Indian population scattered throughout this vast 200,000 square miles of Yukon territory. Some of them live in tents, and some in shacks that are no more than six feet by five feet with roofs no more than four and a half to five feet high. When I say that whole families live in those dwellings I mean families of five, six and more Indian people. These conditions exist because in my opinion sufficient attention has not been paid to them in the past.

There is only one permanent Indian school, which is a residential school established at Carcross. I understand that plans are under way for the construction of a new school in Whitehorse, where it is intended that Indian children might attend on an integrated basis with white people. May I suggest that no attempt be made, without consultation with the people of Indian communities such as Old Crow, to place children from these far-away Indian communities in such a residential school until the opinion and consent of the leaders of the Indian community are obtained. Old Crow is approximately 750 miles north of Whitehorse. If the Indian children of Old Crow, in order to receive an education, are required to go to Whitehorse, it simply means an absolute divorcing of the child from the family for the whole of the school term.

I respectfully submit to the minister that is not the right approach if it indeed was

intended. There is a school in Old Crow which only need be expanded to care for the existing population there. I would strongly suggest that this be done. The people of Old Crow want it. When I visited there recently this was one of their crying needs, namely additional school facilities. These facilities should not be too much of a burden on the present allotment or estimates of the Indian affairs branch, which I was happy to see had been expanded, most likely to take in this sort of project.

Rather than be parsimonious, as the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate suggested was the policy of the last administration in the conduct of the affairs of this branch, I would suggest that there is not only an absolute need but a crying necessity for extending the activities of Indian affairs in the Yukon and, from what I hear from other hon. members, in the rest of the dominion. The only way this can be accomplished is by increased estimates to provide for the needs of these people.

I note also from the annual report that a good number of Indian villages across the land are receiving assistance in forestry projects. Saw mills are being placed in the Northwest Territories and British Columbia. Agricultural assistance is being given to the Canadian Indian people in other parts of the dominion. May I suggest that these same projects be conducted in the Yukon. There is all sorts of room for the establishment of basic industries for the Indian people there. After such study has been made, the plans could include the establishment of basic lumbering in those areas suitable for it. Commercial fishing would be a feasible project. Fur muskrat farming, particularly in the northern portions of Yukon, would be quite feasible, and such other industries as are apparently receiving the assistance of this branch in other parts of the dominion.

I should also like to mention here, Mr. Chairman, that in 1949 the bounty on wolves and coyotes was discontinued in Yukon. The date of that discontinuance coincided with the, shall we say, retirement of another member of this party who contributed much to the affairs of the dominion. I speak of Hon. George Black, who was once Speaker of this house. As I say, when Mr. Black was retired the wolf bounty was discontinued.

The re-establishment of the wolf bounty in Yukon would do two things. It would assist in supplementing the economy of the Indians, something which is a necessary requirement at the moment. It would also, strange as it may seem, assist in the conservation of the caribou herds. It would do this because the caribou now has two enemies, one in the wolf and the other in the high

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration

powered rifle. The Indian people of the Yukon right now would not even take the trouble to shoot a wolf, but if the bounty were re-established, particularly in the northern areas, I feel a long step would be taken toward the conservation of the caribou herds which are so vital to the continued livelihood and well-being of the Indian people in that area.

I might also mention that I have had long discussions with the Indian chiefs and their counsellors in the course of my travels in the Yukon, and these people are capable. They have the ability to undertake a great deal more activity than they are being encouraged to do at the moment with respect to their own community affairs. At the moment no co-operation exists between the department of Indian affairs and other government departments and employers in the Yukon whereby encouragement is being given to Indian labour to take up employment in the various basic industries, or to work for the commercial employers who are already in that area.

In other areas of Canada I understand there are Indian placement officers, and I heard one hon. member say there are three such persons in British Columbia. There are none of these officers in the Yukon, though we do have mines in the hard rock and placer fields where Indians might work were some sort of placement assistance given to them. This was not done under the previous administration, and I would strongly suggest to the minister that further consideration be given to the establishment of such a service for the Yukon Indian. I am sure this will happen under this administration.

Furthermore, unlike other areas in Canada the Yukon does not provide interim benefits for the Indian while he is awaiting returns from his job. These benefits do accrue to other Indian people in Canada, but once an Indian citizen does find himself in employment little or no attention is given to the problem of adjusting these people to life in white communities. I suggest this matter should also receive the consideration of this government.

One of the most crying needs of the Yukon Indians is housing, and I have already mentioned the shocking conditions under which they live today. I am glad to see that this government has already taken the initiative to the extent that starts have been made on new housing units in Upper Liard, but the start is far from meeting the real requirements. We need a good many more similar houses in order to cope with the needs of the Indians in this territory.

I might mention at this point that with respect to these five houses constructed at

Upper Liard, the windows were too small and consequently the Indian people in this village left the doors open so they would have adequate light. I would ask that some consideration be given to the possibility of redesigning these homes so that adequate light is provided for the people living there. I would suggest that a study be made of the actual housing requirements of these people, which I am sure could be undertaken by the local Indian affairs branch office if the officer in charge were directed to travel through the territory and submit a plan of what he felt would cover the needs of the Yukon Indians with respect to housing. This would be a beginning and would pave the way for the branch to plan and blueprint its program in line with the real needs of the Indian people.

Before I leave the subject of housing I would just mention that I know this government will give consideration, if they have not done so, to meeting the immediate requirements of the village in the way of water supply, sewage disposal, lighting, fire alarm systems, etc.

I note from the annual report of the Indian affairs branch that this branch has been establishing handicraft schools in various centres of Canada. The Yukon Indian is adept at turning out products of local manufacture, and I am sure with the least bit of encouragement a substantial industry could be established along these lines. I would suggest that a study be made in the Teslin area as to the possibility of establishing a saw mill, and this might be tied in with the housing development scheme in the Yukon. Under such circumstances I am sure the lumber needs could be supplied through local labour. I believe in the Northwest Territories there are three mills now in existence.

I also note that walk-in freezers have been constructed to provide storage for game in the more remote areas. New units have been constructed during the year at Fort Simpson, Fort McPherson and Fort Good Hope. There are a total of 13 now in use, and may I strongly suggest that consideration be given to the establishment of more of such freezers for the Indian people of the Yukon.

May I say that the economic position of the Yukon Indians, numbering 1,700, has been deteriorating under the supervision of the past administration. Fewer Indians than ever before are engaged in domestic fishing, trapping and hunting, even though these occupations remain the chief source of their employment. The larger mining companies are not employing Indian labour because there is no supervision of an adjustment program and there are no follow-up procedures in

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Supply-Citizenship and Immigration force. The pursuit of agriculture is quite possible in such areas as Dawson and Carmacks, and market gardening could also be encouraged, providing employment for a good number of local Indian people.

Very little progress was made under the past administration in the improvement of housing conditions. As I say, a start has been made by this administration, but may I urge that it be vigourously extended. May I further suggest that in those areas where the Indian people are moving into towns such as Dawson and Mayo consideration be given to the setting apart of land in these areas upon which housing for the Indian people can be constructed. Such provision has already been made in Whitehorse.

I would now like to refer to the educational program for the Indians. The standards in the Yukon for the Indian children should be investigated and improved, and vigorous action should be taken in this regard. Consideration of this subject should accordingly be given in the estimates. Already integration has begun and there are a few children, apart from the children in the residential school at Carmacks, who attend schools established for white children. Even these white children's schools are inadequate in certain areas.

Might I further suggest to the minister that a joint study be undertaken among the Indian affairs branch, the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources and the Department of National Defence. This is necessary because most schools in the area are constructed, maintained and supervised on the pro rata contribution of all these departments.

I might mention, too, in closing that there is no program of adult Indian education in the Yukon, and no leadership courses are available to the Indian people there as they are elsewhere. I am sure, Mr. Chairman, that under the present administration a good number of these ills which now exist in the Yukon with reference to the well-being of its Indian population will be improved. The remarks I leave with the committee are that these Indian people of the Yukon are franchised and constitute almost one-sixth of the population.

I see that my time has expired. I thank the minister for his indulgence, and express the conviction that we may look forward in the Yukon to a vast improvement in Indian affairs over the past administration.

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CCF

Colin Cameron

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Cameron:

Mr. Chairman, I do not intend to take too long but there is just one aspect of Indian affairs with which I want to

deal specifically. I am doing so largely because I was somewhat disturbed by a statement made by the minister yesterday which suggested to me that he may be considering curtailing or slowing up a development that has been taking place with regard to Indian education.

I think he will not be surprised when I say that I do not share his enthusiasm and admiration for the result of the religious denominational education to which so many of our Indian children have been subjected. I say I do not think he will be surprised by that, because he knows our personal views in that regard are poles apart. However, it is not on the basis of my personal views that I want to present this. Rather I want to present this as a contrast in results, because after all, the Indians we have among us now are, as we all are, to a very large extent the product of the educational environment to which they have been subjected; and whenever we deplore the lack of development on the part of the Indian population in different parts of the country as we do in this house, then we are in fact levelling a criticism at the system of education which has produced those people.

I have observed the results of the two different types of education among Indians particularly on Vancouver island and to some extent in the interior, and I cannot avoid the suspicion that all too often in the religious denominational schools there has been too much emphasis on the indoctrination of certain religious beliefs in the Indian children at the expense of educating them so they will be equipped to take their place in modern society.

I could take the minister on an extremely educative tour of Vancouver island and point out to him the results of the two types of education; one, education carried on by one or other of the religious denominations which have charge of Indian education, and the other the result of education in secular schools established by the department of education in the public school system of British Columbia. I could take him to an Indian village on a reserve in the constituency of my colleague the hon. member for Comox-Alberni where a certain religious denomination has a church and mission. The minister of that church was at one time a member of this house, and I remember that he informed me that the Indians there are most kind to him, but that is about the end of it. They are educated in non-denominational schools, and the Indian children of that particular village are now taking their place in the ordinary life of the people of British Columbia.

I could take the minister to the Indians at another place in the riding of my friend the

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration

hon. member for Comox-Alberni, where for many years the children have been educated in public schools. Many of them went to school with my own children in the ordinary public and high schools of that district, where they were accepted by their schoolmates. Many of them are still friends of my own children and some of them have gone on to university, but I know of no cases where Indian children educated entirely under religious auspices have been able to advance to that stage.

I think we also have to take into account the viewpoint of the Indians themselves. In my own constituency I have been told repeatedly by Indians that their wish for their children is the opportunity to attend the ordinary public schools of British Columbia, because they are convinced that the education they are receiving in the residential denominational schools is not fitting their children to take their place in the ordinary life of the province. These are Indians who themselves were brought up under that system.

I know of one young Indian man who for a time lived with my family when he was attending university. He began his school career in a religious denominational school and was there until he was about 10 or 11 years of age, when his parents moved him and sent him to an ordinary public school near Comox. This young man told me that when he first entered the public school and first mixed with white children after these years of living in a residential school he felt completely lost, not merely from a social point of view but also from an educational point of view, because from the age of eight in this residential school he and all the other Indian boys had been obliged to spend a large part of each day in the operation of the farm that was attached to that school. I can recall another Indian lad, a young hereditary chief, who also went to school with my children. He expressed similar views to me about the results of this segregated religious denominational education for Indian children.

I would hope the minister would now press forward, in British Columbia at least, with the program of integrating Indian children into the general school population. I think I can say, at least for the school boards of Vancouver island, there is no longer any antipathy to accepting Indian children. There is, however, an obstacle, one that was brought to my attention by a member of one of the school boards in my constituency during the Christmas recess. He told me they are anxious to find a place in

their schools for the Indian children, but that they find it an impossible financial burden because of the very limited financial contribution made by the federal Indian affairs branch.

I would hope the minister would consider most carefully not merely a contribution toward the operational costs of those schools but in certain instances a contribution toward the capital cost for the expansion of school facilities. I think when we face the kind of situation I drew to the attention of the minister earlier this session-the tragic fires which occurred on a number of reserves, one of them in my own constituency, which exposed the appalling conditions under which children are living-we should realize that there is something radically wrong, when after two generations we are providing Indian children with a certain type of education which plainly and obviously is not fitting them to take their place in this modern world.

I suggest that the position the minister and the department should take in this matter is the position which the majority of the people in British Columbia have taken ever since British Columbia became a crown colony. That is that state education should be divorced from religious instruction, which is a matter for the families concerned, and that Indian children should be given the same opportunities which other children in British Columbia have to obtain the benefits of the very successful and excellent secular school system of that province.

I hope the minister will pay the visit to Vancouver island which I have suggested and note the contrast between those sections of the Indian community whose children have been attending either a departmental school or one of the schools run by the province, and those whose children have been sent for two generations to these denominational schools. I think the minister will then be obliged to admit that to judge by results these religious denominational schools have finished serving any purpose they may have served in earlier days. I believe that at Alert Bay the former denominational school has been converted into a dormitory in which Indian children from outlying islands are housed when they attend the public schools of that district, and it might not be purely coincidence that more than one young Indian from that area has entered the University of British Columbia.

These are facts which should be considered by the minister when he is considering his program for Indian education, at least in the province of British Columbia, and I hope to have some assurance from him that there will be no reversal of the policy which was

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CCF

Frederick Samuel Zaplitny

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Zapliiny:

Mr. Chairman, I wish to take only a few minutes on this item in order to bring to the attention of the minister one or two matters relating to Indian affairs.

I think the minister will recall that some two weeks ago I suggested that he should look into the possibility of replacing houses on Indian reserves as one way of providing employment. I wish to return to that subject again today. It has been mentioned earlier by other hon. members in relation to their own areas, and I want to give one example in my own constituency.

The one I have particularly in mind is the Valley river reserve, which is not a large reserve but is a good example of a community where new houses need to be built. A study of conditions there would show why a new approach should be made toward the provision of accommodation on this reserve. At present a number of log buildings are in existence which have been occupied for many years, and which in my opinion are not fit for human habitation.

The policy which has been followed in the past has been to provide a certain amount of money each year in the budgets of various agencies for the purpose of constructing new frame houses. It has usually worked out in practice, at least in my part of the country, that an Indian reserve of the ordinary size receives about two new houses a year. This rate of replacing outmoded log buildings which are unsanitary and which make no provision for even a minimum of comfort is, in the first place, much too slow. There is also another problem which arises. When a decision is being made as to who shall occupy these new houses-the one or two which are provided each year-there is always an understandable scramble among the residents of the reserve as to who shall occupy the property. I do not know on what basis the tenancies are decided, but I do know that a great deal of discontent and local friction is caused when there are only one or two new houses to be occupied and a dozen or more people wish to occupy them.

I believe it is totally unnecessary, particularly at a time like the present when we seem to have surplus building material and when we certainly have surplus labour, to ration these new frame houses on such a stingy scale. I think the department should take a square look at this situation and replace those old log buildings, where they

TMr. Cameron.]

exist on the reserves, with good modern frame homes, because it is time the old buildings were scrapped.

I believe the minister should consider going ahead with a full-scale program of house replacement on those reserves, a program which, incidentally, would cut out the scramble which now takes place for the few new homes now available and bring about a much more satisfactory condition on these reserves from the point of view of sanitation. I hope the minister will look into this question and inform the committee what he has in mind in this respect, because when I raised the matter two weeks ago he said in his reply that he was very much interested and would have an investigation made.

I also wish to bring to the minister's attention the necessity for making some provision for the introduction of local industries into the reserves. About a year ago the province of Manitoba appointed an economist to make a survey of living conditions on the reserves and the possibility of setting up local industries. I have not yet seen any report of this survey and perhaps one is not yet available, but I suggest that the department should co-operate with the effort which is being made by the province of Manitoba and with the efforts of other provinces which I am sure, are acting along similar lines. The department could then integrate its own plans with the efforts being made on the provincial level to break the impasse which now exists on many of these Indian reserves where traditional means of living, mainly fishing, hunting and trapping, have been exhausted and where the Indians must now either evacuate their reserves to seek employment elsewhere or find some other means of earning a livelihood.

Most of the Indian reserves in Manitoba are located near a lake or a large river and a good deal of fishing is engaged in, but there are some reserves which are not located near water and whose timber supplies have been exhausted not, I may say, by the Indians themselves but as the result of a rather doubtful system in the past of allocating timber licences to private individuals. However the situation came about, the fact remains that many of these reserves are completely impoverished, and I think an extra effort must be made now by the department and agencies at the provincial level in co-operation to try to bring in some industries to help sustain these communities.

I do not think there is any one type of industry that would be universally applicable to all the reserves, but I could give a few examples of types that might be applicable in the province of Manitoba.

In a few instances there are still substantial stands of timber near Indian reserves, and from time to time these timber stands are put up for bids by private individuals or firms under the tender system. I believe if the government were to supply the capital and give some encouragement and help from the organizational point of view they could assist the Indians on the various reserves to form co-operatives to engage in lumber production, and perhaps something could be accomplished.

I have talked to quite a number of Indians on these reserves who have expressed keen interest in that type of industry. Obviously they could not finance it themselves because they simply do not have the capital, but if the government would advance the capital to enable them to set up a co-operative saw mill, planing mill or some small industry having to do with lumber products, they would be prepared to repay the advance over a period of time. They do not want to be given anything, but they do need pump priming of that sort.

I think many of them would be prepared to enter into such a co-operative arrangement and take full responsibility at the local level for the operation of an industry of that kind. Over a period of years they would pay off the debt and then they would own the industry themselves. With the timber stands still available I think that is a very good possibility in certain parts of Manitoba.

Another possibility would be fish filleting and processing plants. On those reserves located near reasonably large lakes such as lake Winnipegosis, lake Winnipeg, lake Manitoba and others in my province there is some possibility of providing employment if fish filleting and processing plants are established. Some canning of fish products could also be done, and perhaps also some canning of poultry products.

The point of the whole thing is that something of that sort must be done on these reserves to provide full employment, if possible, or at least part-time employment during the slack season when the Indians cannot find employment elsewhere. It would have the effect of giving them a certain amount of self-confidence and security right on the reserves.

Unless we take some steps along that line the only alternative I can see is for the department to make a determined effort to have the Indian population become fully acquainted with agriculture. That has been tried on several of the reserves in my area, and I must admit that it has not been too successful. There are many reasons for that such as lack of know-how, lack of proper

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration equipment with which to start, and there may also be others. Unless the department is prepared to try a land settlement scheme and change the Indian from his traditional methods of earning a living to what to him would be a new method of making a living then the other alternative I have mentioned may have to be employed and small local industries established which would operate on a self-sustaining basis and provide local employment and an opportunity for the local people to take a good share of the responsibility.

I want to emphasize that last factor, because I am not advocating that the government should establish industries on these reserves and appoint a manager or some sort of commissar to run them. I believe the Indians would prefer to own these industries co-operatively and take full responsibility for the success of their operation. They have no hope whatever of doing so themselves because of the simple fact that they do not have the capital or the possibility of borrowing the necessary money. They have no collateral to pledge if they want to try to raise the necessary money, because in many cases the Indian Act prevents them from offering any collateral.

I hope the minister will look into these two matters carefully, because if the situation on other reserves throughout Canada is the same as on the several in my constituency I must say we have very little to be proud of, in that we are not providing much leadership to the Indians on the reserves. I hope the situation is better elsewhere.

There is one more matter I want to mention, having to do with a complaint I have received from a number of Indians on reserves in my area. I am passing on this complaint because Indians have made it to me. It is said that the field representatives attached to the various agencies throughout the province, whose duty it is to assist the Indians and give them advice respecting the limited agricultural activities in which they take part and to check on their living conditions and other matters, do not visit the reserves often enough.

The minister can check for himself and find out how authentic the complaint is. It is said that there has been a tendency for these field representatives to become pen pushers, to sit behind a desk at the Indian agency and try to run their business from there. We all know that in a job of that kind you cannot properly fulfil your responsibility as a field representative or instructor on an Indian reserve by sitting behind a desk and issuing orders or writing letters. The men must be there on the job. They must

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Supply-Citizenship and Immigration go into the homes of the Indians, discuss matters with them, listen to their grievances and try to do something about them.

As I say, I am not making any charge because I do not know the exact facts. However, these complaints have come to my attention with a fair degree of regularity in the last year or two. I believe the situation requires investigation, to see whether the men appointed as liaison officers or instructors on the various reserves are actually on the job in the field doing what they were appointed to do instead of sitting behind desks pushing papers around. I hope the minister will also look into that situation. (Translation):

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LIB

Raymond Raymond

Liberal

Mr. Raymond:

Mr. Chairman, having

listened very attentively to the comments of the three previous speakers, I was struck by the great variety of problems that can crop up in a country such as ours. All three of them have outlined-and very effectively, I thought,-the needs of some of the Indians in their respective counties. Each in turn showed that, with regard to housing and education, they had genuine grievances to express.

However, the case I am interested in is quite the reverse of those brought up by the three hon. members who preceded me because my appeal is on behalf of tax payers versus the Indians.

From time immemorial there has been an Indian reserve in the riding I have the honour to represent. This reserve, which occupies one of the most picturesque sites within our province, in the very heart of the Laurentians, covers an area of about 7 to 8 square miles. Some 30 years ago it was occupied in summer by one or two families, and then about 25 years ago, the Indians left it altogether but, to safe-guard their rights, a lone Indian, supposedly as a warden, was made to spend a few months there each year.

Now, some thirty years ago, the government spent between $30,000 and $40,000 opening up a road which serves as a short-cut between two highways in the Laurentians, the road from Ste. Agathe to St. Donat, and the one from Ste. Agathe to Rawdon. Several surrounding municipalities are interested in having that road maintained and improved for the use of tourists travelling to this scenic section of the county. Now, for the last 25 years, the government has been unable to have this road properly maintained, because the Indian band that was supposed to occupy the reserve has, for all practical purposes, abandoned the reserve and, therefore, the road remains unused.

If, therefore, under the legislation, as it stands, neither the neighbouring munici-

palities, nor the provincial or the federal governments are allowed to improve this road, it seems to me that the act should be amended.

In my constituency, the provincial government is even now building a highway, a "turnpike" or "thru-way" scheduled to be completed in two or three years. It is therefore easy to imagine what this highway will mean for the development of that part of my riding. What with a population of one and a half million people right next door,- in the city of Montreal,-one can easily realize that Montrealers will henceforth want to settle in the county of Terrebonne.

Some years ago, a highway had been planned which would have gone through St. Jerome, St. Hypolite and Ste. Marguerite, and then circled the reserve in question. But the presence of this reserve which, as I said a moment ago, covers from 7 to 8 square miles of virgin forest in between 20 to 25 lakes, retards the progress and development of this area.

Yes, it impedes the development not only of this particular area, but of several other neighbouring villages.

Even if it cannot revert to the crown, that is to the provincial authorities, something should be done at least to obtain-I do not know just how but the hon. minister might perhaps think up some way-from the Indian band, which I would describe as the trustees of that property, permission to improve the road that crosses the reserve and links the two highways to which I referred earlier.

Those are the suggestions I wanted to put before the minister, in deference to the wishes of several neighbouring municipalities, and especially of the municipal council of Ste. Lucie which, only recently, sent me a resolution asking the federal government to be so kind as to co-operate with the province and the municipality in bringing about this improvement.

(Text):

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SC

Alexander Bell Patterson

Social Credit

Mr. Patterson:

Mr. Chairman, there are a

few observations I wish to make on the estimates of the Indian affairs branch. I am going to make them just as brief as possible. I have not only some general observations to make, but there are several specific matters pertaining to my own riding which I should like to bring to the attention of the minister.

I am sure we are all aware of the progress that has been made and is being made in the improvement of the welfare of our Indian friends across Canada. However, in spite of the progress that has been made,

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we still have very far to go before we can be satisfied with the conditions under which these people are living. In British Columbia we have an institution which I believe is rather unique, and that is a provincial advisory committee on Indian affairs. I am not sure whether or not any of the other provinces have such an organization, but this committee, under the chairmanship of Professor Ellis H. Morrow of Vancouver, is doing splendid work. The advisory committee was authorized by provincial order in council in 1953, to investigate means of improving federal-provincial co-operation in the administration of health and welfare services to Indians, and to co-ordinate the efforts of both governments in this particular branch of Indian affairs.

I have in my hand the seventh annual report of that committee for the year ended December 31, 1956. I regret that I have not the one for last year, but this report does refer to many of the activities that are being carried on in an endeavour to raise the living standards of the Indian people, and bring them up to a position where they are able to enjoy, appreciate and enter into the life of the communities. I should like to refer to one paragraph of this report:

The harmonious co-operation between the provincial department of health and welfare, the director of Indian health services, and the Indian affairs branch has continued to create healthier and happier living conditions for many Indian people in the province.

After saying that, it goes on to say:

Nevertheless, there are a number of problems yet to be overcome. [DOT]

I feel it is only by co-operation between the respective levels of government, and cooperation with the various organizations interested in Indian welfare, that we will solve those problems and get to the place where we can look with some degree of satisfaction upon our achievements.

A number of problems have been referred to during the course of this debate, one of which was the condition of our Indians with respect to housing. I have a letter which I received some time ago calling attention to the conditions on Indian reservations, at least one reservation in my particular riding. I think possibly the same situation exists on a good many other reservations, if one can judge by the expressions of opinion of the various members. I should like to make this broad suggestion. There should be a complete survey made of all of our Indian reservations with respect to housing to ensure adequate dwellings for our Indian friends. It may not be that we can provide for them the type of housing in which many of our white people live, but still I feel that

some concerted drive should be made to see to it that their housing facilities are adequate for their needs.

I called this matter to the attention of the former administration and was assured that the situation had been investigated; that someone had visited the reservation and seemed to be more or less generally satisfied with the conditions he found there. I have a letter in reply stating that when any representative of the department of Indian affairs makes a survey of the reservation it should not be done by driving through in an automobile and looking at the situation from the outside. The representatives should go there with the expressed intention of investigating very thoroughly the conditions under which the Indians are living and then make recommendations that would bring about the provision of better housing facilities. I am not going to say any more in that connection, but I hope that a real survey will be made of these various Indian reservations with a view to bringing the housing facilities up to a good and fair degree of adequacy.

Suggestions have been made today with regard to the integration of Indians into our community life. On page 5 of the report to which I have referred we have a reference to a conference that was held at the court house in Vancouver on Wednesday, June 27, 1956, the purpose of which was to discuss ways and means whereby the Indian population of British Columbia could be more fully integrated into the life of the province at the community level.

I believe that this is an extremely important matter. I personally do not believe that the system of segregation that we have at the present time is going to accomplish very much for our Indian friends. I do not think it is a good thing as far as our community life, our provincial life, or our national life is concerned. The observation made in this connection was as follows:

Delegates agreed -unanimously that more Indians should be encouraged to join social organizations as a means of encouraging neighbourly contacts between the Indians and their fellow citizens of this province . . . Delegates to the conference agreed, therefore, that more encouragement would have to be given by group leaders to Indians than in the past.

I may say that those in attendance at this conference were leaders of the Boy Scout and Girl Guide associations, the junior Red Cross, the parent-teacher association, the provincial council of women, the St. John Ambulance, the women's institutes, the Y.M.C.A., the 4-H clubs, the Indian affairs branch, and the community programs branch of the department of education.

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I believe that these people are capable and desirous of entering into the lives of our communities if they are given the encouragement that is needed along this line.

The subject of education has also been raised. I should just like to refer to another section of this report with respect to education. On page 9, I read the following:

There are numerous examples of co-operation between the B.C. department of education and the Indian affairs branch. Last year, inspectors of the provincial department of education inspected eighty-five Indian day-school classrooms, and in so doing evaluated the progress of approximately 2,100 Indian children . ..

By agreement with local school boards, Indian children are enabled to attend provincial public schools. Latest statistics show that there were approximately 2,000 Indian pupils attending provincial public schools in 1956, as compared with 1,650 in 1955.

I believe that this is an indication that more and more of our Indian children are attending our day schools and in this way are brought into contact with the other children in the community, thus helping them to take their place later on in the economy of our community.

I should like to say a few words with regard to two or three matters of local concern. I believe my colleague the hon. member for New Westminster today raised the matter of the mosquito control programs that have been conducted in the Fraser valley of British Columbia. I have with me a copy of the minutes of the Fraser valley mosquito control board. One of the recommendations that was passed at that meeting was that the federal government be asked to "up" their grants for this purpose from the $1,500 that they had been paying for the last two years or so, I believe, to $5,000.

In reply to communications on this particular matter the minister advised my colleague that the department could not see its way clear to accede to this request and made the suggestion that there were few Indians who would benefit by such a program. I will just refer to this letter of January 21 in which that statement was made. I should like to suggest to the minister that it is not only a case of doing something that will directly benefit the Indians-and we want to do that, of course. The fact is that we cannot build a fence or a wall around Indian reservations; and mosquitoes have wings. When the communities carry on spraying operations and destroy the larvae in those other sections and when no similar program is carried on in the Indian reservations, when the mosquitoes hatch, of course, they do not respect boundaries and so they fly over and cause a great deal of trouble and irritation to the people in the other sections.

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PC

John Borden Hamilton (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton (York West):

Our mosquitoes are better trained.

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SC

Alexander Bell Patterson

Social Credit

Mr. Patterson:

Perhaps we could take some lessons in how to train mosquitoes if they are better trained in other sections of the country. That is the situation. The municipal authorities feel that there is a responsibility resting upon the federal authorities and upon the Indian affairs department to provide for adequate spraying in those reservations. I therefore hope that the minister will take another look at that matter and see whether he cannot accede to the request or at least "up" the figure from the present amount of $1,500.

The hon. member for Yukon said that I ought to see the mofcquitoes up there. I think we have enough. I can assure him that they are big enough to cause a good deal of discomfort right in the Fraser valley.

I should also like to refer to a problem that we have with regard to hospitals. I realize, of course, that under the change in hospital administration there is a responsibility that rests upon the provincial authorities for providing health care to the Indian people. In the village of Abbotsford, for instance, we have a fine little hospital but there are occasions when we find that a considerable amount of the facilities are taken up with caring for Indian children who do not really require hospital care. The parents come down from other sections of the province of British Columbia and go across the border, for instance, into Washington. They are working there and then possibly some of the children will take ill and they are brought across the border. As we are just about two miles from the border, we are asked to admit them into our local hospital. The parents then take their leave, and after the children are ready to be discharged there is no one to take care of them. Because of the nomadic tendency of some of those Indian people, it is almost impossible to locate them. Hence there are occasions when children are kept in the hospital for much longer periods than they are absolutely required to be kept there. Because Indians act in this way, other residents of the community are unable to gain admission to the hospital.

The suggestion has been made-and I brought to the attention of the previous administration without satisfactory results- that some provision be made in Coqualeetza hospital to take care of those Indian children. It has been said that this hospital is essentially a tubercular hospital, and it was not thought advisable or possible to admit children to even a part of that institution. However, in view of the fact that most of these people to whom I have been referring suffer

Supply-Citizenship and Immigration

from some type of lung or bronchial trouble, we do not feel there would be any impossible or insurmountable barrier in the way of providing some facilities in the Coqualeetza hospital to take care of these children. I therefore ask the minister to give his attention to this particular matter.

I have one other problem which I would like to mention. I have just received a letter from the president of the British Columbia farmers' union, advising me it has been brought to his attention that the Indian schools in the Fraser valley have for some years apparently been supplied with skim milk powder from an eastern Canadian firm. The president of this farmers' union has gone to the trouble of getting some figures with respect to this matter and he points out that the freight charges on this powder cost the government $7.45 per 100 pounds, while the local freight charge is about $3. He also points out that consumption is about 40 pounds every ten days. To supplement the skim milk a vitamin biscuit is being given to those children. It is supplied by the Paulin Biscuit Company under a government approved formula.

We would just like to point out that the Fraser valley is Canada's largest milkshed area and that problems do exist there with respect to the surpluses of fluid milk. We therefore request that any milk used in these residential schools be supplied from local concerns, for example, the Fraser valley milk producers' association, which would be quite capable of providing not only fluid milk but also the skim milk powder requirements for these institutions. I pass that information along to the minister and his officials and ask him to take the matter under advisement.

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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Nicholson:

I am sure the minister will be encouraged by the fact that all of those members taking part in the discussions are pleased to find and would like to see more money spent by this department in respect of the estimates. I note from the estimates that there has been an increase of over $3 million from the 1956-57 period, which gives the minister something over $27 million for the Indian affairs branch. However, in view of the fact that there are about 150,000 Indians in Canada, this works out at less than $200 per person. I note that as early as 1670, during the reign of Charles II, instructions were given to the governors of the colony to the effect that those Indians who desired to place themselves under British protection should be well received and protected. This appears to have happened 288 years ago and then, 203 years ago, we had our first Indian superintendent appointed. We have had a number of treaties since that time. In 1763,

there was a royal proclamation that no Indian could be dispossessed of his lands without his consent and the consent of the crown. I am glad the minister has made the intent of that proclamation quite clear since he has become the minister.

I also read that back in 1875, as a result of the increase in the cost of living, the annuity was increased from $3 to $5 per head. In view of the fact that this was 75 years ago, and it was then considered that $3 was quite inadequate, it is very hard to understand why it would be considered that $5 is quite adequate now.

I think we must look at the problem which confronts the Indian people of Canada from coast to coast. When you consider that in the last two or three years the taxpayers of Canada have spent $200 million on building the mid-Canada line across northern Canada, where the Indians can see with their own eyes the very extravagant type of quarters which must be provided for the people who go up there for a short period, the comparison is quite striking between such accommodation for those people performing the public service and the sort of quarters with which the Indians are obliged to content themselves.

In the Sandy Bay district of my constituency about a year ago there was an unfortunate fire which took the life of an Indian woman and several of her children. Two of the girls were sent to the hospital and are now going to be handicapped for life as a result of that fire. These are not treaty Indians. The Saskatchewan government is responsible and has spent well over $10,000 on medical and hospital care as a result of this one fire, not to mention the loss of life and the permanent disability of these very nice young girls.

It would appear to me that a country with the resources of Canada could do something more than we have done to date to fulfil those responsibilities which we undertook as long ago as 1670, and I am sure as a result of the comments made this afternoon the minister will be in a stronger position to go to his colleagues in the cabinet and say that the very small change which has been made available to the Indian affairs branch is quite inadequate in view of the extent of the problem.

About 5 per cent of my people are Indians; of course a great many of them are not able to vote, and I think we should also have a look at that particular problem. I believe with 150,000 Indians in Canada we should, if necessary, make a change in the British North America Act so that these people would be able to send their own spokesmen to

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Supply-Citizenship and Immigration parliament. It is going to be very difficult to have elected members come to parliament from a relatively small Indian community and I am sure all hon. members of all parties are anxious to present the claims of Indian people fairly well but, when you have 5 per cent of the people who are Indians, and when they are scattered over such a large area, it is not easy to see that sufficient attention is paid to them and to their problems in parliament. On the other hand, in New Zealand it has been found possible to make provision for the native people of that country to go to their assembly and to express their points of view. In India every consideration is given to minority groups so that the spokesmen of these groups can go to the Lok Sabha, stand up in their places and speak for the people whom they represent.

Topic:   CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR CONTINUATION OF BRANCH LINE PASSENGER SERVICE
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Would the hon. gentleman permit a question? Does he not think the suggestion he is now putting forward would be underlining and strengthening the principle of segregation which most of us want to see ended?

Topic:   CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR CONTINUATION OF BRANCH LINE PASSENGER SERVICE
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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Nicholson:

I am expressing my own personal opinion and I believe it would be helpful for some of the outstanding Canadian Indians at some time to be permitted to come to the Canadian parliament, but I am sure it will be difficult in Bonavista-Twillingate for any of the Indian people in that constituency to be represented when the hon. member who presently represents that area has 75 per cent of the vote.

Topic:   CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR CONTINUATION OF BRANCH LINE PASSENGER SERVICE
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

There are no Indians in Newfoundland.

Topic:   CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR CONTINUATION OF BRANCH LINE PASSENGER SERVICE
Permalink

January 31, 1958