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The effects of culture contact on the Tsimshian system of land tenure during the nineteenth century Darling, John Davidson 1956

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THE EFFECTS OF CULTURE CONTACT ON THE TSIMSHIAN SYSTEMOF LAND TENURE DURING THE NINETEENTH CENTURYbyJOHN DAVIDSON DARLINGA Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfilmentof the Requirements for the Degree ol’MASTER OF ARTSin the Department ofEconomics, Political Science, and SociologyWe accept this thesis as conforming tothe standard required from candidatesfor the Degree ofMASTER OF ARTSMembers of the Department ofEconomics, Political Science, and Sociologyt6The University of British ColumbiaApril, 1955ABSTRACTTo understand the system under which landrights are held in any pre—literate society, one must referto the cultural background since primitive tenure is usuallytied in with other aspects of culture. Thus, because aperson may hold rights in land according to his social,political and economic status, it is necessary to obtain aclear picture of the social, political, and economic structure,Because a person may obtain or lose his rights according to achange in status, one must be familiar with the rules 0± succession and inheritance, marriage customs and lineage ties.Public ceremony and tribal mythology are often instruments forthe validation of claims, while the means of guaranteeing rightsin land are related to the system of social control. Moreover,the reasons for desiring land can only be fuily explained byreferring to cultural values.It follows that because of this relationship betweenland tenure and the rest of culture, a system of tenure will beaffected by change occurring in cultural aspects with which it islinked. For instance, when a person holds rights in land by virtueof his membership in tribe and family, a breakdown of these groupswill tend to invaliaate his claims. Again, when a shift inthe political structure leads to new concentrations of authority,different means of controlling land may arise. A changingeconomy may free people from dependence upon the old social groupand thus lead to the individualization of title. When ceremonialism plays an important part in the validation of land rights, itssubmergence tends to cause confusion of claims.In studying the effects of culture contact upon theTsimshian system of land tenure during the nineteenth century) thewriter began by examining the traditional system of tenure and itsrelationship to other aspects of culture. The place of the social, political and economic structure in the land tenure schemewas determined, as was the part played by ceremonialism, mythologyand the system of social control. The nature of culture contactand its influence upon these aspects of culture was then reviewed.Finally, the writer attempted to determine to what extent the systemof tenure was itself affected.3-3-TABLE OF CONTENTSPageINTRODUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ICHAPTE1i I • BACKGROu!”JD. • • . . . . . . . . . . . . • . . . . . . . . • . . . . . . . . . . . • . . . 11, Social and Political Structure,..... .... 12 • Inheritance Pattern. . , . , . 53.TerritorialArrangement. . .. 6CHAPTER II. TRADITIONAL SYSThM OF LAND TENURE.....,,.,......., 101, Individual and Group Rights in Land..........., 102.TransferenceofLandRights.................... 163. The Interrelationship between Tsimshian LandTenure and the Cultural Background............. 19CHAPTERIII.THEEFFECTSO CULTURECONTACT...... ......... 22l.IntroductoryStatement .... 222. Establishment of British Sovereignty........... 223. Early Traders......,.........................,. 2I..4, William Duncants Experiment at Metlakatla.,.,,, 275.CrosbyatFortSimpson......,.................. 386.EffectsoiDepopulation..............,......... 427. Activities of Early White Iminigrants.........,. 438. Adxninistration...................,,............ 45CHAPTER IV. S1JIiARY. . . . • • . • • . . . . . . . . . . . 56BIBLIOG-RAPF{Y. . . . . . • • • . . . . . . . • . . • . . . . . . • . . . . . • . . . . • . . 650‘-3ajJ.IaPCDItopa-aD’HI-”13’Crn‘Sct’d0.Oo’CDt’ao‘aaa00amamp‘CDopaam0.13’15baaaoqamaa‘SCDOsaPF-’CD’S15’pa-P00013ipv0•P‘SCDo‘SIa-04aaaa-‘Spapa.I-”Pa•15C/CDI-’‘15’PPa-1500P‘S15eqaceCDct15015maaCD150Pa-PCtC)‘S.Sp’-‘-5ctD0“4‘Szpacc‘-aaapct•CD0I-’O0Ccqopa-m-a13’0’15’p.O.0a00155m1•p0CDmoI-’-ama‘Npa*wCF‘(7Qpamappapa-Cq15’‘SO’p.Itampa-‘SOo’4‘S’S0’cmccmCDI-”‘-50•000P0CDaCDCDapo’m‘-ti--‘Sall10pa‘ciaCDtaO130’SPa’S&0CD0CDOPpa.‘SP•0,P.H01515CDPHP.aaPPmctapP.O-0CDapa.pa-‘Sci-15’13’•400.‘SP“ImPma’1340’GCO’act0-ftC)CDeqCD‘JCDiapa.•0CDmCD13CDCD13•‘SI-’-‘SCDaPaCDItO0)Jt•1••3CDHactp.mpa-pb’‘ciN1’-c0.ItP0CDP00’OPt.CDaHO15’0.0a’Spa-Ita•0CDCD0amcctsi-a--0pa150CDct150’CD‘S‘S13CDCI-’-‘S13pa.aa‘‘ci-‘pa.manamci-‘SP‘SC)OCDCFmmpaCDP11a’‘-5‘St’15W.54ta‘ci-CDCDNHPCDm‘ci‘ci11‘ciHOa•çly’<t’pa.paap0a00CDa0130mml-’allmmc’ai-’0’‘SI’4pa.CDp.am•0aa•eqCDB0•P‘ciCD0o’mma‘S‘Sir0‘SPCF13a0.0130’OPC0pa.pa-CD‘1I-’CDci-apB0u.00.‘SOHOgN-:3PItOPaCDCDftaCDCDItI-’CDCDaaim.15!QItOpaN0-pa-‘SCD0’I-’-0—a00P15I-’-CDIa.i-a.0’‘St’aB0’CDCD*0-eq•ft00—0.oQpa.0‘-3CItOH15’00ag‘Smap.ItHOCD‘4IamIa-130IiamaamImwmaa‘Si-a-aCDOCtsaappappama’CDai-’cmoH0t-’-’ci‘Sci-ci-0C’Spa.13ci-C’S0015’ct00W.II‘SO0’CD’S’SItI-’-It0P0C‘ci4mp0PaphmaeCOi-g‘gg—‘SmaaPar’S‘ci-15’13HZCDPm0.CDIt15I-’-0CD0-‘SICDa0-Ct0pa.papa-a0P0.15am130It150qmm£CD0’HCDH0sSctCD’0)H0(D3 p.oq CD‘tiCDHOc+:iI-’.‘CDçt0 CDHCo“0H\_,)p)“.1)“(3C)‘dO 0‘J1p.0DH‘1CtH Q)p.00p.c-)’li0H‘-Sr:O”HCDCt I—i.OCDCttjHC)CD0O0CD H C)Cl)Cl)00toCtt”CDCt‘CDH “ONi’.) 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01XIIin a new concept of political status and a new concomitantconcept of tenure with the chiefs now having the rightto dispose of land. Under these circumstances the Britishmade payment to the chiefs and took over control of theterritory.11Keesing shows how the Samoan system of land tenurehas also been affected by a change in politial structure.In traditional times the population was divided into villagegroups of closely related families and each village had acouncil of elders or‘tmatai’. Among other things it wasthe duty of the council to settle disputes over land betweenvillage members and to call upon the community as a wholeto protect its territory against invasion. When the whiteman took over the administration of-the Islands the natallost their authority and the traditional means of maintainingrights in land was no longer effective.Under modern conditions the practical authority ofthe “matai”, especially of the higher titles, hastended to wane. Also now that there is a centralgovernment to ensure peace, the main function of theoverlord——te defence and protection of the area——has passed. 2Liversage points to the influence of a change in economyupon land tenure in primitive society, He argues that theU Keesing, Felix M., Modern Samoa, London, George Allen andUnwin Ltd., 1934, p. 274.12 Keesing, Felix M., Modern Samoa, p. 274.1CD 05 p5 CD p5 Si CD CD H Si c-F CD C) 0 H 0 Si H CD 0) 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right of headship on to the nearest eligible male when hebecame available. This would be her own son on his coming ofage, or that of her sister. At times a lineage head mightadopt a man as his younger brother if he should find himselfwithout an heir. However, in this as in ail cases the successor would need the support of the household members, for withoutit he could not maintain his position.An exception to the usual routine of succession mightoccur when a man aspired to leadership of the household eventhough he was not due to inherit the right • Thus a man’ seldest sister’s eldest son might intercept the succession ofhis mother’s brother’s brother by holding a feast upon hisuncle’s death and distributing a greater amount of wealth thanhis uncle’ s brother could command • However, this would againhave to be done with the sanction of the household members.A further exception to the general rule of succession mightoccur when the heir apparent was considered unworthy by hishousehold fellows because of some physical or mental, defect.In this case he would be by-passed and the position taken upby the next in line.3. territorial ArrangementDuring the winter season which lasted from October toMarch, each household group occupied a rectangular cedar plankhouse “about thirty feet square” .° The number of people in20 Boas, Tsimsbian Xvtholon, p. 46.7the average sized house was around sixteen. Aretander saysthat when the missionary Duncan first encountered the Tsimshiaain 1857 he found there were 11zline tribes with a population of212,300, living in 140 houses.t’Each elementary family belonging to the householdgroup had its own section of the raised platform which ranaround the inside walls of the house. The rear of the housewas taken up by the head, his wife and children, and unmarriedgrown sons of lineage women, Captives had their quarters oneither side of the single door situated at the front end of thehouse.In each village group there might be from half adozen to a dozen and a half households. Village houses werestrung out in a line facing a common beach and lay back a fewyards above the high water mark with the house of the tribalhead in the middle of’ the line. At times the beach, whichfronted protected bays or channels, was not extensive enoughto accommodate all the houses even though they generally hadonly a few feet between them. In such a case a second rowof houses might be built behind the first row or, if therewas not sufficient level ground there, another beach in closeproximity would be taken up. Behind these villages the forested ground ran sharply up hill to eventually reach the summit of21 J. W. Aretander, The Apostle of’ Alaska, New York, FlemingH. Revell Co., 1909, p. 53.8rugged snow—capped peaks.The winter season was the ceremonial season of theyear. During much of this time the people were engaged ininter—tribal feasting, initiating novices into the secretsocieties, and carrying on such other ceremonial activities asshamanistic performances and the elevating of people to leadinghousehold or tribal positions. Between such events the Tsim—shian turned their attention to economic pursuits. Women setabout their household tasks, gathered sheflfish on the beach,or collected edible roots in the nearby forest. Men busiedthemselves with such tasks as the erection of new houses orthe repairing and constructing of dug-out canoes. They alsowent fishing for halibut and cod or occasionally shot a seal.8ome went off into the forest after deer, mountain goats, andbears. However, such food as was obtained at this time onlysupplemented what had been stored away at other seasons.Around the first of March, each of the Metlakatlavillage groups migrated to the lower banks of the Mass Riverwhere they fished for eulachon, a small oily fish which swarmedup the river by the millions in early spring. The Journeyfrom Metlakatla was a matter or seventy-five miles and tooktwo or three days to complete. Each village group bad its owncamping site along the way and at each site the various households had their traditional section of beach as at MetlakatlaChannel. Upon arriving at the Mass, the village groups9arranged themselves in much the same pattern as they had attheir winter quarters, with the river bank taking the place ofbeaches, Houses, while less elaborate, had the same generalstyle as those at Metlakatla.Fishing on the Nass continued into late April whenthe eulachon ceased running. At this time the people returnedto Metlakatla where they stayed for several weeks before movingon to salmon fishing sites along the lower reaches of the SkeenaRiver. In the early part of the summer they occupied villagesin the seine manner as they had at the Nass. Towards autumneach tribe broke up into household units which set off to theirown particular fishing sites and hunting gxounds, located alongthe tributaries of the main river or on the streams flowinginto the various bays and channels between the Nass and Skeena.While some men of the household group were engaged in fishing,others went off hunting for deer, goats, bears, end smaller furbearing animals. Some women gathered berries and wild crabapples while others dried and smoked the salmon which theystored away in wooden boxes. Towards the end of September thepeople, having obtained their supplies of food, returned totheir winter villages to commence a new seasonal round.Chapter IITRADITIONAL SYSTEM OF LAND TENURE1. mdividual an rouRi hts in LandIn Tsimshian society each household group had theright to use and exploit certain sites and areas, Types ofland in which this right was held included the winter villagehouse site, As has been seen, these house sites were arrangedin line facing the beach, Their size was determined by thedimension of the four walls of the house built upon them, Thecamping sites on the spring migration route and the house siteson the Nass and Skeena corresponded to the winter village housesites, House and camping sites used in the late summer werepart of larger household areas such as fishing, hunting, andberry picking grounds. The household group also claimed thatpart of the beach or river bank which lay directly in front ofthe house site and used it as a place to keep canoes or as aconvenient spot to dry fish and work at other chores, Whentwo houses lay one behind the other, this stretch of beach orriver bank was shared between them, Stands of cedar andpatches of edible roots were found in the woods near the wintervillage or further along the coast and each household claimedone or more of these, Also claimed by the household weresections of of fshore cod and halibut banks, seal and sealionUrocks, kelp beds and sea—bird rookeries.Stranded marine animals, or other debris washed bythe tide, belong to the family owning that portionof the shore line, the boundaries of possessionsbeing definitely marked and respected accordingly.Nor is the boundary confined to the strip of coast,but extends well out to sea, carrying with it theright to shoot seals and gather birds’ eggs onoutlying rocks, hunt sea otter, and to fish on wellknown halibut or cod bnks.River gorges, valleys, and mountain sides were identified as household bunting preserves. Water routes by sea andriver which were open to all, gave access to food gatheringareas and thus obviated problems of easement.Persons who did not belong to the household group werenormally excluded from sharing in the latter’s right to sitesand areas with which it was associated. Exceptions were sometimes made in the case of friends and relatives who might beinvited by the household to obtain what food and materialsthey needed. Thus a man’ s grown son while belonging to anotherhousehold could expect an occasional invitation to hunt on theland of his father’s group. Members of friendly householdswhose resources were depleted might also expect such an invitation, but in both cases guests were expected to share part ofthe produce obtained. The household group might also shareits rights to land in return for assistance in accumulatinggoods to be used in wealth distributing ceremonies. When22 Niblack, A. P. The Cost Indian of Southern Alasfl andNoflhern pfltish Co],pmbis, U. s. National Museum Annual Report,1888, Washington, 1890, p. 83.12occasion demanded, rights to land other than the house sitecould be given up by the household in favour o other suchgroups as payment for debts or as a settlement for claimsarising out of the injury or death of outsiders.Household rights to land were validated during ceremonial events such as the elevation of lineage members to leadership and the periodical wealth distributing feasts engaged inby the household for the purpose of maintaining prestige in thecommunity. Accompanying such events was the displaying ofcrests associated with household rights to specific sites andareas. At the same time, a hired spokesman, acting on behalfof the households, recited myths which told of the originaloccupation of the land by the group concerned or, when rightsto land had been obtained within remembered times, he gave anaccount of such happenings. Each food course served duringthe ceremonies represented one or more household sites or areasand the spokesman explained their association. Houses bearingpainted household crests and lying on household land gave furthersupport to the claims of the group. Crest—bearing totem poleswhich had been erected upon the succession of a man to leadership of the household also had this effect,A particular object of these monuments was topublish the owners claims to established patri—monies and rights that bad descended to themmostly from the immemorial past. The assistance ofother families and neighbouring villages in theirerection served as a pledge of universal recognition23- C, M. Barbeau, Totem Poles of the Gitksan, Canada, Geological $urvey, Bulletin13Certain elements of social control existed inTsimshiari society which gave assurance to the continuance ofhousehold rights in land. Trespassers were ridiculed aspeople who were unable to depend upon their own resources.This was in itself enough to discourage most offenders sincethe Tsimshian were extremely sensitive to such condemnation.Moreover the head of the offenderts group could be expectedto discourage any repetition of the act since ridicule of anyof its members affected the group as a whole. Members ofthe offending household could retaliate by threatening reciprocal action or by killing the trespassers. The latter coursewas, however, only taken as a last step since it often led toa chain of revenge killings. A further element of controlover infringement of land rights lay in the fact that theprestige of the tribe as a whole depended upon the cooperationof all its members in promoting the prestige of its figurehead. Thus any infringement of land rights by one of itshouseholds against another met with resistance from the wholetribe in the form of ridicule or physical violence.The tribe as a group held rights to land. Publicgrounds to which all members of the tribe had access includedclam beds, a common road lying between the houses and thebeach, and unspecified areas lying about the village. Thewinter house site of the village head was also open to membersof the tribe during ceremonial occasions. People who did notbelong to the group gained access to tribal land through the14protection of clan kinsmen. Thus the first thing a visitordid upon arriving at a village was to go directly to the houseof his clan fellows. In this way trade and other friendlyrelations could be maintained between tribal groups. Visitorsmight also be received in the house of the village head if hewere to hold an inter—tribal wealth distributing feast. Whenoutsiders were not on friendly terms with the tribe, theywould be excluded by force if necessary. The tribe alsoacted to prevent outsiders from trespassing on the land of anyof its household groups. Differences between village groupsover rights to land were common, arid fighting often broke outas a result. Tribal rights to land were validated duringceremonial occasions as in the case of household rights toland. Thus when a man was elevated to tribal leadership,other tribes were invited to participate in receiving giftsand feasting. At the same time tribal crests sssociated withtribal land were displayed and an account of tribal lands wasgiven.Individuals held the right to use household andtribal land by virtue of their membership in these groups.House and camp sites were open to the use of individualsaccording to the pattern of residence already described. Sincethe household acted as an economic unit in hunting, gathering,and fishing, each of its members had the right to use itsvarious resource areas according to his role in these activ—ities, While men speared fish, women set about drying and15smoking theni, While women picked berries, men made theboxes in which they were stored, When hunters returned withdeer and goats their wives and daughters prepared the skins.Children helped or hindered their parents and old people didwhat they could to make themselves useful. Captives participated in the economic activities of the group in much the sameway as other men and women.Although the head of the household had directionover the economic activities of the group he did not own theland which it used. In the first place he was restrictedfrom ownership by the traditional privileges which other members of the household enjoyed. Moreover, his interests wereso interwoven with the interests of his people that ideas ofindividual ownership of land were foreign to him, He couldnot alienate land by giving it or selling it to outsiders sincerights to land could only be given up with the consent of thegroup as a whole. Rather than being an owner of land, heacted as a supervisor of household sites and areas and in thiscapacity he directed the use to be made of land and called uponthe members of his group to defend their rights.No areas were set aside for the special benefit ofthe tribal head nor did he receive tribute from others fortheir use of land. He acted in the same capacity as otherhousehold leaders with regard to the land held by his own household group. With regard to tribal land his position was alsothat of a supervisor. He directed the gathering of food andH-0H-CDp.HHCDO0QtCiH-H’CtCDCtHi‘1HH-CDH’‘1CtHiH-0HC)H’(1)0-i.CtCH(0Ct)CDpoCtOHHCDCtrp.çiCDCtHiHCDH-‘1p.CtCDCDCD1CD0P’0HiHiHH0CtH’H0C’)HiCDHH’H0CD0”CtP5CtC)p.CD(1)CDçCDCDH’0HH’HID’CD‘0)DU)CD‘1IIp.00H-HC)”H-0HiCDHCDH00)HUiC)CtCtID”CtH)H-P5HcnCtH’U)H-C)H’00CCt)1H’(1)0’CtCt00H0H-C!)HjH’P5(1)CDH’0H-CDID”HJ)U)p.0p.HiciCtCtP50çiyCD0CDCDH-U)H’PSH’C!)H’HHC.’‘11Cl)Cl)op.P5H0”'0p.CtPSID’HCDH-H-Ct0(1)HU)0CD0PH-H0PHH-‘1‘10P5CtHiCDCD0”HHHiH’iH-CtID0”ID”C)CDPSCDHPUiH-0CtH’0’0CnCl)CDPSPSH’Cl)PSCDCtCtCDH-0i•CD.HCD0CDiCtH’CDIDiCtH-H-H0)Cl)HCP)CDCD0CDCDCtp.p.H-HH0(1)a’CDp.HHPSp.HHCD0CDHHI-HC!)‘lP—CDCt12)C)Hp.H.Ct‘1OHH(00‘iCtC)”CtçrC)ci0CtHip.P5CD1:-i0-’CDHH-HH-H’-<H-HHH’CtH0CDcHHi-zCDCt)0H’HCDCDCD0CD0ci0‘-0H’IDPSCtH-p.P5p.ci-p12)0H)CDCtCtCDHH’C)H0H’CDCDCD‘1CtC)CtH0p.p.CDID”CD-opCtP5p.H’C)H’12)CtQq00iU)HID0CDH-CDIiH-Cl)0PHH’CtHCl)<Ip.CDHip.II00<CDHSi)PSp0CDH-0CDH’CDCtHiCDCtHçtp.IHID’<1l-CD00DCtH’CtCt0CtH-CtCD0CDCtCtjCtH’CDC)iHH’HCDHPSH•CDH’HCDP5P5‘1HtrjCDCDl11)ID”‘1Cl)p.’H-CDH-CDCDHHP50p.CtH-H-iCc‘1H’HH’H-H-H-CtH-ci-CDHCtC)HHiID”0P50CtCtHH’H’CD0H)HCtCDHCDCDCl)H-H‘1CtP•CrpP5pp.U)p.U)c’0H”HHCt)C)H’C!)CDP5‘10CDCtCDCl)PSIiPSCDID”0HH’H-a’H’0-HIDPSCDH-HCtH-0H-0lH’PSCDID”HH’ID’‘10-’H-CD((Hq0”HCDH’H-U0CtPS<0H12)P5CDlH’Si)CDP-H-CtH’COCtSi)CDCtP5‘iiCDH0Ct‘1•HCDP5P5CtH’Hp“SU)PSpH’PSCtPSCDCDH-(0CtCDCDHiHiCtCtH-Hci•I—’-CDP50Cl)H-CDH-HCDCC!000ID’Cl)HOHCDCtHHPS<ICtipID0CDH’Ct•H’‘1HH)CDCDPSC)CtoCDH0H(iDci-0CDCDci’0‘10‘1CtH’CDH12’0)CtCD‘1pCt00HC)CD£HH0p.CDHi12)H-H)CtCtHPSH’CtPSH0HiCDHCtH’C)HPSH’HiHiHi0‘H-P5HHH’H-H’C—i.CtH-CDH)PS‘CtHHci-CDHCD•H’Hci-P50HCDCtCDCt(j‘ICDHH’H-C)P5P50-’H’CDC)0H’HCDIICDCDp.H)CtCDU)p.p.U)CD•t\,)‘zI•iHCDCtID’HCD0IDPCtCtOCtL—CtH’CDID’CDb(0CD‘1C)H0C)ElHCDCDCDSCD0crn)’HF—CDCt‘1 U)012) H0p.HP5 HUCtHH-H’i-iCDCtH” CtCtCDCD‘1 H-H’0”0CDP COH,CD H’00SH p.HCDCl) H-U)P (((4-I--,H-0Cti—S C) 0 P H p. ID” CDSi)” CDPSHiCtCDCDHF-150)H-(0P5 H0U)H-0(-l CDC)” CDH PSPHCDp.CD•p. H PCDCto10H-H0”HP5p.HHH0CDCtPS CDPSCtH(I)H CDPSHH12’çDC-lCDH CDc-i-p.H-Ctc’H’P5CDHHH‘1P50HPp.Hi H IiH017household fellows would demand compensation. Even if a manaccidentally hurt himself while using the land of others, thelatter were held responsible, If compensation was made bythe transfer of rights or land, such action would be publiclyannounced and the receiving group would validate its new claimsby the distribution of wealth.Discontinuance of occupation did not constituteabandonment of land rights in Tsimshian society unless no effortwere made to retain these rights. Thus the household mightcontinue to announce its rights to sites and areas even thoughit no longer occupied them. Reference to these places duringwealth distributing feasts was usually sufficient to insuretheir retention, The group concerned might also have buildings bearing household insignia on land no longer occupied byit and thus give physical evidence of its intention to retainthe site. Usually the household allowed others to use land itno longer occupied in return for a share of any produce thatmight be obtained. If the household gave no indication of itsintention to retain rights in land it no longer occupied, it2)was considered to have ttthrown away1t the land and some otherhousehold was then free to take up the claim which was validated in the usual way.14hen the household group became too large for thehouse, it was customary for the head to appoint one of his24 British Columbia, Commission on Conditions of Indians ofthe Northwest Coast, Victoria, Government Printer, 1888, p. 432.18potential heirs as leader of a new group composed of the surplusmembers. The new heed’s eldest sister would be the point ofreference for a new lineage and her eldest son would eventuallysucceed her brother. When segmentation took place, the headof the parent household, with the consent of the group as awhole, might assign a part of its land to the new householdbeing formed. If sufficient land was not available to do this,the new group was expected to strike out on its own and layclaims to land which was not held by others. By occupyingthis land and validating their claims through the distributionof wealth, the new group gained full control. This same procedure might be undertaken by any other household which founditself short of land.Members of one tribe sometimes attempted to seize theland of household groups belonging to another tribe, Sincesuch action usually led to the outbreak of general hostilities,it would only be undertaken with the approval of all the members of the aggressor tribe. If there was a reasonable chanceof getting the better of the enemy, this approval was readilyobtained, since success meant a rise in prestige for the victors. Fighting was sporadic rather than continuous. Ifmembers o opposing sides happened to meet while away fromtheir villages a fight would ensue. Each side might raid theother’s village and take captives. During the winter seasona truce was usually arranged to allow both sides to engage incommon ceremon’al activities. The resolution of the conflict419was achieved when one side acknowledged the right of the otherto the disputed land. This was done during a ceremonial feastheld by the victor and attended by the vanquished and various25other tribes.Individual rights to land were gained or lost as aresult of a change in social status, hen a man became headof the household, he succeeded to the position of trustee ofits land. Similarly the new tribal head succeeded to trusteeship over tribal land. When women married into the householdthey gained the right to use its land according to their economic role. Their right to use the sites and areas of theirformer group was suspended as long as they remained members ofanother household, but could be regained should they return aswidows or dissatisfied wives. Young men when they went tolive with their mother’s brother gained rights in the land oftheir uncle’s household. While they lost the formal rightsto use the land of their father’ s household, they were ofteninvited by the latter to do so.3. The Interrelationship between Tsimshian LandTenure and the Cultural BackgroundThe preceding pages heve given an indication of theway in which the traditional system of tenure was related toother aspects of Tsimshian culture. Thus the social, politicaland economic aspects of culture were involved, since a personheld rights in land according to his status in household and25 Garfield, V. E., Tsimshian Clan and Society, pp. 259—271;see alsoGarfield, V. E., The Tsimshian, their Arts and Music,J. J. Augustin,1951, p. lL.20tribe and his role in exploiting resource areas. The headof the household had direction over the economic activitiesof his group, male members held the right to hunt and fish onhousehold grounds, women and children gathered food and othermaterials and all had the right of residence in the winterhouse and summer camp. The head of the tribe cafled uponhis fellows to defend their territory, directed the accumulation of wealth to be used in ceremonial feasts, and sharedthe right of using public grounds with his tribesmen. Kenwere expected to assist in guarding household and tribal landswhile all the people helped in building prestige for familyand tribe by providing materials for public display.Because a person’s rights in land depended upon hisstatus, he would gain and lose these rights as his socialposition changed. The system of tenure was therefore linkedwith the rules of marriage, lineage ties, succession, andinheritance. When children reached maturity they went tolive with their mother’s brother. They thereby gained rightsin the land of their uncle’s household and lost them in theirfather’s. When a woman married she had the right to use theland of her husband’s household as long as she lived with him.Ken gained new rights in land when they succeeded to the position of household or tribal head.The writer has described the part played by ceremonialism in the Tsimshian system of tenure. Accompanying2].ceremonial feasts was the displaying of crests associatedwith household rights to specific sites and areas. Thisserved to draw attention to claims made by the various groupsand gave support to them. Moreover, myths were recitedwhich told of the original occupation of land by supernaturalancestors who had passed on title to their successors. Publicceremony and tribal mythology were thus essential elements inthe system of tenure.Since land rights were guaranteed by cultural sanctions, the link between Tsimshian tenure and the culturalbackground also involved the system of social control. Trespassing was discouraged by the threat of physical violence orreciprocal action. The fear of ridicule also served to maintain order. A man’s attention was focused on gaining prestigeand any adverse criticism was felt deeply as a slight to hischaracter. He would thus hesitate to use the land of otherswithout invitation for fear of public condemnation.As with the system of tenure, the desire for landwas also related to the cultural background. While some ofthe foods and materials that were collected on household tribalgrounds were needed to satisfy the demands of subsistence,another principle reason for desiring land also existed. Onceremonial occasions the Tsimshian displayed accumulated wealthas a mark of their prosperity and thereby gained the prestigefor which they constantly strove. They therefore needed resource areas to satisfy the demands of their ceremonial feasts.Chapter IIITHE EFFECTS OF CULTURE CONTACT1. Introductory StatementThe impact of western civilization on Tsimshiansociety became increasingly pronounced throughout the nineteenthcentury. Traders, missionaries, white immigrants and government agents each in turn exposed the Indians to new ideas andvalues. This chapter will endeavour to examine the influenceof the new culture on Tsimshian customs and institutions relatedto land. As will be seen in the final chapter, the conclusionof the writer is that the Tsimshian held tenaciously to theirold way of life and their traditional practices concerningland remained largely unaffected.2. Establishment of British SovereigyTsimsbian lands fell within the bounds of what wasknown in the first half of the last century as the OregonTerritory. The Territory comprised the country lying betweenthe parallels of forty—two degrees north and fifty—four degreesforty minutes north, bounded on one side by the Rockies and onthe other by the Pacific Ocean. Sovereignty over this vastland was only finally determined in 1846 with the signing of23the Oregon Treaty between the United States and Great Britain.In the years previous to the signing of the treaty,Spain and Russia had also laid claim to the Oregon Territoryor at least to the coast thereof, However, in 1819 Spainwithdrew from the scene entirely and in 1824 and 1825 Russiaagreed with the United States and Great Britain to confine herinterests to Alaska. This left the field to the latter twoPQwers which shared an equal claim in the territory until theagreement of 1846. At this time the British took over controlof all the area lying north o± the forty-ninth parallel as wellas the whole of Vancouver Island, while the remainder went tothe Americans.The establishment of British sovereignty over thenorthern part of the Oregon Territory had little immediateeffect on the Tsimshian Indians’ relation to land. Until 1858the Crown granted exclusive trading privileges in the area tothe Hudson Bay Company, and it was the policy of the Companynot to interfere with the natives’ rights.According to the canons of that age the Indianswere well and fairly treated. Their lands werenot seized, because the fur trader was concernedonly in the gathering of peltries and not in thepromoting of settlements; their customs wererespected, because it was less provocative ofhostility to humour them than to attempt to changeideas born of immemorial usage.2626 F. W. Howay and E. 0. S. Scholefield, Britiolbia,Vancouver, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1914, vol. 1, 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could make himself understood in the Tsimshian language. He was the only white man who could converse withthe Indians in their own tongue and this in itself made afavourable impression upon them. Duncan also gained recognition as an exceptional man by defying the tqbus set by thetribal heads during the ceremonial season. This nearly costhti his life at the hands of a vengeful tribal leader, but hewas saved at the last moment by the native who had been hislanguage instructor. The latter drove off Duncan’s potentialassassin at the point of a gun. Neither he nor any other30Indian made the attempt again.lhile Duncan gained in prestige through his abilityto converse in the native language and by standing up to thetribal heads, he ns also known by the Indians to have defiedthe Hudson’s Bay Company by refusing to hold services in thefort if the employees worked on Sundays. Then Duncan won hispoint, his followers were even more convinced of his abilities.Within five years Duncan had an enthusiastic followingof some fou. hundred Indians out of the total of twenty—fivehundred then livin at Fort Simpson in the winter season.In 1862 he decided to move his mission away from what he30 J. 7. Arctander, The Apostle of Alaska, pp. 134-135.29considered to be the degrading influences of the Companytraders and in that year, accompanied by hs four hundredconverts, he moved to Metlakatla Channel. The Indians whofollowed Duncan did so in household groups rather than intribal groups. Of the nine tribal leaders only one joinedhim, and this was the man who had tried to kill him. Thelatter now proclaimed Duncan to be the greatest of all headmen, and became his ardent supporter. Dunca&s other followers who had deserted their own tribal heads, sought to gainprestige for themselves by supporting the missionary whomthey regarded as their new leader. With this enthusiasmbehind him, Duncan had every reason to believe that he wouldsucceed in building “The Christian Community of Metlakatla”.After the initial exodus, nineteen hundred Indiansremained at Fort Simpson. The duties of the tribal leaderwho had left with Duncan were taken over by the next in lineof succession, but the former was still regarded as head ofthe tribe until his death several years later. Again, thehousehold groups which had gone to Metlakatla were stillregarded by their tribes as members of the larger groups andtheir deserted houses were left unmolested. The Indianswho had chosen to stay at Fort Simpson were probably thosewith the least to gain by joining Duncan, On the other hand,those who had gone with him would probably have belonged tothe poorer households and sought to use the missionary as ameans for gaining new wealth and prestige. The story of30the Indians who remained at Fort Simpson will be taken uplater,Duncan believed that in order to make the new community into an image of the English village, he would haveto take three major steps. One of these was to eliminatethe aboriginal pattern of residence which he considered ascontributing to immorality and a hindrance to his plans.Thus the traditional household grouping which appeared tothe missionary as a breeding ground for incestuous relationships would have to be eventually done away with and theelementary family confined to separate dwellings. At thesame time as he was attempting to change the pattern of residence, Duncan sought to eliminate native ceremonialism,Crest—pole raising, ceremonial feasting, and ritual dancingwere forbidden. The aiissionarys third task was to bringan end to the annual round of migration which seriouslyinterrupted his attempts to teach the Indians the arts ofWestern civilization9 He planned to do this by introducingindustries from which the Indians could earn their livelihoodwithout having to leave the community for extended periods.While Duncan succeeded in modifying all of these aspects ofthe native culture, he did not eliminate them and the traditional system of land tenure in which they were bound upremained largely unaffected.When Duncan arrived at Metlakatla with his followers,Elop’‘Izt‘S4OO’WIcPC)40P‘-3D’WI0000WI®00PCDPfi’0WI‘ci:0P’0cc,1—’WIC‘1aS00ct0’ir0i-’aitml-’opç’gaoctp’pccff1‘000000‘ciPdPdPdOP.C)wECD0agqcccc‘1cc-,‘iP.00‘-b4CtaP.WIPWI00WIClccOSPdPd0ccWI00i00000gWIo’iOO®‘4pgp’aIS’)00P.oo4aoD’‘dO‘ci0HO0000•ap.00amWIccS0’P.0000:-0OPWIP.WIPd,cccc§amP.sad0a®000WIC)WIWID’“‘40‘.oWIaFccal-’coP’‘tOJ‘10ccp’o®‘eP.‘=JPdWIcc0Po‘00P.P0aPdWIWIWI‘ciWISP.Otr0‘ciWI0PdI-’0‘cioCtcc‘100CYP.ccat?aPdotY000a‘I-’0Cl)•OPpap’00PClcc00PP.Pdwcc00cc‘ta®oa0PdaPd.aaecc‘ci0Pd0WII.-’00WIacca’cicc-‘mi!!;;•0WI‘500tiOP.I-’maoPDOWIoP100h’0c?a’aE-‘aciodc400‘100‘4gI-tO4‘10P.O‘10‘1000WI‘ciWIcog0’pta00I-’a‘ptaPc’a’40Pdt4‘1a0p,p’‘1aP’‘t-’.aap5I-S00-‘cc00oaoaaola‘-sPd0‘‘1PdI-’WI•EsaWICWIpccI-’0ccPdPdWIfi’WI®WIWIcc-oacc‘ciPq®flog‘400)-’p’ai-’cWI0oJ0•o’‘4Pd1Pd0WI00a00jjWIPI-bCDa00I-b000aPfriWI0i‘dOCoI-b0’ClI—’cc0.tao0ccWI0WI-‘aaIrOCF0Pcc000’0P’PdoI-bnaWIPdP.00P.go4.0WI’4p00OP0ccai-t0a,-0$qaasa‘ci0Ij’d0atWI‘OPtPWIPPdP5cc.0‘4I-’p0•a00Pd®PdtO‘wa’S0‘5‘1a®00cccc0‘•0 00000cc0occ04000P.‘..>‘9Pd‘aPd0oP®oWIaoWI’40aagaI;’0WIPdPP.I—’aP.0’PdccIWIG®0•0l—’OHPd0‘40I$CD32of household title but, as in the aboriginal system, the latter could not alienate the site nor prevent any oi’ the membersof his group from using it,During the following years Duncan set about replacingthe old style of dwelling with conventional English houses.While his original intention had been to confine the elementaryfamilies to separate residences, he did not fully succeed indoing so. Rather he only modified the old arrangement bybuilding double houses, each with two floors. In a letter tothe Indian Affairs Department of the Canadian Government,written in 1881, he states that “two such houses are built ineach lot of 120 feet by 66 feet, and so arranged that a middleroom can be built to connect them and be used in common byboth families (The families, of course, related),”31 [Dunca&sbrackets.] While the letter does not give adequate information on the social structure of the double—house residencegroup, it does suggest that the Indians were still in sympathywith the aboriginal pattern of kin—grouping. It is knownthat each of the new houses had Live rooms and with the commonroom included, the double-house would contain a total of elevenrooms, Since the old household was composed of around fiveelementary families, this would give ample space for thesegregation of each of them into separate rooms within thedouble-house. Even if the related families occupied separatehouse sites, each person could still be identified as a member31 Canada, Department of Indian Affairs, Annual Report 1881,Ottawa, MacLean, Rodger and Co., 1882, p. 145.Ha0C“)L0CFC)CFCFCDCFia’H’H)C)CFc-t-Li0Qk)CDCDH’‘.H’CDH’Li’LiLi’Li’0Li’L)Li0HF-’0L”‘H)Li‘cCIJHCD)C)CDHCD0100‘Ci01(1)iCt))-1CD)DCl)CFCFCFF-’H’lHCiBCFF-’ri‘LCFZLiciCDCDC)C’)CF•LiCDL)Li-’‘1PJ‘1Li01CFti1HCFfrCDD”))CL)LiLi‘1Ct)CDCDCDCFLi(C)CDCFiCDF-’)F-’CD-‘UCDl01()CD‘jp.oçuçtLii•‘CCDC)CD01C’CF01F-’0$3)s1—0‘zJCDC)CDCFBF-’U)‘CDF-’•$3’HF-’$3)$3)t)H)CFCF$33CFF-’0Li0H’0H)p.LiHLifC)F-’0‘-3H)CDLiLiHC)C)$3)(NBCDCDi‘cjLi‘CDLiCiLi0Li’-LiF-’F-•CFLiCD‘-3Li’p.CDHC)H’01CiCCLiCD‘1F-’Pd$3)CDCFB$3)LiCF0$31CDpLiF-’Di0CDLi00HHHHCiU)CFCDCDF-’LiCFi(NCDEiCFCiCDHI‘Ci$31)H)F-’F-’CDF-’CDCL)CDLi$3’CDCF00CF(1Li1CDCDLiCD(C)$3)CtCi$3)CFCDCDCC)CDii$3)C)iLiLiCDID,CDCF<C)Cl)CiH0CDLiCi•LixiLiCDF-’H’0p.H’C)3’CD‘1C)C)CDSD0CD(I)‘Ci01H0’$3)LiH’(3)çFCDCiCDLiH,Li•CD0Cl)$31H$3)<HCDLiHCFClH’LiH’CDCDC)JF-’—C)F-’LiiCDH’CFC)’CFH-P-‘—‘4LiCDClCDCFLiCFHF-’CL0CFCDCDCiCDLi’‘1H’0)0CDLiILiLi$3’Li‘-3(1)CtLiF-’CFU)CD$3)LiH)C)CD‘-CiC)Li(CCLi0)300$3)‘-‘4$3)$3)CFC,CD053)CDCFCC0P3Li$31LiCDBLiCDLi0ciF-’F-’PCiH’CiLiCiBHLiF-’$33CD$3)H’$33B‘4p.-F-•0H,Cl-C:LiCD$3)CL)$3-)CDCDCFCFLiLiC)I”(1)F-’F-’CDLiCDU)L’CFCFCFB01CDHCDP.0CF-5CFCFH)(NCD$3)CDLi’(1)Ci0CD“0‘xiLiCFLiLiiLiCFCFLi0LiCDH0CDH’CD:LiCi0LiLiH’$3)CDLi0CDLiLiCD0F-’H)CFLiC)(1)H’Li$3)a’HCiCDH‘1CDH’Li‘1CD$3)PCDCDLi’Y’H’LiCDCDCDLi$3’H’CDCDCDLiCFCDp.CFCl)Cl)CD0iH’CDCDp.2-C)34$3)0CD00P.)P3ciH’$31)CFCi(iCiP•CD‘--‘4CiH’tCDH0LiH)H)F-’CDLiLiHLiCDCD0CFCDLiLiciLi0LiH’01CCC)0’CDH’CDCF$3).p.H)Li40BCFLiH)HI-4LiCDCDCDLiLiLi’0L14CDCDH)$3)CDC)Ci(CCF-’$31L)F-’CF(CFH’Li0CDCFBCDCF53)H’Ci$3)0‘—iCFC)CDLiH)pCFCF0CDH0H’LiH$—‘$31LiiLiB0CD01CFCD0CFC)Li’LiLi010Li34CD0CF0CD<4LiCiHhICD0CD$31Ci)(0CD$31)$3)CiLi’F-’P-H’COLi‘-Ci(1)0F-’$3)CiLiF-’CD‘-Ci(C;BLiLiCD0BLiHLiLiLiLiCFLiCFp.H’CFC)COLi0CiB‘-CiCF0Pci01LiHC)F-’LixiLiCD0CD$3)F-’0010Ci0Li‘-Ci0BCFH’Li$3’C)C)‘-CiLiH’$3)CiCDHLiBLiF—CFLiCiHCDCF‘-CiF-’CD$3)0101CDLiCD$3)U)CD(NF-’H’Cl)Li‘-CiF-’$31F-’xiF-’‘-<4H<4CD0CFLiF-’CDCD0I—’CFCD01CiCt)CDCDtoLiCDCFCDH’CFLiCi$3)CDP.’CF‘xiF-’F-’H’F-’p.’CFCD(C‘-‘4CFB0F-’H’‘-<4CFCDCDLiHCiHCt)BLiLiCiH’01C)CF•Li’CDLic-I-00’LiH’P.’CDCD0HCD$3)(NF-’C)CFC)Li0CDLiCDF-’H)Li4Cic-I-‘-‘4LiLiBH(NCDH’$3)LiF-’-c-FH“4CFH’a’CDF-’Cl)LiC)Lia’CiLi’<CDCFEl01‘-3B‘-‘4CDCoF-’CFCD”Li0CF010$3)CD‘zjH’CFCDCDF-’•SDPF-’CDLILi’$31a’F-’LiCFCiH’01CD-icmLiF-’H’CFLi$3)U)C)01•BElCFH0CFU)C)Li’0CoLiLi,LiCoCDLiCiCi$3)00(1)HH)F-’Lic-FCFCFLiLiCiCL)Ci‘-351)F-’Cl)H)a’CD$31H’LiF-’LiCD0F-’‘-CiF-’$31F-’‘-Ci‘-CiH’CDCiCiCFCD0CFF-’LiBLi‘CiCiP‘CiCl)CFCiCiPF-’CDF-’SDCiH)Ct)H’CDCDF-’HH0CFCFLiCD0HBCFCDF-’0‘—‘4P.’(N$31•Li(1)F-’CiEl00’ICl)CD0CF(pH‘1LiCOCF$3)CFLiH)U)H’$31)ciElCDF-’F-’‘aICFC-:PLi’CDLi(1)‘3’34That is to say, land was still needed for supplying materialsto be used in the competition for gaining prestige.Duncans attempt to eliminate the annual round ofmigration met with failure in spite of great effort on hispart. His plan was to create industries at Metlakatla whichwould provide the Indians with a livelihood and thus substitute sedentary pursuits for the hunting, gathering and fishingeconomy which they followed. In his first eight years atMetlakatla, Duncan had the Indians smoke and salt salmonwhich he traded in Victoria for food and equipment. He alsoengaged in the fur trade and when the Hudson)s Bay Companyrefused to deal with him, he purchased a small schooner andshipped his wares to the city in this way. However, the income from these activities, while bringing new wealth, was notsufficient in itself to maintain the Indians who were stillforced to forage for food and materials away from the community for prolonged periods.In 1870 Duncan went to England for a six monthsvisit for the purpose of gaining proficiency in half a dozentrades which he hoped to teach to his followers and thusprovide them with the ability to engage in new industrieswhich he planned on creating. When he returned from England,he began to put his plans into effect by setting up a sawmill, brick kiln, weaving house, soap factory, blacksmith’sshop, sash factory, and carpentry shop. All of these plants35belonged to the community in general and anyone showinginterest and ability had the right to make use of them. In1875 he built an industrial school to help further his plansin instructing the Indians in the industrial arts, but inspite of a good output Duncan could not create sufficientincome to allow the Indians to forego their traditional meansof obtaining a livelihood.In 1883 Duncan set up a salmon cannery and in thefollowing year exported hundreds of cases of salmon to theUnited States and England. So great was the income fromthis enterprise that it appeared that he was at last to succeed in obviating the need for the annual round of migration.However, just at this time he quarrelled with his superiorsover a point of religious dogma and was forced to resign fromthe Church Missionary Society. Most of the Indians continuedto support Duncan, who decided to stay on in spite of his removal from the society, but approximately one tenth of themtook sides with the parent body which sent in a ne man totake over, Those who fell away from Duncan belonged to aclique of household groups which had been slighted by themissionary. (While Duncan had been in England on a secondvisit in 1882, a messianic movement swept through Metlakatla,led by several of the household heads. When Duncan returnedhe publicly denounced them and they never recovered from theirinitial resentment.)36With the split in the community each side threw itsfull energies behind its respective leader, and Metlakatlaentered into a state of chaos. Duncan’s whole industrialscheme broke down and the Indians were thrown back on theirown resources.In spite of these setbacks, Duncan was still determined to carry his original plans to fruition. However, hehad displeased the Canadian authorities because of his opposition to their plans at setting up reserves of land for theIndians. Without their support he was unable to retain anyauthority in Canada and thus felt his only alternative was tomigrate to Alaska with as many Indians as he could take withhim, Ia 1886 he received permission from the United StatesGovernment to occupy Annette Island off the southern coast ofthe Alaskan Panhandle. By this time the population of Metlakatla had increased to nine hundred and fifty, both throughperiodic additions from Fort Simpson and a high birth rate,Of these, Duncan managed to convince eight hundred and twentyto follow him out of British Columbia. The extent to whichthey gave up the native culture upon arrival in Alaska hasbeen the subject of a recent study by William Beynon.all people were on an equal footing andchiefly rank was not recognized. Clan obligations and tribal divisions were done awaywith. The only thing which the people respected was their tabu on marriage within theclan. The laws of matrilineal inheritancewere dropped. Everything was owned by thecommunity except for houses in which theylived and the land on which these were built.3?As the country was new, there were no hereditary hunting or fishing rights. Native nameshad been given up, as well as the social andeconomic privileges that went with them, andbecame almost nnlrriown to the younger generation.32,Beynon also claims that Duncan, while still inBritish Columbia, had succeeded in changing the traditionalculture to a greater extent than has been suggested by thispaper. Certain points should, however, be recognized. Inthe first place, while the Metlakatlans disregarded theirold tribal affiliations, they did, in effect, form into anew village group that had many of the characteristics of theaboriginal tribe. Each household group supported Duncan inmuch the same spirit as they had supported their originaltribal leaders and although his authority far exceeded thatof the latter, it was confined to the winter village site.With regard to the system of holding rights in land it isseen that the household group continued to function as aneconomic unit in exploiting their traditional sites and areasaway from Metlakatla. Moreover, the traditional pattern ofwinter village residence, while modified, was not radicallychanged. Although Duncan’s authority superseded nativetechniques of controlling and validating rights to land withinthe winter village, the Indians were still left to their oldmethods in so far as the resource areas were concerned.Finally, as Beynon himself points out, what changes Duncan32 Beynoa, William, “The Tsimshians of Metlakatla, Alaska,”American AnthroDoloEist, Vol. 43, January—March, 1941, p. 84.38had brought about, directly concerned less than half of thetotal of the Tsimshian population since around one thousandIndians were still living at Fort Simpson. Thus while Duncansucceeded in reducing the number of Tsirnshian Indians livingin British Columbia, he did not succeed in wiping out thenative way of life.jbForSim sonIn 1874 the Methodist Church of Canada sent ThomasCrosby to Fort Simpson, twelve years after Duncan had left forMetlakatla to begin his experiment. Crosby was well receivedby the natives who had remained at the post. While reluctantto leave their homes, they nevertheless were impressed by theprosperity of the Metlakatlans and looked to the new missionaryto bring them the same material gains.Crosby’s policy was akin to Duncan’s. He wished toput an end to the communal residence grouping and native cere—monialism. So also would the annual round 01’ migration haveto cease, at least for children who were of school age.However, as with Duncan, Crosby succeeded only in modifyingthese aspects oI’ the aboriginal culture.In line with his policy of bringing an end to thetraditional residence grouping, Crosby- sought to replace theold plank dwelling with conventional occidental houses. Hefelt that this was an absolute necessity for creating an atmosphere in which Christianity could be taught to the native.39There is no better teaching than the objectlesson of a good and well—ordered Christianhome. If he is walking ‘in His steps’, theleader ... should be able and willing to showhow to build a nice little home, from thefoundation to the last shingle on the roofhe should make an effort to get them out ofthe wretched squalor and dirt of their oldlodges... 33In so far as effecting change in this type of housewas concerned, Crosby had almost immediate success. When themembers of one household group built the new style of dwelling,they gained so tremendously in prestige that every other household group set about trying to outdo them. However, althoughCrosby succeeded in bringing about a change in the style ofhouse, he did not make much headway in breaking up the traditiona]. residence grouping. Most of the houses were quitelarge since each group had attempted to outdo the other withregard to the size of its new dwelling. Thus, there was amplespace to accommodate all members of the household group underone roof. Moreover, the majority of households had been reduced in number by an epidemic of smallpox which wiped outfive hundred people at Fort Simpson in 1862, shortly afterDuncan’s departure, and this factor further reduced the problemof accommodating all the members of a household group in itsnew house. Those households which did split up maintainedtheir group identity on the basis of lineage membership andaffinal ties and continued to use their resource areas as economic units,33 Crosby, Thomas, Up and Down the North Pacific Coast,Toronto, Methodist Mission Rooms, 1914, p. 74.40Most of the new houses were built on the sites ofthe old. Where the households used two different houses,they were built one behind the other. Thus the spatialarrangements were preserved with each household and tribecleiming rights to traditional sites and areas around the fort.Under Crosby’s influence many of the features of theaboriginal ceremonialism were eliminated (e. g. killing a captive as a mark of prosperity). Nevertheless, in a modifiedform it stifl remained as a medium for gaining prestige bycompetitive display. House warming parties featured feastsand drinking bouts and the assumption of household or triballeadership called for the distribution of money “gifts”.This theme of competition for prestige extended into otherfields. When Crosby started a bible class from which he hopedto draw native preachers, the class split into nine groups onthe basis of tribal membership. Each group or “Band ofChristian Workers” strove to outdo the others in evangelisticzeal. When the missionary started a fire brigade ‘a rivalgroup, the “Volunteers”, sprang into existence. The Volunteers were a semi-military organization featuring bright uniforms and its members paraded around the community exhibitingtheir colours at suitable opportunities. Not to be outdone,the “Firemen” also procured military dress which they displayedon proper occasions. Athletic organizations were formed witheach team competing for honours in track and field events. Inthe spirit of competition many Indians turned to rival sects41which began to challenge the missionaries’ religious leadership. Especially attractive to them was the Salvation Armywith its brass band and impressive uniforms.To finance all these activities each householddepended upon its resource areas. Fish and furs were soldfor cash and with the money the Indians bought uniforms, musical instruments and other goods which they displayed as evidenceof wealth. Hunting grounds and fishing sites thus continuedto have their traditional value.While Crosby had control over the church, firehall,and other community buildings, his authority was not as extensive as that held by Duncan, and he was unable to influencehousehold rights in the winter village house sites. As anexample of this, be was uimble to persuade the Indians to teardown the houses which had been left by the Metlakatlans. Thelatter continued to use their old houses as camping places ontheir way to the Nass River in the spring, and the Fort SimpsonIndians continued to respect their rights.By erecting a residential school soon after hisarrival, Crosby hoped to keep the younger children from makingthe annual round of migration with their parents. He feltthat if he could keep the children away from their parents hewould be able to assimilate them more rapidly. However, thecomplaints he made about absenteeism would indicate that hehad little success, and the household groups continued to42function as economic units making use of their various sitesand areas as they had before. It is thus seen that the totaleffect of Crosbys activities on the basic principles of thenative system of land tenure remained negligible.6. Effects of DepopulationThe depopulation which occurred as a result of theravages of the smallpox epidemic in 1862 had no appreciableeffect on the aboriginal system of holding rights in land, although it affected the holdings within that system. In thefirst place the demand for fish and furs had increased as aresult of the trading activities engaged in by the Indians.Thus when households were wiped out or their numbers reducedto a state of dependency upon other households, the abandonedland was quickly taken up by the traditional procedure andthe households gaining possession held wealth distributingceremonies to validate their claims. Households which hadlost part of their complement made the practice of adoptingpeople who had been reduced to a state of dependency uponthem. In this way they fortified their strength and consequent ability to retain and expand their rights in land.Under the influence of the missionaries, and the necessity ofreplenishing the group, captives were given equal status withtheir fellow household members and became enthusiastic supporters of its head. Some of them returned to their originalvillages, but since the stigma of captivity was held againstthem by their former tribesmen, few bothered to do so.43The Metlakatlans who had gone to Alaska were forcedto give up their rights in land by the Canadian authoritieswho would not allow them to return, The ones who had stayedbehind took up some of these rights and continued to holdtheir own resource areas. The remaining land was taken overby the Fort Simpson Indians and some Gitksan household groupswhich had migrated downstream to the river mouth. A salmoncannery had been started there in 1875 by a white immigrant andthe Gitksan, attracted by the wages paid for labour, set uptheir winter village near the cannery buildings. While theTsimshian objected to their presence they were discouragedfrom fighting by missionaries and government agents. Moreoverthe Qitksan were using land that had been abandoned by themigrants to Alaska and no fundamental disruption of land rightsof the remaining Tsimshian occurred because of this.7 Activities of Early White ImmigrantsAmong the first white people to use Tsimshian territory were a number of miners who entered the area after goldwas discovered in the Caribou in 1862. They prospected onthe Skeena and Nass Rivers and the streams flowing into them.Quite often they set up their base camps on Tsirnshian fishingsites and thus came into conflict with the Indians over thequestion of land rights. On one occasion some Indians, inaccordance with traditional means of protecting their rights,ambushed a party of miners, killing three and wounding one.The ambushers were arrested, tried and hanged, and the miners*“SP.010ctH)CD4CtHp.Hp.4t9H),40000D’frPpP90L00ctp.•0CIlp.Ct0”SPpCt‘1Ctp.ppal0Cl)H009HP’Ct000p.go0oP0p.09pP0C00p.o0p.“5“50•Ct.1881COPgoCt‘a040oPp.00P.P.PD0H)p.e00‘_3Ctgogo0$.‘00lbH)0p.0‘-aP.p.p.pCtCtP.pp*go4pCt0CtHp.0‘109.-p.0Ct00H)0P.,goP.OCt00P.0’p0PsCt4Ps0’0Ct0.0oH)beCt0o0C.CtC00p.’4p..0’wgo4Ct0CO‘g‘1Ct00‘1Ps0Ct00p090‘0p.O0pc0CtCElP.09p.PCDctP.1OCtp.o*a“I0p..pCt0!I5Cl.P0HP.9HOP.p.p.oci00Hp’0COH)p.p.9uC0CtCt.gmH0H•0aCtgo*0Cto’0C0Ct’4P.B90H‘Il-i0HCtp..1*0p.094moOCtp.000Ctp.tIP.‘I0000CHpgop.0ct0p.a0p.c’0p.O0.00H0HH’WHOgogop000.1,jgoHHp0HCt0gow..p.9Cmgo050C’p.900CtH)igoOC%•‘1‘4Ct0-0CDt0’H)aPs00p.O000CC.gC90)PiPsCtCtgoH34000,agop.0be.1£.P.Ctp.0°p.0-•0’‘10.100)0—.Psoo0-.3oQc.,.ElCup.•CtO4H)0COHjO0’HgPSoCtp.p.000p.aCt.1H90CtCt00CtCto91p000’H)H0Ctp.0P.p.40p.o•PdCt000H)•00‘444•oqCtbWl.1Op.P.0Ct0CDHP.p.‘<0Ct’4CtCtt’goOHHis442CPs9’.Sp.P.H00H0H04CtCtp.P.OP.H900H.1P.go0Pi409HoElgoPsctg0Ct0“S0p.I-’00p.HOCt9H)PsOWEP.0p.0H)90.129p.HCtp.Ct1.5(fl0be‘40Hp.p.‘UPs1P.p.Ctgogo090goCgo-P.H)‘4p.p.PsH)p._a—00•0p.0Ct“P’Ct0CH)00P.OCtCtcCt”.p0Ctp.0Ct09acH9PdP.CtCtP.go0”CtP.99p.COPsgoac’.p.o0CDP.90-0o000go0a0Ct‘830goHp.QqgoCtbeP.Ct0p.0Pgogop.p.o005pogoW0400Ctgo0’Ctafr”00HHP.P.Op.0•00CDI0COp.go•I’CDPP-cCCP00CDCCCDCDCCPPPCDpCDHPH•CDPCDPPH’P10PCCPCDHpH’pCDPpHCCPCDCDP1P0CDC)cCcC•1QPCCPCCH’ppPH’dPH’P’PHCH’CCHP’PCD0HHHPH’PPDlPCDU0P0PP0CCCDHPCDP0PCCCCDOCDHPQ1jCCPH’PPP0PPpPoH.CDCCCDCDCl)CDH’CDPH’HHHcCH’PP0PCDPPP0Pcy0CCH’PCDCDCDHH’‘P0H’FHH’CDPCciF.0CDCDH’Hci0PpP0PCD09PCDCDH’HP0CDHHCCCDCCH’CCCD•CDCPH’.CDH’H’P.HPP’PCDPHH’CDpppccCDCDCDH’0CDPHHCCcipoH’pHCCCCH’.0HCDCDCCCDEDH’H’H’CDCcPCCCDHH’H’HP00H’CD0P)0PH0CDCC0CD•CCppppcCCD)HH’0H’P)‘tiPPIs:PH’ccCCHCD*H’PCDPCDH’H’CDP00PHC)oCCCP0H’PPPC)H’ciH’PH’H’CCPCDHHPCCPPPCCVCCCDHCCPCH’HHCcFPH’CDCDH’CsPpcCDCD0PH’PCDp.CD0PPPCC0CCCDHCCH’PPHJPCDHCC,pCC0CDCCH’PP0CDPPCDciP0CCP•H’PCDCCCDHPCCCDP0j9CCciPHHCDH’CDCDP1HCDCDSH’CDC)P0HHPCDCD0p0WCDP0CDHCCCDPPPHPP)PSCDp0DlPPPHPH’H’CD0H0pEDH’HCDC0PH-CCH’CDP•pCCPPPPCDCC•CDCD:CDCCH0CCPCD‘CDP0CDHciH’H’PciPPPPCCCCH’H’0CDHPH’U)CCCCCDciHCDCPP•CCCCH’pCDU)HCDCDCCHo’CCCDHPClHHHC)CCCDP0H’P0PHH’CDHCDCDCDHHPCDCDCCHCCPPH’PPCDP0PPHCDPPH’HPPPCCCCCCPH’P0CDHPPHCCPClCDPH’P0PC.HH’CDCDED0CDPCDCDP1H’CCCCH0pCCUICH’pPCCHciCDCDciPH1H)H’CCCCCDCCPPpPP0CDciPPH’H)ED,CDPPH’CDH’D’CDPCDH’H’CC•0CD0PCl)PpCCH’ciCD00CCCDCC0PCDH’PPP00CCHPPCDPPCCH’CCH’CC)HCDU)C)CDPPCD•HHcCCD00CD0PHH’CDCDHPPPPCD1PPP0PPPCDCCHPCDPH’p)CDCC00CCHPH’0HciHHPPH’PCl)C)H’pH’CCpP-hCDCDCCPPoHHCDCCPH.PPP00HP’(PPHCD0ci•CDCDPCDHU)PPCDCDPPcPPPPCl)CDH’C)ciCDCCciHCCH’CDci00CDCDCDH’P)H’H’cCDP0HHPPPHP0CC0PCCCDPP)0PHCDCCU)CDcC0CCDCDPCDoH0HPCDPHPHCDPP0PciPHPPPPH’PCDHeCDPP090HPH’CDC)CCH’H’CD0HPP0PCCCDpCCp’CDCDC)CCCDCDPPCD0H’cccCciPHCDH’CCCDP0PCCCCCDHcC0H’H’CDCDHP.CO09HCDCDPH’PCDCDH’CDpPPHCDH’PP’ciCDP0PCCCDPPH’PCDHPH’CCP•CDCDIH’CDPPPH’P0CDCDcijH3PCCciCDICDCCIciPH’ciHICDCcCCCD0PP46to office by male members of the community0 Native ceremonies were considered immoral and legislation was passed toeliminate them. The Administration also sat up schools inorder to teach farming and the industrial arts, In spite ofthese measures the Tsimshian Indians continued to hold totheir old way of life. 2oreover, it will be seen that whilethe native system of tenure was not recognized by the Crown,the Indians largely retained their customary practices andexpectations regarding land.In 1886 the areas around the Hudson’s Bay Post atFort Simpson and the village of Metlakatla were set aside astwo separate reserves. These reserves were divided into lotsand the lots corresponded to the house sites plus the unoccupied ground contiguous to them, Each household head was giventitle to a lot and the right to alienate it by sale or gift toother reserve members. The household head also had the rightto will the site and house to “such relatives as seem to himproper”,35 provided they were not ‘farther removed than asecond cousin”.36 However, the will had to be approved bythe Indian agent and it was the practice of the Administrationto favour a man!s wife and children. If the Indian diedintestate his rights to land were to “devolve one—third uponhis widow, and the remainder upon her children equally; andsuch children shall have a like estate in such land as their35 Canada, “The Indian Act”, The Revised Statutes of Canada,i86, Ottawa, Queen’s Printer 1887, Sec. 20, pp. 652—653.36 Loc. cit.**;Ct<H)U)H)3CtU)QC)3HCOP3H)*$C)HC)2HC)00Ct‘<4C)H0CD3P3HH2U)Ct222CtCP-0P3P3)CtU)Ct2CtC)U)U)P30CtCD2‘1HHH3H2®)CtHCDCDH25CtCt‘13COP3HPCt)CoC)JCD232HOCD0230CDJCDP3U)H-000CDCtH)2HP)(1)3032CDHH3CD3C)0CD0Ct3CDCD2P33C)1P32P3Ct32CD00P-HH)CDH0CtC)Ct5(I)CP3)<4P3CD0P3H03H2OH)CD2HCDCDHCt3CD2CtCt‘(0<4P001CDOiHCDU)C)OHH)CD0CD6U)CD0HCtCDj—P3CDCDP3U)CtCOH22U)HiH2c1CDP3CDHP3U)Ct2H0C)d0CDCtdP32HC)H0H$H2coHCtH033(U0P302H1CD30(0Ci)CDP2(1)0)0f122HCtHC)U)C)H)0Ct2•0d3*ciHCD0)H22Ct0H0CD3H0‘H20HCDP3H)H20H2HCt•HH)P30)C)U)CP3c2H3P3CDHU)2<4Ct2-Ct22CD<4‘iCD2•0)Ct-CD2CDHHCD3CDCtCt1-•0CDHj*0‘3HC)p52CDC)‘32CDCtZCO3CDCi’20CtP3H3ctto33P3CDCDCDCDHC’U)CD2HH3PH3”220Ct‘1Hp.CU2”P3C)2H2CtU)H3<4CDU)0(02Ct3CD2CDHP3(t)P3CDCD-30(1)Ct)2H)‘2’H33”P-HP)2(t3CCD3”PHCD2C)HH0CD33nCtCDHH2’02CoCD:CI)H0CDC)Ct20CflP3HCD0Ct)0”CD0I—U2HH3”3HCt33HP5C)CtCtP3CDHP3HCD0H2CD2-.H23”3”2U)22HCD<430CtU)CDH-3CDCtCnP3P3CDCDP32-.P3Ci)CDI])C)3”C)02CYCtHU)0•CD223Cl)P•CDH03”CtH0CDCD3Ct•CD2.HR-HOCD3HH33’CtCt2‘3C)$D-.30•CDCt2-.2-.C)3P3Cl)2P3HU)•0H02CtU)p5P33’oHCDC)33H2-.03U)<4Cl)03’o<20(j)Ct0P3P-’Ct2C)2-C)CtC)HCD\.J)2CD2-2‘<40•3OH’0H0)CtHH‘<30Cl)3’Ct-HCtCj)CtCtC)CDHCt50P3206H03’H3’3’Ct3”2-.H3’3’P3H(0H-<4H3()HCDH3HH0)3’CDCD3H)HHH3(1)HP332-.0)‘HC))U)CDCtHCUCDU)3Ci)2(CnCDCDU)(5)“‘4333Ct0‘3CtP33’CD3’22P32--co3’0’Ct33’03.p-.0)3<4coH0CD32—CD‘—53’C)CDCDU)C)H)P5CL)CD2-0CD3‘3Z300CDC’U)ct3’H5P3U)3’00”'H‘3Cl)U)3HCt2CtU)33’Ct(I)Ct2Cl)683•0•23’HCtH2P30(003’3’6CDU)sCtCUHH02—CDHH‘3C)Ct3CDP332-.P3(15(1)Z\)P1-.0H332CD‘3HP3HP-CD3Ct2H(L)Ct(3CtP3H60tOctHc-IHU)H03’2-CD-5C)03”30CtCDP33CDCtH03Ct2CI)2-‘42Ct2-3(1)p-.3Ct2-.CDH’2-.3’P323C)<4CDCtJ3’(UP)383HCDU)CtH3’H•H‘0CD<4p-.(CD0Ct00‘3CD3P33’3—‘•p530t\)HCDHCDF’H)0P3H)‘-‘4Ct3CtCD3CtG’333H)32-.U)CDP3Co3’CtH5CtCDCtCi)Ct3’2—H0CDCtCDCtH(3’H3’H33’H0ICtCDCoCDCl)CDCI)0)Ct2-.48rights for a nominal fee to the qualified lineage members who would haveexpected to receive them under the aboriginal system. Another problem notso easily solved was that which arose from the fact that under the provisionsof the Indian Act a person could not will his right in land to an Indianwho was not of the same band, Thus, if a man’s sister’s son was living inanother reserve, he would not be a legal heir. However, opposition to theclause was so great, not only in Tsinishian society but throughout the countryas a whole, that the Act was later amended to allow land rights to pass to a38man’s sister even though she was not of the same band. As a result, her children were also eligible for band membership and her land rights could pass tothem upon her death. In this way the house site remained in the hands of thehousehold group. TThile it would be distorting the picture to suggest thatnone of the Indians switched to the patrilineal pattern of inheritance, itwould appear to the author that most of them did not do so during the yearspreceding the close of the nineteenth century. The seeds for such a changehad been planted by the Administration but they found infertile soil for many+years to follow.Although the general policy of the Administration was to keep thevarious groups of Indians on reserves for the purpose of introducing farmingas an occupation, special allowances were made for Indians whose location wasnot suitable for agriculture and who had still to depend on their aboriginal38 Canada, “The Indian Act”, The Revised Statutes of Canada, 1906, Ottawa,Queen’s Printer, 1907, Vol. II, Part I, chap. 81, clause 25. Note the phrase“unless to the daughter, sister or grandchildren of the testator”.+ For an outline of the methods employed by the Indians to resist changein the pattern of inheritance see Garfield, Tsimshian Clan and Society,pp. 286—292. By the time Garfield began her studies in 1932,patrilinealinheritance had become common but she indicates that resistance to change ininheritance was still evident.49economy. The Tsimshian were therefore provided withreserves of lend to be used for hunting, gathering, and fishing. It was hoped, however, that what suitable soil therewas would be made use of for growing root crops to supplementtheir diet. As a consequence all patches of soil that hadbeen used by the Indians for growing potatoes were also setaside.A government agent was assigned the task of layingout reserves of lend for the Tsimshian Indians to be used asresource areas. He had been instructed to set aside whatland he thought necessary for this purpose. Upon arrivingat Fort Simpson, he hired a canoe and, accompanied by as manyIndians as he could find here and at Jietlakatla, he proceededalong the coast and up the Skeena River asking the Indians topoint out the places they had been in the habit of using.Although a large part of the Tsimshian Pentnulawas set aside for the use of the Indians, reserves ,along theSkeena were confined to fishing stations, base camps andpotato patches. The government “ ... declared it impossibleto lock up great tracts 01 country as Indian hunting grounds..“ The Fort Simpson and Metlakstla Indians were to sharethe sites which they had both asked for. These included theold camping grounds and summer villages traditionally sharedby all the Tsimshian. Claims specified by members of only)9 Canada, Department of Indian Affairs, Annual Retort1887, p. cv.50one of the two groups were assigned to all the Indians whowere members of the same village reserve. No recognitionwas made of specific housçhold claims to traditional sitesand areas.The government recognized the Tsimshian claims totheir eulachon fishing grounds on the Nasa but limited theIndians to a commonage of land one chain in width which ranalong the river bank at the site of their old tribal villages.Behind the commonage the remaining level ground was givenover to some Niska Indians who bad moved downstream in 1867when an Anglican mission was set up at Kincolith on the rivermouth. The Niska were to have access to the river bankthrough the commonage, but on the other hand, the Tsimshianwere to keep off the land set aside for the Icincolith Indians.The Administration had found the latter amenable to agriculture, and in line with its policy of encouraging farming wishedto assure that no interference by the Tsimshian would hamperthe Niska attempts at cultivation.The Indians did not welcome the methods taken bythe Administration to set aside resource areas for their use.In the hearings conducted by a Royal Commission in 1887 thetribal heads made statements to the effect that the govetnmenthad no right to interfere with their lands in any way. Whileif must be recognized that the Indians were under the influenceof some missionaries who saw government interference as a51threat to their position, their protests were neverthelessin accordance with traditional ideas of land holding.Set it apart, bow did the Queen get the lendfrom our forefathers to set it apart for us?It is ours to give to the Queen, and we don’tunderstand how she could have it to give tous ... I am the oldest man here and can’t sitstill any longer and hear that it is not ourfather’s land. Who is the chief that gave theland to the Queen? Give us his names we havenever heard it.... What we don’t like aboutthe Government is their saying this: ‘We willgive you this much of land.’ Row can theygive it when it is our own?Again the Indians stated that even if they were toaccept the government’s right to make reserves, they wouldhave to have more land then was already assigned. Moreoversuch lend should be held by the individual household groupswhose traditional claims continued to be recognized by theIndians themselves.Especially annoying to the Tsimshian were the limitations imposed upon them on the Ness River. In the firstplace they considered the Kincolith Indians as intruders andwere only restrained from driving them out by the influenceof the missionaries and the threat of government gun-boats.As a rationalization they assumed that the Niska were guestsand had no permanent rights. When, however, the latter weregiven exclusive rights to land behind the coamonage, it becameapparent that the Niska were there to stay. The Niska tookW British Columbia, Commission on Conditions of Indians ofbe North—west Coast, pp. 432—436.52full advantage of their position and tore down the Tsimshian houseswhich lay further back from the river than the limits of the coinonage.The Tsiinshian strongly protested but were unable to do much about itbeyond reviling the Niska and making periodical raids on their vegetablegardens.It became apparent to the authorities that it was unwise to interferetoo extensively with the Indians’ use of their various resource areas. Althoughthey wished to introduce agriculture and other new industries which would keepthe Indians on the reserves, they began to realize that this would take considerable time and in the interval the Indians would have to depend mostly upontheir traditional economy. The reports of the Indian Affairs Branch show thatas early as 1876 the government was aware of the necessity of allowing the Indiarto continue to use their hunting grounds until such time as they had new means+of gaining a livelihood.Although the Federal Administration considered it expedient toallow the Indians to preserve their traditional economy, the latterwere subjectto conservation measures brought in by the Provincial Government whichhad control over lands not set aside as Indian reserves.However, in linewith the Terms of Union, the provincial authorities agreed to make specialregulations providing for the continuance of the native economy. TheIndians were therefore allowed to hunt for game to be used for 1• food41only, and not for purpose of sale or traffic...” and no objection was raisedto their use of Crown lands for picking berries andgathering whatmaterials they needed for their own use. Since thetrapping of fur—41 British Columbia, “Game Protection Act”, Revised Statutes of BritishColumbia, 1897, Vicoria, Queen’s Printer 1897, Sec. 17, P. 910.+ See Canada, Department of Indian Affairs, AnnualReport, 1876, Ottawa,Queen’s Printer, p. 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ci- H’‘ito100.ci’tooaItactF’I”(DtoSPS0.Ct‘3aItpci’to‘1000i-do1:‘o400C)CtO0ft000a00ci’LICl.0,It0‘10’0’0’C,to‘0‘-3to000’•Itaop’.rr000’WePS0’to0000’‘40000p.‘i•0CCt:m’’‘ito0’toI.”Ct00‘4I-’OCt13<‘Co0WPSLIPtoOtofr’H’00I-”0.0’OCt00’I’cltom’Cl.00’0’GE)$DH’C0UI-’0f-Ct4PS‘ci0H’0HOtop.H.oct‘otooxg’Ct0Ito0’Ca.o.g*0toJtoH’‘0a0’PS0’PSCl.00i-’.a00013LI.to Z0.o’13cC000to‘400.0CP‘100toctct‘H.pat0.1300cC0.0to0000•‘00to00‘1fa:3•kitoLI’toO’0.toO’00 to0a‘4C0.0F-’O.LIPSO*‘earnIt00(fl0.toOi—’aowi:1.1.0’It13’CtItCtotooaaaøtri-’.Ct0PSPSCtO’0PSI-’HPSH’000Cto0Pt00’ItI-’tocl0.0‘0clUi0H•I-’PS00’,H’0PS•IIIto •4aChapter IVSUMMARYIt would appear that throughout the nineteenthcentury the Tsimshian Indians largely maintained their traditional practices and expectations regarding land despitecontact with agents of western civilization. The activitiesof traders, missionaries and white immigrants failed to seriously disturb the Indians’ relation to land. Again,although native custom was not recognized by the Administration,it continued to govern Tsimshian land practice. In this chapter the writer will review the traditional system of landtenure, showing how each of its elements withstood the effectsof culture contact. The writer will also note how the Indianswere able to continue to make use of land according to established patterns notwithstanding the introduction of the reservesystem.The interrelationship between the Tsimshian systemo± tenure and the cultural background was described in thefinal section of Chapter II. There it was shown that thesocial, political and economic aspects of culture were involved,since a person held rights in land according to his status inhousehold and tribe and his role in exploiting resource areas.Again, since the individual gained and lost his rights according57to a change in status, the system of tenure was linked tothe rules of marriage, lineage ties, succession, and inheri—tance, Ceremonialism entered into the validation of rights,while cultural sanctions guaranteed them. Finally it waspointed out that people desired land not only as a means ofsatisfying the needs of subsistence but also as a source ofwealth to be used in gaining the prestige that was so highlyvalued in Tsirnshian culture.Despite the impact of western civilization, each ofthese aspects of culture continued to function as elements inthe native system of tenure. With regard to the social structure it was found that in traditional times the household grouphad control over certain sites and areas and its individualmembers claimed use of these sites and areas according to theirstatus within the group. Should the household have disintegrated under the impact of culture contact it would no longer havebeen effective as a land holding unit, and the rights of itsindividual members would have lost their meaning. However, inspite of the actions of missionaries and government agents thisfailed to happen. Duncan and Crosby believed that it wasimmoral for the group to share a common room and succeeded inplacing the conjugal families in separate compartments, butthis had little effect on the relationship of the members toeach other. They continued to be bound together by lineageand affinal ties and to act as a social unit in building pres—tige and maintaining group interests. The government58attempted to split up the household by encouraging the Indiansto take out individual title to residence sites on the reserveand to pass on title to their wives and children who were notlineage members. This was resisted by the Indians, who heldto their concepts of group rights and their customs of inheritance.Intermarriage and depopulation also failed to seriously affect the household group. When a Tsimshian woman marrieda white man her children kept their lineage ties arid went tolive in her brother’s house as they would have had she marriedan Indian. Since intermarriage between Tsimshian men andwhite women was negligible, this did not enter in as a factorof change. Household membership was also maintained in spiteof a high death rate which followed upon the introduction ofdiseases like smallpox and measles. This was done throughthe Tsimshian practice of adopting captives and others as lineage members.The economy of Tsimshian society was tied in. withland tenure in that the household groups acted as an economicunit in exploiting its resource areas, Individuals withinthe group claimed rights in land according to the part theyplayed in gathering food and materials. Should culture contact have brought about a situation wherein the householdgroup no longer acted as an economic unit, these rights wouldhave disappeared. Thus if members of the group went off towork as labourers in factories or on farms, their hunting,59gathering and fishing rights would become invalid through disuse. Moreover, if the absence of members from the householdled to the neglect of kin ties and obligations, the socialunity of the group would break down and its control over landwould be lost. It has been shown, however, that the Tsimsbianadhered to their traditional economy. The efforts of missionaries and government agents to stop the annual round of migration and to foster individualization of enterprise failed.The presence of canning factories also had little effect onthe work habits of the Indians who looked upon the briefperiods of wage earning as but an interlude in their regulareconomic occupations of hunting, gathering, and fishing. Moreover, the money that was earned was used to buy goods that weredistributed and consumed according to native practice.As has been shown, Tsimshian tenure was in partlinked to political status. The head of the tribe calledupon his fellows to defend their territory and organized thegathering of food and materials to be used in ceremonial feasts.With the arrival of the white men little change took place withregard to his position. Although the Canadian authoritiesforbade inter—tribal fighting and to this extent interferedwith the Indians’ means of guaranteeing their traditionalrights in land, the headman still bore the responsibility oflooking after tribal territory. In the hearings conducted bythe Royal Commission of 1887, the tribal heads acted as spoke-men for their groups and outlined tribal claims. In so far60as their positions as organizers of ceremonial feasts wereconcerned, they continued to maintain their roles after contact with the white men for despite interference by the latter,native ceremonialism still flourished.The fact that the people kept up their ceremonialismwas one of the main reasons why the system of tenure continuedto exist in its traditional form. In contributing to thewealth distributing feasts of his household and tribal head,the individual reaffirmed his social ties. This in turnhelped to maintain the social and political structure which aspreviously noted, were vital elements in Tsimshian tenure.Again, the Indians used the wealth distributing feasts asoccasions for reminding one another of their respective claimsto land, and without this means of public notification therewould be a tendency for a confusion of claims to arise. Finally,since the desire for land lay to a large extent in the necessityof having a surplus of goods to be used in ritual feasts, the continuance of native ceremonialism gave reason for the maintenance oftraditional claims.Some of the old cultural sanctions that were invokedto prevent transgression in household and tribal lands were nolonger effective under the influence of the white man’ s authority, since the resort to force of arms was prevented by theCanadian Government. However, the fear of public ridiculeremained strong enough to discourage people from using the61land of others and to this extent the system of social controlcontinued to guarantee native claims.The writer has attempted to show that the TsimshianIndians adhered to their traditions concerning land in theface of culture contact. From the legal point of view thesetraditions could not be properly called a system of tenureafter the establishment of British Sovereignty, since ultimatetitle in land was held by the Crown. What is more, theCanadian Government imposed a ystem of land reserves whichwas quite out of keeping with native views of tenure. However,native custom did continue to govern actual Tsimshian landpractice, and to this extent it constituted a system of tenure.That is to say, the Indians still recognized their own mode ofholding rights in. land and made use of land according toestablished patterns. Moreover, they were able to do so evenwith the introduction of the reserve system.For many years after the establishment of BritishSovereignty little or no attention was paid by the authoritiesas to what constituted native rights, and during this periodthe Indians were left to their own resources.* However, withthe application of the Indian Act in 1886 the Administrationtook a direct hand in dealing with Tsimshian lands. Reserveswere set aside which included the village sites, cemping spots,fishing sites, berry picking grounds and a large part of the* pp. 22 — 25 of this essay.62Tsimshian Peninsula. This meant that much of the land usedby the Indians as dwelling places and for the gathering offood and materials remained in their possession. Not includedin the reserves were the large tracts of land on either sideof the Skeena River, which were used as hunting grounds.Nevertheless the Indians were free to use these areas for obtaining game and furs.*According to the Indian Act the reserves of land wereto be open to all the Indians who were members of the samewinter village group. This meant that individual householdrights to traditional hunting, fishing and gathering sites werenot recognized by the Administration. Moreover land notincluded in the reserves was open to all the Indians, irrespective of individual claims. However, the Indians themselvescontinued to respect each otherts traditional rights both onand off the reserves. That is to say, people from one householdwould not fish, pick berries, or gather materials from the landtraditionally held by another group. Thus, even with the introduction of the reserve system, the Tsimshian continued to makeuse of land according to established patterns.It would appear to the writer that in spite of thevarious forces impinging on Tsimshian society during the nineteenth century, the underlying principles of the native systemof land tenure remained largely unaffected. In so far as the* pp. 52—53 of this 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HHCl))01-Y’a0CtH’H)H’C)Z3H’H)Hi’3-‘CICtCi0CDtnH’JH.‘Od-CtC)H.CDH.0H’CDCcCl)HçOC1tf)BH’HOBF-”B3’çDH’0c+c-i-aC)H’CyCDrJ).BCXHH’p.H’(VP’00P’ctOi0iCt•-“r,(YCtCDCt-C1)4C)CV“CflCtH’C)B’roH’p.CDCxc1-CDCiH’CD.a•3’0‘dH’•o<1p.a‘)CDCtCDCDHH’CDCDcl-H’HdCte’H’-00H’C)HOHCDCflOCoCViHIiHC)HCD\C)CV210ci’\Dc-I-,)H’C)•OC)DCH’CDf-”OctHCVCl)H’CDaOHCIZHCICICD•CVCtCflH’t3CVc-I-0PCl)Ct0c-I-HCDBCi)CtH<1CtCtCI1:1)1:3’p.))-aD)CDt”O)hICDICTq-aCD00Y’CI)))0C3\CI)0CDHCIHP’CtC)r)•C)1:5-0IiOCVl’f-’CI•0‘a“C)F-1(5CflCD0CD(I)H’H\C)C)H’(DCI••••CtC).,,p.CDCDH’•<I‘-0(0CDCDCl)1:1)CD0” “C70S apir, E., A Sketch of the Social &onoLeNassRiver Indians, Canada, Geological Survey, BulletinNo. 19, 1915.Social organization of Niska Indians,Turner-Turner, J., three Years Hunting and Trapping InAmerica and the Great Northwest, London, Maclureand Co., 1888.Some description of William Duncan’s activities -shows Indians’ hostility toward encroachment ofland rights.Welicorne, H. S., 2rQflakatlah, London, Saxon &An account of Duncan’s activities - descriptionof residence grouping at Metlakatla in 1866 andinformation on social structure at Fort Simpson in1857.

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