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Metlakatlah inquiry, 1884 : report of the Commissioners, together with the evidence British Columbia. Metlakatlah Commission 1885

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VICTORIA: Printed by Richard WoLTENinra, Government Printer,
at the Government Printing Office. James* Bay.
VICTORIA: Printod by Richard Wolfenden, Government Printer,
at the Government Printing Office. James* Bay.
1885.  48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. 13i
[L. S.] Clement F. Cornwall.
Victoria, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen,
Defender of the Faith, etc., etc., etc.
To the Honourable Alexander Edmund Batson Davie, Henry Maynard Ball, and Andrew
Charles Elliott, Esquires, of Our Province of British Columbia—Greeting.
Alex. E. B. Davie, 1 TT7HEREAS by the "Public Inquiries Aid Act, 1872," it provides
Attorney-General. J TT that whenever Our Lieutenant-Governor in Council deems it
expedient to cause inquiry to be made into and concerning any matter connected with the good
Government of this Province, or the conduct of any part of the public business thereof, and
such inquiry is not regulated by any special law, Our said Lieutenant-Governor may, by the
Commission in the case, confer upon the Commissioners, or persons by whom such inquiry is
to be conducted, the powers in the said Act, and in the " Public Inquiries Aid Amendment
Act, 1873," mentioned.
And whereas disturbances and breaches of the peace have occurred at Metlakatlah, and
elsewhere, on the North-West Coast of Our Province of British Columbia, and a feeling of
discontent is manifestly spreading amongst Our Indian liege subjects, of the said North-West
Coast, and the peace of Our said Province is thereby disquieted and disturbed.
NOW KNOW YE, that having every confidence in the ability of you, and each of you,
We do hereby, in pursuance of the powers contained in the " Public Inquiries Aid Act, 1872,"
and the "Public Inquiries Aid Amendment Act, 1873," and of all other powers and authorities
Us in that behalf enabling, constitute and appoint you, and each of you, to be Commissioners,
with power to you, and each and either of you, to inquire into the causes and sources of such
disturbances and disquietudes in Our said Province, so far as the same refer to the good Government of Our said Province, or reflect upon the conduct of any part of the public business
thereof; and Wo confer upon you, and each or either of you, the power of summoning before
you, and each or either of you, any party or witnesses, and of requiring them to give evidence
on oath, orally, or in writing (or on solemn affirmation, if they be parties entitled to affirm in
civil matters), and to produce such documents and things as you, or either of you, shall deem
requisite to the full investigation of the matters into which you, and each or either of you, are
appointed to examine. And that you report thereon, in writing, to Our Lieutenant-Governor,
of Our said Province of British Columbia.
In Testimony Whereof We have caused these, Our Letters, to be made Patent, and
the Great Seal of the said Province to be hereunto affixed: Witness, the
Honourable Clement F. Cornwall, Lieutenant-Governor of Our said Province
of British Columbia, in Our City of Victoria, in Our said Province, this 28th
day of October, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-
four, and in the forty-eighth year of Our Reign.
By Command.
Jno. Robson,
Provincial Secretary.  48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. 133
To His Honor Clemeni' Francis Cornwall, Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British
Columbia :—
The undersigned Commissioners appointed by Your Honor under the " Public Inquiries
Aid Act, 1872," to enquire concerning alleged discontent and disturbances amongst the Indians
at Metlakatlah and on the North-West Coast, beg respectfully to report as follows:
The Commissioners, Messrs. Davie and Ball, with the Secretary, Mr. Fletcher, Superintendent of Police Roycraft, and Constable Lindsay, left Esquimalt for Metlakatlah on board
H. M. S. Satellite on the 2nd day of November last, and arrived at Duncan Bay, oil' Metlakatlah, on the afternoon of the 11th of the same month. Having landed Messrs. Roycraft and
Lindsay, the Satellite proceeded the next day to Fort Simpson, where the third Commissioner,
Mr. Elliott, was found, and where the Commissioners took the evidence of Mr. Hall, the agent
in charge of the Hudson's Bay Company's post at that place.
Returning to Metlakatlah on the 13th clay of November, the Commissioners succeeded in
procuring a suitable apartment for holding the enquiry at that place. It was the school-
house, which had until recently been in the possession of the Church Missionary Society, but
which a short time before the arrival of the Commissioners had been forcibly taken possession
of by the Indians.
The Commission was formally opened at Metlakatlah on the 14th November. Numerous
witnesses were examined, both white and Indian, and the Commission adjourned Anally at
Metlakatlah on the 22nd day of November. Mr. Elliott proceeded to Fort Simpson, and
Messrs. Davie and Ball returned by the Satellite to Esquimalt, where she arrived on the 1st
day of December, 1884.
On the way down the evidence was taken of Mr. Blenkinsop, the Indian Agent at Alert
Bay, and who for over forty years has been amongst the Indians of the North-West Coast, and
at Victoria the evidence was taken of Mr. O'Reilly, the Indian Reserve Commissioner, and of
Mr. Clough, whose statements were made without the Commissioners informing him of what
had been said by Mr. White.
The Commissioners consider the causes of disquietude may be classed under the following
1. The claim of the Indians to have recognized their title to all the land.
2. The severance between Mr. Duncan and the Church Missionary Society.
3. The fact that tho two acres at Metlakatlah, known as Mission Point, is not part of the
Tsimpsean Indian Reserve; that it is at present in the occupation of Bishop Ridley as temporary agent for the Church Missionary Society, to which Society it was promised some twenty
years ago by Governor Douglas, at tho instance of Mr. Duncan.
4. The Indian Council at Metlakatlah.
The notion of tho Indian land title led to the driving oil' of Roundy from his location on
the Naas River; also to the threats made by the Skeena River Indians to eject the miners,
and may lead possibly to future serious trouble, unless checked by the assertion of authority.
Another consequence of the notion is the allegation of tho right of tho Metlakatlah Indians to
Mission Point at Metlakatlah.
The Commissioners need hardly point out that the question of Indian lands is constitutionally settled by the British North America Act (an Imperial statute) and the Terms of
Union between British Columbia and Canada. The Commissioners consider that at Metlakatlah and the North-West Coast every oll'ort has been made to locate large and sufficient reserves 134 Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
in accordance with the provisions of the laws above mentioned, and that particularly as
regards the Tsimpseans the reserve made by Mr. O'Reilly is more than ample for Indian
purposes. The idea of the existence of an Indian title and of its non-extinguishment in
British Columbia originated in remarks made by Lord Dufferin when, as Governor-General, he
visited British Columbia in 1876, to discuss the claims of British Columbia against the
Dominion. Those remarks, which the Commissioners believe were wholly foreign to the
mission of the Governor-General, have been sedulously inculcated in the Indian mind by some of
the missionaries, who appear to have been ignorant of the constitutional law upon the subject.
For a long time Mr. Duncan's teaching and action was against the notion of an Indian
title. He sought a reserve for the Church Missionary Society at Metlakatlah, viz.: the two
acres at Mission Point; and in replying, a comparatively short time ago, to the remonstrance
of a few of the Metlakatlah Indians, who complained of his carrying on business upon tho
Reserve, reminded them that unless it had been for his efforts they never would have had any
lands at all. In no part of Mr. Duncan's evidence did he advocate the Indian title. That
gentleman did say the Indians had never had explained to them how it was the Queen held all
the lands, but there was no advocacy by him before the Commission of the Indian title. Mr
Duncan, however, did not contradict Mr. White's statement concerning the alleged utterances
of Mr. Duncan as to the method of acquiring land.
The severance between Mr. Duncan and the Church Missionary Society has certainly
given an impetus to the question of Indian title. The severance took place in 1881, when
Bishop Ridley handed Mr. Duncan a letter of dismissal, and from that time there has been
disquietude, breaches of the peace, the pulling down of houses and of a church, the overt
assertion of the Indian title to the lands, besides which direct notices were given by the
Metlakatlah Indians to Dr. Prager and Bishop Ridley to quit Metlakatlah. It was in consequence of these notices that the resident Magistrate was induced to swear in a number of native
constables for the protection of the occupants of the Mission-house.
In justice to Bishop Ridley and the Church Missionary Society, which has numerous
missions in the North-West, it is proper to say that the few Metlakatlah Indians associated
with them have not been parties to any of these disturbances, nor have the missionaries of
that Society, so far as the Commissioners could learn, advocated the notion of tho Indian title,
with the exception of Mr. Woods, a layman, whose action has met with tho disapprobation of
Bishop Ridley. The disturbances and disquietude have, to a considerable extent, grown out of
a desire on the part of the majority of the Metlakatlah Indians (who undoubtedly are in a grout
measure subject to Mr. Duncan's influence) to have what they have been educated to call unity,
and to expel from Metlakatlah any person or any sentiment not in accord with the will of the
majority. Hence the circumstance of Bishop Ridley's presence with a mere handful of followers on Mission Point has become a source of extreme irritation, and has given a great and
perhaps an original impetus to the notion of the Indian title. On the other hand, there were
no such troubles for the nineteen or twenty years previously to the severance between Mr.
Duncan and the Church Missionary Society.
The Commissioners observed that at Metlakatlah the use of alcoholic stimulants amongst
the Indians is unknown. This is to be attributed to the vigorous and successful efforts of Mr.
Duncan to repress the liquor traffic. The prosperity of the community and the social improvement of the natives are also mainly due to the energy, good sense, and firmness of this gentleman.
The Indian Council at Metlakatlah is productive of trouble. It has no legal organization
or status, and assumes to authorize the commission of acts of violence. The destruction of the
church at Kitkatlah was not done without reference to this Council. Both immediately before
and immediately after the occurrence the Kitkatlah Indians came to consult and inform the
Metlakatlah Indians,    Tho Council assumes to assert the right to prevent, and without doubt 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. 185
does prevent, by threats, the erection of buildings by those of the Metlakatlah Indians who
dissent in religious views from the opinions of the majority. It was under the auspices of this
Council that the store and guest-house on Mission Point were pulled down and forcible possession taken of the school building, which at the time was being used by Bishop Ridley both as
a church and school building.
The Commissioners consider such an illegal organization to be fraught with danger to the
peace and order of the North-West Coast, especially in this: that the so-called Council make
laws to themselves irrespective and in disregard of the laws of the land, and thus set an evil
example to neighboring Indians. Instead of submitting to the Indian Act, and seeking its
rectification in those particulars wherein its provisions are unsuitable, the Council rebel against
its authority generally. The Metlakatlahans refused to recognize the authority of Mr. McKay,
who had been appointed Indian Agent, at Metlakatlah, and who was also clothed with the
Provincial office of a Justice of the Peace, hence the community have been a long time without
a Magistrate. Mr. McKay had accompanied Dr. Powell, the Indian Superintendent, on H.M.
S. Heroine, for the purpose of being installed in his office. It is right to say that Mr. Elliott's
jurisdiction, as Stipendiary Magistrate, was recognized upon his arrival, soon after which he
committed for trial five Indians for riotously breaking into the school-house. In the matter
of the bringing of these Indians before him, and investigating the case, Mr. Elliott received
every assistance from Mr. Duncan.
The Indians of Metlakatlah are not a tribe of themselves. They are a composite body of
different tribes, and of mixed blood. Their centralization has been brought about by the
subversion of individual tribes, and the deposition of local chieftaincies.
The severance between Mr. Duncan and the Church Missionary Society has been the
immediate cause of the present troubles. The Commissioners cannot undertake the task of
saying who was to blame for the severance, nor do they consider it within their province to
express an opinion as to how far, but for the countenance and pecuniary aid of the Church
Missionary Society, the material well-being of the Metlakatlah Indians would have been
accomplished. Without doubt, the pulling down of the store on the Church Missionary Reserve,
the forcible taking possession of the school building on the Indian Reserve, the assaults on
Bishop Ridley, and the destruction of the Kitkatlah Church, would not have taken place but
for the unfortunate differences between Mr. Duncan and the Church Missionary Society.
The Commissioners also think that the action of the Indians in preventing Roundy
exercising his rights under his timber license, would not have occurred but for the troubles at
Metlakatlah, and generally that the Naas Indians and the Skeena Indians have been moved to
take the stand they have regarding the lands, by reason of the example set at Metlakatlah;
and while expressing this opinion, the Commissioners do not forget Lord Dufferin's utterances,
and the communication of them to the Indians. Disaffection has also extended to the Queen
Charlotte Islands.
Municipal Government, to a limited extent, may well be allowed to the Metlakatlah
Indians, but the bounds should be well defined, and no power should be allowed to the Indians
without proper recognition by them of the source whence that power should constitutionally
The story of Bishop Ridley having been shot at was investigated, and though the Bishop
was, under the circumstances, not unwarranted in thinking some one had fired at him, yet the
evidence shewed such was not the case.
There appear to be two courses open to the British Columbia Government:—
1st. To ask the Dominion to buy out the interests of the Church Missionary Society, in
their improvements, upon Mission Point, and upon the reserve, with a view of turning the two
cues and the improvements over to the Indians, as part of the reserve.     If this course be 136 Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
adopted, the Indians should be given plainly to understand it is purely a concession, and before
it be resolved upon the Government would have to consider whether the Indians generally would
not interpret the concession as a recognition of the Indian title to lands throughout the country.
2nd. To assert—and if necessary, by force of arms—the right of the Province to the two
acres, by the survey of it as Government land.
The Commissioners beg to express the opinion that the survey of Mission Point by the
direct instruction of the Lieutenant-Governor, will be recognized by the native mind as the
assertion of the right of the Queen, as represented by the British Columbia Government, to the
lands of the Province; and they urge, as a matter of necessity, and in the interests of the
Province, the prosecution of that survey.
Should the Government decide to adopt the second course, it will be expedient that the
survey should be conducted with the presence of one of Her Majesty's vessels of war at Metlakatlah, and that the Officer in command should have specific instructions to land an armed
force in the event of the survey being obstructed, so that it may be accomplished, and life and
property protected.
The survey would have been made on the occasion of the sittings of the Commissionei's,
had they not considered it beyond the scope of their authority, and that it ought not to be
directed except by the authority of the Government, after full information of all the surrounding
The Commissioners consider it would be highly expedient, and conducive to good Government, that the management of Indian affairs should be transferred to the Province, tho
Dominion contributing to the Province for that purpose, sums of money corresponding to tho
annual appropriation for Indian affairs in British Columbia. The Administration of the
Indian Department is so inseparably interwoven with the Administration of Justice, and tho
preservation of peace and order, that the division of jurisdiction cannot be beneficial; besides
which, the circumstance of the head office of the Indian Department being so far removed
from the localities where the exercise of its jurisdiction is required—often at a very short notice
—renders the due administration of Indian affairs very difficult, and it is apparent the
authorities at Ottawa cannot have the full and thorough and rapid means of knowledge which
are always at the command of the Local Government.
While the present Indian Law exists, every effort should be made to see it carried out.
The Metlakatlah Indians should not be allowed to defy the authority of the Indian Act, or
reject the supervision of an Indian Agent. It is remarkable that this has been allowed upon
the Coast of the North-West, when in the interior of the Province and elsewhere on the seaboard little difficulty has been experienced with the Indians.
The evidence disclosed upon the enquiry leads the Commissioners to believe the Metlakatlah Indians were advised to reject the Indian Act and the Indian Agent.
The Commissioners beg to accompany their Report with the notes of evidence taken upon
the enquiry, which should be read in connection with their Report, and recommend the
evidence be printed. The information contained in the evidence will be of great service to all
those connected with the Indian Depai-tment, and will, the Commissioners believe, afford the
public a knowledge of affairs at Metlakatlah and on the North-West Coast never yet placed
before them.
During the whole of the enquiry, Captain Theobald, of H.M.S. Satellite, was present,
though laboring under great suffering. The Commissioners desire to express their appreciation
of his unremitting attention for the acquiring of a perfect knowledge of the many difficulties
which formed the subjects of enquiry, and of the counsel the Captain from time to time
afforded the Commissioners in their deliberations. They also beg to acknowledge tho kindness
and courtesy of the Captain and Officers of the " Satellite."
Alex. E. B. Davie.
Victoria, B.C., Henry M. Ball.
9th December, 188l\. A- C. Elliott. 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission.
Fort Simpson, B. C,
12th November, 1884.
Hon. A. E. B. Davie, T
A. C. Elliott, Esq.,    {-Commissioners.
H. M. Ball, Esq.,       J
S. Fletcher, Secretary.
After the Secretary had read the Commission—
Robert Hajjley Hall was sworn:
Mr. Davie—What is your occupation and place of residence? Ans.—Agent of the
Hudson's Bay Co. at Fort Simpson.
How long have you been living at Fort Simpson ?    Ans.-—Seven years and eight months.
Were you in British Columbia before that period 1    Ans.—Yes; for five years previously.
In what capacity ?    Ans.—In the Hudson's Bay Co.'s employ.
In what locality ?    Ans.—In New Caledonia District.
Do you know anything of a man named Roundy ? I think his name is Charles. Ans.—
Do you know anything about his being run off a timber claim? Ans.—He came down and
made a complaint before me some time ago. He had been to Victoria and had obtained a
timber lease for land on which previously he had been cutting timber. He was not run off,
but he was frightened. He made known to the Indians that he had obtained this timber
lease, and prepared to start to get out a raft of logs. He had his provisions, tools and camp
outfit, etc., all in a boat about to start, when the Indians took possession of the boat and
contents. He was about to start from Metlakatlah to Croasdaile's cannery, and he was forbidden
to go or cut any logs either, as the Indians claimed that the Government had no right to grant
any lease of any portion of the land. He claimed the protection of the Government. That
was the tenor of his complaint.. He stated that he was at great loss in the matter—loss of
time arid loss of his contract.
To whom was the supply of lumber to be made? Ans.—Peter Birrell, of Naas River.
There is this to be said about the action of this man: I think that after cutting his timber
he was wrong in flaunting his timber lease. He invited the quarrel, one might say. I told
him that a Stipendiary Magistrate had been appointed, and he would hear the case; but I laid
the facts before the Attorney-General at the same time.
When was the complaint made—at what time ?    Ans.—It was made last April or May	
about May. • •
What is the locality of the timber lease? Ans.—At the junction of the Naas River and
Observatory Inlet, near the mouth of the Naas River.
What Indians were they? Ans.—The Indians were Naas Indians of Kincolith village,
I believe.
These Indians stopped Mr. Roundy and claimed the land ?    Ans.—Yes.
Do you know where Roundy is now ?    Ans.—Up at Naas River.
Did he complain of the Indians having taken his boat, &c. ? Ans.—Yes; his gear, Ac,,
was in the boat, and they seized it all.
Do you know what became of the goods ?    Ans.—No.
He did not say anything about it the last time you saw him ?   Ans.—No. ii. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
Do you believe that they intended to appropriate them ? Ans.—I should not think so.
He complained to me that he had taken a boat containing provisions and other things to
Croasdaile's cannery, but that he had already some gear on the claim which the Indians prevented him from taking away. When I heard that statement I sent for Mountain, the Chief
of the Naas Indians, and I told him that whatever claim tho Indians might have to the land
that they had no right to detain the man's property, and Mountain, after some consultation
with his people, promised me that he would at once give up all the property on this land to
Roundy, and I have learned from some source since that it was given back. I know nothing
about the goods, but I have heard that it was all scattered about the river.
Mr. Davie—Do you know of any assaults or breaches of the peace on the part of the
Indians that have not been dealt with, at Fort Simpson ?    Ans.-—None.
Do you know anything of the state of affairs amongst the Indians at Queen Charlotte
Island ? Ans.—The discontent at Metlakatlah and the lawlessness there has had the same
effect there as elsewhere.
In what way? Ans—Of unsettling the Indians in their belief that they were being
fairly dealt with by the whites. I heard it spoken of in our store—I don't know by whom—
that Mr. Duncan at a meeting had told them that a large part of their most valuable land had
been sold by the Government. If Mr. McKenzie could be had—who is a resident of Queen
Charlotte Island, and who considered the state of affairs so critical that he resigned his position there as Justice of the Peace—he would give you more information than I can give.
Where is Mr. McKenzie ?    Ans.—On the Otter.
Mr. Elliott—When did the Indians of Queen Charlotte Island first show this dissatisfaction ?—Ans.—This was while Mr. Duncan's cannery was in operation, not until last winter,
they first showed signs of dissatisfaction. They resisted the Indian constable, and they said
they might as well resist constables as other people. That is the Indian constable employed
by Mr. McKenzie.
Were there many Hydahs employed at Mr. Duncan's cannery last summer? Ans.—Yes;
quite a number.
Mr. Davie—What do you know, generally speaking, about Metlakatlah and the state of
affairs there? Ans.—Between seven or eight years ago, in the winter of 1877-8, that was the
first time in which I heard the question of land discussed by the Indians. Since then tho
question has been one that has been growing in importance and creating more and more
trouble year after year. A number of these Fort Simpson Indians were invited to Metlakatlah to a feast of some kind or other, and while there Mr. Duncan made them an address, in which
he told them thej' were trespassers or squatters on land that did not belong to them, but was
the property of the Hudson's Bay Company or some one else, and that the only land owned
by the Indians was at Metlakatlah and about there, advising them to leave Fort Simpson. A
great deal of excitement was aroused, leading to some correspondence with the Hudson's liny
Company and the Indian department. This matter eventually resulted in the Indians being
satisfied that Mr. Duncan had unnecessarily alarmed them. This was the commencement of
the land troubles. Until Mr. O'Reilly came there was no great stir about lauds. This was
three years ago. When he came, as far as the Metlakatlah and Fort Simpson Indians are
concerned, the reservations that he made them generally very nearly came up to what the
Indians expected. If they had extended a little further to the north-east, up to the Naas
Straits, it would have been completely satisfactory. I think it would have been satisfactory
to them at that time. Since then they have asked for more. A few years before that much
less would have satisfied them, as they did not know anything about it. As regards the land
question at Metlakatlah, I would state as my conviction that the question of the Indians' title
would not have been advanced at Metlakatlah at all had it not been for the desire on the part
of a body known as Mr. Duncan's party to use the right they had claimed in accomplishing
the ejectment of the agents of the Church Missionary Society.
Mr. Elliott—Has it been the object of Mr. Duncan to reduce the influence of the Indian
Chiefs with the Indians, to the extent of superseding them? Ans.—Mr. Duncan has, in order
to accomplish what he considers most good, thought it well to weaken tho power of the Chiefs
generally, as the influence of the Chiefs in most instances has been a barrier to his advancement ; but when a Chief fell in with Duncan's views and willingly acted under his guidance,
the Chief's position was improved rather than otherwise. It is a well-known fact that civilization and Christianity, when accepted by Indians, reduce the position of the Chiefs to a nonentity almost; very much damages their influence. Duncan has worked against the Chiefs as
far as I can make it out.    The so-called Indian Council is not organized in accordance with 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. iii.
the Indian Act. There is a class of people who are not the most enterprising or industrious
of the Indians, who generally constitute themselves the Council; they comprise those who are
the most attached to tribalism. The young men who work and dress well laugh at the Council, although they have to pay fines and suffer imprisonment for immorality. The young men
grumble at the Council and say they are not impartial. What the Council encourages is a
system of espionage among the Indians—fellows lurking about in the corners and watching
what is going on. Then, I think, it really fosters immorality. If a couple, through negligence or not being sufficiently artful in their movements, are detected crim. con., this matter
is brought up before the Council. That may be well in its way, but this thing is brought up
and the' whole details are discussed before the Council in a very disgusting way. On their
return home, after sentence has been passed, tho father of a family tells it to his grown-up
children, who listen with open eyes. I think it does more harm than good. They don't seem
to have accomplished much, yet, judging from appearances; every child in the village knows
about it, and it becomes the common talk of the village.
Mr. Elliott—Have the young men the option of paying a fine instead of going to jail ?
Ans.—They nearly always pay the fine; it is very seldom anyone goes to jail. They had one
woman shut up for some time. Her husband went off to some place and came home and
found another man asleep with his wife.    The fine goes to the Council.
The Court then adjourned.
Metlakatlah, B. C,
14th November, 1884.
Present:—Hon. A. E. B. Davie, A. C. Elliott, Esq., H. M. Ball, Esq.
The commission was read by the secretary, and Mr. Davie then made the following
address to the Indians present, which was interpreted by Mr. Hankin:
We wish to tell everybody why we come here. Somebody has told the Government that
the Indians of Metlakatlah have been behaving badly, and that other Indians say they will do
the same as Metlakatlah.
The Government does not believe the Metlakatlah Indians are bad themselves. The
Government think the Indians may have had bad teachings; that the Indians would not do
bad things unless they had bad teachings.
We are told that at Metlakatlah people have been struck; that threats have been made;
that houses have been taken by force; that people have been told to leave, and threatened
witli violence if they remained. All this is wrong. We think the Indians would never do
such things out of their own hearts.
We are also told that a church was pulled down at Kitkatlah.    This is wrong.
We are told it would not have been pulled down had not bad example been set by
We are told the bad Indians of Queen Charlotte Islands tell the good Indians there that
they will do the same as Metlakatlah; that those bad Indians say if one of them be put in jail
at Massett they will pull it down.    All this is wrong.
We are told the Metlakatlahs say all the lands belong to the Indians. This is not true.
White men who teach this are false to both Indians and whites. We will tell you the truth
about the lands. First, all the lands belong to the Queen. The Queen has said to the British
Columbia Government, you shall have the right of dealing with the lands, but you must
always make Indian reserves. The Queen also said the Canada Government shall take care of
the Indians and see that they have enough of reservation. If the British Columbia Government will not make proper reservations, then the Queen herself will say how large the reserves
shall be.
White men who tell the Indians otherwise are false both to Indians and whites and make
trouble. The British Columbia Government was asked by the Canada Government to make
reserves. Tho British Columbia Government has made those reserves. The reserves are very
many and take in the choice of tho best lands all over British Columbia.
The reserves are along the length of the Fraser River, Okanagan, Nicola Valley, Williams
Lake, Soda Creek, Quesnellc River, Saanich, Cowichan, Nanaimo, Comox, and a great many
other places.    The Indians at those places are satisfied.
Reserves have also been made at Queen Charlotte Islands and Metlakatlah, iv. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
Mr. O'Reilly, for the Canada Government, laid oft' your reserve. It is very large. Other
reserves were made at Naas River and Skeena River. In making these reserves the wishes of
the Indians were always regarded.
We are told the Indians laughed at Dr. Powell and laughed at tho gunboat. This was
wrong and very foolish. Dr. Powell is the chief Indian Agent. He is the agent appointed
by the Canada Government to take care of the Indians and look after their lands. If he tells
the British Columbia Government of Indian complaints they will be listened to.
The man-of-war was not sent to fight and ought not to bo laughed at. Men-of-war do not
fire unless upon enemies. The Indians are not looked upon as enemies. We do not think
they over will be.
White people who talk about laughing at gunboats and Indian Agents are not doing fair
by the Indians. Indian Agents are for the good of Indians. The Indian Agents tell us what
the Indians want. The men-of-war are for the protection of both whites and Indians, and to
enforce the law when disobeyed.
We wish to find out why these troubles have come about. The Government does not
like them. The Government will not allow them. Our duty is to have peace and order, tho
same for tho Indian as for the white; not one law in Metlakatlah and another at Victoria.
We are told your Council laws have not been seen by the Government of Canada. This
is wrong. They are no good unless the Governor-General says so. Those who tell you you
have a proper Council deceive you.
We have nothing to do with religious differences. The law says every one may choose
his own religion.
The Commission will now proceed to take evidence.
Mr. Elliott—When I was last at Metlakatlah, acting as Police Magistrate, I told the
Indians that I would recommend that a Commission should be appointed by the Government,
to which the Indians could state any complaints which they might have. I also made the
same statement to Mr. Duncan, I think. Now I have made that communication in writing
to the Government, but that had not reached Victoria when the present Commission was appointed. I showed a copy of that letter to the Attorney-General and Captain Ball. So that
this Commission has emanated from the Government without any communication from me.
Mr. White was then sworn:
Mr. Davie—What is your name?    Ans.—Joseph Edinger White.
Where do you live?    Ans.—At Inverness.
What is your occupation?    Ans.—I am manager of a cannery there.
How long have you been living there?    Ans.—Going on six years.
Do you know anything of the Indians' behaviour in that locality? Ans.—Yes; always
well behaved around the cannery.
Have there been any disturbances going on ? Ans.—There was a disturbance last year.
It was one of a business character.
Have you been at Metlakatlah many times 1    Ans.—On several occasions.
Have you had any conversation with the Indians here?    Ans.—Yes.
Of what nature 1    Ans.—I have always  refrained   from   saying  much   about  it.     About
three years ago, when a storehouse was taken clown which was claimed by both parties, by the
Church Missionary Society and by the Indians of Metlakatlah who were not supporters of the
Church Missionary Society. It was a religious difficulty, in which the supporters of the
Church Missionary Society claimed this building as their own, and the other party claimed it
as theirs. While this house was being torn down I was sent for. I came and found them
tearing clown the building; the goods were removed to another building. I went over and
spoke to Mr. Duncan and asked him to use his influence to stop this; that if they had a right
to the building the law would give it to them. Mr. Duncan told me that he had tried to stop
them, but that he could not do it. I went back to the Mission House, and the Bishop, who
was then a Magistrate, read the Riot Act—I was present at the time—at which the Indians
who were engaged in tearing down the building laughed. I was here at tho trial when Dr.
Powell and Mr. Anderson came up about two years ago, and this house at that time was in
dispute, and at that trial Dr. Powell substantiated the claim of the Bishop's party to this
Mr. Davie—What building? Ans.—This school-house. I was here about a month ago.
I came up here on business with Mr. Duncan, in company with Mr. Clough, who is working for
Mr. Cunningham. This was a few days after this house had been taken possession of by Mr.
Duncan's party.    As we were passing along in front of the house wo were served with a notice 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission.
which was not directed to us personally, but was, as near as I can recollect, addressed to all white
men. They showed it to me, but would not allow me to keep it. . It was to the effect that they
would allow no white man to stay in their village without first being made acquainted with his
business on which he came. Signed for the Council by David Leask. It was handed to me by
a man of the name of Edward Mathers; I think it was him. I asked who sent it, and he
said David. The Council was then in session. We were invited to come up by David and
speak to the Council. It rather surprised me to receive this notice, and so I told David when
he came. Well, he said that he was simply acting for the Council, and that the notice was
not directed to us personally, and the reason that it was given to us at all was on account of
a man coming here to survey their land. I made him acquainted with my business here and
asked for a pass. After they refused to let me keep the notice, Mr. Clough and myself went
to Mr. Duncan, and while there Edward Mathers came in and spoke to Mr. Duncan in Tsimp-
sean, and immediately Mr. Duncan explained to us why this notice had been served, which
was in effect the same as David Leask had said. Then he went on to say, addressing his
remarks to Mr. Clough, that this man, meaning Captain Shearburne, had been here a few days
previous trying to survey their land, and seeing us come they thought probably that the
Bishop had sent for us; hence the notice. He further went on to say that there were only
three ways of acquiring property—by purchase, by finding it, or by stealing it; that the Government certainly had not purchased this land from the Indians; that they did not find it
uninhabited; they did not acquire it by right of conquest, so they must have stolen it, and
that they would not allow one inch of their land to be taken away from them; they would all
be hanged first.    Edward Mathers, being present, endorsed it by saying "Wany" in Timpsean.
Mr. Davie—Then I understand there were present yourself, Mr. Clough, Mr. Duncan
and Mathers when Mr. Duncan made that statement? Ans.—Yes; there were two Indians,
but I don't recollect their names.
Did you see Mathers here to-day?    Ans.—Yes; he is one of the prisoners.
What is David Leask?    Ans.—One of the people of Metlakatlah, a prominent man.
Not a white man ?    Ans.—An Indian, I believe.
What is his occupation ? Ans.—He has been a teacher and assisted in Duncan's store
three or four years ago.
The store that you speak of as having been pulled down, where was it situated ? Ans.—
To the left of the Mission House.
Was it upon the Indian Reserve? Ans.—I don't know; the ground was acknowledged
at that time to belong to tho Church Missionary Society. I saw the notice from the Indians
of Metlakatlah to the Church Missionary Society, telling them that they intended to take
their property altogether off the Church Missionary Society's ground, and telling the Church
Missionary Society's agents that they must remove their property to their own ground, or else
they would do it themselves. This notice was on the door of the jail. It was not signed, but
was in Duncan's handwriting.
Mr. Elliott—What was done with the material of the building? Ans.—I don't know;
it was removed by the Indians. I think that all that was not destroyed was used to build the
present store, the one now being used by Mr. Duncan. A great deal of damage was done in
the removal of the goods.    The weather was bad.
Mr. Elliott—Whose goods were they? Ans.—I cannot say. I believe they belonged
to the Indians.
Mr. Davie—Is there anything else that you think of? Ans.—I have employed a good
many of the Indians of Metlakatlah for five years, both of Duncan's and the Church Missionary Society's Indians, and Indians from Fort Simpson, where members of the Metlakatlah
Church came in daily contact with them, and during their stay around the cannery I have
never known of any trouble, and only at Metlakatlah when the season was over that the
trouble began. It is my belief that this land trouble being agitated by the Indians of the
Skeena River is the outcome of the trouble at Metlakatlah. They threatened to drive the
miners from the gold diggings. They talk of not being afraid of soldiers, and give as their
reason that, referring to the disturbances in the United States-in which the Government has
met reverses, they say, why can't wo do the same thing ? One of the missionaries at Kitman-
gjr, Mr. Woods, has been posting notices for the Indians on several creeks, telling the white
men that the creeks belonged to the Indians, and warning them not to stay. It is bringing
the white people unci the Indians into antagonism, by writing up these notices.
Mr. Davie—Do you know of any reason why these land troubles should have originated
in Metlakatlah, or why it is ?    Ans.—No; it is altogether a religious feeling that has caused vi. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
it—as between the supporters of the Church Missionary Society and Mr. Duncan.
Then you think that if it were not for them this Indian land question would not have
arisen? Ans.—I think so. Mr. Duncan has told me that the land did not belong to the
Government but to the Indians; that their right was indisputable.
Mr. Elliott—Did you take this to apply to Metlakatlah or to elsewhere? Ans.- No;
everywhere about.
Mr. Davie—Is there anything else?    Ans.—No.
C. W. D. Clifford was then swoi'n:
Mr. Davie—What is your occupation ?    Ans.—Miner.
Place of residence?    Ans.—No fixed place of lesidence.
Where were you mining last season? Ans.—On Queen Charlotte Island part of the time,
and on the Skeena for six weeks.
State what you observed on Lome creek. Ans. -—There were about thirty Indians working there for white men and mining on their own account, and they behaved themselves very
well. They could not do otherwise, because they would have been turned away if they had
not. But the Indians of the Forks and at Kitmangar, and at other villages around the river
constantly threatened the miners and told them that the miners were coming on the Indians'
land taking away their land from them and their hunting grounds, and that they intended to
drive them away. Of course large parties were not afraid, as they were well armed and an
Indian does not like breech-loading guns; but parties of miners in the outlying creeks of two
and three the Indians constantly threatened, and in some instances made them desist from
prospecting. I was out on a creek three or four miles below Lome Creek with some two"
white men, and four Kitmangar Indians came one evening into our camp and told us that we
must not go up the creek or prospect there, as that, belonged to them. We kicked them out
of camp and told them wo would fire upon them if they came again. Several other parties
told me the Indians had threatened them. Tho whole attitude of tho Indians was hostile
towards the whites.
Do you know anything of the posting of notices? Ann.—I saw one of them myself,
signed by Woods and five Indians. They posted three notices on Lome creek, saying that
the land belonged to the Indians, and requested them not to burn the timber; and Harry
McDames received a letter from Mr. Woods, stating that he had better look out; that he had
been indulging in immoral practices, and not only him but other miners had better look out.
McDames told them the miners were quite prepared for trouble. All the Indians that I have
spoken to told me that they had been taught by the missionaries that the white men were
coming into the country to rob them of the land; that all the land belonged to the Indians.
They also told them that in Canada the Government always bought the land and paid i'cr it,
but in this country the Government were not giving tho Indians anything; the Government
were thieves and robbers. The missionaries—Green on the Naas, Crosby at Fort Simpson,
Duncan at Metlakatlah, and Tomliuson at Metlakatlah— are the only ones I know of who
have taught these things. Tomliuson went up to the Forks of tho Skeena last summer, and
the Indians say he told them that they had the sympathy of the Metlakatlah Indians in trying
to drive the white men out of the country. They further told me ho condoned the offence of
killing Yeomans, and said, "You have your Indian laws and you take a life for a life, and the
white man has as much right to respect your laws as you have to respect his, and you have
the sympathy of the Indians at Metlakatlah." Tomliuson also told me that lie thought the
Indians had a perfect right to arrest any white man who came on a reservation and did anything contrary to the wishes of the Indians and their rules. I told him they had no right to
do .Tivt'iing of the sort. The whole teaching of these men has had the effect of causing
trouble between the white man and the Indian. They have a horror of the miners; 1 don't
know for what reason. They accuse them of immoral practices and of assailing the women's
virtue.    It is well known that they are not guiltless themselves—far from it.
Mr. Elliott—When did this feeling first commence between the miners and the Indians?
^l//.s\—When the missionaries came in. On Poaeo River there was never any trouble ii'd no
missionaries. The missionary comes in and is constantly telling Indians about their 1 ,".his
and making the Indians believe that they are better than white men; to'.lin;; them tiny are
heirs of God and joint heirs of Christ, and then they t.ilk of the poor b. nighted miner.
Mr. Davie -Do you know anything about the Yeomans affair? Ann.- -}. r. i-nnpa e told
me that an old Indim - I think the brother of the man who killed him nearly eve y (lay
comes into the stove, armed, and about live others of the same crest, constantly in 1 lug
threats  that when this  murderer was hanged they would kill a white man, probably more; 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission.
and I believe they will do it. The Indians say that only one will hang for a white man, but
they can get an old man to die instead of an Indian who kills a white man. I think three
Indians ought to be hung for every white man, or five. I never saw men more excited than
they were on Lome Creek last summer; the miners were very much excited. Next summer
they will be armed and there will be trouble. I don't blame the Indians, but the men who
teach them this doctrine.     I think all the miners will bear me out in what I say.
About how many miners do you expect at Lome Creek next season 1 Ans.—Two hundred in that vicinity next summer.
They will be able to take care of themselves? Ans.—Yes; except as regards isolated
parties. The miners out prospecting will be in danger—the men who are trying to open up
the country.
Do you know anything about the land trouble at Metlakatlah? Ans.—No. Last summer the Indians of Duncan's party stated, when they had prevented the Church Missionary
Society Indians from building some time last summer, that they knew they "were doing wrong
and breaking the law, but still they were determined to do it; that they would not allow one
of the Bishop's adherents to build or improve their houses. I would like to ask the Commission this question: Have white men travelling along the coast the right to camp on the Indian
. Reserves ? White men have been forbidden to come on it, and were driven off in stormy
weather, on the pretext that the Indians' morals would suffer.
J. J. May was then sworn:
Mr. Davie—What is your occupation?    Ans.—A miner since 1852.
Where were you mining last season ?    Ans.—On Vitalle Creek, Omineca.
Are there any Indians in that locality ?    Ans.—Yes.
Any trouble with the Indians that come there?    Ans.—No.
When did you receive intelligence that Yeomans was killed ? Ans.—On the 4th of July
was the first time.
Have you been at Lome Creek ?    Ans.—Yes; just come through.
Did you talk with the Indians there? Ans.—Yes. They told us if that man was killed
that they would kill us all. They threatened me, saying I was the same as Yeomans and
they wanted to get another white man.
Do you think they meant these threats ? Ans.—I think so. As we came clown Indians
jumped into the canoe and took away another man's blankets for a debt. The whole amount
of the debt was $.5.5.
Have you heard the Indians talking about land?    Ans.—No; not up there.
On your way clown did you see these notices? Ans.—I did not react them, but I saw one
sticking up.
Did you see Mr. Woods ? Ans.—Yes. I asked him why he was clown on us, and he
denied it.
Is there anything else?    Ans.—Not that I know of—just hearsay.
Captain Siiearburne sworn:
Mr. Davie—What is your name?    Ans.—E. E. Shearburne.
What is your occupation ?    Ans.—Surveyor, at present.
Where have you been living?    Ans.—On this coast.
You were at Metlakatlah some time ago surveying?    Ans.—Yes; on the 22d September.
Who employed you ?    Ans.—I was acting under the authority  of the  Surveyor-General.
.Had he written a letter to you?    Ans.—Yes; authorizing me to make any survey.
He approved of you as Government Surveyor?    Ans.—Yes.
What did you come to Metlakatlah for? Ans.—I was going to Skeena to survey there,
and on my way to survey two acres of land here, known as Mission Point, the property of the
Church Missionary Society, I believe.
Why were you going to survey this land? Ans.—I was requested to do so by Bishop
Ridley. On Monday morning, tho 22nd, I received a letter from the Indians signed by David
Leask, stating that they heard that I intended to survey their land, and if such were the case
they would be obliged if I would inform them by whose authority I was acting. The letter
being very civilly worded, I thought it necessary to answer it. I went over to where the
Indians were in council, and on being informed by them that they would not allow me to survey the land, I informed them that I should not attempt to survey it, but should report the
matter to the piopcr authorities, and wrote them a letter to that effect. That is all that
occurred at that time. I went down to the Skeena. After finishing my survey on the Skeena
I arrived here on the 15th of October, on my way back to Fort Simpson,  and was in the viii. - Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
Bishop's house at supper when two men forced their way into the dining-room and handed mo
a notice to quit, the same as Mr. White has received: "We, the Indians of Metlakatlah, will
not allow you to travel without your business is satisfactory to us." They would not allow
me to keep it. The Bishop requested these two men to leave the room, which they refused to
do. I was afraid there would be a disturbance in the house, so I went outside to see some of
the Indians. There was a large crowd of Indians outside. I informed them through James
Rutland that I had no intention of surveying the land, that I was simply on my way to Fort
Simpson. He spoke to them and told them that that would be all right, and In; then went
back to Duncan's store.
Mr. Davie—Could you point out these two Indians? Ans.—I don't think so; it was
Could you positively identify them? Ans.—No. I met another crowd of Indians there
with David Leask jabbering very excitedly, and got him at last to tell me that they would not
allow me to remain in the Bishop's house. As I heard that they threatened to break into the
house and put us in a boat, I did not wish to be the cause of Mrs. Ridley's being inconvenienced, so I decided to leave Metlakatlah. I went and saw Mr. Duncan and he got two men
for me. It was a dark night and blowing very hard, and while talking to Mr. Duncan about
the men for the boat a bugle blew, and I asked him what it was for, and he informed me that
it was the Council about to sit to decide upon what steps would be taken if I persisted in
remaining in Metlakatlah. He also told me very much the same as Mr. White states about
the lands belonging to the Indians, and that they would rather die before giving up one inch
of it. He also informed me that I should receive a notice from the Fort Simpson people on
my arrival, forbidding me to touch their lands—which notice I received, forbidding mo to
touch their lands.
Mr. Elliott—Did you survey any land at Fort Simpsou notwithstanding? Ann.—No;
I had done so.
Bishop Ridley was then sworn :
Mr. Davie—What is your name and occupation? Ans.—William Ridley, Bishop of
Where do you reside ?    Ans.—At Metlakatlah.
For how long have you lived here? Ans.—-For three years; not continuously. This is
my winter residence.     It has been my centre for five years.
Will you state what you know about the troubles here? Ans.—As to the cause of tho
difficulties, the first cause was the disconnection of Mr. Duncan from tho Church Missionary
Society. That set him in antagonism to the church. That was in 1881. That may be said
to be the religious side of the difficulty. Then the resignation of the commission of the peace
I take to be the cause of the political difficulty.
Have you, then, politics here? Ans.—Very severe politics; because it was said when
that resignation was required, that from that time there would be no peace on the coast.
Whose resignation ? Ans.—Mr. Duncan's. And such statements have been certainly
borne out by subsequent events. Up to the time of Mr. Duncan's disconnection from tho
Church Missionary Society, I had always been treated with great regard by the Indians. 1 was at
the Forks of the Skesna in 1881, when I received a telegram from the Church Missionary Society
begging me to come to Metlakatlah, where letters would await me. When I arrived I was
received with great kindness by a crowd of Indians at the wharf. It was just a repetition of
kind demonstrations of regard. Mr. Duncan was not here at tho time. The steamer that
brought him brought the letters which I was expecting, and as a Delegate of the Society-- not
as th~ A-yout—I was asked as a favor to call upon Mr. Duncan, to sec if I could not bring him
to a better state of mind. Should he prove obdurate, I was to present him a sealed letter,
the nature of which was made known to me in another letter. I presented that letter, and
then, acting on the instructions of the Church Missionary Society, I requested him to hand
over to me all books and all the property of the Society. This he refused to do, but afterwards
handed over some of the accounts to Mr. Collison. I wish to show that after that letter was
received, trouble commenced of a very violent nature. A meeting was called by },lr. Duncan
of the Indians, in what is called the " Guest House," which was afterwards erected there. He
announced to the assembled Indians the fact that he had received this letter, and told the
Indians, as I have been told, that if there was not an unanimous desire for him to stay, he would
leave. He then put the matter to the Indians ■-" All those who arc on the Lord's side, hold
up their hands," and all held up their hands. Then ho told them- " All on tho Bishop's side,
hold up their hands," and one solitary hand was held up.    By this time the Otter had returned 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. - ix.
from the northern part of the voyage, and I left Metlakatlah and returned to England. What
happened after that Mr. Collison will tell. I have asked him to come. He was the Missionary
in charge. For a long time no Indian was allowed to come to Mr. Collison's house—he was
boycotted for many weeks. Some of the Indians by this time had seen how they had been
entrapped, and told Mr. Collison that they never before understood that Mr. Duncan was
the Lord, or they would not have held up their hands, because after their hands were held up,
they found it was for Mr. Duncan. Hence one man—perhaps braver than the others—broke
through this cordon and came to Mr. Collison; others followed, and when I returned from
England in 1882 the majority of the Chiefs—I believe all but one—had gathered around Mr.
Collison, and other Indians numbering when I arrived 110. Mr. Collison sent out a letter to
meet me on board of the steamer on my arrival, telling me that it was intended to prevent my
landing, and asking how he should act in view of this. [This letter was produced and read by
the Commission.]
The Captain of the steamer received a letter asking him to take me on to some other place,
as they would not allow me to land here. I did not see that letter. Then the question arose
whether we should not improve this building, and make it more like a Church. It was at the
Indians' request, as they would do it without being paid for their labour, if I would consent to
their doing so. It is nothing new to use this building as a Church. From the time it has been
built all services have been held here, Summer services morning and afternoon. I came up
with some of these Indians, who were carpenters, and suggested certain alterations which they
proceeded to make, and while this was proceeding, a crowd of Indians came up, and I met
them at the door—at that door. They threatened to stop the work, and threatened to use
violence on myself, and although they did not assault, they pushed against me. Mr. Collison
hearing of this disturbance—there was a very great noise, it was heard at the Mission House—
came up, and the same man who threatened to assault me, threatened to cleave his head—to
cut it in two.
Do you know the name of the man ?    Ans.—Yes—Robert Hewson.
When was this ?    Ans.—On the 28th November, 1882.
Has any action been taken by Magistrates ?    Ans.—Never.
Not before Dr. Powell ? Ans.—Yes—but no fine. I told him the whole thing in detail,
there was no trial. On the next day, the 29th, the notice that has been referred to by Mr.
White was posted on the jail door. It was written by Mr. Duncan. Seeing the notice I went
out and read it.
You know his handwriting? Ans.—Yes, quite well. I have many letters of his. Dr.
Powell has it now.    I took possession of it.
Could you repeat it? Ans.—I can give the substance of it: First that they meant to
destroy the store, the guest-house, and unless we removed this building, they would remove it
for us. I also think there was some reference to there not being a rival church, but I am not
sure about that. The next clay they removed the building, and destroyed the guest-house.
They took several days. They began on the 30th. They commenced first by pulling down the
store. It has been since said they removed the store, but it is impossible to trace any of the
parts in the new store, as it does not contain any of the beams—the floors, the roofs and ceilings
are not the same. It was destroyed in the most wanton manner with crowbars and axes, and
the front pulled out.    I sent for Mr. White, as he has stated, and read the Riot Act.
Mr. Davie—Whoso property was the store? Ans.—The Church Missionary Society.
Mr. Elliott—Where, on what ground was it 1 Ans.—On the two acres, always said by
its agents to belong to the Church Missionary Society. The store and its stock was believed
by the Church Missionary Society to bo its property before the destruction began. A paper
was drawn up—I never saw it—and signed by a vast number of Indians, in which they declared their knowledge that they were breaking the law, and were prepared for all consequences
of so doing. Mr. Duncan told Dr. Powell that such a paper had been drawn up and signed,
and his reply was : "I had hoard so, but I could not believe such a thing possible; but now I
believe it."
Mr. Davie—Did you see the paper?    Ans.—No.
AVhat about the guest-house? Ans.—It was utterly destroyed, and burned as fuel by Mr.
Duncan's people.
Mr. Elliott—What kind of a building was it—a lar-o or a small building ? Ans.—It
was twice as larj;e as the present guest-house. The property that was destroyed is reckoned
to be worth $7,030.    Attached to the store were wood-sheds and other offices.
Mr, Davie—Is that a fair estimate ?   Ans.—I think so.    It was the largest building in Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
the place. All the property was on the two acres. I communicated these facts to the Government by letter, also to the Lieutenant-Governor of the Province, much more fully than I
have stated them to you. In consequence of this communication the IT. S. revenue cutter
came up, bringing Dr. Powell and Mr. Anderson. Before it arrived (on the 2Gth Dec.) some
of the young people who had been trained in music, were attacked; the man bearing the drum
had it cut from him; they were members of our congregation, and on that occasion I issued a
summons for the appearance of these two men. These men, when questioned by me, stated
that Mr. Duncan told them to do it. So I remanded them and sent for Mr. Hall, as I did not
wish to do so myself, and the men were remanded three clays.
The Court then adjourned till 2 p. m.
After Recess.
Bishop Ridley continuing—I sent for Mr. Hall. These men were kept in custody in the
jail for some hours; I can't tell how long, perhaps two hours. I was returning from tho house
of a Chief where he had a feast—as is the custom at Christmas—with Mrs. Ridley, and there
were two ladies and their husbands, and when about half-way between the house of this Chief and
the mission house, a swarm of Indians came clown from Mr. Duncan's house, and tho spokesman was a man named Legaic, and surrounded us—a party of five, three ladies and two gentlemen. Our own Indians had remained behind in the Chief's house, still feasting, so that no
one of our Indians had any knowledge of or saw what happened. One tall man (I don't know
him by name) first stopped me by thrusting his hand across my face. Afterwards the man
confessed it; but still passing on, and saying, "Get aside!" when Legaic seized me by tho
shoulder and stopped me. At the same moment those behind put their hands on me and I
fell backward, but not to the ground—the crowd was too thick—but quickly recovering myself I thrust this man aside, and at the same moment I was struck on the left arm by Robert
Hewson, a blow which paralysed me. He was about to strike me a second time in the face,
(Hewson was), which blow I parried and struck him so that he did not return at all. I struck
him heavily.
Mr. Davie (to the interpreter)—Tell Legaic that Bishop Ridley has just said this.
Legaic came forward.
"Bishop Ridley says that two years ago he was returning from the house of a Chief about
Christmas time, and when ahout half-way between there and the mission house the Indians
came down in a body from Mr. Duncan's house; that the Indians surrounded the Bishop's
party, which consisted of two gentlemen and three ladies; that the Bishop's Indians had remained in the house. Legaic was the spokesman of the Indians who surrounded the Bishop's
party. That one tall man first stopped the Bishop, by thrusting his hand across his face; the
Bishop then said, 'Get aside—get away!' whereupon Legaic seized tho Bishop by the shoulders
and stopped him, and the Indians who were behind the Bishop put their hands on him so that
he fell backwards.    Did you seize the Bishop by the shoulders?"    Legaic—-No.
Did you place your hand on the Bishop ? Ans.—I was standing in front, and I said that
I wanted to speak to Bishop Ridley; I put my hand in front of his face, like that.
Was it tho flat side of your hand?    Ans.—Yes.
Mr. Elliott—Bishop Ridley, who struck you on the arm ? Ans.—Robert Hewson ;
Legaic was fined $10 for this offence by Dr. Powell and Mr. Anderson. Mr. Duncan paid the
Bishop Ridley continuing—Another Indian, known as "Sitka Jim," came up and flourished
in front of me, and spat in my face, and afterwards struck me heavily on the back. The next
clay ho was rewarded for his act; and here is the paper that he received. lie was appointed a
member of the Council :- -
"This is to certify that James Gidwaiu was on the 28th Deo, 1882, elected a member of
the Council at Metlakatlah by a largo majority of tho male inhabitants of the. village."
The noise that was made bio:ij,ht out Mr. Collison and Mr. Chantrell, and they rushed
out and assisted me into the house. Mrs. Harrison had rushed into the house savin;; "They
are murdering the Bishop!" and this brought them out; and while I was being led in I heard a
familiar voice on the top of the steps of the prison—this man Legaic—and saw him and another Indian standing on the steps of the prison, and I stopped to see what it was. He said:
" Now look ; see what we can do!" and he opened the door and let out the men who had been
placed there for safety, 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. xi.
Mr. Elliott—The two men awaiting trial by Mr. Hall 1 Ans.—Yes. And then they
all returned to Mr. Duncan's house. I was laid up for four days in bed. I learned afterwards that Mr. Duncan wished to charge me with assaulting the mob—wished to issue a
summons, but I suppose the arrival of the " Woolcot" prevented that.
Mr. Elliott—Are you aware whether any information was sworn against you? Ans.—
Not that I am aware of. This is the paper that I referred to. (Bishop Ridley handed it to
the Commission.) James Gidwain is the same person spoken of by me as " Sitka Jim," who
spat in my face. I am not sure, but I think the name is in the handwriting of Mr. Duncan.
The body of the paper appears to be a common form of membership. I think David Leask
was then secretary.    I never saw or heard of it before half an hour ago.
Mr. Elliott—How many persons in connection with that assault upon you were fined ?
Ans.—Three—who were all fined. Legaic and Hewson each $10, and Jim $20. The fines
were all paid at once.
Mr. Davie—These two men who were waiting for Mr. Hall for trial; what became of
them ?    Ans.—They have been at large ever since, and have never been tried.
Have you the information and the warrant in that case ?    Ans.—I don't know where it is.
Have you got the information? Ans.—1 think I could find it. While in England last
winter I received a letter from Mr. Dunn, our missionary here, saying that Jim had called
on him and had asked if he thought the Bishop would forgive him his wickedness. Since I
returned he has come to me and asked the same question, and expressed his sorrow. I forgave
him, but on account of his coming to us he fell into great trouble that led to his being imprisoned.
Mr. White was recalled.
Bishop Ridley proceeds—I don't think Mr. Whitestated that he had seen a paper drawn
up by Mr. Duncan, together with a long list of signatures in the same handwriting, in which
the Indians expressed their resolution to proceed with these overt acts, although they knew it
was law-breaking. Mr. White called the attention of Mr. Duncan to the fact that these names
were not signatures. Afterwards he went to a meeting where all doubt was removed. They
stated that it was their act and they resolved to stand by it—when it was translated to them.
Mr. White—This is correct.
Bishop Ridley continuing—I pass over all the insult and persecution which those Indians
attached to the Church Missionary Society have suffered, because they will state the facts
better than I can; three years of painful persecution, without any resistance being offered.
They were told in Council that they may not build or repair their houses, and may not worship
excepting with Mr. Duncan. Donald Bruce, Moses Venn and others will give evidence. So
great has boon the pressure that the Church Missionary Society proposed to the Ottawa Government that they should bo allowed to remove and build a village apart from the majority,
but the Society was told that they would not be allowed to do it.
Mr. Elliott—Who informed the Society that this could not be done? Ans.—I believe
it was Sir A. T. Gait.
A written communication ?    Ans.—I think so.    I have seen copies of it.
Mr. Davie—You have offered no resistance? Ans.—No resistance has been offered ; no
attempt has been made before Mr. Elliott came—at resistance. I believe we would not now
have boon in Metlakatlah if the constables had not been appointed by Mr. Elliott, because
before ho arrived the Indians attached to the Society came to me and they said : " What will
you do?" and I said : "We will not resist, we will go into any Indian's house who will receive
us." Thereupon they put their houses at our disposal. "Then what will we do, if we are put
from their houses?"    " We will wait until they try it."
Mr. Davie—Do we understand you to say that the Church Missionary Society wrote to Sir
A. T. Gait to ask permission to take away their adherents from Metlakatlah and establish a new
village, and that Sir A. T. Gait replied that it could not bo done? A us.- -Yes; he replied that it
could not bo allowed. I was in England last winter when I received a letter from Mr. Dunn,
dated 22nd January.    (Sec projecting-; of 10th November.)
ill!. Ccnnix^iiaii then forward and was sworn, and stated that ho had a letter to
read to the Commission.
..'.Ii!. Davie —This letter is in your own handwriting?    Ans.—Yes.
is it your own letter ? Am.—I was trading furs at Kitkatlah, and one night as I was
going to bed an Indian camo and rapped at the door, and said he wanted to speak to me privately. ^ a-iked him what he wanted, and he said he wanted me to write a letter to tho Bishop
for him ; ho would pay for the trouble.      I tried to evade it,  but he was pressing.      After I xii. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
admitted him I heard another man at the door, and asked who was there. It was a brother of
his, which he wanted to witness the letter. I took this sheet of paper and wrote it at his dictation:—
22nd April, 1884.
To Bishop Ridley:
Dear Sir,—I hear some one told you I was first to break the Church. They people
wanted to burn the plank, but I forbid them. I was from home when the first met to break
the Church. When I came back the had another meeting, when Sealyer told the people that
Mr. Duncan consented that they were to break the Church. Mr. Duncan told him it was right
to do so. I forbid him, but told them to shut the Church up ; tho asked Loolcotsemply for tho
key but he refused. Tackshchouo called to pull it down. Now tho all started to pull it
it down. I then wont with them. I did say "What are you standing about for?" After it
was done I repented very much, and feel sorry to this day, as my children went to school. I
have boon a long time hearing the truth and I now I done wrong.
Weepeharisk, or Neasoisf,
Bishop Ridley continuing—The Church was destroyed on the 19th January, 1884. I
received letters from our Missionaries at the different stations. Mr Harrison wrote saying
that the Indians who had been working at Mr. Duncan's cannery came back very much dissatisfied, and threatened difficulty there with the whites. I hear the same thing from Mr.
Woods—Mr. Woods has also written stating that the notice did not contain his sentiments,
but that he wrote it for the Indians at their solicitation.
Mr. Davie—What took place when Dr. Powell was here—on the first occasion ? Ans.- -
The first thing he did on landing from the ship, he sent to call the Indians to a meeting. He;
asked me for the use of this room, which was then in my possession, and I granted it. Tho
Indians refused to come here. Dr. Powell came back to my house to lunch, and was very
angry. They told him that he must come and meet them in the Church. He first refused,
but afterwards went. He then proceeded to address them, but they would only receive his
written words. Again he was nettled, but he wrote out an address and sent it to them, asking
for an immediate reply; but this reply was not sent for two or throe days. He issued summonses after that, on what charge I don't remember, but they were flung in tho face of the
constable. But when he left the last thing ho told them was: "I have not the means to coerce
you." It was a charge of breaking clown a portion of Moses Venn's house. Some of them
afterwards came, but it was so uproarious that Dr. Powell told them he regarded them as outlaws, and that they had not heard tho last of it.
Mr. Davie—The second visit of Dr. Powell—do you know anything of this? Ans.--
Well, I think I proceeded from the first to the second visit.
Mr. Elliott—Did they afterwards go out to tho ship-of-war and ask to be taken to Victoria ?    Aiis.—Yes ; but the ship was full, and there was no room for 200 or .'J00 people.
Mr. Davie—What adjudications did Dr. Powell make besides tho ones spoken of before ?
You speak of being in possession of this building. How long have you been in possession
of it? Ans.—Wo have been in posscssionvof it up to the 22nd of September from the time it
was built.    It was built before 1 came here.
Whose money erected the building? Ans.—The Church Missionary Society's ; besides
which the Government donated $500—that is, the Indian Department.
Who furnished the lamps ? Ans. -The Society paid for everything. This building has
been in use as a Church—not actually consecrated, but lias been used for Church services of
the Anglican Church.
Mr. Davie—This building stands upon the Indian Reserve? Ans—Yes. We have
letters saying this is the property of tho Church Missionary Society, and ordering the Indians
of Mr. Duncan's party not to meddle.
Have you been prevented from using it 1    Ans.—Yes—by forcible means.
Captain Shearburn was recalled.
Mr. Davie- -Tho Government wish you to survey those two acres—we don't say who for,
but it is for the Government of British Columbia—and if anybody troubles you or molests you,
come at once and let us know.    (This was interpreted to the Indians present.)
Mr. Anderson was then called.
Mr. Davie—What is vour name ?   Ans.—Walter B. Anderson. 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. .iilx
What is your occupation ?    Ans.—Constable.
Mr. Elliott—Did you happen to be present when Mr. Tomlinson and Mr. Duncan caaie
in ?    Ans.—I was there.
Do you remember any statement made by Mr. Tomlinson in regard to the feeling of the
Indians about the Lome Creek mines ? Ans.—Yes. He said in speaking of the Metlakatlah
troubles that the Indians up about the Forks of the Skeena, or up the Skeena, were in a very
discontented state of mind concerning the coming of the miners to Lome Creek, and they
wished, or intended, claiming compensation for the loss of game which they thought was being
driven away by the miners. He upheld them, and said he thought it was quite true that the
game would be driven away, and that the Indians in consequence would lose money by it. He
warmly backed them in that; and then when I asked him if he would kindly specify what game
he meant, he said fur-bearing animals, such as beaver, mink, martin and bear. Compensation
was to be claimed from the Government. I told Mr. Tomlinson that these animals would not
be affected by the miners. I understood that he thoroughly sympathized with the Indians, and
expressed himself that they were entitled to compensation, and that the influx of miners was a
bad thing for the Indians. He thought something should be clone to stop the miners from
going in—in the interests of the Indians.
Did you hear Mr. Duncan say what the Indians would do in the event of their claims not
being acceded to by the Government ? Ans.—We came to Court in the morning, and found
the building locked. Mr. Elliott told me to go up and ask Mr. Duncan for the key. I did so,
and he said, " I want to see Mr. Elliott." I said, " I expect you will see him presently, but I
want the key." " Well, I want to see Mr. Elliott." "Meanwhile what am I to do about the
key—am I to tell Mr. Elliott you refuse to give me the key ? " He answered, "No— I won't
say that." " Am I to tell him that you would prefer seeing him before giving me the key ?"
He said "Yes;" and Mr. Elliott came up. Mr. Duncan was very excited, and said the Indians
did not think that they could let him have the building that day; they thought that partiality-
was showed because there was an armed force in the Mission House, and he went on to say
that his claims were being ignored and wanted to know why the Government ignored his
claims, because a man wore a silk apron, etc. He then went on to say that his impression
was that the Indians on the coast were watching proceedings at Metlakatlah and would take
their cue from them. Mr. Elliott then explained why certain men were in the Mission House,
in consequence of threats by Mr. Duncan's people, and Mr. Duncan denied that anything of
the kind had taken place. Mr. Elliott asked him if it was true that certain buildings had
been pulled down. He denied that also. He.said my store was removed from where it stood
to where it stands at present. I might say that he kept saying that the Indians claimed the
land and claimed their rights. When asked if it was true that two men had forced their way
into the Bishop's house, he said it was a way they had; they did not know they were doing
wrong. A great deal more was said at that time and at other times about the Indians' rights
to land, but I cannot remember anything else.
Bishop Ridley—This is a notice I received:
Notice to Bishop Ridley:
We, tho Council and people of Metlakatlah, having had under consideration your continued presence amongst us and its effect in retarding the progress and peace of our village,
have decided to inform you that we are not willing you should remain any longer here, and
we do hereby notify you to leave Metlakatlah.
As regards any interest the Church Missionary Society may claim to have in any building
erected on our ground, we will be willing to treat with them.
For the Council and people of Metlakatlah,
(Signed) D. Leask.
Metlakatlah, B. C, October 22nd, 1884.
The Court then adjourned till 10 a. m. the next day.
Metlakatlah, B. C,
15th November, 13S4.
Present:—All the Commissioners.
Mr. Duncan was called and stated that the Indians wished him to tell the Court that they
objected to the Commission ordering the land surveyed while the Commission was making
inquiries; that this perplexed them and they wished some explanation about it. xiv. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
Mr. Davie informed him that as this was a Commission of inquiry, their opinions on this
subject would be taken the same way as any other evidence.
Mr. Duncan—I would like to present my statement—the statement I wish to make to
the Commission—in writing. Owing to the short notice I received that the Commission,
would require evidence from me, I have been unable to prepare this statement, and would ask
the Commission for time to prepare it. I believe I have a right to ask for this, and I ask the
Commission to allow me time to put my evidence in writing.
Mr. Davie—How long would this take?    How much time do you ask for?
Mr. Duncan—-I would like to have till Monday; I would be ready on Monday.
After consultation, the Commission decided to allow Mr. Duncan the time he required.
Mr. Davie—Solely on the consideration that the Commission wish this inquiry to be as
full and fair as possible.
The following address by Mr. Davie was then interpreted to the Court:
In consequence of Mr. Duncan wishing to put in a written statement, and as we intend
to take the evidence of the white people before taking that of the Indians, in order that there
will be a full and fair opportunity for everyone to have a hearing, we will adjourn the Court
until Monday at 10 A. si.
The Court was then adjourned till Monday at 10 a. m.
Metlakatlah, B. C.
17th November, 1881.
Present: all the Commissioners.
Mr. Duncan was called and sworn.
Mr.  Davie.—What is your name?    Ans.—William Duncan.
Where is your residence ? Ans.—At Metlakatlah for 22 years.
Proceed with your statement.
Before commencing to give a statement, I would like to call the attention of the Commissioners to a few preliminary matters, which I think should not be lost sight of in this connection.
First, the troubles to be dealt with have grown to their present proportions from their having
been neglected for two years—that is if such a commission as this had been appointed two
years ago, and the request of the Indians been fairly considered by the Government, there
would not have been, as there is now, such a crop of falsehoods and misrepresentations; but
unhappily for a clue settlement of the issue, the wound has been left to fester; the complaint of
the Indians has been pooh-poohed; the real cause of the trouble has been ignored and trilled
with, much Government money and time of officials has been wasted, and the Indians have
been more and more discontented by the abortive efforts which have been put forth up to the
present. I hope the present commission will result in a just and wise settlement of the whole
difficulty, that order and prosperity may be restored to the Indian settlement here, and that the
Indians may not be led to lose all hope.
Secondly. The people concerned arc the aborigines of the country whose lan;;ua^o and
surroundings present many and great difficulties to their being properly understood by the.
whites, and which render them more or less dependent upon their teachers as a medium of
communication when they feel called upon to speak upon matters of importance or when they
feel their rights are being infringed upon.
Thirdly. My relations with the Indians of this part of the Province in general, and with
the people of Metlakatlah in particular for many years past, renders it obligatory on my part
to do the best I can for them; and no one occupying the jsosition I do at Metlakatlah would
find it other than difficult to escape misrepresentation and abuse. This, the Governments of
past years have endorsed, and have always defended and encouraged me in my work till tho
recent troubles came on.
Fourthly. I would beg the Commissioners to consider whether it is likely, or probable,
that a community of Indians, like the one at Metlakatlah, which for upwards of 20 years bore
the character of a law-abiding, law-upholding and jDrogressive community, should at once
change into the lawless mob as they are represented; or that I, who for all these years - the
best of my life—have labored and suffered for their welfare, should now turn round like a villain cr a madman to destroy the work God has permitted and suffered me to do. Surely the
Government should know this people and myself better. It is hard to think they •on: forgetting or ignoring the past history of Metlakatlah, or that they should appear to join hands  with 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. xv.
those who would fain destroy all that has been clone. Let me beg of the Commissioners to
give a full and fair hearing to the Indians; otherwise I fear should this attempt fail to adjust
matters, the Indians will be driven to desperation.
Now I commence with my statement. I left England on H. M. S. Satellite in December
1856. I reached Fort Simpson on the 1st October, 1857. I found over 2000 Indians at Fort
Simpson in such a condition that Sir James Douglas feared for my personal safety outside the
fort. I learned the Indians' language, built a school-house, and spent four and a half years at
Fort Simpson. My school was broken into and my life several times threatened. After about
3 years at Fort Simpson I conceived it to be best for the growth of'the Mission to remove
from Fort Simpson. The Indians approved of my plan and they chose the site for their settlement, telling me that Metlakatlah was the ancient home of their forefathers, which they had
only left about 20 years before to settle around the trading post'of the H. B. Co., at Fort
Simpson. For a year and a half I frequently deliberated with the Indians on the propriety of
removing, and finally left Fort Simpson and arrived at Metlakatlah on 28th May, 1862, with
a few followers, but many others promising to come. The H. B. Co.'s officers opposed the move
and assured me of its failure. At the end of the first year we numbered about 300 souls," as
well as I can remember. Of course we had everything to begin and had many enemies looking
on. The first want which stared us in the face was a store, and I went to Victoria and begged
of the H. B. Co. to start a store for us, but I failed to enlist their sympathy. I told Sir
James Douglas our difficulty and he assisted me in the purchase of a' schooner, which I filled
with goods and brought up to Metlakatlah. On that schooner being sold, a portion of the
money that Sir James Douglas had given me was returned to the Government, but not1 by
their own request. Not one cent of money belonging to the Church Missionary Society was employed either in the purchase of the schooner or the goods, or in the erection of the store.
When the H. B. Co. ceased their opposition to some extent, they were willing to bring us
goods in their steamers, so we sold the schooner. I bore personally all the risk and all the expense of the store. I utilized the profits of the store as I thought good, and a portion of these
profits I passed to the credit of the Church Missionary Society's account, to lighten the general expenses of the Mission. All the other profits we made I utilized to build up fresh work
or industries. On the failure of our agent in Victoria I sustained a loss of over $4,000, which
I have paid.
Mr. Davie—When was it that that loss occurred ? Ans.—About 4 years ago. The Church
Missionary Society, although acquainted with the fact of that loss, never bore a cent of it. I
have spent nothing of the profits of Metlakatlah on myself. I have built all the buildings for
industrial purposes upon the Indians' lands as they were for their use and benefit while I live
and when I am dead. I have secured as far as I can, by will, the whole of the property which
I have received for the sole benefit of the Indians of Metlakatlah.
Tho next want was a sawmill, which we built without any cost to the Church Missionary
Society. That sawmill has rendered great help to the Indians in building their village. Upwards of $4,000 worth or more of lumber has been gratuitously given to the Indians to build
their houses. Very shortly I hope to have a mill entirely in the hands of the Indians. The
next event of importance, I received a commission of the peace, dated the 4th July, 1S63, and
for many years I have had to maintain a great conflict with liquor sellers. Finally the traffic
was stopped and drunkenness amongst the Indians is now a thing of the past. In 1864 I feared
that Metlakatlah might be invaded by Indians who were inimical to our progress as a Christain
community, or by the whites settling in our proximity. I therefore appealed for protection
against such to Sir James Douglas, and I received a ietter dated the 27th September, 1864
which granted 50 squai-e miles of land for the Indians, and held two acres for the use of the
Church Missionary Society. This arrangement was entirely between myself and the Government, not between the Indians and the Government in any sense. Before I was a Justice of
the Peace, myself, Captain Pike, H. M. S. Devastation visited us here and seeing how needful it
was to have some protection, swore in eight or ten native constables to assist me in keeping
order. ' l    °
Mr. Elliott—When was that? Ans.— Before the letter came from Sir James Douo-las
in 1862—in the latter part of 1862. °
That body of constables when I had received a Commission of the Peace I enlarged on
several occasions. The Government have recognized that body of men and given themlado-es
in th3 shape of clothing. Governor Seymour sent them a few muskets, and' on every occasion
of a visit from the Governor or Government officials, this body of men received encouragement.
If it had not been for such a body of native constables it would have been impossible to keep xvi. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
down the liquor traffic in this part of the Province. These men on one occasion accompanied
H. M. S. Sparrowhawk at the request of the Captain, and did good service at Fort Simpson
to quell and stop the drinking riots there.
Next I would speak of the native Council. From the first of my settling at Metlakatlah I
saw the [necessity of calling in the aid of the Indians to assist in the administration of affairs
and deliberate on all matters concerning the welfare of the settlement, such as building roads
and planning village work. At first I chose the body, some 8 or 10, afterwards tho body themselves elected fresh members, but now they are chosen by ballot. This body too has been recognized by past Governments. Governor Seymour gave us a silver headed cane as a token of
his recognition.    Governor Musgrave wrote me a letter in which he mentions the Council.
Mr. Elliott—Was that cane given to a chief or to the Council ? Ans.— It was given to
me to use as I thought good, and I used it as a badge of the Council.
Governor Musgrave's letter of the 27th January, 1871 says: "With regard to the legal recognition and establishment of the native Council which you propose, His Excellency sees many
difficulties in the way of the Government taking any definite action, but it is quite open to you
to seek the co-operation of the Indians possessing influence and authority in the manner you
have already adopted."
Mr. Elliott—Who signed that letter for the Governor? Ans.—Phillip Hankin, Colonial
Since my resignation of the Commission of the Peace this body has had to work alone in
keeping order.
Mr. Elliott—What year was that in—your resignation? Ans.—It was in 1883 I
think. Without such a body of native Council it would have been utterly impossible for this
community to have existed or progressed as it has. They have undertaken to deliberate upon
all matters relative to the public weal—such as making roads etc., and without such a voice
the community would not have acted. Again, in such a large community as this, disputes and
troubles must necessarily arise and have to be dealt with; it is therefore to be lamented if tho
Government should in any degree discountenance such a useful body of men. When the Governor-General, Lord Dufferin, visited Metlakatlah, he saw the native Council and spoke to them
very kindly. When I visited Canada in 1875 I laid before the Minister of the Interior a long
report of our affairs at Metlakatlah, in which I took occasion to speak fully about the action
of the native Council.
Mr. Elliott—When was this?    Ans.—My visit to Canada was in 1875.
Previous to the visit of Lord Dufferin?    Ans.—Yes, I suppose so.
Mr. Davie—Was it before that there was any provision in the Canadian Statutes for
Council meetings?    Ans.—I had not then received any.
Mr. Davie—I was thinking that these might have been inserted on account of your reference to a Council.
Mr. Duncan—I have a letter somewhere and can produce it at any time—when first
the Superintendent of Indian affairs was at Metlakatlah.
Mr. Davie—What date? Ans.—I have his letter. This was his first visit, the letter
will give me the date. He met and acknowledged this native Council and highly complimented theiii. After his return to Victoria he wrote me a letter which I will place before the commission. I have not got it here, but can produce it. I have frequently laid before the Indian
Mr. Elliott—What was the business that Dr. Powell came on? Ans.—He came on the
Rocket—no special business—to meet the Indians and speak to them. Schemes by which I
thought the Government might assist the Indians in becoming an industrious and self-supporting community. The Indian Department replies they have agreed with my schemes, but they
could not see their way to applying Government money to help in such matters, hence I have
ventured to take the whole risk and labour, and now have all the responsibility of the whole of
the industries of Metlakatlah to myself, with the exception of the trade shop store. The
Indians are interested in the store. I am prepared to give you the number of shares which they
have taken and bought up. When the present store was built, the offer was made to tho
Indians whether they would have the goods supplied them at cost prices, or whether they would
put their goods at the ordinary prices of the surrounding stores and then divide the profits.
They decided to take the last course as boing the most proper one, and especially as the first
plan would have interfered materially with other people. They decided that they would put
their goods at the ordinary prices and share the profits. The offer to have their goods at cost
prices was suggested by the fact of the Church Missionary Society having a store in which they 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. xvii.
sell their goods at cost prices. The next great industry which I have begun at Metlakatlah is
the canning of salmon. I have had this cannery now for 3 years. The present year I have put
up about 10,000 cases. The cannery labour is in the hands of the Indians as much as possible.
They run the steamer and do all other work excepting the management. But for this trouble
we would now have been canning clams and preparing clay at our brick-yard for another season.
Mr. Elliott—Inform the commission what troubles interfered with the canning of the
clams ? Ans.—Taking up the time of the people. They could not be here and there too. It
was impossible.    I could not have left the management in their hands.
The taking of the clams would have interfered to prevent that being done ? Ans.—Simply
the Indians being present in Court.
They prefer that ?    Ans.—Yes, they are interested.
Mr. Davie—Do you refer to the enquiries before Judge Elliott ? Ans.—That and this
I can't see regarding Judge Elliott's enquiries, why so many assembled? Ans.—They want
to hear everything. They left everything. I have had to suffer a loss of everything. The
mill is stopped—the brick-yards would have been going on now.
This is Governor Seymour's letter.    I would like to put it in:—
" British Columbia.
No. 95. " Downing Street, 13th Deo, 1867.
"Sir:—I have received and have read with much satisfaction your Despatch No. 129, of
the 27th September, reporting your visit to the Indian settlement of Metlakatlah.
"It has been most gratifying to me to learn from that Despatch how greatly the Indians
have, in that neighborhood, advanced in civilization and prosperity owing to the exertions of
Mr. William Duncan.
"I have, etc.,
" Governor Seymour, &c., &c. (Signed)     " Buckingham & Chandos."
Now I come to the time when the troubles commence. I would begin by saying that I
had frequently planned to leave Metlakatlah in past years as soon as I could get any one to
carry on the work I had begun, but on every attempt to leave the Indians I have failed. Just
previous to the rupture with the Church Missionary Society a conference of the Society sat at
I put the following question and received this answer at that conference:—
" 1 have to ask the conference whether they will advise me to resign my connection with
Metlakatlah," and I left the room; on being called I received this reply: " The conference having
heard Mr. Duncan's statement and knowing the value of his labors and experience, not only
to the work at Metlakatlah but also to the Church Missionary Society's Missions generally on
the North Pacific field, unanimously decline to advise Mr. Duncan to resign."
Mr. Elliott—What is the date of this communication? Ans.—I can give you the date.
In the autumn of the same year—that was in 1881. I left for Victoria for the purpose of arranging to commence the cannery in the following season—being encouraged so to do by all the
Mission staff. While in Victoria I received a letter from the Church Missionary Society dated
29th Sept. 1881, I think—I will look again,—inviting me home for conference. I answered
this letter, stating that I had involved myself in some important business matters which utterly
forbid my running away at a short notice, but in the meantime I had written a very long letter
containing my views on all the matters at issue with them, and which I believed might answer
the purpose of the Society and render it unnecessary for me to go home, but that I would go
as soon as opportunity offered if I was wanted. I left Victoria and returned to Metlakatlah
with 60 tons of freight, which included many pieces of machinery, &c, for the establishment of
the cannery. The following morning after my arrival at Metlakatlah with all this business in
hand, Bishop Ridley—whom I found at Metlakatlah—without any regard to the circumstances
in which I was placed—while the steamer was in the harbour,—demanded an interview. Although greatly annoyed at the time I attended to what he had to say and found it was to ask
me whether I intended to go to England or not. I told him that my circumstances would not
permit me to go then and that I had written to tell the Society so. I declined further conversation on the matter with Bishop Ridley, when he at once thrust a letter into my hands, in
spite of the explanations which I had given on my refusing to go to England at the time. The
letter he gave mo was dated tho very same day on which the letter was written inviting me
home, namely the 29th September. xviii. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
Mr. Elliott—Who was the letter from ? Ans.—The Church Missionary Society. On reading it I found it to be a very kind letter deploring in very kind language to myself the necessity of severing my connection with the Society, but I also saw from the letter that the Bishop
had made a mistake in giving it to me, that it was not intended by the Society to have reached
me till the following spring. I subsequently received a letter from the Secretary of tho
Church Missionary Society, begging me still to remain on their staff in spite of tho letter which
had reached me, and go to England for conference as soon as I could; telling mo that the
letter had been given me prematurely, that they thought Bishop Ridley was up at the Forks
and would not be down until the spring. On the arrival of this letter, however, from the Secretary asking me to still keep my connection with the Society, I had taken such steps that I
found it impossible to retrace.
I will now briefly survey the steps I took—and which have been so much misrepresented—
after my separation from the Church Missionary Society.
No reasonable man, I think, could expect me to run away from the people for whom I have
laboured for 25 years, without letting them know I was going, and much less could I be expected
as a Christian Missionary to forsake the post where God had placed me and sustained me. so
long—without my first knowing that it was His will I should do so. Had I been working
here these many years for a livelihood then, like a hireling, I should have gone away when
my stipend stopped. I thank God I am not a hirling. If I have given all I have to give
for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the people around me, my duty is sacred to me. I
can die at my post, but I cannot forsake it until ordered to do so by the Master I serve. In
the evening of the clay I received the letter which disconnected me from the Church Missionary
Society, I called together seven of the principal Christians who were then present in the village,
and who were elected by the congregation as elders of the Church. Before I opened my affairs
to them, I committed all to God, and determined to wait resignedly for the intimation of His
will, and resolved I would leave Metlakatlah as soon as it was possible, if, by my staying a division
would take place in the congregation. After prayer with the seven men, I told them what had
happened and begged them to deal calmly and prayerfully with the matter, and not to consider
me at all, but only the welfare of God's work. They expressed their extreme astonishment at
the information I had given them, but refused to deliberate on so great a question as my going
away involved, or even to make known to the congregation what had occurred, till all the body
of the elders could be assembled. Next morning early they had despatched a canoe to Fort
Simpson secretly, to call the remainder of their number who had only just gone there with a
large party of Indians on a festive feast. On the evening of the same day all but two of tho
elders were assembled at Metlakatlah, one of those not present being David Leask who was
away with the Bishop, and the other one was sick. At this meeting, which was also begun
with prayer, I repeated what I had said to the seven on the previous evening, and then left
them to deliberate. After some time I was sent for and informed that they were unanimous
in desiring me to remain amongst them, but they proposed to call all the people together as
soon as possible to hear what they had to say, before making public their decision. On the return of the large party of Indians who had gone on a feast at Fort Simpson, a general meeting
was called of all the male members of the congregation, and it was in allusion to this meeting
that the Bishop says I put the question, " Will all on the Lord's side hold up their hands. All
held up their hands." Then the Bishop says I said, "All on the Bishop's side hold up their hands,
and one solitary hand went up." It is very shocking for any man professing to bo a God fearing —
Mr. Davie—Do not make this personal. Ans.—Very well. The truth is I never
put any question of the kind to the people, and they never raised their hands in my presence
as the Bishop describes. This general meeting was commenced with prayer. I then briefly
told them why they had been called together and reiterated what I had previously told tho
elders—that they were to decide what they wished me to do, without reference to myself, personally, but to consider only the welfare of God's work. No reply was made and I left them.
In about half an hour or so I was sent for. The house was crowded, but perfect silence prevailed when I entered the meeting. I was beckoned to a chair placed for me, and then with
the greatest possible solemnity they told me that the unanimous and fervent request of the
people was that I should remain at my post and go on with my work as heretofore. They then
reminded me that I had taught many years amid blood and fire to save them, they had followed
me to Metlakatlah and that now they were living in peace and growing in prosperity—which
good was the fruit of God's blessing on my labors. They further declared that they would not
permit anyone to take the work off' my hands. In the face of such proceedings and declarations
what could I answer them ? how could I dare to oppose the earnest and unanimous voice of 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. xix.
the people begging me to remain ? Instead of my going, therefore, to England, Bishop Ridley
went instead. The Indians were not violent, but they were indignant. They offered to
assault no one, for there was no one to assault. In anticipation of Bishop Ridley remaining
at Metlakatlah, before the steamer left the Indians had nailed up the entrance to the church.
Mr. Elliott—What church ? Ans.—The large church. But as I have said, Bishop
Ridley left almost at once for England. I did not at once continue our church services; for
nearly a month the church was closed; I thought it good to wait until all excitement had subsided before we re-opened the church under the new arrangements. I may here mention the
large church which you see at Metlakatlah never took one cent from the funds of the Church
Missionary Society. The building was never in debt. The Indians contributed what they
could; private friends and Christians in England of various denominations assisted me with
contributions, sent to me direct, and the remainder of the expense, some thousands of dollars,
I bore myself—that is, out of the profits of the industries of the place. During that month
in which we had no services in the church the Indians met on Sunday for religious worship in several houses in the village, the services being conducted by the native elders. At
their earnest request I addressed them on Sunday evenings in the market house. The agent
of the Church Missionary Society was all this time in the village, but had nothing whatever
to do with the services. On Sunday, the 25th December, 1881—nearly a month after my disconnection with the Church Missionary Society—the Indians had determined to re-open the
church, and the elders came to beg that I would acquiesce in that arrangement. Although a
very stormy day, I found a very large congregation assembled. A chair was placed for me
near the reading desk; perfect silence prevailed, and an elder came through the body of the
church bearing a Bible in his hand and approached me. Before he spoke to me he turned
round to the congregation and spoke to them of their resolution, and that now they were
about to see their resolution carried out. He then addressed me—of course in his own language—which I will translate: "We, the church of Metlakatlah, now present, unite in
requesting you to recommence your work in our church and continue teaching us the Gospel
as you have done before. We desire to be an independent Christian church from this day,
and to be in unity with all true Christians in every part of the world, but we do not attach
ourselves to any branch of the Christian church or partake of the divisions into which the
Christian church in other lands is divided. We trust in God to make us grow, and we desire
nothing but His own pure word to be the ground of our faith." Here he presented me with
the church Bible. Thus all the Metlakatlahns were united in harmonious worshipping. The
first intimation of any dissension that I heard of was three or four chief men who had been
offended because they were not made as much of as the elders of the church. On the 17th of
January the only agent of the Church Missionary Society then at Metlakatlah left for the
Naas River, on a visit.
Mr. Elliott—What was his name 1 Ans.—Mr. Collinson. On February 6th, 1882, I
think, I took the first opportunity which had offered itself of communicating to Dr. Powell
the change which had been made. I told him that I was carrying on the school, and he
stated that I should receive the Government grant as heretofore—which grant I did receive
for the first half-year after the rupture. In March I left for Victoria to purchase a small
steamer for the cannery. During my absence I found a few of the Indians had joined the
agent of the Church Missionary Society, and that great indignation on that matter had resulted in the village, as they assured me that such a division would prove to be a very sad thing
for the place. On the return of Bishop Ridley, on the Indians hearing that Bishop Ridley
was expected they determined to question his right of landing here to be the cause of trouble
and divisions in the village. They wrote a letter to be handed to him; also a letter to the
captain of the "Otter." I believe Bishop Ridley tore up the letter which he received from the
hands of the messenger, and a second letter which was sent him on the same subject he threw
in the fire before the Indians who took it.
Mr. Elliott—Before reading it? Ans.—Yes; before reading. These acts caused a general feeling of indignation. We then heard rumours that the Bishop or the Society would
take possession of all the buildings for industrial purposes, and the store and also the church.
I then wrote for legal advice from Victoria and obtained it. I was advised by the legal gentleman in his professional capacity to remove any buildings which the Indians claimed before
the Church Missionary Society had obtained a Crown grant for the land on which such buildings might be placed. Knowing that no such grant was in the possession of the Society, I
permitted the Indians to take down the buildings and to remove the goods away, but it waa
never their intention to destroy anything. xx. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
The store, guest house and market house ? Ans.—Yes. The market house was hanging
over the beach into tho sea; still it was in proximity to the Missionary Society's buildings.
Mr. Elliott—Who was in possession of them at the time? Ans.—I was. They were
all my goods, and the Indians knew that everything was for them. At the same time that
the Indians determined to remove their buildings away they also notified the agents of the
Church Missionary Society, through me, to remove the school-house from its present position.
This building? Ans.—Yes; on to the two acres occupied by the Society, and stating that
if such building was not removed they themselves would remove it. This they were led to do
because they had been assured that it was the intention of the agents of tho Church Missionary Society to turn the school-house into a church. Their notification was treated with
Mr. Elliott—The Society refused to remove it ? Ans.—Yes. The notification was, I
understood, torn up. On the 29th November, 1882,1 had occasion to write a letter to Bishop
Ridley, which I will read:
"Right Revd. Bishop Ridley, Metlakatlah:
"Sir,—It is reported to me, on credible testimony, that you and Mr. Chantrell were watching the school-house last night, and that early this morning you were seen leaving the school-
house, with a gun covered up in your hand. This report has spread over the village, and
called forth very indignant expressions from the Indians against you. I beg to ask you if the
report is false that you will write and tell me so, that I may be able to quiet the Indians'
minds on the subject. But if the report is true—which I may presume it to be, unless you
answer me—I sincerely beg, in the interests of peace, that you will not repeat the conduct of
carrying firearms during the present excited state of the village-mind here; for should you
disregard this warning, I am afraid that in spite of all I can do to prevent it, the Indians, too,
will arm themselves, and angry passions will thus be encouraged."
To that letter I received no reply. The Indians then became almost uncontrollable in
reference to the school building, and determined at all costs to remove it away. They had
determined to remove it in the morning, I forget what clay; the night before I was kept up,
and spent anxious hours with them, to persuade them to let it alone. It was not till after
much discussion, and refusals on their part, that I finally succeeded in stopping them carrying
out their determination. They finally decided to acquiesce in the advice given them by Mr.
Hall and myself together, and to utter a protest against its use. I have a copy of the protest
which was sent. Hall spoke to the Indians assembled, through Leask—reminded them that
Metlakatlah for twenty years had been an example to all the Indians round for order and
Christian progress. Therefore he hoped they would not now spoil their good name by doing
an unlawful act. He acknowledged that Bishop Ridley was wrong in attempting to use the
school-house for a church before the decision of the Governor-General in Council was given.
He told the Indians that two wrongs did not make one right—that two bad half-dollars did
not make one good dollar, and therefore advised them not to take the law into their own hands
by pulling down the school.    I then wrote this letter to Mr. Hall:—
"Sir,—I am deputed by the assembly of Indians whom you have just addressed to inform
you that they are willing to allow the school-house to remain where it is on their reserve till
the Governor-General in Council has decided the question of law in the matter now pending,
namely, whether the school-house may be used as a church of the Protestant minority at Metlakatlah or not—provided that the agents of the Church Missionary Society are also willing
to refrain from using the building for church and school purposes till the question above be
settled. The Indians have just begged me to add that they wished you to communicate their
resolutions to the agents of the Church Missionary Society, and hope that through you a reply
from the agents of the Society may reach them before they disperse.
" 5th December. " (Signed by) " W. Duncan."
I received this reply from Mr. Hall:
" W. Duncan, Metlakatlah :
" Sir,—In reply to your letter just received I have to inform you that Bishop Ridley
refuses to enter into any pledge or to answer any questions, and that he considers you or the
Indians have no right to ask what use the Church Missionary Society intend to make of their
own buildings. I hope, notwithstanding, that for the short time to intervene before tho
decision of the Governor-General in Council may be obtained, you will not permit the Indians
to take the unlawful and needless step so openly avowed in the document you showed me." 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. xxi.
I wrote to Mr. Hall this reply:
" 5th December.
" Sir,—The information conveyed in your letter and the hope you express I communicated fully to the Indians this evening.    They have been discussing the matter in all its bearings, and now are unanimous in asking you kindly to come and hear their decision.
" Yours, W. Duncan."
Mr. Hall came, and the result of his interview with them was this protest:
" We, nine-tenths of the inhabitants of Metlakatlah, hereby declare and make known
their protest against any and every attempt of the agents of the Church Missionary Society
using the school-house on the Indian Reserve at Metlakatlah for church and school purposes,
until the legal question involved lias been decided by the Governor-General in Council.
"December 5, 1882."
A copy of the above was sent to the agents of the Church Missionary Society, and one
put on the school door and another on the church door.
The Court then adjourned till 2 p. si.
After Recess.
Mr. Duncan was recalled:
Mr. Davie—Was this matter ever referred to' the Governor-General at Ottawa ? Ans.—
Yes; by the Indians.
The question was referred to the Government of Canada as to whether this building could
be used for church and school purposes against the wishes of the majority?    Ans.—Yes.
In what shape was that question referred to the Government ? Ans.—I am not sure of
the way; by letter, I suppose.
Have you received any answer in reference to the question? Ans.—I cannot say from
Do you think this ever reached the Government?    Ans.—Yes.
There was an answer, then? Ans.—Yes; they have received an answer. Tho matter
was put this way: It would be referred to be inquired into by and bye. [Mr. Duncan then
sent a man for the paper in question.] There were some letters I wished to refer to, one from
Dr. Powell, dated August 26, 1879, after his first visit to Metlakatlah, which I will hand in
to tho Commission :
" British Columbia Indian Office,
"Victoria, August 26, 1879.
" Sir,—Referring to my recent visit to tho village of Metlakatlah, may I beg to convey
to you my acknowledgments for the kindness, courtesy and co-operation with official duties
you were good enough to extend to me while at the Mission.
" I cannot conclude without heartily congratulating you on the wonderful effects of your
arduous mission labours among the Tsimpseans for the last twenty years.
" I consider that you have performed a great and noble work in reclaiming from ignorance and barbarism a most useful, contented and law-abiding community, the effect of which
is not confined to your own locality, but is felt and highly appreciated by all the northern
tribes. At Queen Charlotte Island, where Mr. Collinson seems to have laid the foundation of
a successful mission, I found your name highly respected, and an ardent desire, generally prevalent among the Hydahs, to participate in the great reforms you have been chiefly instrumental in creating among the Tsinipsean Indians.
" Personally, I wish you every success, and I shall not fail to acquaint the Hon. Superintendent-General with the loyal feeling and great progress in civilization I saw so • fully
exhibited among the Indians during my brief and pleasant sojourn at Metlakatlah.
" I have, etc.,
" I. W. Powell,
" Indian Superintendent.
" W. Duncan, Esq., &c, &c."
The next letter, I think, I referred to, was the Minister of Interior's letter, on my visit
to Ottawa, 1875:— xxii. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
"No. 4933.    J. B. "Ottawa, June 10th, 1875.
" Sir,—I am desired by the Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs, to inform you that
he has read, with the deepest interest, your letter of the 21st ultimo, containing a history of
the origin and growth of the Indian Settlement at Metlakatlah, in British Columbia, and
deducing from thence certain principles of action which you think ought to be followed in
dealing generally with the Indian tribes in that Province.
"2. The Superintendent-General feels that the marvellous success which has attended your
labors in civilizing and Christianizing the savage tribes on the borders of Alaska, are a clear
proof, not only of your zeal and earnestness as a Missionary, but also of the wisdom of your
general policy in dealing with the Indians.
"3. The suggestions made by you in reference to the policy to be pursued towards the
Indian tribes in British Columbia, are, in the opinion of the Superintendent-General, entitled
to the most respectful consideration. He is gratified to find that your views accord in many
respects with those which he has himself arrived at, after such consideration as he has been
able to give this important subject.
"I have, etc.,
" W. Duncan, Esq., (Signed)        "E. A. Meredith,
"Metlakatlah, B. C. " Deputy of the Minister of the Interior."
Mr. Elliott—You received that at Ottawa ? Ans.—I think so; before I left Ottawa. I
would also refer to the report of Mr. Trutch, Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, dated
June 22nd, 1869. It is a printed Government paper. [An extract from the same (on tho
last page) was then read by Mr. Duncan.] I also thought it well to bring official papers
received by me. One, dated 23rd July, 1875, from John Ash, Provincial Secretary, because it
shows the confidence of the Government in the native constables, and my selection of them.
The white constables had been withdrawn, and it then became a question if the natives would
take the work at my selection. This was done; and I was allowed to be able to discharge them.
The other refers to a scurrilous letter in the Colonist newspaper, which I begged for the Government to investigate:—
"Provincial Secretary's Office, 27th April, 1875.
" Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 23rd
instant, adverting to a scurrilous letter which had appeared in the Colonist newspaper, and had
reference to your conduct as a Justice of the Peace.
" The Government has the fullest confidence in your integrity, and you may rest assured
that a slanderous article appearing in the above journal, is not considered by them worthy of
" I have, etc.,
" Mr. Duncan, J. P., &c. (Signed) " John Ash."
Mr. Duncan then continued—On Sunday, 10th December, in spite of this protest, Bishop
Ridley occupied the school-house for Church purposes, and held services twice. Mr. Collinson,
the Agent of the Society, was not seen in attendance, and it was reported that he objected to
the step.
Mr. Elliott—Mr. Collinson was the agent at that time? Ans.—Yes. The day after tho
protest was sent (on the 6th December, 1882), I received a document which I will read:—
" We, the undersigned Chiefs and people of the Tsimpsean Indians, do now protest agains*
Mr. Duncan, or any other white man, erecting a store on our land at Metlakatlah, without
having first obtained the special permission of the Government or Governor in Council.
" Signed by all the males of the Church Missionary Society's party, and one female."
Mr. Davie—That applied equally to Bishop Ridley as to you ? Ans.— Yes, I suppose so.
The document had twenty-five signatures—twenty-four male, and one female. Of that
number, seven have expressed their regret, and five have returned to the majority—five out of
that seven.
By whom was that written ?    Ans.—Henry Haldane, a native.
To whom was it addressed 1    Ans.—It was sent to me—not addressed to anybody.
Where did you send it ?    Ans.—I kept it.    I replied to it in the following words;— 48 Vic. Metlakatlah "Commission. ' xxiii.
" To the tioenty-five j>ersons who signed the paper yesterday, 7th December, 1882:
" I have received your protest against my erecting a store on the Tsimpsean Reserve, and
I write this to assure you I shall not disregard your words. You need not be afraid of my
erecting any building on your reserve. I have no such intention. The paper with your names
I value very much. You ought to be aware that if I have wanted to possess land at Metlakatlah, I could have bought it years ago, without your consent; but I secured it for the
Tsimpseans—not for myself; and if I had not taken the steps I did, the land here would not now
have been your property. Through God's blessing, and my efforts, the Tsimpseans have by far
the largest Indian reserve in British Columbia. I do not remind you of these things to elicit
your favors or thanks, but to show you your ingratitude; for although I secured many square
miles of land for you, you would now refuse me a few square yards to erect a building for the
benefit of the village, if I needed it."
I may tell you that the building was built by the Indians, at their own cost and expense.
I sent it to the persons signing the document. I think I sent it to Haldane. I can get evidence
that it was delivered, if it is necessary. I had omitted to say that the Minister of the Interior
gave $1,000 to assist the people in building their new village; on my visit to Ottawa.   "
Mr. Ball—How was it expended ? Ans.—On the buildings, not on the store. Dr. Powell
and Mr. A. C. Anderson arrived here on the U S. cutter Woolcot. The object of their visit
was to enquire into the riot which they had been informed had taken place at Metlakatlah. I
was summoned as one of the rioters, and appeared in Court. After the magistrates had heard
the complaint, I stood up and addressed a few words to the Bench in reference to the matter
of moving the building; pointing out to them what had led the Indians to move the building,
and how it had been done. I referred also to the position of the land, not having been
conveyed over to the Church Missionary Society, and asked them if they were able to show any
grounds for proceeding with the case—dealing with the rioters. In about a minute—they
consulted about a minute—when Mr. Anderson stated they had decided, the case was not for
them" to settle, and the case was therefore dismissed.
Mr. Davie—It may be well to tell you that accomplishing a lawful object by unlawful
means is criminal.
Mr. Duncan—The object of their visit was decided; they said there was no riot. The
Indians had done it under the impression that they were removing their own property.
Therefore the object of that visit was in half an hour done with.
Mr. Davie—But four or five persons could not have done this ? Ans.—The reason the
Indians wished to show- it was the act of the whole village. There was nobody assaulted. I
witnessed it from my window.
Mr. Elliott—Bishop Ridley said there was $7,000 worth of property; was this an overestimate ? Ans.—How is it possible for him to know, when he had nothing to do with it? He
has no material upon which to work. We do not know ourselves what it cost. I would say,
that in regard to the cost of the buildings taken down, that there is no person living knows
the value of them—certainly not Bishop Ridley, or the Agents of the Church Missionary
Society, I have further to state, that the buildings were not destroyed ; they .were taken down
as carefully as they could be. The materials were there, piled up before the eyes of Dr. Powell.
Some of it went into the store, and it was used as it was required. The materials were not
destroyed. Dr. Powell was there, and saw the work—if there had been a riot he could see that
with his own eyes. It was put into the paper by some one who did not know anything about
it. In regard to the Guest House, it was an old building, and the material was rotten. As
soon as they found it was rotten they threw it away. Wo had designed a plan of the building
to take its place.    The material as far as it could be used, was used.
Mr. Ball—These two buildings—store house and guest house—were removed because
they were not on the Indian Reserve; is that so ? Ans.—They were removed because I had
legal opinion that I could remove them before the Church Missionary Society got a Crown
Grant for the two acres. If the Church Missionary Society had obtained a Crown Grant, it
would have been impossible. In the meantime, between the riot and the arrival of the
" Woolcot," a little matter had arisen, which was made a great deal of, in reference to a drum.
Just to show why a little petty affair was made a great deal of : On December 18th, 1882, a
number of young men came to complain to me (I was then a J. P.), that they had been deprived
of a drum, for which they had subscribed and purchased, and that one of the subscribers had
parted with it to the Bishop's party—sold the drum to the Bishop's party. I wrote a note to
the Agent of the Church Missionary Society (Mr. Collinson), to ask him to look into the case. xxiv. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
and if he found an injustice had been committed to put it right.    I received this reply from Mr.
"Metlakatlah, 18th December, 1882.
" Dear Sir,—It is quite true, as you have been informed, that a number of young men havo
purchased a drum from a Kitkatlah man, named Shoclutch, for the sum of S15. The purchase
was made in good faith, and if any irregularity occurred in the transaction it was on the part
of the seller. The course is plain to those who feel aggrieved. If they accuse Shoclutch of
transgressing the law, they can proceed against him in open Court, and if the charge can bo
proved legally, of course the purchasers will readily give up the drum. As a Magistrate, the
Bishop agrees with you that the charge against Shoclutch is worthy of investigation, and has
intimated his willingness to be on tho Bench if the case comes in Court.
" Yours, etc.,
(Signed) "W. If. Collinson."
As I felt it would not be prudent for me to appear in the case, I referred the matter to
Mr. Hall, J. P., at Fort Simpson, and the Indians went there to lay their complaint. Mr.
Hall refused to hear the case. I again wrote to Mr. Collinson, telling him that the matter
was a very small one, and hoped he would be satisfied for the Bishop to hear and deal witli
the case, as to the ownership of the drum. I sent the complainants to the Bishop. They
returned to tell me that the Bishop said it was then too late in the clay to hear the case, but
intimated that he would hear it later on. The Indians then went to tell Mr. Collinson that
they protested against the drum being used till the question of ownership had been settled by
the Bishop, and declared their intention of seizing the drum as their property if they found it
in the hands of anyone using it while the question was pending. Tho next day -was Sunday,
the following clay Monday—Christmas day—nothing was clone. The next clay the case was
not called by the Bishop, but a boy being seen with the drum outside in tho road taking it to
be used, two of the young men who were part owners seized it and took it home.
Mr. Davie—They took the law into their own hands? Ans.—It has been all settled by
the Court. On Wednesday the 27th the Bishop issued a warrant of arrest against tho men
who seized the drum, and they were committed to prison till the 2nd January, as I learnt.
The arrest was made without my knowledge, and tho immediate events which succeeded tho
arrests were without my knowledge. I was at a feast with Dr. Offerhaus, and on our return
from the feast we found the Indians coming out of a room in which they had been assembled
to talk over the matter of the arrest, and they stated to me they were going to see the Bishop
to ask him to try the men before ho imprisoned them. They went at once; they proceeded to
the Mission house at once. I saw no more till Legaic, accompanied by one or two more Indians, came to my room and stated that the Bishop had struck Legaic. Legaic had not struck
him in return, but ho relied upon the law to defend him, and hence requested a summons.
Mr. Elliott—He asked you to issue a summons? Ans.—Yes. I advised him to go
and lay his complaint before Mr. Hall, at Fort Simpson, and ho proceeded at once. Mr. Hall
refused to summon tho Bishop.
Mr. Elliott—Mr. Hall wrote to say he refused to issue the summons? Ans.—Yes. I
was then obliged to take Legaic's information, but deferred action in the matter. Shortly
after Dr. Powell arrived in tho "Woolcot," and the case was brought before them. The drum
was proven to belong to the parties who had seized it and returned to them. The case of
assault, the information of Legaic against the Bishop, and the information of the Bishop
against Legaic were heard together. Legaic and, I think, two other Indians were fined—
Rob""t Hewson and Legaic $10 each, and Sitka Jim $20.
Mr. Davie—What was done with the case, Legaic against the Bishop? Ans.—Nothing;
the Bishop was not fined. The Indians wished to appeal, but they were told that the thing
was too small; they could not appeal a case of $10. They pointed out to them that a case of
$10 could not be appealed. The fines wrerc paid, and paid by the village out of the village
funds, which the village account book will show.
Mr. Elliott—Through whom were they paid ? Ans.--I suppose the Secretary paid it.
William Duncan did not jray those fines. Mr. Todd took the money. The Bishop not having
taken any notice of the request of the Indians who respectfully requested him to judge and try
the Indians before committing then: to prison in such a time of the year.
Mr. Davie—Was this committal a committal upon conviction, or preparatory to hearing
the case ? Ans.—It was not necessary to put them in jail. They wanted him to judge the
Indians boforo committing them.    They wanted to know why the Bishop would not try them 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. xxv.
before committing them. The Bishop misunderstood their request; stated in court in my
hearing the very opposite of what the Indians asked him. He stated that they had asked
him, "why did you judge these people?"—they said, "why don't you?" A patient hearing and
kind word, their reasonable request attended to, would have stopped the whole trouble. After
the assaults on the Bishop were made, the Indians, it seemed, were so indignant at not being
listened to, they took their men out of prison. That was before the Court of Messrs. Powell
and Anderson. The Indians were only told that the offence of breaking prison was very
wrong. The drum, being really the property of the Indians, was returned; the offence of
breaking prison was condoned, but they were warned.
Mr. Davie—That was what they were told by the Magistrate ?    Ans.—Yes.
Was anything said to Legaic about his part of letting the prisoners loose ? Ans.—I don't
remember; not any more than the rest.
Mr. Elliott—They brought these men out and broke jail?    Ans.—Yes.
You could have prevented them from doing this ? Ans.—Why should I be asked this 1
It is not fair to ask me this question. I wanted to have nothing to do with the matter. The
best thing I could do was to shut my eyes to the matter. I wrote a respectful letter and
begged him to listen to the case.
Mr. Davie—Three magistrates were present and nothing was done ? Ans.—Yes; nothing
was done.
By whom was the jail put up—by whom, and at whose expense ? Ans.—The Government. In 1875, on my way to Ottawa, I told them the old prison had become dilapidated and
we wanted a new prison. Mr. Beaven said he would lay the matter before the Council; and I
received $400. I remember the expense was more than that came to, as it is very solid.
There was some more expense than $400.
What did it cost more than that ? Ans.—I believe that the Government refunded the
difference.    If not all, very nearly all was paid for by the Government.
Who has charge of it now ?    Ans.—Nobody.
Who has the keys ? Ans.—The Council has them. They use them at their own convenience.
The Court then adjourned till 10 a. si. next day.
Metlakatlah, B. C,
lSth November, 1884.
Present:—All the Commissioners.
Mr. Duncan was recalled.
The petition which the Indians presented to His Excellency the Governor-General,
referred to yesterday, and they have this reply. I found it this morning. Perhaps it would
be received.
Mr. Davie—This petition was sent to the Governor-General? Ans.—Yes, and this is
the reply, which I will read :
"In reply to the petition presented to His Excellency tho Governor-General on behalf of
the Indians of Metlakatlah, I am to express the satisfaction His Excellency has experienced
in receiving a petition from them. His "Excellency has long entertained a most favorable
opinion of this village and its enterprising people, and now learns, with great regret, of the
trouble and dissensions dividing them and, no doubt, interfering with their happiness and continued advancement. The Governor-General earnestly hopes that these difficulties may be
soon reconciled and the people of Metlakatlah can peacefully unite in promoting the general
good and each others welfare.
"As regards the religious difficulties which unhappily prevail amongst the Indians in that
locality, no interference could be permitted, the great aim and object of Her Majesty's Government being tho promotion of peace and protection of the lives and property of all, irrespective of the religious convictions of any. Careful consideration will be given to the
petition of the inhabitants, and also to that of the Elders and Council of the Christian
Church at Metlakatlah, and the Governor-General will see that the representations contained
therein are referred for the information of the proper authorities.
"By command.
"Government House, Victoria, "J, DeWinton.
"September 26, 1884." xxvi. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
In a subsequent letter from the Indian Office, Victoria, November G, 1882, the Indian
Superintendent, Dr. Powell, says that the Governor-General is causing enquiries to be made,
and the result of these enquiries has not reached the Indians.
In both the answer to the petition and the subsequent letter it is stated that the matter
of the lands and the other questions will be enquired into and the reply will be sent, which
has not yet reached them.
This morning I would take up the two principal points upon which the troubles at Metlakatlah have arisen.
First is unity. The Indians are contending for unity; for, seeing the evils which would
result from their being a divided community, I refused to continue here after my disconnection from the Church Missionary Society, for my presence would have caused division. To tho
whites division in the Christian Church may be a matter to deplore, but at Metlakatlah it is
the death knell to all peace, progress and hopes of the community. That because white settlements are able to bear the evil of dissensions, it does not follow that Indian settlements must
follow suit, or, at least, do so in their infancy. A child will cry out if a burden only suitable
to a man was placed upon its shoulders. The child would throw it clown, and it would be
cruelty to make it resume the load. Although one of the parties at Metlakatlah is an insignificant fraction of the community, and growing beautifully less year by year, yet it is enough
to keep up an irritation which is fatal to the existence of the place. The Metlakatlahs are
not one tribe, as in other Indian settlements, but are members of twelve tribes, though speaking the same language, who voluntarily left their several homes to form an united Christian
community. They came to Metlakatlah for a special object. They buried their ancient dissensions and hostility and resolved to be one people. This unity is a religious one, and has
been the backbone of their social existence. Every man, severally and individually, before ho
took his place as a settler, had to declare publicly his adherence to this principle. If, again,
any man became dissatisfied with the restraints of the place, he was at perfect liberty to
return to his former home.
To his former home—would he be compelled to do so ? Ans.—Not unless—I am going to
refer to that.
Governor Musgrave's letter sustained us in keeping away from our community all who
refused to adhere to these rules. An Indian settlement divided on religious grounds would
certainly be a house divided against itself, which would not survive, and the Indian law has
anticipated this to a certain extent. In that law, although the minority is allowed to have its
teacher, it seems that minority must be a Roman Catholic one if the majority is Protestant,
and can only be a Protestant minority if the majority is Roman Catholic, a state of things
not likely to occur, although provided for. Why, then, if this is the law, should it bo now
allowed that a Protestant minority is allowed to exist where the majority is also Protestant?
Hence, then, I would say before it is demanded that the Indians bear and grapple with the
same difficulty as the whites do in religious matters, let the Indians have the same defences,
the same privileges, the same rights, status, then they will be in a position to meet tho same
The next question is in reference to land —the Indians' rights to land. I may claim to
have something to say on this subject, as I have received the special thanks of tho Provincial
Government for the assistance I rendered them on the land question. The letter conveying to
me such thanks is dated the 21st July, 1875, and signed George A. Walkem.
First I have to express my regret before the Commission that the same pains which have
been taken to explain to the Indians their position as to land matters in other portions of the
Province have not been taken here. A hurried run over the land by Mr. O'Reilly may have
proved ample to have satisfied the Government as to the location or mapping of the Indian
reserves, but it did not settle the minds of the Indians on the many questions connected with
the subject. I was not present at Metlakatlah when Mr. O'Reilly was here on the land business, therefore I could not assist him with the Indians when here. Seeing me in Victoria
before he started, he very kindly admitted my suggestions as to location and quantity of land
to be reserved, but I feel what was lacking in his work was the Indians were not sufficiently
instructed as to the manner in which the Government hold the land on their behalf. Tho
Indians are told the Queen owns all of British Columbia. This, although it may be true, is
not an announcement which is likely to be believed or appreciated by the Indians without duo
explanations. I feel it is to be regretted that the Government have not facd the question
before the Indians in a manly and straightforward way likely to prove a final settlement of
the subject.    Hence no wonder the subject is cropping up the more the whites take up loca- 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. xxvii.
tions and settlements in their midst. The Government, it seems to me, should be the first in
the field with the Indians on all land questions, and not leave private persons, miners or
others, to have to answer questions to the Indians in regard to their rights on the land. I
believe it is a principle sacred to British laws that the Queen can do no wrong, hence all the
more necessity of explaining to these simple people that the Queen does them no wrong when
Her Majesty takes up all the land that has been theirs and their forefathers'. No explanation
that I am aware of has been given by any Government official to the Indians in this part of
the Province. Surely the Government should not shrink from treating with these Indians in
reference to the land as they have found it necessary and proper to do with other Indians ; nor
is it natural to suppose that the Indians here will be contented with less careful treatment on
the subject than has been accorded to their fellow Indians in other places. I think it has not
been found either a good or wise policy in other parts of the world to allow land matters to
take care of themselves, or presume on the ignorance of the natives for letting the matter
rest. The sooner all rights, both of the Government and the Indians, are fairly adjusted the
better and safer for the peace of the country. The question of rights on land, both at Metlakatlah and at Fort Simpson, is not, as some would suppose, the offspring of this rupture at
Metlakatlah, though that rupture has given a new impulse and vitality to the subject, arising
in the question of the power of the Indians to eject from their lands what they feel is objectionable. I believe that Mr. McKay, the Indian Agent, last year found the Indians at Fort
Simpson quite as anxious and as unsettled about the land question—
Mr. Davie—The rupture had then taken place ? Ans.—Yes—as the Metlakatlahs are,
and he told me he wrote a full report of their questions to the Government. In a conversation with Dr. Powell at Metlakatlah he admitted to me the land question was not satisfactorily
settled up here.
Mr. Davie—When was that ? Ans.—I could not tell whether it was his first or second
visit ; I think his last visit—and it not being so somewhat embarrassed him in answering the
Indians' questions on the subject. It has been said that Mr. Woods, of the Skeena river, was
to blame in writing notices for the Indians there in reference to their land claims.
Mr. Davie—We are told the notice was only to ask the miners to be careful not to burn
the timber ? Ans.—He has taken some steps which are objectionable in the eyes of the
miners. He has been blamed for taking the steps he did. I question whether Mr. Woods
would not have been more to blame.
Mr. Elliott—I do not think it is fair to bring him into the affair. Ans.—I wanted to
reply to something that was objected to. It strikes me it can do the country nor the Government no good to smother such things ; all the better that they find vent, for surely the country
cannot be said to be properly governed if its safety depends upon repressing freedom of speech
or frowning down the reasonable claims of the aborigines. 1 would strongly hope this Commission may result in putting the land question on a better footing than it is at present. I
think the question divides itself into two parts—first, to satisfy the minds of the Indians in
reference to reserves, and, second, to satisfy them in reference to land outside their reserves.
It may be easily explained to them the benefit which would or did accrue to them from resigning all claim to lands outside their reserves; and, secondly, it should be shown to them that
the reserves set apart for them, and said to belong to the Queen, are not the less theirs to all
intents and purposes. It should be shown to them, I think, in what sense the Queen owns
the lands of their reserves, and what are the Indians' rights on the same. I tell the Indians
I believe they have rights on the lands reserved to them which the constitutional law of
England, if appealed to, will not allow to be violated; and I believe the Queen holds the lands
reserved, not in the sense of owning it, but in the sense of protecting their rights to it. To
translate literally the words, "the Government, or the Queen, owns all the lands on which the
Indians live," would be fraught, in my opinion, with great evil and leave the Indians to suppose they are mere slaves or paupers.
Mr. Davie—That is not what has been clone. Ans.—This is what it would be if translated to them. I think proper explanations should be given instead of bald announcements.
This is not the right way to deal with the Indians.
Mr. Davie—Do you know of any announcement of this kind by any authority, Government or otherwise?    Ans.—I would like them to speak for themselves. '
Mr. Elliott—If the Indians did not get a sufficient reserve the Queen would give them
one, and be liberal and help them. That is the law. Ans.—The Land Commissioner was here,
and he laid off the reserves. They have still lots of questions to be explained to them—in
what sense the Government pwn the land.    The intention of the Government has not been xxv-iii. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
officially explained to them. This might be easily found out by asking the Indians themselves
what are their feelings, and if the explanations have been satisfactory to them.
Mr. Davie—Mr. O'Reilly did not then consult the Indians ? Ans.—I don't say that.
But the whole question was not satisfactorily settled.
Did the Indians have an opportunity of saying what they wanted ? Ans.—I cannot say
why or how it was. In the case of those reserves you allude to there was a Commission
appointed, and they took very great pains and time in adjusting these land claims. There
has been no such commission appointed here.
Then the same pains were not taken with this reserve ? Ans.—The Indians will say
whether they were satisfied; I believe they were not. No time was taken to hear their questions or tell them how matters stood. The Indians will tell you. No meeting of tho Indians
in reference to land was held; and I find that the Indians had not been able to put questions
they wished to put; and a great many questions were taken by Mr. McKay which would
never have crept up if they had been satisfactorily answered by the Commissioner.
Mr. Elliott explained that if more time and trouble were taken by tho Commissioners
with the other Indian Reserves in the interior of the Province and elsewhere, it was because
there were a great many settlers around those reserves, and that a great deal of tho Commissioner's time was occupied with interviews with settlers.
Mr. Duncan, continuing, said:—I think the same pains were not taken in making the
reserve here as in the interior of the country. . The same amount of time and patience was not
taken which was necessary for the Indians to be perfectly satisfied. I can say the Indians
here are not satisfied.
Mr. Davie—Unfortunately, no one disputes this.
Mr. Duncan—I have had an interview with one of the Commissioners and have also read
the reports, showing that there had been great pains taken with the land up there.
Mr. Elliott—Who was the Commissioner?    Ans.—Mr. Anderson.
Mr. Davie—In what respect was the same amount of care and pains not taken ? Ans.—
Mr. O'Reilly was here after the rupture, and when I arrived here I hoard several questions
raised which had nothing to do with the rupture but with the lands, and I came to the conclusion that Mr. O'Reilly had not had the Indians in Council. I also remember seeing INI r.
O'Reilly here again the following year. I spoke to him on the subject and told him tho
Indians very much desired to see him.
Mr. Elliott—At Metlakatlah ? Ans.—Yes; and have the questions answered by him
which they had on their minds. But he had not time to attend to the matter; he was in a
hurry to go; but could he have remained I should have called the Indians to see him on the
subject. I remember Mr. O'Reilly regretted very much that I was not at Metlakatlah when
he came up here on the land question. In reference to the imputations cast upon me regarding these matters now at issue, I must say I regard such imputations as a cruel wrong. Tho
shortcomings of other people, whose business it was to deal with the land question, have been
visited upon me and the people with whom I live. I am said to be tho principal mover, the
instigator of all the mischief here, and the Indians to be simple puppets in my hands. I,
whose hands and mind and heart are burdened with all manners of cares and incessant labour,
am told that I ought to have done a great deal more, and am made responsible for the actions
of those who are writhing under the sense of wrongs inflicted upon them. I spurn all these
malignant accusations and say I have done all I could and the best I could under the circumstances—
Mr. Davie—You speak of the actions of those who arc writhing under a sense of wrong.
Will you tell us the wrong the sense of which they are writhing under? Ans.— Tho wrong
that they feel they are suffering from is, the Government have not undertaken to deal with
their troubles as they had expected the Government would do. Their various attempts to
call upon the Government for assistance have not been regarded.
What wrong have they represented themselves to be suffering under? Ans.—They told
Dr. Powell on several occasions. Two hundred men met in Council and they gave him a full
account of all their troubles; they thought they were telling the Government.
Mr. Davie—Give one or two pertinent troubles. Ans.—Ask the Indians themselves
what are these wrongs. I don't even feel that I should enter upon it when the Indians are
here to speak for themselves. ,
Mr. Elliott—I thought that you, of all people in the world, could give us this information.
Mr. Duncan—I prefer that the Indians should speak for themselves, 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. xxi
Mr. Duncan, resuming—and more than could be expected of me under the provocations
I have been subjected to. The pains and labour and loss to which I have been put in helping
to keep matters even within their present bounds is lost sight of. I have frequently been
tempted to step out of the way and let matters take their course. If I had done so it is my
opinion things would have presented a more serious aspect than they do at present. Some
indeed attribute the continuance of the troubles here to the supposed leniency of former
officials of the law, and would recommend harsh and strict meting out of the law as the only
sure remedy. I believe no such thing. The people here are not Fenians or boycotters, as
they are represented to be, but the people who are most anxious to obtain the help of the law
to their grievances. They demand to be left to follow the old and original lines which they
have approved; they want their unity to be restored and that no portion of their reserve be
alienated from them.
Mr. Davie—Do they think that this has been done?    Ans.—I believe they think so.
Mr. Davie—Nothing is more incorrect.
Mr. Elliott—This one of their wrongs, I suppose ?    Ans.—Yes.
Mr. Davie—Do you know where they get such notions ? Ans.—That letter, perhaps,
will tell you. I can't account for people's notions. They look upon the Mission point as their
Mr. Elliott—Since when; yesterday, they asked the Church Missionary Society to take
certain buildings off the reserve on the two acres, by the advice that you obtained. When did
they change ? Ans.- -They will answer the question themselves. Any arrangements were
made as between myself and the Government. The matter was simply to keep from us any
people that were not willing to follow on their lines. The Indians were no party to that. It
was not told them that these two acres were to be taken away from them, but that it 'was to
be held in trust by the Government.
Mr. Davie—That is the case to-day.    There is no difference.
Mr. Duncan—The people here have on several occasions applied to the Indian Department
in reference to their troubles, but they have been told in short, to keep still, and all, it was
hoped, would come right. In the meantime they were warned that they must not by any
means take the law into their own hands. There is, however, a limit to human endurance,
and natural law—especially amongst such a people as this—is apt to show itself supreme to
civil and abstract law. Civil laws can be, and are often, repealed; the laws of human nature
remain unchanged. A person in a fever will throw off his bed-clothes; this is certainly not
according to the law of health, but it is not necessary to force the patient back into bed, but
rather to soothe and help him with such remedies as are available for his restoration to health.
It therefore seems to me to be quite past the mark for the Government to use any harsh
measures in dealing with this people, who need health and guidance. I do trust the
Government will now cease to beat around the bush, but hear the complaints from the Indians
themselves, and help the Indians to regain it; that the Indians may really taste, as well as hear,
of the fostering care of British rule, under which they now find themselves. It is now nearly a
year ago since the Government authority has been represented here.
Mr. Davie—Do you mean the Indian Department? Ans.—Any Government, or other
official.    There has been no visit from anyone for nearly a year.
Mr. Davie—But I thought the Indians did not want Mr. McKay, who was sent here as
Indian Agent. He was the Agent of the Government, but they refused to have him 1 Ans.—
No, they did not want him—that is, they objected to the Indian Act; they did not object to
Mr. McKay, but to the Act which he came to put in operation. Since his visit here, up to the
present time, there has not been, until recently, any Government official to whom they could
apply for guidance or help in any matter which affected their welfare.
Mr. Elliott—They cannot well complain of that, when they told the Indian Agent they
could not have him here.
Mr. Davie—I believe that that is the case; that they did not want that Act at all ? Ans.
—Yes. They said it did not apply to them—was not suitable to them—that it was intended
for a different kind of people.    Dr. Powell agreed with me, that some clauses would not apply.
Court adjourned until 1:15 p. m.
After recess, Mr. Duncan was recalled.
Mr. Davie—With reference to  what you have said  about the minority not having  any
rights within the Reserve, I presume you refer to clause 74 of the Statute?    Ans.—Yes.
Mr. Davie—What occurred to me was this:    If you, or the people, invoke that clause of xxx. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
the Act, why do you, in other respects, reject it ? Ans.—I said that I thought
that Act had anticipated the trouble here. I referred this morning to the time which had
elapsed between the visits of the Government officials and the people being left to themselves.
As a proof of their desire to refer their troubles to the law officers, they resolved, in council, to
forbear taking any action in reference to this school until the arrival of Mr. Elliott, Stipendiary
Magistrate, who was expected here. A letter was written to be given to Mr. Elliott immediately
on his arrival, referring the whole matter to him, asking him to take the matter in
his own hands. The reason why the Indians afterwards took the steps they did, in reference
to the school—although this letter was written, and Mr. Elliott had not arrived—was because
they were alarmed at what they heard, in reference to the surveying of Mission point by
Captain Shearburn.
Mr. Davie—From whom did they learn that ? Ans.—From Captain Shearburn himself;
he wrote them a letter. They may have heard it first through one of the crew of his canoe. I
may say that Mr. Elliott did not arrive, as was expected, by the steamer he was expected on,
nor by the following steamer; otherwise, had he arrived, these troubles in reference to the
school, would have been in his hands. Therefore, the Indians have been led partly into this
trouble by the fact of not having a Government official to apply to.
Mr. Davie—But we must not forget this: that they have not accepted the services of the
Agent of the Dominion Government.
Mr. Davie—In mentioning that the Indians were led partly into the trouble of the
school-house by reason of the non-arrival of Mr. Elliott, do I understand you to mean that
they excused themselves for their action in regard to the school-house ? Ans.—They will
answer for themselves. Had he been here the Indians would not have taken the steps they
did, in reference to the school-house.
How do you know that ? Ans.—They had a letter to hand to him immediately on his
arrival. The subsequent event excited them to such a degree that they were led to take
the action they did. Captain Shearburn's coming in the interval, and the fact of his intention
being to survey it without consulting them, excited them, and this led them to act without
waiting for Mr. Elliott, as they had previously decided. Another point: If it is understood
by the Commission that when Bishop Ridley referred to the taking down of the store, market
(or guest) house, that the Church Missionary Society thereby sustained a loss of $7,000, the
Commission are being entirely misled, as the Society sustained no loss of a pecuniary kind
whatever. As well may be said that the buildings afterwards employed as a cannery, are the
property of the Church Missionary Society.
Mr. Davie—Whose property is the cannery ? Ans.—I have built all those buildings from
the profits of the place. The buildings are on Indian property; the stock employed, I bought
myself.    Plant, material, etc., I purchased myself, out of my own money.
Mr. Davie—Is that property your own, or the property of the Indians and yourself ?
Ans.—Well, the buildings must belong to them; the plant and material belong to me.
To you, individually ? Ans.—There is really one Indian that has an interest in the
cannery. I have offered others a chance to come in. More are, in a sense, interested. Should
the profits permit it, there will be several Indians that will partake of the profits, should the
profits warrant it.    Not absolute partners, only when there are any profits.
Mr. Davie—Are there any white men interested with you in the cannery ? Ans.—
No; two persons have loaned me money, on which I pay interest.
Mr. Elliott—Did these people come to be interested before the rupture, or after ? Ans.—
I think before.
While you were still connected with the Church Missionary Society ? Ans.—Yes. I
have frequently applied to the Government to asssist me in building up these industries, but
they did not take any of the labor or expense of building them up. They left that for private
Mr. Ball—Will you tell me from what funds the cannery was built? Ans.-I utilized
the profits of the store to build up the cannery—whatever profits I derived from anything I
was doing. I went on building as I received means. A portion of the buildings were built
this year.
Mr, Elliott—Some portion of the profits of the store were devoted to some portion of
the erection of the cannery ?    Ans.—Yes.
I think you said some Indians were interested in the store? Ans.—Yes; since it has
been erected on their own land.
In the cannery there was only one Indian interested and two white men?    Ans.—Yes. 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. xxxi.
Was any portion of the profits of that store which belongs to the Indians devoted to
opening and building that cannery? Ans.—Which store—the old store or the new store?
The profits of the new store have not yet been ascertained. Understand the difference between
the old and new stores.    In the old store the Indians were not shareholders.
Mr. Elliott—When was the new store put up ? Ans.—Nearly two years ago, and in
that store, from the time it was built, the Indians have become shareholders, not before. The
profits have not been ascertained. Stock will be taken very shortly. I have the names of
the shareholders and the amounts of their shares.    I can furnish a list to the Commission.
There were profits derived from the old store, which profits you used to build the cannery 1
No Indian had any interest in the old store—it belonged to yourself ? Ans—And to the
Church Missionary Society; but they had no control over it, and took no risks whatever.
They provided no funds for its maintenance.
Mr. Davie—Then, if that store was yours (the old store), how is it that the Indians
regarded it as their own to the extent of going upon the Church reserve and taking it away?
Ans.—Because the benefits derived from the store were being employed for their welfare, and
they were led to understand from myself that the whole building was their own.
What was your object in leading the Indians to believe that the store was their own, when,
in point of fact, it was yours ? Ans.—I had to provide for it in every way. I was working
for the Indians' benefit. The profits were utilized by me for their benefit. As it was, I was
simply taking the labour and they had the benefit.
Mr. Elliott—We are here to investigate facts, not to draw conclusions, and can you
satisfy the Commission why it was that any portion of the profits of that old store were
devoted to building up a cannery in which no one but one Indian had an interest? Ans.—
Some of those buildings that were employed were built up of the profits of the store. Afterwards we utilized those buildings and turned them into a cannery.
Did you consult the Indians who had shares in the store about the appropriation of the
profits? Ans.—No Indian had a share in the old store as a shareholder. I managed it for
them. I was simply the manager. 1 would like to say to the Commissioners that I am willing and wishful, if they think good, to give them all the information within my power, and
show them any books that I possess in reference to the store and profits in the store in the
village here.    I have nothing to hide.    The books are in my possession.
Mr. Elliott—What is the name of the Indian who is the solitary shareholder ? Ans.—
Frederick Parker.    Several others will share in the profits, if there are profits.
Mr. Davie then read over a statement of the facts as understood by him.
To which Mr. Duncan assented.
Mr. Elliott—This was all previous to your severance from the Church Missionary
Society—the establishment of the cannery? Ana.—No, sir; the cannery was established after
the rupture.
Mr. Davie—Was there any Church Missionary Society's money in the old store ? Ans.—
None whatever ; there were no shareholders in that old store. I may say that as long as I live
it will all be for the benefit of the Indians.
Mr. Davie—Supposing you should change your mind ? Ans.—I can't tell what I should
do. If it had been my intention that all these industries should be all for myself, would I
have put all this property on the Indians' land. Other people have not done so. If I had
asked Sir James Douglas, I should have got all I wanted, but I put all on the Indians' land.
Mr. Elliott—Whose money was it ? Ans.—I commenced with a certain sum of my
own. Sir James Douglas assisted me; the Indians also assisted me, and we started, and the
whole thing has grown.
Mr. Elliott—Did Sir James Douglas give this to Wm. Duncan? Ana.—Yes ; to Wm.
Duncan, and not to the Church Missionary Society.
Therefore, all these buildings are yours ? Ans.—Yes, in the sense of my being controller,
but I built them for the Indians.
Whose funds were these—the Church Missionary Society's or yours? Ans.—I can show
you all the contributions of that that have come in and how they were used.
Would you, then, have had the contributions if you were a private man?
Mr. Davie —If Sir James Douglas had not been aware that you were charged as the agent
of the Church Missionary Society, and by them deputed to work for the spiritual and temporal
welfare of tho Indians, he would not, perhaps, have assisted you in the way he did. For my
own part, I refrain from asking any such question at all, because it seems to me that it goes xxxii. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
beyond the scope of the Commission, and would be more properly the ground of a lawsuit
between the Church Missionary Society and Mr. Duncan.
Mr. Duncan—Those persons who profess to have claims, let them press them.
Mr. Elliott—What induced Sir James Douglas to contribute? Ans.—He saw the difficulty of the store being erected, and assisted me, through my representation.
Did you collect for the Church Missionary Society or William Duncan? Ans.—For
William Duncan; but it was understood that I was in connection with the Church Missionary
Society.    I don't think you have any right to ask these questions.
Mr. Davie—The subject was opened by yourself.
Mr. Duncan—I wish to allude again to that matter about the two acres, that although
the Indians took away the buildings from the proximity of the Mission house, that did not
prove the buildings were on the two acres reserved for the Church Missionary Society, because
the two acres were not defined. I could not say what the convictions of the Indians were.
Another point was this: I would wish the Commission to understand that they should not
place too much stress on the Indians acting in numbers when dealing with any matter connected with the settlement of anything connected with the welfare of the community.
Mr. Davie—Referring to what you said about there being a limit to human endurance,
and natural law overriding civil law, you must be aware that means revolution.
Mr. Duncan—Yes; but we are speaking of Indians. The Indians at this place are in a
transition state; they have not yet arrived at a political, and have no representatives, nor
have they the protection that the white man has, in a great many respects. For eight months
there was no white man as magistrate.
Mr. Davie—The Indian Agent was a J. P. Ans.—The Indians refused to come under
that Indian Act; they objected to Mr. McKay.
Mr. Davie—Mr. Hall was near them. The Indians are under the charge of tho Dominion Government and under the Indian Department, and that agent sent by that department is
turned away by the Indians themselves, and his absence the Indians now complain of. Ans.—
That is the more to be explained to them. They did not feel that that Act was suitable to
Mr. Davie—Why was this not represented to the Indian Department ? Ans.—I believe
they did make this representation, and it was acknowledged that it was suitable for some
Indians but not suitable for Metlakatlah now; twenty years ago it would have suited, but not
now. To refer to their acting in numbers, I would state that they thereby signify their unanimity, not wishing that a few should appear to be acting on their own accord. It would bo
said that a few might have been told, "You are not the village and the voice of tho community."
Mr. Davie—Did you assist in the drawing up of the paper which stated in effect that
the Indians knew that the pulling down of the buildings was against tho law, and that they
were prepared to answer for the consequences ?    Ans.—Assist in what sense ?
Mr. Davie—In the dictation of the paper or in the writing of tho paper, in the advising
of the paper or of any part of it, or being connected with it in any manner, or, knowing of it,
not persuading the Indians from publishing it. Ans.—About the dictation of the paper, I
wrote it in English as a medium of communication, at their most earnest demand. I showed
that same paper to Dr. Powell and told him, fully explained to him the circumstances under
which it had been written. I did not dictate it. I did not advise the paper or any part of it.
I was connected with it in the way above stated. I do not know whether I took any stops to
dissuade the Indians from not publishing it. I cannot remember what steps I took. I may
have taken steps to induce them to act otherwise than the paper expressed. I cannot say if I
ever tried to dissuade them; they acted themselves.
Mr. Davie—And the store building was yours at that time? Ans.—Yes; in the sense I
have spoken of. I would like now to refer to the Kitkatlah business. The charges in that
case made against me by Bishop Ridley I spurn, as most unjust, iniquitous and false. Tho
investigation of that matter will perhaps show the Commission a good specimen of the way in
which falsehoods have been gathered and treasured up against mo by that gentleman.
Although I have heard of the church being built at Kitkatlah, I never, that I know of, took
the smallest concern in the matter. It was not till after the building was up that I >vas
informed it had been built without the consent and against the will of the Kitkatlah Indians.
I was also informed that Bishop Ridley, after it was built, had paid the Indians a visit, and
was interviewed and not well received. It was in the early part of .January of this year that
some Kitkatlah Indians came to my house to speak to me and ask advice in reference to some 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. xxxiii.
new building which they said it was proposed to build in their village by the Bishop or the
Church Missionary Society. They told me that there had been a dispute between the Indians
of Kitkatlah and a teacher sent by Bishop Ridley, in reference to a portion of land then being
used as a garden plot by an Indian Chief. The teacher attempting to take up a portion of
that plot as a pathway, I understood, and the chief remonstrating, he was told by the teacher
that the land in question did not belong to the Kitkatlah Indians, but to the white man.
Mr. Davie—Who was that teacher? Ans.—Samuel, an Indian teacher. My informants
again told me that they heard it was proposed very soon to bring fresh building material to
their village, with which to erect the teacher's residence. To this the people objected, and
they wanted to know how they could act so as to stop the erection of the building. Nothing
that I am aware of was said respecting the church building already erected. They asked me
if they could refuse the material to be landed at their village. I then proceeded to give them
advice, expecting such advice to be taken and acted upon by the community which these men
represented. My advice was: " Do not take any steps touching the material sent to put up
the building, nor resist in any way by force its erection; but if you object to the building
being put up in your village, send your words to that effect to Dr. Powell, the Indian Superintendent, and he will act on your behalf with the persons who are wishing to put up the
building; therefore, avoid on your part all the trouble, as the Government employ Dr. Powell
to take notice of all such matters." On his asking how that step could be carried out, I
promised to act as medium for them, send their words to Dr. Powell, but in doing so I must
know for whom I was writing. He said there was a great many, nearly all his tribe, whose
words would have to go to Dr. Powell on this matter, but he could not say at that moment
how many. He went away, and the following morning brought me this little bundle of sticks
to represent the members who objected to the building being erected. On seeing the sticks I
suggested that they would appear poor witnesses before Dr. Powell, inasmuch as they were
ordinary, and suggested that special pieces of wood should be made and marked so that each
Indian could recognize if called for the piece of wood which represented him. I told him I
would keep these pieces, but recommended him to send some better or some more distinct
mark; he promised to do so. In the meantime, I said, the Indians' Council will be assembled
to-night, and I recommend you to see them and tell them their troubles and hear what they
have to say. The council did assemble, and they heard that eight men from the Kitkatlah
village were in attendance and asking for advice. Before the close of the meeting, fearing
that some mistake might occur, I went to the assembly and there repeated all that I had said
the previous evening to the Kitkatlah's themselves. The Council agreed with the advice, and
a note appears here which I made at the time regarding the matter, which I will read,
Mr. Davie said there was no necessity.
It was not more than perhaps three or four clays, as well as I can remember, after this
meeting the party of Kitkatlah Indians arrived at my house in the evening, bringing a little
basket of prepared sticks to go to Dr. Powell with my letter, and they appeared very excited
and told me at once what had occurred. Their story was to this effect: That on Saturday
previous, in the evening, they had assembled in the Chief's house and had unanimously agreed
to demand of the native teacher then at Kitkatlah to refrain from using the church, but he
had treated their message or their demand with scorn. Being thus rebuffed, and especially
indignant at some language that had been used by the native teacher and his party, they
resolved to go and take clown the building.
Mr. Davie—The Metlakatlah building had been pulled down before this, the store house 1
Ans.—Yes, this was the 10th January. That they had had no intention of taking down the
building when they sent the message to the native teacher, but resistance being offered them,
on the impulse of the moment they had acted in the way they did. I have since heard from several
of the natives that every effort has been made by certain parties to induce them to lay the
blame of their action upon me.
Mr. Elliott—Who are these certain parties ? Ans.—I could not say, particularly. I
might probably recollect one or two of the persons who have mentioned it to me. They had
been urging them to confess, and blaming them for not doing it; saying: "Why don't you put
it down to Mr. Duncan?"    One of them was Sivasah, a Kitkatlah Indian, but he lives here.
Mr. Elliott—Is he a Christian Indian ? Ans. —Yes. I may further mention that I have
heard that Kitkatlah Indians have gone to Dr. Powell and have told him that I ordered the
Indians to burn the Church, but that Dr. Powell had refused to believe them.
Mr. Davie—During the course of your evidence you say certain parties have been sayin xxxiv, Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
that you are the instigator of the troubles here.    Tell us who has said so ?   Ans.—The Indians
tell me the whites say so.
Mr. Davie—How far are you connected with the Council here—do you attend the
meetings ? Ans.—If they send for me, or unless I had some very particular business, as in tho
case I have mentioned.
Mr. Davie—About the notice of the 22nd October, 1884, to Bishop Ridley, were you
present in the Council when that was discussed ? Ans.—I was not present, nor had I anything
to do with it.
Nor the notice to Dr. Prager? Ans.—No, nothing with that either. The only document
I am responsible for is the one in reference to the school-house. I had heard that they were
deciding to take measures in reference to the school. It was half-past nine one night; they
were then just breaking up, and I begged them to defer all action until Mr. Elliott arrived. I said:
"A Magistrate has been appointed, you need therefore have no more trouble, but tell him
everything ; " and it was decided to write that letter.
Mr. Davie—Had you anything to do with that certificate to James Gidwain ? Ans.—I
believe that that certificate was only one of a number, and the names were afterwards filled in.
I had nothing to do with it.    If I did write it, I should like to see it.
Mr. Davie—The suggestion was that the handwriting was yours.
The certificate in question was produced and shown to Mr. Duncan, who said: " It is not
in my writing. The name 'James Gidwain' in his certificate of membership, is not in my
Mr. Davie—Is it true that Indians not attached to the Council cannot build without
permission from the Council ?    Ans.—That is, I believe, true.
Have any of such people had their buildings pulled down ? Ans.—Dr. Powell was here,
and had that matter before him—in reference to the wing of a house that was being erected,
and which the Indians objected to, and to the person who was building it, but in spite of their
protest he went on building, and it was taken down.  I was not here at the time the case was heard.
Mr. Elliott—Toll us the name of that Indian ?    Ans.—Moses Venn.
Mr. Davie—Do you tell the Commission that the majority of the Indians of Metlakatlah
are desirous of not having the Church Missionary Society here ? Ans.—I believe that to be
the case.
And how many of them are there in the minority ? Ans.—I think thirteen adult men,
and four or five young men; there may be altogether—men, women and children—seventy.
There were more, but they have decreased.
Mr. Elliott—There was a rule of the Council in pulling down this house. What was
that rule, and why was it made ? Ans.—Not a rule that I am aware of. An Indian on coming
to Metlakatlah had to promise and declare in public, that he would be amenable to the rules
and regulations of the place—in public every year, on New Year's day. Moses Venn, and
every one else had declared adhesion to these rules. No person, since we have been hero, has
been able to come and settle at Metlakatlah against the consent of the community. No person,
Mr. Davie—That is a law they have made of themselves? Ans.—Yes; because I had
heard that several Indians who are still following heathen practices had declared their intention
of coming to Metlakatlah. I spoke to the Governor, and afterwards wrote to him, showing
him the necessity of preventing such an invasion of the settlement if Metlakatlah was to go
on improving. He agreed with me, and gave me, in connection with the Council, the power,
which he said the Government would sustain, to prevent any intrusion of that kind. It was
well understood by all the Indians around that if they came to Metlakatlah they would have
to be under the restraints of the place. Sometimes, therefore, a person would come, remain
here a few months, look on and take time to make up his mind whether he would settle here
or not. If he found things to his mind, he stayed, and he was admitted on tho first New
Year's day after, and that, too," in the presence of all the male settlers of the village. Hence
the Council argued that as no one person had ever been permitted to act upon his own individual will in appropriating land on the village site against the will or consent of the community, as represented by the Council, they therefore determined that that law should not be
violated, otherwise it would give countenance to and commence a new era in Metlakatlah
which would be subversive of all its best interests, and, therefore, as Moses Venn did not get
that consent to put up a wing, as he had that consent to put up his house the previous yeai-,
they therefore notified him that he should not make any additions or occupy fresh ground on
his own account.    Dr. Powell heard the whole statements, and it is therefore in his hands. 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. xxxv.
Mr. Elliott—Do you know the particular rule that was violated by Venn ? Ans.—The
law of unity, that every person promised and declared that he accepted. To permit Venn to
do this, contrary to the will of the Council, would be violating that law.
Mr. Elliott—In what particular did he break that rule? Ans.—In reference to his
building a wing and occupying new ground, which he did against the consent of the Council.
Mr. Elliott—Why did they refuse him permission ?    Ans.—The Council will tell you.
Why did they refuse him this permission? Ans.—Ask the Council. I have stated
that it was because he was not acting with them.
Mr. Davie—In what way?    Ans.—They will tell you.
Do you know why?    Ans.—Because he belonged to the Bishop's party.
Mr. J. E. White was recalled.
Mr. Elliott—You were at Metlakatlah the day the store was removed ?     Ans.—Yes.
State what you know about the matter ? Ans.—I was sent for by the Bishop, and the canoe
arrived at 3 in the morning, and, as soon as it was light, went up. I saw the men engaged in
pulling down the building known as the storehouse; a good many men; quite a number. The
manner in which it was being done conveyed to me, to my mind, that it was a riotous undertaking. I watched the men who were doing the work for a while; spoke a few words to
Bishop Ridley and Mr. Collinson, and told them that I would go over and speak to Mr. Duncan.
On the way over I met Leask, and, as he understands English, I asked him to accompany me,
which he did. I then said to Mr. Duncan that I had come up in the interest of peace, and
seeing this work going on, I begged him to use his influence with the Indians to stop it, saying
that I did not know the merits of the case, still the Indians had the law to protect them, and
that the reason I asked him was this, that it was setting a bad precedent. There was no telling when the Indians would take it into their heads to destroy buildings belonging to the canneries, or other buildings. Mr. Duncan replied that he had tried to stop it, but that they had
got beyond his control; that he could not stop them. I said, "Do you mean to tell me if
when you saw the work first begun, if you had gone out and placed your back against the
door and said, 'Now, boys, stop this,' that they would have done it ?" Mr. Duncan said, "No,"
most emphatically. I said, "Well, Mr. Duncan, it is very hard to believe you." The same
day Mr. Williscroft came on his steamer, and he and I together went and spoke to Mr. Duncan to use his influence to stop it, and we met with very much the same reply, and in justification of what the Indians were doing, Mr. Duncan showed me a law. I can give the substance
of it: That even if a party was wrong in their actions, but believing that they were in the
right, it would not be looked upon as an unlawful action. That was about the substance of it.
At the same time he showed me this declaration, referred to by Bishop Ridley, to this effect:
"We, the undersigned, are fully aware of the consequences that we might incur by our actions
in tearing down the building, but rather than have two churches in our midst we will abide
by them." It was signed by a great many of the Indians—by about every male in Metlakatlah. There was only one genuine signature on the paper, all the rest were written by Mr.
Duncan in his own handwriting. I made the remark that that declaration was of no value—
that none of the signatures were genuine, with the exception of one. This was reported to
the Indians by David Leask, who was present; and the same evening, after dining with the
Bishop, I received a note from Mr. Duncan, asking me to step over to his house, which I did.
He then told me that the Indians had heard what I had said respecting this declaration, and
they wished to convince me that they were in earnest. I told him it was none of my business.
However, he said the Indians would not like it if I did not go. I went in with Mr. Duncan,
and the room was crowded with Indians—from 120 to 150. Mr. Duncan then read to them,
in Tsimpsean, a paper—I suppose it was this declaration—it was in his hand—and then put it
to them whether they would abide by that declaration, and all that did so were to stand up,
and, as near as I could see, every one stood up. Mr. Duncan said that he had consulted legal
authority. He told us that he would not have prevented them doing it. When Dr. Powell
and Mr. Anderson arrived on the Wolcott the case of assault was tried ; also the drum
business was gone into ; but, as Mr. Duncan stated yesterday, that the case of the jail-breaking
was tried and dismissed, that was not so. The Bishop was asked by Mr. Anderson if he
would press the case of jail-breaking, and the Bishop told him that it was not his business—
that it was one for the Crown to prosecute. After consultation, Mr. Anderson got up and
dismissed the jail-breakers and the parties who had been mentioned as letting the parties out;
that, owing to the forbearance and leniency of His Lordship, this very serious charge of jail-
breaking would be overlooked, and he would dismiss the case with a reprimand,
The Commission was then adjourned until 10 A. si. next day. xxxvi. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
Metlakatlah, 19th November, 1884.
All the Commissioners present.
Mr. White was recalled and stated:
I should like to refer again to the pulling down of the store. I should have added yesterday in my evidence that frequently during the day, when looking through tho window at
the work of pulling down the building, Mr. Duncan deplored the destruction of property— of
what property I cannot say, but I presume it was in regard to the building, as all the goods
were removed. Mr. Duncan in his remarks to Mr. Clough mentioned "that the Bishop had
sent for White as constable for this district, stating that a riot was going on at Metlakatlah,
which there was not," in reference to the tearing down of the building, "and that the Indians
seeing him arrive upon this occasion thought that he had been sent for to act." I think that
was it, "in my capacity as constable," and he went on to say that Ave recognized no constable
business here.
Mr. Davie—Who said so 1 Ans.—Mr. Duncan, addressing his remarks to Mr. Clough.
I was in the room, but he did not address me. I think that is all I have to say. I might
add that some of these statements might be corroborated by Robert Cunningham.
Mr. Elliott—Was he present at the time of the trial? Ans.—Yes; he was present at
the trial in reference to the jail business.
Mr. Duncan wished to present the list referred to yesterday of Indian shareholders,
which he handed to the Commissioners. I would ask the Commission if they understand tho
paper referred to by Mr. White which he says he saw containing a number of names of
Indians, under a declaration that they had made up their minds to pull down the store and
guest-house? If such is the case the Commissioners have been misinformed. The paper
signed, which Mr. White referred to, had no reference to the buildings which were taken down,
but had only reference to the building of the school-house, in which the Commission is now
sitting. The Indians had demanded this paper to be written, but after a very earnest appeal
to them by myself and Mr. Hall, they decided to let the building stand. They therefore did
not carry out what they had declared they would. They decided only to utter a protest
against the school being used by the Agents of the Church Missionary Society as a rival
Church. Another statement which Mr. White made in reference to my asserting I recognised
no constable authority at Metlakatlah, is entirely untrue. I also would beg to say that I have
a list of subscriptions from friends, or persons friendly to my work here in the secular department, sent to me especially. I don't think it would be right for me to make public the names
of those subscribers. But I am prepared to show that list to the Commissioners privately,
and to make every other explanation within my power, to show them how these subscriptions
have been employed. I have further to say that I did not wish the Commissioners to think
that all the industries of Metlakatlah have come out of the profits of these industries. In tho
commencement of my secular work at Metlakatlah I employed all my own private means, with
the assistance given me by Sir James Douglas and the Indians of Metlakatlah. My own
private means are at this present time all engaged in the secular work. Therefore, my own
private means, and the assistance which I have referred to, are the main sources from which
all industries have arisen here. I think it is only fair that the Commissioners should know
that there is another store now at Metlakatlah, said to be the store of the Church Missionary
Society, and carried on by them on the mission premises. I would like the Commissioners to
investigate in reference to that store, as they have clone with the Indian store, as to who
supplies the money for that store, who bears the risks of the business, and who gets the
profits. I have further to beg the Commission to ascertain from the store-keepers in tho
neighborhood of Metlakatlah, whether they liave not complained of the way and tho principles
by which that store is conducted in the mission house, and if the business is carried on upon
business principles, as others they know. It is important for the Commissioners to ascertain
from them that fact, because if the store-keepers in the country approve of the way in which
the mission store is conducted, it will most probably lead to the store of Metlakatlah being
re-arranged and put upon the same principles.
Mr. Elliott—Do you know whether they have complained ? Ans.—Yes. I think Mr.
Cunningham is here, and Mr. Hall, at Fort Simpson, can be obtained.
Mr. Davie—We have already taken his evidence.
Mr. Duncan—If the store-keepers are satisfied with these principles, it might lead this
store to follow, and it would change the trade of the country.
Mr. Elliott—We have nothing to do with the trade relations of the place. 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. xxxvii.
Mr. Duncan—That store is causing trouble, and as it is one of the points, I would ask
the Commission to ascertain whether it is or no, one of the troubles.
Mr. Davie—The complaint that you make is that they sell at cost? Ans.—I don't want
to complain.    I would prefer the store-keepers to tell you whether they complain or not.
Mr. Elliott—What is your opinion of the matter? Ans.—It is not carried on on business
principles—very far from it. It is carried on on the principle of decoying the Indians. I have
also a note in reference to the industries of this place. The amount of wages paid to the Indians
at Metlakatlah during the present year amounted to $21,061.96.
Mr. Elliott—Paid in cash ?    Ans.—Yes, cash and goods.
Mr. Elliott—But which most ?    Ans.—Goods.
What is the difference—the proportion ? Ans.—I cannot say. I have further to say that
I think it would be advisable to ascertain what status Bishop Ridley has at Metlakatlah.
Mr. Davie—What status? Ans.—Yes—a missionary or the Agent of the Church
Missionary Society—in reference to his being here at all. Everyone has to have a reason for
being here, whether he is sent by the Church Missionary Society or not. He says that he is
not an Agent of the Church Missionary Society.
Mr. Davie—He has a perfect right to be here, if the Church Missionary Society want
him ?    Aiis.—Yes.  I have my reasons for thinking they have not.
Mr. Davie—Apply these remarks to yourself, Mr. Duncan? Ans.—I am here by the
request of the people of Metlakatlah.
What about the Indian Act ?    Ans.—But I was here before that Act was made.
Mr. Elliott—I think that if Bishop Ridley wishes to answer these questions, he may;
the Commission have no right to ask him to explain.
Mr. Duncan—I have then to add : I would ask the Commission to ascertain from Bishop-
Ridley if the accounts he refers to, and says I have not rendered, have been asked for by the
Church Missionary Society, to whom he says I was amenable, or if the Society have authorised
him to obtain from me any accounts on financial matters which 1 have not already rendered. I
have to state further, that I was financial secretary for the Church Missionary Society for over
twenty years. I never received an intimation of any kind from that Society taking exception
to any financial matter whatever. It was only during the last year of my holding that position
of financial secretary, that I received a letter from the financial secretary in London, asking
me a strange question; it was that they had received in London a draft drawn upon the Society
for £500, which did not appear in my financial statement for the year. I was astonished at
first, for I had drawn no such draft.
Mr. Davie—We are drifting out of the way.
Mr. Duncan—It was ascertained afterwards that Bishop Ridley had drawn it. It was
on Bishop Ridley's business with the Society. I have advised them of it. He did not do so
and they referred the matter to me. He draws money from the Society. He has stated he
was not the agent. • The Society never asked for any accounts from me which I have not
Mr. Wiiite came forward and said that Mr. Duncan stated in his evidence that the paper
I saw referred to the school-house and not to the building which was pulled down.
Mr. Duncan—Here is the document in question.
Mr. Elliott—Can you identify this as the paper you saw?
Mr. White—I do not recognize it as the document. I do not think this is the paper I
referred to in my evidence. Mr. Duncan also stated that he had not said to Mr. Clough that
wo recognized no constable authority here. I beg the Commission to ask Mr. Duncan what
he did say.
Mr. Davie—Mr. Duncan, did you say anything to Mr. Clough in reference to constables?
Ans.—I don't remember doing so. I don't believe that I uttered the words attributed to me.
Further, all the Indians can recognize the document in question. Dr. Powell saw that document.
Mr. Whitu—Mr. C. H. Clough will be found at Victoria, or Mr. Rithet can give his
address. There arc parties here who heard Mr. Clough repeat the same thing. Mr. Cunningham heard this statement.
Bishop Ridley was then recalled and said:—I would like to hand in extracts from
letters which I was to furnish; also a copy of tho notice placed on the jail door. &xxviii. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
Part of a letter written by Rev. T. Dunn to C. M. S.:—
(Copy.) " Metlakatlah, British Colusibia,
"January 22nd, 1884.
"Rev. C. C. Fenn:—
" Rev. and Dear Sir,—Since I wrote to you last the people here have been pretty quiet
until Sunday last, when Matthew Auckland, our village teacher, arrived from Kitkatlah with
some of the Christians of that place to inform me that the heathens had risen in a body the
previous evening and entirely destroyed our new church, and threatened also to pull clown the
houses of the Christians. A few clays ago some of the Kitkatlah people came to Metlakatlah
and went to Mr. Duncan. After they came out from his house they told our people here that
Mr. Duncan had ordered them to pull down the Society's church at Kitkatlah. Our people
came to tell me what they had said, and I answered that I could not believe it was true.
However, whether Mr. Duncan told them or not, they went back to Kitkatlah and did as they
had said they were told to do, and threatened, moreover, that if any missionary of the Society
went there they would shoot him.
"Since the man-of-war was here the Indians have become much bolder. They see that tho
Government will not help us. We can get no protection from them; so that we are left,
humanly speaking, entirely at the mercy of these lawless Indians. The spirit of Mr. Duncan's
people is rapidly showing itself in the people of the surrounding villages. Our own adherents
came to me to-day to tell me that if the Society does not do something to relieve them soon,
they will leave us and go where they can get protection—meaning, of course, to Mr. Duncan.
They do not understand that it takes a long time to communicate with the Society; so that
you need not be surprised to hear shortly that the Society has not a single adherent in this
mission. Metlakatlah is looked up to and copied by all the other villages; and when they see,
as they are beginning to see already, that the Government will not interfere with Mr. Duncan,
our work here will be at an end."
" 27th February, 1884.
" To Sir John A. Macdonald, Premier of Canada and Superintendent of the Indian Department :—
"Sir,—I have the honour to enclose, for Your Excellency's information, extract of a letter
received from the Rev. T. Dunn, a missionary of this Society at Metlakatlah, dated 22nd
ultimo, describing the state of affairs there.
" 2. The Committee of this Society have had great satisfaction in learning from Bishop
Ridley that the Canadian Government have determined to maintain the rights of personal
liberty and obedience to the law.
" 3. They only claim the protection of the weak against the tyranny of the strong, and
this on behalf of their English missionaries, and of those Indians who have elected to adhere
to the Society.
" 4. The Committee trust that the Bishop's visit to Ottawa, on his return to his diocese,
may tend to the restoration of peace to a community now sorely distracted.
" I have, etc.,
" Lay Secretary C. M. S."
Extract from letter of the Rev. T. Dunn to the Rev. F. E. Wigram, dated Metlakatlah,
British Columbia, January 22nd, 1884 :—
" You have no doubt heard the result of the visit of Dr. Powell, the Superintendent of
Indian Affairs for this Province, and Mr. McKay, the newly appointed Indian Agent for this
part of the coast. Dr. Powell returned to Victoria in the " Heroine," and Mr. INloKay was
left behind at Metlakatlah, in order to carry on the Indian law. The Indians, however,
refused to have anything to do with him, and refused to form a Council. He then went on to
Fort Simpson and met with the same kind of reception there. Finding himself unable to do
anything, he returned to Victoria by the last steamer in December. The Bishop also went by
the same steamer, to sec what could be clone in Victoria. There has been no steamer since
then; wo have not heard whether anything has been done there.
"The Indians here, however, have not been idle. They have been told that the Government has no right to interfere in their affairs, since they (tho Indians) have neither been
conquered by them nor have they entered into any treaty with the British Government. All
the laud here is, therefore, their own, and they have a right to do as they please with it; and 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. xxxix.
having seen the representatives of the Government on two separate oecasions utterly unable
to carry out the law, they are getting more and more unbearable in their conduct. Here at
Metlakatlah they have elected a new Council, and one of themselves—the worst looking man
in the settlement—has been appointed a Magistrate. Two women and a man have been
imprisoned since the New Year. You will of course understand that this is quite illegal. I
must, however, do them the justice to say that they have not interfered with us since Dr.
Powell was here. Dr. Prager has been called in to see several of Mr. Duncan's adherents,
notwithstanding the pressure brought to bear upon them by the Magistrate and the Council.
Several of his people have ventured to come to our church on Sunday, too, but they have
invariably been called before the self-constituted authorities afterwards and severely reprimanded for daring to go amongst those wicked people. One man, indeed, has been told that
if he is seen at our church again he will be turned out of the village.
" We at Metlakatlah feel that they (the Indians) may turn upon us at any moment.
They openly declare that they will not have any white man residing on their land; and we
have been told only a few clays ago that the piece of land on which the Mission-house stands
does not belong to the Society, and that they may turn us out as soon as they please. I
cannot believe that Mr. Duncan can be so wicked as to say what the Indians declare he does
say; but the teaching which they have had is now bearing fruit,"
Extract from a letter from Wm. Woods, of Kitwanga, dated October 12, 1884 :
" He (Hap) is now an ardent admirer of Mr. D. and T. (Messrs. Duncan and Tomlinson),
and believes and says the most outrageous and ridiculous things against the Bishop and Church
and Government, mixed with a great many sad untruths on his own account.
"He is going clown to live at Metlakatlah to-morrow—the sooner the better. This is
what he is saying; and Mr. T. also relates that the Bishop got a man to secretly survey the
piece of ground formerly allowed to be Mission property, so that he might have a legal hold
on it and be able to purchase it from the Government; that it was clone without saying a word
to any one, and at 5 o'clock in the morning, amidst pouring rain, when the alarm was given
and the offender was incontinently ejected in double-quick time and a great stir made about it.
The people said, or were told, that the Bishop and the Government were in league to take the
Indians' land against their will, and to force themselves upon them without their consent, and
that any one belonging to the Society (Church Missionary) would follow the same policy.
Therefore, Hap has been urging our people to leave off building their houses at Shandaylachan
or working for Mr. Woods, as we would only lead them to ruin. He also tells them the Government has only been giving them things like medicine, so as to keep them contented while
they are getting their property and stamping them out."
(Copy.) " Notice.
"To the Agents of the Church Missionary Society, now residing on a piece of land at Metlakatlah, granted by the Government—From nine-tenths of the inhabitants of Metlakatlah:
"1. We announce to you that we have our church at Metlakatlah, which we have named
the Christian Church of Metlakatlah, and we will have no other church on our reserve.
"2. You have declared it to be your intention to turn the school-house belonging to the
Church Missionary Society, now on our reserve, into a church, to be conducted on the principles of the Church of England.
"3. We will not allow two churches on our reserve, and, therefore, hereby notify you to
remove the school-house belonging to the Church Missionary Society to the ground already
granted to the Society at Metlakatlah by the Government.
"4. We also hereby declare our intention to remove at onco all the buildings belonging
to and for the use of our village from the ground belonging to the Church Missionary Society.
"5. We also hereby notify you that unless you promise at once to remove your school-
house from our reserve we shall undertake to take it down and remove the material thereof
ourselves and place the same on the Society's ground."
The annexed notice was in Mr. Duncan's handwriting, and was placed on the door of the
gaol November 29, 1884. It was removed by me. The original is in the possession of Dr.
Powell, the Indian Commissioner.
(Signed) W. Caledonia.
It may be a satisfaction to Mr. Duncan's mind to know that the action I took was
authorized by the Church Missionary Society in the letter I hold in my hand. xl. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
Mr. Elliott—From, the Secretary of the Church Missionary Society? Ans.- Yes. I
would like to add, in reference to that, that I saw Mr. Duncan on the 27th of November ;
told him I had an important communication to make, but I would do so on the following day.
We met the following clay; he was most genial at first, until I told him the special object of
the interview. He entirely objected to tho Society's proposals. I might there and then have
handed him the letter which dismissed him, but I told him I would give him time to consider,
and would see him again, which I did the same day. My efforts to induce him to accede to
the Church Missionary Society's proposals were futile.
Mr. Davie—Were these proposals relative to secular matters or ecclesiastical matters?
Ans.—The whole management of the Mission. First, he was to go to England. If he refused
to do so, I was to obtain from him a promise to work in the Society's interests. If he refused
to promise, I was to hand him a letter—on the third interview—so that he cannot complain of
harshness. He must have informed a friend of his who said these words at a public meeting
in Victoria, for he scarcely could have obtained it from any other person but Mr. Duncan himself: "Last November the Bishop came into Mr. Duncan's room, and, after some conversation,
handed him a letter of dismissal from the Society, and giving expression to words to the effect
that he was master now and would take charge of the Society's property."
Mr. Elliott—Who said this? Ans.—Senator Macdonald. It is taken from the Colonist
newspaper of 9th August, 1882, sent to me by Mr. Collinson. [The piapcr was handed to the
Commission.] I stated in court, here, in this room, before Mr. Anderson and Dr. Powell, that
I had requested Mr. Duncan to resign to me all the Society's property. He asked me who
was present when I made the request. I said we wore alone together, and his reply was,
"Then I deny it in toto." I think the letter just read will show you my relations with the
Church Missionary Society. They have no more right to order me than they have the Commission.
Extract from a letter to Bishop Ridley, 29th September, 1881 :
"The letter conveys (the sealed letter) to him the decision of the Committee above quoted,
and calls on him to resign to you, if you will kindly accept it, tho temporary charge of the
Mission. Of course, we only venture to make so large a request of you under a solemn sense
of the importance to the Mission of your presence."
I have the power of attorney to draw and expend tho Society's money at my discretion.
Mr. Davie—Does it go further than that ? Ans.—Also to carry on any prosecution in
reference to the Society's property. I would like to say that if the Commissioners should like
to see the books of the store they are always open to them. Perhaps that will be s-'t'Vrctery
as to the position of the store. It is a very little decoy. I am afraid it has proved a ;;re.:t
failure. If I may, I will now read a paper I have prepared, which I will then hand in to the
Bishop Ridley then read the following statement to the Commission:
"I wish to express my deepest regret for wrongfully attributing to Mr. Duncan the wen's
which were.really spoken by an Indian who stood beside him at the meeting. I refer to tho
request for a show of hands of those on the Lord's side, and then those on the Bishop's. My
authority for this statement was Mr. Collinson, who must have been mistaken. When tho
Indian put the question, Mr. Duncan was seen to look eagerly around to observe the result.
He, therefore, must have been in error in saying that there was no show of bonds.
"The tenor of Mr. Duncan's statement, in most of its particulars, bears out my evidence.
I have nothing to withdraw excepting that for which I have expressed my regret.
"I will now proceed with a review of some of Mr. Duncan's statements that call for comment. As if to justify his subsequent action, ho quoted part of the minutes of the Mi.-sionaiy
Conierenco held here in 1881. Had he quoted further, you would have seen that when the
Missionaries in conference declined to advise his resignation they were not aware that IV r.
Duncan had kept back tho most serious part of his intended plan of action. lie led them to
think that ho could not conscientiously remain at Metlakatlah if the Mission were conducted
on the principles of tho Church of England.
"The following extract from a printed letter of the Society to David Leask and o'hcis is
a copy of one of their rules: 'The services which Missionaries perforin avo in strict conformity
with tho Ritual and discipline of the Church of England. All the congregations which are
fathered by them into the fold of Christ are trained up as members of the Church established
in this land.' Tho words just quoted were prii.ted on the Soeii ty's doeUMeits r.v-t] a;;aiu
during the time that Mr. Duncan was in the Society's employ at .'.icilek.itinj-. \. e have,
therefore no doubt that Mr. Doolan and Mr. Collinson did bring you up as members of the 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. xli.
Church of England, and did conform, so far as possible, to the Ritual of the Church of England.     Until lately wo had no reason for supposing that Mr. Duncan did not do the same.
" It is clear that his procedure was not in conformity with the principles of the Society,
and as ho distinctly refused to conform, or to go to England for conference with them, as
instructed by the Committee, he has no just grounds for complaint when his connection with
the Society was dissolved.
"It appears that Mr. Duncan thought that the Secretary wished him to consider himself
on the Society's staff after he (the Secretary) knew I had handed him the letter which disconnected him. In this he must be in error. If not, he could show that I acted too precipitately
by producing the letter. I make these remarks because Mr. Duncan tried to make it appear
that he had been harshly treated. But at the time of receiving that letter he stated that it
was impossible to retrace his steps."
What steps were these? Ans.—He held meetings with the Indians, and when Mr. Collinson attempted to enter he was repelled by armed constables. The breach was thus widened
—tho train was then laid which has blazed ever since, and yet he tells us that the Indians
were not violent, but only indignant; no boycotting, though attempts were made to prevent
Indians from entering the Mission house. Mr. Duncan seems to think it strange that I refused
to read the letters addressed to me by his adherents. By no other means could I protect myself from bis and their insolence.    You have seen specimens of it.
Exception also has been taken to my saying that about $7,000 worth of property had
been destroyed. I believe it would cost about that sum to restore the buildings on the same
plan. That the estimate was or was not accurate was not important. The buildings were
destroyed. An inspection of the present store would convince an observer that it was not
built of old materials.
" We have been told that the public works were stopped by the rupture, and I beg to add,
that the funds from the Church Missionary Society were stopped at the same time. It is
probable, that Mr. Duncan's connection with the Church Missionary Society, and not his
personal credit, enabled him to carry on the public works previously. For instance, here is an
entry in the Church Missionary Society's Periodical for September, 1870 (The Record):
' Metlakatlah Fund: A Friend, ,£25.' Such entries are very common in the Society's accounts.
[Bishop Ridley produced the periodical referred to, and showed the entry to the Commissioners.]
If the profits of the store built up the public works at Metlakatlah, I should like to know
what use he made of such contributions ? If he is so ready to lay before the Commission an
account of such moneys, why did ho cut out those twelve pages from the Society's ledger, which
detailed such accounts ? The Society will be glad to receive an account from Mr. Duncan of
the expenditure of the large sums so received.    They asked, through me, in vain.
" 1 had hoped Mr. Collinson would have arrived before this, and have brought Mr. Duncan's
acknowledgment of the receipt of upwards of £500 towards the cost of tho present large
Church, and over .£150 towards the workshops, and Lis appeal in the Society's Report for
further contributions. Mr. Duncan-told us that the workshops forming part of the cannery
were built out of the profits of his store. This Report shows what sum was contributed by
the Society's friends. The store Mr. Duncan regarded as his own, was claimed by tho Society,
which proposed that if he continued to use it, he should pay rent for it. Nor was it unnatural
that they should make such a proposal, seeing that the following is one of the Society's printed
" ' 101. Every individual connected with the Society in its different missions, in whatever
department of labor, shall keep a detailed and accurate account of the expenditure of the funds
placed at his disposal, in tho form that may be pointed out to him; and shall regularly transmit such accounts to the Parent Committee, or to their representatives at the mission, at such
periods as may be specified for that purpose.'
" You have heard a great deal about the industries of Metlakatlah. A grant of £500 has
been given annually by the Indian Department towards the support of an Industrial School
here, but it existed only on paper. There is not an existing industry in the village that is clue
to instruction given or paid for either by 31 r. Duncan or the Indian Department. Real
knowledge has been studiously kept from the Indians.
" My own efforts to elucate, and provide translations, is one objection to my residence
among the Tsimpseans, and another is the check that my pi-esence puts upon the tyranny so
long exercised over these people. But though checked, it is not rooted out, as the adherents
to the old Mission here know to their cost. They will no doubt be patiently heard on this
Subject, xlii. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
" You will have seen how the Indian Act has been invoked to crush them, though in the
same breath that same Act was set at naught—as inapplicable to so advanced a community.
Their civil rights outraged, their religious convictions trampled on, their desire to remain
attached to the Church of their baptism mocked, and all to keep inviolate tho cruel and
cowardly ascendancy of one of the most dangerous men that ever imperilled the peace and safety
of the country. I would remind the Commissioners that all through the persecution of the
last three years, the faithful adherents of the Anglican Mission, so long established here, have
continued to be loyal and law-abiding people.
" In conclusion—If Mr. Duncan's heathen allies at the Kitkatlah village are allowed to
destroy a church and prevent a Christian teacher from residing among the few Christians
gathered out, then farewell to all hope of Christianizing the remaining heathen.
"The Annual Report of Indian Department, 1882, shows that there has been no surreptitious acquisition of land at the Kitkatlah village, for we read on page 120: ' Here the
Church Missionary Society maintain a school and lay teacher, and are about to build a church
and mission-house, the lumber being already on the ground. The proposed site, about one
acre, is shown on the enclosed sketch.' "
Mr. Davie—Will you sign this statement you have just read, if you please.
Bishop Ridley then signed it.
Mr. Davie—Is it correct that letters sent to you have been torn up 1 Ans.—One letter
was, but not before reading it.
Mr. Davie—And about the carrying of the gun in the school-house ? Ans.—I have been
told that his friend Senator Macdonald said that it was a double-barrelled shotgun loaded to
the muzzle. This appeared in the Colonist, I believe. No Indian saw a gun in my hand; but
I had a gun. I will tell you how it was: It was threatened to pull down the building (in
which we now are). I thought it was bluster, but thought I would come up here, so I rolled
up my blankets; but finding the bundle too large to put under my arm, and a gun close to
the front door, I thrust this through the strap, threw it over my shoulder, and brought up my
bundle in that way. This was at 1 o'clock; it was pitch dark. In tho morning, instead of
carrying down the bundle I left it here, with the exception of a very thick fur rug, that I
rolled around the gun as carefully as I could, so that I might avoid the appearance of carrying
a gun; but I suppose they saw under my arm a rug in a straight line, and thought a gun or
a stick was under my arm. No one ever saw the gun, because it was so completely enveloped
in this thick rug.    And that was the true story of that terrible expedition.
Mr. Davie—Was the gun loaded? Ans.—No; it was, moreover, a single-barrelled gun.
I regret that it should have been made so much of or led to any excitement. The Indians
will tell you if I have, or shown a disposition to shoot at them. They have shot at me, and
the bullet was found next morning by Mrs. Chantroll; and from the hole made in the window
and from the place where it was found, it was clear that the shot was aimed at me. I was
carrying a lamp at the time, visible to those outside. I gave chase to the two villains, but
they escaped me.
Mr. Elliott—What room was this in ? Ans.—In the Indian room. I was going to see
if everything was fastened. I chased them more than half-way across the village. I saw
them distinctly, but they gained steadily.    I heard the report and crash.
Mr. Davie—Was the window broken? Ans.—Yes; there was a circular hole, not much
bigger than the bullet.    It was a starred hole, not broken
Mr. Elliott—What time of night was this ? Ans.—At my usual hour of going to bed,
between 11 and 12.
Mr. Davie—How long ago was this? Ans.—I cannot exactly tell; some time in 1882.
The bullet was found. Mrs. Chantroll brought it to mo the next morning, while I was at
Mr. Davie—Was this before or after the rupture ? Ans.—A year and a half after.
Until the rupture took place the Indians were most kind to me.
Mr. Duncan—I wish to state that the $500 given by the Indian Department yearly to
the Industrial School at Metlakatlah has always been placed to the credit of the account of
the Church Missionary Society; they have always had the money.    The books will show.
Mr. Davie—Did you hear of this shooting at Bishop Ridley ( Ans.—Never till this
Mr. Davie—It was mentioned in the public papers of Victoria. Ans.—I did not see it.
I don't remember the merest hint of it.    This is the first time I have heard of it.
Bishop Ridley—I should explain that this matter was kept as secret as possible,    Mr. 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. xiiii.
Chantrell and others living in the Mission-house will testify on this point. I thought it
prudent to keep it quiet.
Mr. Elliott—You think it likely that Mr. Duncan would not hear of it? Ans.—I
suppose so.
George Cunninghasi, interpreter, was then called and sworn.
Mr. Davie—We wish one of the Mission Indians to step up and give his evidence.
Matthew Auckland came forward and was sworn.
Mr. Davie—What is your name ?    Ans.—Matthew Auckland.
Where do you live?    Ans.—At Metlakatlah.
How long have you lived at Metlakatlah? Ans.—I do not know exactly; ever since I
was a young boy; one of the earliest inhabitants of Metlakatlah.
Mr. Davie—State what you have to say to us.
Matthew Auckland—Gentlemen, I have just a few words to say, not much; what little
I know I will do the best I can, although other parties are more suited than I am. I will
start from the time of the rupture, and state why there was trouble at Metlakatlah. I was
not acquainted with the ideas of the big Chiefs of the Society which Mr. Duncan was working
for. I know this, that I was in a house with a party; Mrs. Legaic and a party came and
called me. When I went outside the party informed me that it was a very important
thing we are called for; things are rather serious or unusual. Mr. Duncan is dismissed from
the Society and we are to have a meeting in the back of the church. I got there and we had
a meeting, the whole people known as elders. We all got in there and Mr. Duncan came in
to tell us something. There was not very many. Mr. Duncan came in and remarked to us
these words: " I don't want to start a Church of England in this village for this reason, the
Church of England is not exactly to my feeling—is repulsive to me. It is similar to the ways
of some of the old dances that the Indians have, and when they go through their prayers it is
like praying to the moon or to the rising sun." We naturally were frightened when we heard
the statements of Mr. Duncan. Mr. Duncan remarked to us: " Take the key of the church
and keep it. It is your own church, and not a cent of a white man is in it." Mr. Duncan
remarked that "if you have thought of any person that you would put in charge of the church
to preach, hand him the keys." And then I remarked that I would keep the key until they
had found a person to take it, until some person was appointed, and then I would give it over
to him. I was not in possession of the key very long, nor did I open the church; I handed it
over to another party. A canoe went to Fort Simpson to invite some persons to a feast, but
the canoe was not successful. That may be called the real origin of the troubles, when they
heard about the nature of the Church of England being very repulsive, and that as it were
hand in hand with the devil. That is all I can say about this, but I will refer to another
subject, about the Bible, I heard yesterday. On Saturday all the elders had a meeting at
Duncan's house. There Duncan taught them what they were to do about the Bible in the
church. Mr. Duncan told them, showing them, "This is how white people do when they want
to appoint a person in the church," that is, with the Bible. This was on Saturday. " Tomorrow being Sunday, when the bell rings and everybody is in church leave a chair in a
certain place, not exactly by the pulpit, on the side of the pulpit." Mr. Duncan said to them,
" When the church isfull, when they are all in the church, leave the Bible at the door and
then call me." Mr. Duncan told us he was to be called when the congregation was in, but
they were not all in when Duncan came in. It was all Mr. Duncan's teaching that we were
going through, taking the Bible and placing it in his hands. We were already taught to do
so. This thing was not the idea of the Indians, but was simply Duncan's make-up. That is
all about the Bible. I wish to remark again about these troubles that have been here for tho
last three years, and the distress that has been here for three years. Just we little few that
there were of ourselves, we were very anxious to have a church of our own, but the majority
of the Indians did not wish it, and the same Indians did not want us to build it, did not want
us to have a church hero at Metlakatlah. Of course we were naturally frightened, and being
so few of us has led some of us to go back to Duncan. Two parties that were building houses
and had them partly built, and they are almost nearly rotten now, from not being allowed to
finish them; and wo have never been allowed any ground whatever—the followers of the
Bishop, that is—and they have threatened they would destroy any buildings whatever that
would be put up by the Mission Indians. Of course that is wrong that we are not allowed to
build houses, and that things that are not right are being clone to us. All these acts of
violence have always originated from Duncan's house; the parties have come from Duncan's
house.    We have always been brought up by Bishop Ridley to quietly submit to the laws of xliv. Metlakatlah Commission. 18$4
God, and also to the laws of the Queen. That is the sole reason why we never have retaliated
for things that have been done against us. Of course I have been trying to submit to tho
laws of God and follow the laws of Queen Victoria. We have always been taught that tho
laws of Queen Victoria would always be carried out, until this year they failed, and the other
party have the best of us because we have stood by the law.
Mr. Duncan thought that what was meant was that the law has failed, that they have
become weak because they have not had the protection of the law.
Mr. Collinson thought that he meant that the outlaws were getting stronger than tho
Queen's law.
As I said before, everything has come from Duncan. I have no knowledge of the Bible
or any books whatever, but I was sent by Bishop Ridley to Kitkatlah a little before Christmas. I went there merely to help what few Christians were there. We were really happy
there. The whole village received me well and invited me to a feast. At the time I never
heard any remarks made by the Indians against the Church or against Christians. After
New Year's a canoe came here with the express intention of asking Duncan's opinion about
the pulling down of the church. They were not long at this village, and they came back with
this statement, that Duncan had agreed with them to pull clown the church. When this news
reached them it confused the heart of the Indians there, and this was the time when tho
troubles at Kitkatlah commenced—when they heard Duncan's statements. There was a week
when nothing was done, as they said they would have clone, but there was one party who
would have clone the work, but he was stopped by the others. One evening, at 6 o'clock, I
rang the bell to have service. Just about the same time there was another meeting concerning the tearing clown of the church being held at Shakes—late in the night, and when what
few Christians there were there had retired to rest and the others had come out—all the people
who had been at the meeting at Shakes. We were there, and for two hours we tried to induce
them not to do it, but they did the work.
Mr. Davie—What work? Ans.—Pulling clown the church. Just at the time when
they had destroyed the church we started, with a few, to see Mr. Hall. It was 12 o'clock
when we started. Perhaps immediately after our going away they burned tho building and
started to see Duncan. All the parts that had been pulled to pieces and destroyed were burnt,
and a canoe started with the express purpose of seeing Duncan. I do not want to go into all
the details, since I have heard that this matter has been enquired into. I was really surprised,
as I considered it was Duncan's place to prevent all troubles of this kind ; but when the Kitkatlah Indians came he was kind to them. He did not reprove them, but, to all appearances,
he made friends with them.    That is all I wish to say.
Commission adjourned till 2 P. si.
Mr. Davib then addressed tho Indians present, through the interpreter, as follows:
"During the recess for lunch hour the Commissioners have been informed that reports
have been circulated that the Indians have not been allowed on board II. M. S. Satellite.
The Captain of the ship, who is now present, will till you about that. We have also heard
that there is a report that the Satellite is coming into the inner harbor for the purpose of
intimidating the people, and that the people have been discussing whether the Satellite 'would
blow down the village or not. All this is very foolish and very wicked, You were told, when
the court opened, that men-of-war did not fire upon friends, but only upon enemies, and that
we never thought you would be.    Tho Captain will toll you now about going on board.
Captain Theobald (through the interpreter)—I sent orders that any Indians going alongside the ship in small numbers—because there is not space on board for all to see her if you
go in large numbers—that everything connected with the ship will be explained to you to tho
best of the ability of tho officers on board, and that wo shall bo very pleased to see you, and
that no orders have been given by me to stop your going on board.
Matthew Auckland was then recalled.
Mr. Davie (through the interpreter)—How do you know that after the destruction of the
church at Kitkatlah a canoo went oil' to tell Mr. Duncan? Ans.—From the fact that parties
that are here saw tho canoe come here late at night from Kitkatlah on their way to Fort
31 n. Davie — How do you know that these people went to Mr. Duncan? Ans.—I was
told so by their own party—that they went straight to Duncan, and that Duncan opened tho
store late at night.
3Ir. Davie—Mention their names ?    Ans.—Paul, Samuel and James told me so.
Mr. Davie—How do you know that Mr. Duncan told the Kitkatlah Indians to pull 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. xlv.
down their church? Ans.—Because at the time the canoe returned from here one of the
parties told a certain party ; some party told Aghgoones, and Aghgoones told me.
Who was the party that told Aghgoones ?    Ans.—Kealiah, a relative of Aghgoones'.
Mr. Davie—It is not always safe to trust to hearsay, and that is the reason I am trying
to find out.
Matthew Auckland—It is a great pity this party is not here. When this Kitkatlah
case is investigated everything will be made plain.
Mr. Elliott—You speak about the case coming up in reference to the pulling down of
the church at Kitkatlah, and say you don't want to say anything about it. I am under the
impression that no information has been sworn before me in regard to this affair at Kitkatlah.
Bishop Ridley—I believe that this information has been sworn.
Mr. Davie (to the interpreter)—Tell the Indians that is the reason why this case is not
gone into—because it must all come up later on.
Mr. Elliott—Were you present when Mr. Duncan taught the Indians about the Bible,
and the way to hand it in the church ?    Ans.'—Yes.    I was there myself.
Mr. Davie—Are you quite sure that the Indians who belong to Bishop Ridley have been
prevented from building in the town?    Ans.—Yes ; I am quite sure.
Give us the names ? Ans.—Donald, Jeremiah and Moses, whose case has been investigated.
Did you see the house of Moses being pulled down ? Ans.—I was not there at the time,
but I saw it afterwards.    I know nothing about it.
Mr. Davie—You may retire, and we are much obliged to you, and in the future we will
hear you if you have anything to say. To the interpreter—Ask one of the Indians on the
other side to come forward.
Paul Legaic came forward and was sworn, through the interpreter.
Mr. Davie—Your name is Paul Legaic ?    Ans.—Yes.
How long have you been in Metlakatlah ?    Ans.—I think about ten years.
Where is your birthplace 1    Ans.—-I am a Tsimpsean.
Where were you born ?    Ans.—At Fort Simpson.
Have you any complaints to make ? Ans.—I have already complained, but I was told to
wait awhile—about Bishop Ridley.
What did you complain about ? Ans.—I complained about the occasion of Bishop Ridley
pushing me back. I was deputized by the people of the village to go and speak to Bishop
Ridley at the time of that assault. I was called upon to do so; I volunteered to do so; I
agreed to do so, and was going out in company with Nathaniel.
Mr. Davie—Are you going to give us the story of that trouble with Bishop Ridley?
We stopped Bishop Ridley from telling that because it was already settled by the Magistrates.
Ans.—I want to tell you about it.
Bishop Ridley was not allowed to speak of it, and this Court has nothing more to do with
that case. Are you the spokesman for the Indians here, or have you any grievance against the
Government 1 Ans.—I will tell you an account of what I have seen, as the cause of all this
trouble : For three years I have seen and felt that Metlakatlah has been troubled—that things
have not been carried on as they ought to be. One thing I have seen, that Bishop Ridley has
come from the white men stating that he is going to work what the good people do in our
midst. For a year or so, whilst he was here, things went on very well. All of a sudden there
was a change. It was in our absence at Fort Simpson, on a feast, a steamer came. While we
were in a house feasting, a canoe came from Metlakatlah, informing us that Mr. Duncan
had been dismissed. We wondered what was the cause; we were in an adjoining room, and
some of us said, " What a pity; we cannot tell what can be the cause." The reason for our
sympathy was that he had done such good work amongst the Indians. We said, " We will
return to-morrow," and we did so; we returned to Metlakatlah. About half-way to Metlakatlah we met a canoe, informing us that Mr. Duncan was outside—that he was out of the
Mission; all his things were coming out—that he was dismissed. Mr. Duncan then went to
Peter Simpson's house. About five o'clock we got here, and noticed that there was a great
deal of confusion. In the evening we had a meeting in the guest house, on the beach. Of
course the whole village attended—the sensible people, the males of the village. Every person
—some of them present now—also attended. Some of tho Bishop's people attended; all of
them attended. They all got there, and Mr. Duncan came in and remarked that he had
thought about the matter. He told us that he had been dismissed, and remarked to us that
he did not want to press anything on us, he wanted to leave the matter entirely to us, and that xlvi. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
he was going. After Mr. Duncan got through he left, and told us to consider it amongst
ourselves. He was going to leave Metlakatlah entirely, unless we wanted him to stay.
Immediately after Mr. Duncan left, the people talked, and we considered it amongst ourselves,
and came to this conclusion, and they wanted to know the reason why he would go. Wo camo
to this conclusion: We bid him stay, as he had done such good work ever since he was a
young man, up to the present time. We all agreed the people of Metlakatlah said ho should
not go, but he will stay. And I heard Samuel say that he looked upon Mr. Duncan as a
father, and he would not let him go. I come to when Bishop Ridley was acting kind of
different, and there was a split—when there were two Churches—when he wanted to start the
Church of England, and we said that we did not want two Churches.
Mr. Elliott—To start the Church of England, or only to continue it ?    Ans.—To start it.
Mr. Davie—What Missionary was here before Bishop Ridley came, and for what Church ?
Ans.—Mr. Duncan; and he never told me what Church it was, more than that it was a
Christian Church; and Bishop Ridley told us that the Church of England was in Metlakatlah.
Mr. Davie—Would you be surprised to learn that it was the Church of England before
Bishop Ridley came here?    Ans.—I would be much surprised; I never would have known it.
Mr. Davie—Do you know that before Bishop Ridley came, Mr. Duncan was carrying on
a mission for the Church of England? Ans.—I have heard, of course, that Mr. Duncan was
in their employ, and that it was for the Church Missionary Society. I knew that before Bishop
Ridley came Mr. Duncan was a missionary of the Society.
Mr. Davie—Did you know that the Church Missionary Society was a Church of England
Society ?    Ans.—I was never told.
Mr. Davie (to the interpreter)—Tell them it was a Church of England Society.
Witness stated: I did not know that it was a Church of England Society, but that it was
simply a Christian Church. It was after the split Bishop Ridley said that he wanted to take
the whole village of Metlakatlah. Word came that Bishop Ridley was going to take it. That
was the report.    When we heard the report, the village did not want it.
Mr. Davie—What do you mean when you say that Bishop Ridley wanted to take the
whole village ? Ans.—That he wanted the whole thing. He wanted the people to join him,
and the people did not want to.
Did he say that he wanted to take the land ? Yes, he wanted to take the whole village.
Bishop Ridley wanted the village and the people. It was the land he wanted; also tho land at
Mr. Davie—Who told you Bishop Ridley wanted the land at Metlakatlah ? Ans.—
Because they spoke it amongst themselves, the people of Bishop Ridley, and I heard it.
What followers of Bishop Ridley said that 1 Ans.—I will not tell—other people will
You are one of the people, and must tell.   Ans.—I heard it by hearsay, it was only hearsay.
Mr. Davie—Just now we told Matthew Auckland that it was a very dangerous thing to
go by hearsay. It was said by Auckland that Mr. Duncan had told them to pull clown the
Church at Kitkatlah, and as far as Auckland was concerned, his information was hearsay;
and so now your information that Bishop Ridley had said that he wanted all the land at
Metlakatlah, is simply hearsay.    Now go on with your story.
Paul Legaic—I heard it remarked the other day that you had decided upon surveying
the land.
Mr. Davie—What land?    Ans.—The land that was to be surveyed.
What land was referred to 1 Ans.—If I had been told what land it was, I would have
Do you know what land it was, was referred to ? Ans.—I have never been told by this
Commission. I was referring to a remark the other day about there being nothing whatever
to prevent them surveying the land.
Mr. Davie—Do you think that we wanted to survey all the land here ? Ans.—The village
do not want the mission point surveyed.
Why do they not want it surveyed ? Arts.—Because it is the Indians' land, and Bishop
Ridley said he was going to take it.
Mr. Elliott—You say it is the people's land, who told you it is the people's land—this
mission point ? Ans.—Our grandfathers were alive, and it was our grandfathers'. Our forefathers owned the land.
Did it belong to your forefathers? Ans.—Yes. Our forefathers lived at Metlakatlah,
and it was their own, 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. xlvii.
Mr. Elliott—Did the Indians object to Mr. Duncan occupying that land before Bishop
Ridley came here?    Ans.—No, they did not refuse Mr. Duncan the land.
Mr. Davie—Do you know the answer that Mr. Duncan gave to some of the Indians who
wrote to him, saying that they did not want him to put his store on their'reserve ? Ans.—
No, I was not here at the time.
Mr. Davie—Some of the Indians at Metlakatlah told Mr. Duncan they did not want
him to build his store upon the Indian Reserve, and Mr. Duncan, in answer, said this:—
"I could have bought the land years ago without your consent, and if I had not taken the
steps I did to get your reserve, the land here would not now have been your property.
Through my efforts, and God's blessing, the Tsimpseans have the largest reserve in British
Columbia, and although I have secured to you many square miles, you now do not want me to
use a very small piece."  Mr. Duncan did not think that that two acres belonged to the Indians.
Mr. Davie—If you thought that the two acres belonged to the Tsimpseans, why was it
you took off the store-house, and put it on your reserve ? Ans.—Mr. Collinson came in one
evening and remarked, "This is ours." We heard this report that Bishop Ridley had said that
that was the property of the Society, and also the store.
Did you not know that Mission point was set apart long ago for the Church Missionary
Society, at the request of Mr. Duncan ? . Ans.—I did not know it. It was not till lately I
enquired into it.    I did not hear so until lately.
Mr. Elliott—Ask him if he knows now in what way it was set apart for them ?
Do you know that the Government simply holds it in trust, and has not made a Crown
grant of the land ?    Ans.—I never heard of it.
Mr. Elliott—There has been no Crown grant for that land to the Church Missionary
Society.       Ans.—I would like to know whoso ground it was to give to the Society.
Bishop Ridley thought he did not know what is the meaning of Crown grant.
Mr. Davie—Did you understand what was said the other day in Court ? Do you know the
reason why we say the land belongs to the Queen ?    Ans.—No.
Supposing the land had not belonged to the Queen, how would you have been able to hold
it against an enemy ?
The interpreter did not think the witness is capable of understanding such questions—that
he was too stupid to do it.
Mr. Duncan thought that the witness had come for a special purpose—to speak about the
affair with Bishop Ridley—and that he believed he was not the spokesman for the other
Mr. Davie—What else do you want to say for yourself ? We are given to understand that
you are not the Indians' deputy, to speak for them, and that you are here for another purpose.
Is there anything else you want to say ? Ans.—Our forefathers never-informed us that this
land ever belonged to the Queen. For one thing, they knew the land belonged to them. God
made man, and made Indians and white men, and gave them each land.
Mr. Elliott—Are you one of the shareholders in the store ? Ans.—I did not come for
that purpose at all.
Mr. Elliott pressed tho question.    Ans.—No sir, I do not own a share.
Mr. Davie—We want to hear all you have to say. Tell us everything. You are not to
hesitate in saying anything you have to say.    Ans.—That is all I have to say.
Mr. Davie—You consider that the Indians here are a law-abiding people, do you not 1
Ans.—Yes, I consider they are.
If that is the case, why did you pull down bnildings ? Ans.—There was a split for one
reason, and those parties are going contrary to the wishes of the others. They do not do as
the village wishes.
Mr. Davie—Do you think that that split justified you in pulling down the buildings ? Ans.
—They do not belong to the village.
Do you think that that makes it right for you to pull down buildings, because they don't
belong to the village 1    Ans.—It is our own ground, and don't belong to them.
Mr. Duncan wished to read an extract from a letter from the Secretary of the Church
Missionary Society, dated 19th January,  1882, some time nearly two years after the rupture.
Mr. Duncan—I read this extract to show you that Bishop Ridley's act in giving me that
letter which dismissed me, was not in accordance with the wishes of the Society. I will read
you a very short extract:—
"On the 17th October, and the 22nd November, we received, respectively, yours of the
10th August and 28th October.      The latter of these was your reply to that one of our two xlviii. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
letters of 29th September, which went to you direct. We gathered from that 11 at > e.u did not
refuse absolutely to come home for conference, though you could not do it immediately, nod
though you thought it possible that your letter of the 18th August would reiuli r \our visit to
England unnecessary."
Mr. Elliott—The letter giving your explanations ?    Ans.—Yes.
" Further, we also believed that the Bishop would not receive our letter to him, of the
29th September, with its enclosure, until March, and under this impression we wrote to him
not to put into your hands the enclosure, and we wrote to you the long letter of the 3rd
December, thinking it possible that after all the enclosure might never come into your hands
at all. Man proposes, God disposes; and so it was by this ordering that Bishop Ridley did
not receive our second letter in time to prevent his giving you the enclosure contained in it.
" Signed by Christopher 0. Fenn."
Mr. Duncan showed the letter to Mr. Davie.
Mr. Elliott—The fact of its not arriving in the proper time, resulted in what? Ans.—
The letter reached me promptly; it was not given me under the conditions the Society wished
me to have it. They wrote to Bishop Ridley not to give it to mo at all. I had told him I
communicated with the Society. I had not refused to go home, and he had no right to givo
me that letter.
Bishop Ridley—When the letter of the 29th September was sent to me, and the telegram
of the same date, it was not considered that there would be any difficulty in my receiving letter
or telegram that autumn; but seme time after it had been dispatched, Admiral Provost, to
whom I had sent a letter, saying I was going to the Forks of the Skeena, called at the Mission
House, and told the secretary that it was impossible for the telegram or letter to reach me until
the Spring. It was then that they wrote another letter to Mr. Duncan, which you have just
heard, and also a letter to me, which, curiously enough, I received at the Mission House on my
arrival in London—at the House of the Society, in London. During the interval of my travel
they had written the two letters, supposing I was quite out of the reach of the mail. It is
therefore not accurate to say I delivered the letter prematurely, for I acted precisely on the
suggestion contained in the letter I presented this morning, in delivering the letter of dismissal.
It is also inaccurate to say that Mr. Duncan did not refuse to go to England; he point blank
told me he would not. He distinctly stated he would change nothing, meaning thereby, to be
in accord with the Society's proposals, to come into accord with them. On my arrival in
London, the secretary, who wrote that letter just read—part of which was read— remarked that
he feared that Mr. Duncan would be confused by receiving such a letter as he had sent, after
he was disconnected, At my suggestion they wrote a further letter to explain this matter,
which, if received by Mr. Duncan, ought to have made these explanations now being given
Mr. Davie—Mr. Duncan has not referred to that letter ? Ans.—Ho has not referred to
it.    I know it was written.
Mr. Elliott—You exhausted all the discretion given you by tho Society before presenting
that letter that dismissed Mr. Duncan ? Ans.—Yes, quite so. On my second visit, Mr.
Duncan was in the same state of mind, and would scarcely speak to mo.
Mr. Duncan wished to present this letter.
This explains the apparent incongruity.
Mr. Davie (to the interpreter)—Tell the Indians their evidence will be continued to be
taken to morrow.
The Court was then adjourned till the next day at 10 a. m.
Metlakatlah, B. C,
20th November, 1884.
Present:—All the Commissioners.
Mr. Duncan was called and said:—The letter I am going to quote from was written about
six months ago by Bishop Ridley to me. I bring it forward to show the Commission how
rashly Bishop Ridley had laid serious charges, without proper investigation or care before ho
made these charges.    I will now read the quotation.
" Before concluding, I beg to call your serious attention, as a "esiilent I."a,i.f ,:te, to tho
dangerous language used by Legaic on Thursday evening, al u pup'.ie mee, in ;. i e f iireaiced
to cut Mr. Collinson's throat. A word from you to your adherents \,ill promptly step such
brutal, cowardly, but inflammatory language." 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. xlix.
I replied to that letter in reference to this quotation. My reply is dated 27th May, 1882;
a copy of which I will hand to the Commission.
" Metlakatlah, B. C,
"27th May, 1882.    •
" Right Rev. Sir,—As it is Saturday evening I hope you will excuse me from writing
a reply to your letter (received a few hours ago), so far as the letter concerns myself. When I
have time I will reply to it fully.
" But your letter contains a very grievous charge against Legaic, and you call my ' serious
attention, as a resident Magistrate,' to the matter. You state that at a public meeting 'he
threatened to cut Mr. Collinson's throat.'
" Before I take action of a public nature in the case as a Magistrate, I feel prompted to
ask you if you are prepared to bring forward any proof to substantiate this 'serious charge.'
Without such assurance I feel it would be improper for me to admit the charge into my
' serious attention,' much less to take steps which might call forth, perhaps, much discussion
and generate much ill-feeling against you, should you not have any proof to offer.
" Your humble servant,
"W. Duncan."
Mr. Duncan—No reply was sent to that letter by Bishop Ridley.
It has been stated that I was responsible, that it was my duty, as the Agent of the Church
Missionary Society, to bring this people into connection with the Church of England, it being
a Church of England Society which I represented.
I hold in my hand a letter from the Church Missionary Society (their annual letter sent
to me), and I will read a quotation from that letter showing that I was not called upon to do
anything of the kind.
The quotation is as follows—October 1st, 1877, signed by Christopher C. Fenn:—
" But while as members of the Church of England, the Committee and the Society generally
desire to act in strict obedience to the laws of that Church, as well as in conformity with its
spirit, they must protest against the same restrictions being imposed on those native Christians
in various countries whom it has pleased God to bring to the profession of faith .in Christ
through the Society's instrumentality.—
Mr. Davie—What is meant by the same restrictions? Ans.—The strict obedience to the
laws of the Church of England.
There is still some more of it—
" What the Committee wish to see in these converts, is not submissiveness to the Church of
England, but a desire for and ultimately the attachment to an independent Church of their own."
I would further beg to state that I have succeeded in unearthing that attempt to shoot
Bishop Ridley, and I wish you to put clown what I have to say.
Bishop Ridley stated yesterday in Court, I believe, that he had been fired upon about midnight; he heard the shot; he ran out of the house; saw the two villains; chased them clown the
village, but was outrun, and the villains escaped. The next morning the bullet was found
which had been fired, and brought to him, but he had kept the matter quite secret, even from
his own party, considering it a bad thing for the Indians to know about.
I will now leave you to hear a statement which I believe will enlighten the Commission
on the matter.    A person is here that will tell you.
Mark Hamilton came forward and was sworn through the interpreter.
Mr. Davie—Tell us about this shooting business.
Witness (through the interpreter),—Edward Maitland told me himself concerning the
matter, that he did the deed, that is, he fired the shot. There were two of them playing near
the gaol; they were flirting with two females.
Mr. Davie—Were the females near the gaol? Ans.—They were in the mission-house.
These parties hoard somebody, and thought it was the girls, and took something and threw it
in. the direction of the house, and struck the window. Maitland threw it. He threw something.    I was not told what Maitland threw.
Mr Elliott—Did Maitland not tell you what he threw? Ans.—He has never told me,
but just that he threw something.
Mr. Davie—Where is Maitland now? Ans.—He is in Victoria now. Just after he
throw this they ran, and somebody came out of the house and gave chase. They could not tell
who it was.    The next morning Maitland went in there and they blamed it on him 1. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
Mr. Davie—It was spoken of then, and the Indians knew of it? Ans.—Yes; they
accused Maitland of having done tho work.
Mr. Davie—Was it asking him if he did it, or accusing him? Ans.—They accused him of
it, and he denied it.
Mr. Elliott—I doubt if it is a fair thing for Maitland to be taking evidence about this.
Mr. Davie—What is Maitland doing in Victoria?    Ans.—I do not know.
When do you expect him back?    Ans.—I do not know for certain.
Who was the other man with Maitland? Ans.—I could not tell. Maitland did not tell
me.    I do not know who the other man was.
Bishop Ridley—I wish to offer some explanation on the subject. To refer for a moment
to the letter from which Mr. Duncan read an extract. When present in Court here Legaic said
he did not say he would cut Mr. Collinson's throat, but that he would his own throat. The
matter was not brought into Court, but was spoken of in an informal manner, and when pressed
he, Legaic, said as I have just stated. In further reference to that letter, Mr. Duncan said I
did not reply to his further enquiries; but the chief object of the letter was not brought forward; this reference to Legaic had nothing to do with the main object of tho letter, hence 1
had no further communication with him.
With reference to the shooting, I never spoke to Maitland. I was not aware that it was
ever spoken of.    I saw no women when I ran out.
Mr. Elliott—Did you hear the report? Ans.—Yes; it sounded from a pistol, and tho
bullet was that from a pistol.
With reference to the extract from the annual letter, I should like to explain that the
Society does no more than similar societies throughout the world. It has its own canons, and, as
well known in the case of Cape Town, does not wish to have the same restrictions imposed on
the daughter churches as on the parent churches; but the letter says that tho rules and ritual
of the Church of England were to be the rules and ritual of the connections of the church
gathered out by its missionaries throughout the world. This was not done here, hence the
well-known rules were broken without the knowledge of the Society, as that printed letter
shows which I quoted yesterday.
Mr. Collinson arrived last night, and I should be obliged if he could give evidence, as
no one knows better than he does about things here. He has evidence with regard to the
sums of money I stated had been received on account of the Society by Mr. Duncan. He will
also be able to show that considerable sums of money were received in like manner for public
works here. Also, that he himself was prevented by armed men from entering buildings
thought to belong to the Society and have ever been used by the Society, and that force has
been used to prevent friendly or other Indians from coming into the house. His ten years'
residence among these people make him an important witness. He was also the joint secretary
with Mr. Duncan, hence can speak with authority. He. can tell you, also, what he knows
about the shooting, if he knows anything. He may have heard it spoken about at the time.
The white people knew everything about it. My object was to avoid discussing the subject,
lest it should become a favourite diversion.
Mr. Collinson was then called and sworn.
Mr. Davie—What is your name ?   Ans.—William Henry Collinson.
Where is your residence, and what is your occupation? Ans.—Kincolith, Naas River
mouth.    I am a missionary of the Church Missionary Society.
Mr. Davie—Please make your statement as brief and concise as possible. We have been
in session many clays and we are anxious to close the enquiry.
Mr. Collinson—As requested, I wish first to read an extract from Mr. Duncan's annual
letter of 1873 and 1874. The exact date I have not got—it is published in London and
called the Annual Report of the Church Missionary Society, 1873-74—for the last half of 1873
and first half of 1874—page 218:—
"The total amount of subscriptions from England and friends in the Colony which have
reached me to this date is £582 9s. Sd., and the contributions of the Indians of the village
and surrounding tribes for the Church building amount to £176, making a total of £758 9s. Sd.
Against this we have expended the sum of £842 10s. as follows, namely:—Building largo
workshops, £172; utensils and machinery for industrial pursuits, £75; new Church building
now in progress, £595 10s. I anticipate that it will take not less than £500 more to completo
our new church, and in addition we have the prospect of building a large number of Indian
dwellings according to a new model. Thus I have to provide not less a sum than £1,000 to
meet all our wants for the coming year." 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. ]i.
That is sufficient as touching the annual letter. In continuation of the same evidence, I
am in possession of a letter, which I can produce, written by the Honorary Secretary of the
Church Missionary Society to Mr. Duncan, in answer to this annual letter, in which he states
that he sends him £50 for the houses of the new village. In addition to that money, other
sums were received from time to time from friends and members of the Church Missionary
Society by Mr. Duncan, which sums were acknowledged in the pages of the Society's periodicals. I called Mr. Duncan's attention to two sums acknowledged in the "Intelligencer,"—the
Church Missionary Society's publication—on my return from Queen Charlotte's Island, which
he said he would draw for at once.    I think that is sufficient on that point.
Then, with regard to the troubles. I have not heard the evidence given, but I know that
up to the time of the receipt of the letter which disconnected him from the Church Missionary
Society all went on harmoniously—there were no disturbances. I think the words of the
Society, at the conclusion of that letter, would best express how things went on at Metlakatlah
and the surrounding country—[This was shown to Mr. Davie]—and since that time it has just
been the reverse.
In this building, which had always been used for religious services during the months
when the majority of them were away, and at all times, winter and summer, week day and
Mr. Elliott—During the time that Mr. Duncan was connected with the Church
Missionary Society?    Ans.—Yes.—
On Wednesday evening, which might be called the beginning of the trouble, I conducted
service in this building—on the Wednesday following the delivery of the letter—and had a
large attendance. Mr. Duncan was not present. Immediately after, on my return home, and
on reaching the front of the new church, I was informed that Mr. Duncan had convened a
meeting of the elders in the vestry. I proceeded to the vestry, and, on entering, I was told by
Mr. Duncan that this was a private meeting. I replied that it was not right to hold private
meetings in the vestry of the church, and if it was for a good purpose I should be there, and if
for a bad purpose, it was my duty to be present to prevent it. There was then a good deal of
excitement and uproar, some in favour of my coming in, and others desiring me to go. Mr.
Duncan called upon them all to follow him, and they left the building and went down to the
guest house—the building which was pulled down by the people—where the meeting was held.
I was not present. The next night a large meeting was held of all the people. It was at the
time I was prevented forcibly from entering. Those who prevented my entry stated that Mr.
Duncan's instructions to them were that I should not be permitted to come in. Then with
with regard to the conduct of the people after that, it is true that the people were prevented
from entering the mission-house in which I was living.
Mr. Elliott—People desirous of seeing you were prevented by the other people ? Ans.
—Yes. In the midst of this disturbance on this evening I was anxious to meet Mr. Duncan
and ask him if such were his instructions, and on being informed by Mr. Chantrell that he
thought Mr. Duncan had gone up to this building, I was followed by two so-called constables
with firearms. I went up there to find him and was followed. Of course I knew the men
personally by name and they endorsed the state of affairs, which grieved me very much. I
will not proceed to state anything further unless I am requested. All this trouble has
extended from this even to tribes at a distance. Ever since then there has been more or less
excitement, and the influence which Metlakatlah formerly exercised for good has since that
time been exercised for evil.
Mr. Elliott—Have you heard the Indians at Naas River make any allusion to the
troubles here ?    Ans.—Yes; daily.
In what way could it influence the Indians at the Naas ? Ans.—The Indians say that it
was not right that all the Indian tribes should be judged by the conduct which now exists
here, and they say that owing to the troubles here not being suppressed, that indirectly the
troubles there have arisen.
Mr. Davie—Will you tell us the mission stations of the Church Missionary Society 1
Ans.—I will tell you them in their order of establishment: Metlakatlah, originally established at Fort Simpson; Kincolith; Masset, established by myself in 1876 at Queen Charlotte's
Island; Fort Rupert, now transferred to Alert Bay; Skeena Forks; Kiltadams—this station
is about a mile and a half from the village proper, owing to the resistance of the heathen
there. There are numerous branch missions conducted for the greater part by natives. Also
Kitmangar, now in charge of Mr. Woods, 30 miles below the Forks.
Mr. Davie—Is there anything else you would like to say yourself ?    Ans.—There are lii. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
troubles on the Naas and elsewhere which it may bo well for the Government to look after
before more serious troubles arise. With regard to land and the rights of rival tribes there,
since Mr. O'Reilly was there there have been misunderstandings which can only be removed
by Government officials.
Mr. Davie—Are they dissatisfied with their reserves? Ans.—Not exactly that. Mr.
O'Reilly allotted the reserves; but this river has always been considered as a fishing station
common to all. There are numerous witnesses who will state exactly what Mr. O'Reilly's
words were. Mr. O'Reilly came here as a Reserve Commissioner, and only an official
appointed by the Government can remove these misunderstandings which will lead to trouble.
Mr. Elliott—Has anything been written to the Indian Department? Ans.--Ycs; I
have written to Mr. O'Reilly about it myself. There are other troubles with regard to white
men.    This new land act has caused trouble.
Mr. Davie—Of course this Act is new; but before this rupture there was no trouble?
Mr. Elliott—Have the Indians in that part of the country acknowledged hunting reserves?
Ans.—They have all each their own hunting grounds, and these grounds are respected. Mr.
O'Reilly said he would prefer if they would go on with their own old laws.
Mr. Elliott—Are these reserves always respected by the Indians? Ans.—Yes; it was
a matter of war if they were not so respected.
To trespass on these rights would cause trouble? Ans.—Yes. Just lately, I have heard
of trouble.
Mr. Davie—In reference to the land troubles there; do you agree with this statement ?
" I would state as my conviction that the question of Indian title would not have been
advanced there at all, had it not have been for the desire of the party known as Mi-. Duncan's
party to use the right they claimed in accomplishing the ejection of the Agents of tho Church
Missionary Society."
Mb. Collinson—I won't say that it is to be attributed to Mr. Duncan alone. There aro
others who are to blame in the matter.
Solomon Oriel then came forward and was sworn, through the interpreter.
Mr. Davie—Are you the Indian chosen to sj:>eak for the others? Ans.—Yes; I am tho
Indian chosen by Mr. Duncan's party.
Gentlemen,—Of course we have quite agreed to go after all the directions by which you
have come to settle these little dissatisfactions amongst ourselves. Although I am not much
of a speaker on serious matters, I feel it is my duty to exjslain myself. I refer to tho times
the gunboats have been here, and I know that this time it will all be settled. I will tell you
just about from the start of the confusion. We were all invited to Fort Simpson to a feast-
all the chiefs of Metlakatlah and others of the village of Metlakatlah. We returned.after two
clays, perhaps. We were on our journey back; about half-way we met a canoe and were told
of Mr. Duncan being put out by the Bishop. Just before this canoe reached us, one of the
party said be composed and be prepared to hear something interesting. After he told us that
Mr. Duncan was put out by the Bishop, we had a meeting, and some of them stood up and
said—Paul Sivasah said—"We will not allow Bishop Ridley to come ashore." and I said I
would do the same.
Mr. Davie—Do you think that was right ? Ans.—I consider it was right, because the
elders of the village thought so.
If no such idea as that had stirred your mind, do you think such troubles as there are
now would have arisen?    Ans.—At that time we were afraid it would be confusing.
As soon as we got to Metlakatlah, we had a meeting in the guest house—the whole village
attended. At that meeting, Mr. Duncan came in, telling us the state of things, and that the
road was open to him and he was loose. He said " Choose for yourselves that which is good—
the person that you consider good." Mr. Duncan went out, and we had a meeting and talked
the matter over, and we said amongst ourselves, in the absence of Mr. Duncan, "Who wants
to go over to the Bishop ?" and the people, no one of them wanted to. We asked again for the
people who wished the same things that had been before, that is the Christian things, to hold
up their hands, and every one held up their hands, saying at the same time "We will not allow
Bishop Ridley to land when he comes on the beach." The reason why was at that time every
one felt angry and indignant at Mr. Duncan being dismissed. At that time we were united—
in the whole village there was unity—there was no split whatever. We had about got through
with our talk, and we suggested calling Mr. Duncan and he came, and a man of the name of
James Langonish got up and addresed him, saying "We all with one accord do not wish you 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. liii.
to go. You are the one who has given your life for the Indians; do not go at all; finish your
work that you have already begun, and have pity upon us." This same Paul remarked to Mr.
Duncan "You will see," and turning round ho said " Who will join the Bishop ?"—no hanns
were up—"and who will be on Christ's side?"—and all held up their hands. The church at
that time was nailed up—it was closed. That is what I know so far. I will also tell you
about parties that were keeping guard around the jail. At that time we had authority from
the Queen—we were guarding around the jail door for fear the Bishop landed, and we were
there to prevent him, and to prevent him from getting into the church. There was a change;
the elderly party of the village did not know that the church was nailed up, and it affected
them. The church was nailed up, and they did not like it very well. The elderly people had
their hearts changed, and some went to the mission-house, and I went with them, and some of
them had the key of the church. I had joined the Bishop, but I heard of the church being
nailed up and I returned.
Mr. Davie—Which side nailed the door up? Ans.—At that time there was no split, but
there was unity.
On which side did the people go who nailed up the church? Ans.—They went to the
Bishop's side.
Mr. Collinson—They did not all go to the Bishop. There were two men who came over
to the Bishop, but it was not owing to that at all. I was present at that time. The men who
used the hammers went to Mr. Duncan.
Witness—I did not say all the people.
I was with the Bishop for about two years.    I left the Bishop because I became suspicious.
Mr. Collinson—I may tell you that there were strong inducements to make the change,
and money was offered to him.
Mr. Davie (to tho interpreter)—Tell the witness what Mr. Collinson has said.
Witness—That is so, money was offered to me.
Mr. Duncan wished to have this question askcel him again, and the question was repeated.
Mr. Davie—We expect you to tell the truth; you have promised to tell the truth. Is
Mr. Collinson correct in saying that money was offered you to leave the Bishop? Ans.—Did
Mr. Collinson see the money?
It is no use the Commissioners enquiring if they cannot get the truth. Ans.—Money
was offered me, just among my own people.    I was  also afraid,  and  I returned.
Mil. Davie—About the fear you speak of; who wore you afraid of? Ans.—Matthew said
to me I am really frightened about the doings of the people who teach us. He punches people
and also has a gun.
Mr. Davie—Referring to the Bishop?    Ans.—Yes.
Do you know the truth about tho striking of the Bishop and about carrying a gun ?
Ans.—I was there at the time and saw the Bishop punch people.
Bishop Ridley—That was a year after he left us.
Mr. Davie—Were you in the crowd or at the feast? Ans.—I was at the feast, and I just
came out of the door and saw it at a distance.
Do you know that the Bishop was assaulted first?    Ans.—Perhaps the Bishop knows.
Do you know?    Ans.—I could not tell: I saw it at a distance.
Do you know that the Bishop was struck first?    Ans.—I know that Legaic wont up to him.
Do you know that the Bishop was struck first?    Ans.—No.
Mr. Elliott—How long did you stop with the Bishop after this assault on him? Ans.—I
was with him at the time.
How long after was it that you left him and went to Mr. Duncan? Ans.—I could not
tell for certain, it was some time.
If you were afraid because the Bishop struck people, why did you stop so long? Ans.—At
that time I could not exactly tell, but I found after a while that the Bishop tore up one letter
and burnt another.
Bishop Ridley—That was nearly two years before he left.
Mr. Elliott—The Bishop says that it was nearly two years before you left. Ans.—I am
taking the whole thing together.
Mr. Duncan—1 think he means that it was several acts of the Bishop's which had accumulated in his mind.
Witness—These are the causes of the confusion as far as I know. I think that all these
white men that stand by the Bishop, in my opinion, had better take the Bishop away, as he is
the cause of the trouble. J1V.
MetlakatlaiI Commission. 1884
Mr. Davie—Did anybody tell you to say that? Ans.—No; I just simply know tho cause
of the trouble, that is why I remarked it.
Mr. Elliott—Are you one of the elders?   Ans.—No.
Are you one of the council?    Ans.—Yes.
Are you a shareholder in the store?    Ans.—No; I do not know anything about it.
Mr. Davie—You spoke of the troubles here now, what are the troubles now at Metlakatlah?
Ans.—Ever since the Bishop came here there have been troubles.
What is the trouble to-day existing here?    Ans.—The land question.
Anything else?    Ans.—No; only the land.
Mr. Elliott—What land do you want?   Ans.—The Metlakatlah ground.
What portions do you want that don't belong to you now? Ans.—The ground on which
the school-house stands and the Mission Point.
What are you going to do with the two acres when you get it—make a farm or what ?
Ans.—We will use it because it is our own land.
Mr. Davie—If it were your own ground, why did you allow the Church Missionary
Society to put up buildings and think the ground was theirs and spend money among the
Indians here ?    Ans.—I do not know that they have ever helped us.
Mr. Davie (to the interpreter)—Do you think he understands the question ? Ans.—I
think he does.
If you thought that that land was your own, why did you pull clown the store and put it
up on this ground ? Ans.—I was then a follower of the Bishop and could not tell. I thought
it was all right.
Did you know—did the Indians know—that Mr. Duncan received money from tho Church
Missionary Society ? Ans.—I do not know for my own part, but, perhaps, other Indians knew.
Do you know how large the Indian Reserve is at Metlakatlah ? Ans.—I was never aware
that white people have given land at Metlakatlah to be made a reserve of.
Mr. Davie—You have got over 100 square miles of a reserve. It goes nearly to Fort
Simpson, except a small piece at Fort Simpson. That land is Indian land, and no wdiite man
can touch it. This was arranged between the Government of Canada and the Government of
British Columbia. It does not include Mission Point, and the reason Mission Point was not
included was that, 20 years ago, Mr. Duncan asked that these two acres might be set apart
for the Church Missionary Society ? Ans.—I was never aware that Mr. Duncan did that.
The only thing I know for certain is that all this belonged to the Indians.
Were you one of the Indians who asked Mr. Duncan not to build the store upon the
reserve 1    Ans.—How long ago was that ?
Your name is on the paper? Ans.—I do not know. I may have forgotten-—I do not
read or write.    White people do not forget things because they write them down.
Mr. Elliott—-Do you know what money was used to build the church—where the money
came from ?    Ans.—I only know that part of it was subscribed by the Indians.
Have you ever heard that the Society gave $2,500 to build it ? Ans.—No; I did not
know it.
This is the fact.     Ans.—I never knew it before.
Mr. Duncan—In reference to the money inducement, I want to ask him if he knows that
I had anything to do with it ?
This question was asked the witness.    Ans.—No; Mr. Duncan never knew of it.
Mr. Davie—You may sit clown, unless you have something else to say.
The Court was then adjourned till 2 p. si.
After Recess.
Solosion Oriel was recalled:
Mr. Davie—Referring to the money business—When you speak of having been offered
money to return, was it that when you returned money was offered you to make a feast in
honour of your return? Ans.—It is so; money was given to me; not immediately on my
return. I had never heard before that this was to be offered, but my people were glad because
I was going to return—-just a few of my own people that rejoiced on my return, and raised a
subscription to make a feast.
Mr. Davie—Did they actually give you money? Ans.—Yes, they gave it to me, and I
bought provisions for the feast. 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. lv.
Do you tell us that you had no knowledge of their intention to give a feast, and give you
money to buy provisions for it, before you left the Bishop? Ans.—I had no knowledge of it
before I left the Bishop.
You say the Indians want this building and the land on which it is; and they want the
Mission Point land?    Ans.—Yes.
When was it that you first wanted it 1    Ans.—For a long time.
When did you first want it? When did it first enter into the minds of the Indians that
they wanted the land?    Ans.—Not only now have we said it is ours, we have always lived here.
This land belongs to you anyhow; but tell me—it is only lately that we have heard of the
Indians' desire to have Mission Point; and if the Indians had said before that they wanted it,
surely we should have heard of it, and now I want to know when was the first time you wanted
Mission Point? Ans.—It was just about the time the Government had sent a man to survey
off a portion of the land.
Mr. Ball—Do you allude to Mr. O'Reilly or to Captain Shearburn? Ans.—Just lately,
Captain Shearburn.
That man came to survey the lino of the two acres to show the Indians of Metlakatlah
that they had a large reserve, with the exception of these two acres that had been promised to
the Church Missionary Society at the request of Mr. Duncan. It is only right that you should
know that you have a large reserve. "You said that you thought you had no reserve. It is for
the benefit of all tho community.
Mr. Davie—Mr. Duncan surely you understand the land question in British Columbia,
and you must know the way in which the lands are reserved and distributed for the benefit of
the Indians.
Mr. Elliott (to Mr. Duncan)—You knew that two acres had been reserved for the
Church Missionary Society for the benefit of the Indians, now I think that you should have
explained to the Indians that tho lands have been reserved to them, and also why these two
acres had boon reserved for tho benefit of tho Church Missionary Society. You said that they
thought they possessed all the land at Metlakatlah. You could not have had this thought
when you said that but for you they would not now have the largest reserve in British
Mr. Duncan—When I was at Fort Simpson the country was all open, and had not been
reserved, and hence it was quite in the power of white men to come to settle here, and the
Indians did not meddle with such matters in those days, but the Indians now know better.
We want to make them like white men, and these rights must be more defined. The reserve
was made to keep out outsiders—to give the Indians a fair show. As far as the two acres
were concerned, I. was only thinking that the Society would not like to have the property upon
land their right to which was not recognized in some way by the Government.
Mb. Davie—Will you please translate these remarks of yours to the Indians present.
Mr. Duncan did so, and then said^-I have told them the bare facts, that after being in
Metlakatlah for two years, fearing that the whites might come too close to us, and to give us
a fair chance of establishing the Indians' christian village, I spoke first of all to Sir James
Douglas, and he quite agreed with me as to the necessity of having protection, and told me to
write him a letter on the subject. I did so; 1 wrote asking the Government for five miles on
cither side of what I called Mission Point, following the coast line, and five miles back, to be
reserved, that is, kept from intruders, and for the Indians who should join me at Metlakatlah.
I also asked for two acres on Mission Point to be reserved for the benefit of the Church
Missionary Society. I received a letter from the Government telling me that what I had
asked for had been clone.    This is what I have told them.
Mr. Davie—Will you translate to the Indians that, as to the two acres, the object of your
application was that the Society might know that the land on which their buildings rested,
might be recognized by the Government as being hold in trust for the benefit of the Society.
Bishop Ridley—-This was not so stated. Tho object of asking for the two acres has not
been conveyed to them.
Mr. Duncan translates to the Indians.
Mr. Collinson—I am satisfied with Mr. Duncan's interpretation, although I should like
to hear it put more plainly.
Mr. Davie—Will you oblige by telling tho Indians what I have written here, and also
tell them that that is what Mr. Duncan said to them just now.
Mr. Collinson did so.
Mb. Elliott—Mr. Duncan will you please look at this document? lvi. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
Mr. Duncan—I recognize it; it is a protest, on behalf of the people of 3lctlakathih,
against the survey of the two acres.
At the time this was written you were aware that the Indians interfered with the survey?
Ans.—I was aware that they wrote him a letter asking him what ho intended to do.
You were aware that the Indians objected to the survey? Anv.- 1 heard thatthe Indians
wrote asking him what his purpose, was, and ho wrote them a letter to say ho was going to
survey tho two acres.
Did you explain to tho Indians at the time the real position of affairs-- that you had asked
for those two acres for the use of tho Church Missionary Society—that these two acres wore
set aside at your request?    Ans.—I don't know whether that was my duty.
Did you explain the matter to them?    Ans.—I don't know whether I did or not.
Samuel Peliiam was then called and sworn through the interpreter:
Mr. Davie—Tell us what you want to say.
Witness—I was present just about the first time of the rupture at Metlakatlah. T was
present at a feast at a man's called Neash-na-wah, at Fort Simpson. A canoe came telling us
that Mr. Duncan was dismissed, and one of the parties in the canoe said all the elders were
wanted. Of course I started with some of the elders; we got here, and saw Duncan. He was
still in the mission house. Mr. Duncan informed us that ho had been dismissed. On
Wednesday we were going to church, and Duncan called us and asked us " what are you going
to do; are you going to church;" because we said that we all wanted him to stay. Mr. Duncan
informed us that the Church of England was hand in hand with the devil. I was right there
and heard the remark. I was mad at the remark that Mr. Duncan made. He said "look out,
be on your guard. There will be a few with the Bishop, and the Bishop will take this church."
Mr. Duncan said " the Bishop will sing around the church, carrying flags and banners." I felt
very bad about the matter when I heard what he said. This was one reason why the? church
was nailed up, so that tho Bishop should have no road in it. There were three doors, and they
were all nailed up. It was getting close to Christinas, and I said to Mr. Duncan that it would
be right to use the church, and Duncan said " I don't know what the Bishop will say when he
comes back," and then I said I know that it was nothing what we were doing, and Mr. Duncan
said " it was all right, that we should open it." On Saturday there was another meeting of
the ciders, and Mr. Duncan proposed, and was teaching us what we were to say when we were
to hand a Bible to him. First of all to take a chair and put it back in some place, and when
the people are all in the church a certain party was to come for him and call him. The congregation had not all got into the church when Mr. Duncan got in himself. Tho church was about
full, and a party went and got the Bible and then presented it to Mr. Duncan.
Mr. Davie—Do you know whose bible that was ? Ans.—Mr. Duncan's bible. And then one
of the parties said what he was told to say by Mr. Duncan, saying, " This is just what we
want." After this another meeting was held by the elders on Friday. Mr. Duncan proposed
something with this intention, " That ho would bless children instead of baptizing them." I
told him that that was not right, nor good; and told him whatever the Indians saw first, that
is what they would stick to—agree to. Mr. Duncan said, " No, wo will do it." He was
angry, and said to mo : " Don't you attend when we have a meeting about any good cause."
Another meeting of the elders was hold on Saturday, and I was not called. On Sunday, the
next day, the bells rang for Church, and I attended. I noticed a party get up with a little
piece of paper, and present it to Mr. Duncan. On that occasion Mr. Duncan was blessing a
little child. One day I said to Mr. Duncan, "If you do that again, I will never come to tho
Church any more," and I took up my hat and left long before it was over. Mr. Duncan's
remarks never left mo, I always remembered them; especially when ho remarked "That the
Church of England-was hand in hand with the devil." I wont to the mission house to consult
Mr. Collinson, and ask him about it. I said to him : " I want very much to speak to you
about the remarks that Mr. Duncan made about tho Church of England being hand in hand
with the devil, and that they were just one and one." Mr. Collinson said that Mr. Duncan
was slightly wrong, and that there were two schools of thought—that there was a division -
ono was High Church, and the other Low Church; and perhaps that was what 3Ir. Duncan
referred to. I was not at all pleased, and was always thinking to myself about what 1 had
heard. It was clear to mo that 3Ir. Duncan was speaking falsely, and that it was all his own
make up. I was greatly pleased with, the explanations I got from Mr. Collinson. I was nearly
getting foolish, that is, I nearly left what I had already been taught. If 1 had left them, it
would not have been my own foolishness, but that I had been misinformed by Mr. Duncan, 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. Ivii.
and misled by him. I went back to the Society where I had come from, and Mr. Collinson
gave mo a very good appointment.
Mr. Collinson—It was merely to resume his work of teaching at Kitkatlah.
Mr. Davie—Was that the same one that Mr. Duncan had sent him to ?
Mr. Collinson—Yes, the same.
Witness—I was at Kitkatlah when I hoard of a gunboat arriving at Metlakatlah, with
Dr. Powell and Mr. McKay, and that the confusion here had got greater. Years ago Mr,
Duncan took great pains to teach us the laws of the Queen, and the Indians thoroughly
adhered to them; and the Indians, were afraid of the law, and they never did anything against
it. Sometimes Mr. Duncan would whip people, and tho Indians could not say anything,
because they thought it was the Queen's law.
Mr. Elliott—What wore you flogged with ? Ans.—Ropes and sticks. What could the
poor people do 1 they quietly submitted to it.
Mr. Davie—Do you know now that it is not the law ? Ans.—Yes, I know now. And
now Mr. Duncan has changed his heart, and is intimidating people not to be afraid of the law.
Mr. Davie—How do you know that Mr. Duncan docs that ?    Ans.—In housebreaking.
Has Mr. Duncan been breaking houses? Ans.—The meeting was first held in Mr.
Duncan's house, and they went straight to the work of breaking down houses, from the house
whore Mr. Duncan resides or stays.
Mr. Duncan—I had a portion of an Indian's house, and had nothing to do with the other
part of the house, which was used as for meetings.
Witness--They pulled clown the building of the store. On another occasion they came
out of the same house from a meeting, and went to the store and armed themselves with
hatchets from the store, and went and pulled down Moses Venn's house.
Mr. Davie (to Mr. Duncan)—You say that that place where the Indians assembled is the
public room 1
Mr. Duncan—Yes, the public assembly room.
Witness—I saw on one occasion two parties entering into a house belonging to the Society,
saying they had thoroughly made up their minds that they would contend against the law. I
saw them go out, and then I went in and asked the occupants of the house what these two
parties that had just gone out had said, and they told me they had said that they were prepared
to contend against the law, and that they felt the irons already on their hands. They also
said they would pull clown the school-house the next morning. The next morning we had a
little meeting amongst ourselves, and they did not cany out their threat—they were not able
to do so. It is thoroughly understood by myself, and by all, that Mr. Duncan was teaching
them to disrespect the law.
Mr. Davie—Who were the two parties that went into the house ? Ans.— David Leask
and Frank Allen.
Who wore the parties in the house ?    Ans.—Donald Bruce.
Who was it said they had made up their minds to break the law. Ans.—David Leask
and Frank Allen. I thoroughly understand that it was all Mr. Duncan's teaching. In years
gone by it was quite unnatural for Indians to tear clown bouses, or to steal, but it is quite
different now. Just as soon as the Society dismissed Mr. Duncan, all these troubles have
commenced—taking things by force, which the law thought bad. It is quite clear to me that
what they have done is against the law. It is quite true that Mr. Duncan's party are always
threatening us, and putting us in fear. The people here, of Mr. Duncan's party, do not allow
us to build houses on Metlakatlah ground. We are not whites, we are Indians, just like them.
Why is it allowed that a white man is allowed to build a cannery on tho Indian ground ?
Mu. Ball—What white man do you allude to? Ans.—3Ir. Duncan. Why is he allowed
to build on this ground his residence, and also his store? Why arc wc not allowed to build on
this ground, being Indians, and not allowed by follow Indians? Donald and Sivasah and Moses
each want to build a house, and it reached the ears of the other party, and they held a meeting
concerning it.
31 if. Davie—Whore? Ans.—Where 3Ir. Duncan resides, and there was a man came
calling these three—
31 r Davie—Who was it? Ans.—One of Mr. Duncan's party—and telling thorn that they
were going to talk about it. 1 accompanied them, although I was not invited, and somebody
said to the three, " You shall not build a house." One of 31r. Duncan's Indians, addressing
Donald chiefly, and Donald replied emphatically, " I will build a house, I will build." This
was at the meeting, and when Donald had said so ho left.     The whole house got up in great lviii. Metlakatlah Commission. 1881
confusion, saying, "You shall not go!" and they prevented him from going. Fearing that there
would be a row, I got up and told the crowd to let him go out, and Donald went out. When
they had sat down again Mr. Duncan made his appearance, and said this : " You shall not
build houses on our ground," addressing 3Ioses Venn. Moses laughed, and so did I, and we.
remarked that Mr. Duncan now considers himself an Indian. I then jumped up and addressed
the crowd, saying, "Shall I call Mr. Collinson? Mr. Duncan is here now;" and the people said,
" Call Mr. Collinson," remarking that it would not be fair, that 3Ir. Duncan would bo too
clever for them; and I called 31r. Collinson. Mr. Collinson came to the meeting, and they
began to talk—Mr. Collinson and Mr. Duncan—and Mr, Duncan wanted to speak English,
but Mr. Collinson said, " Let us talk in the Indian language, to let the people know what we
are saying." I don't know what was said, but perhaps Mr. Collinson will tell you himself. Mr.
Duncan left, leaving 3Ir. Collinson behind, and Mr. Collinson thought that as Mr. Duncan was
leaving, he had better leave also. But up to the present clay, Donald has been unable to build
his house; the foundation is there still. No reason beyond this, that he did not take tho village
certificate of citizenship.
[This certificate was shown to the Commissioners, and examined by them.]
That was why he was not allowed to build, and that was the principal reason why Jeremiah
returned to Mr. Duncan's party.
Mr. Davie—How long ago was that ? Ans.—Before the arrival of Dr. Powell, about
two years ago. There is one thing that seemed very repulsive to me: A man, supposed to bo
a constable, was guarding a person who wanted to return to the Bishop, simply because ho was
going to get his paper back (they wanted to get the paper referred to from him). I returned
to my house, when my wife said, " Come here, and see a curious sight!" and I saw the so-
called constables with swords, and thought they were going to kill somebody- they all had
weapons. I went up to the place where they were guarding over the door, and pushed them
away, and saw a poor fellow, the real picture of misery, and told him not to bo put out or
concern himself. One of the constables came in and addressed this man, saying, " They don't
want to do anything to you, but simply to got back the village paper that they have given
you," and this man said to him, " Go and get it, go and get it."
31r. Davie—What is the name of this party ? Ans.—James Lewis. This constable did
not want to go for it himself, but asked the party to go and get the paper himself, and hand it
out to them. James Lewis said he thought he would get it himself, but would never bo tried
amongst themselves. This is one of the reasons why they put a person into jail, because he
belonged to the Church Missionary Society; they put a person there because he joined the
Mr. Davie—What was the name of the person that was put in jail ? Ans.- Sitka Jim.
That was why he was put in. I was never aware that there was a Magistrate here, and 1
wondered why Mr. Duncan allowed these things to go on.
pgbuuj3lR. Davie—This case is now pending before Mr. Elliott. Wc want you all to understand
that preventing an Indian from building a house upon an Indian Reserve is utterly unlawful,
and the preventing such building by threats or by force is also unlawful, and that people who
are in large numbers should not exert their force because they have more strength than others.
Strong men, when wise and reasonable, do not act the part of bullies.
Witness, continuing:—That was one reason why wo felt sore, and we had a meeting and
I was deputized to go to Victoria and see Dr. Powell, and I told Dr. Powell wo were, very
much distressed at not being allowed to build houses on our own land, and Dr. Powell told me
it would be all right and he was going to send a party that will help us, and that whoever
broke the law will be proceeded against, and whoever stood by the law will bo maintained.
Dr. Powell gave me a letter to give to the people. I have the letter in my pocket. It appears
to me that Dr. Powell is helping us now, and we are feeling a little enlightened by tho sight
of things.
3Ir. Davie—Have you any more information to give us ? Ans.—That is all for the
present.    I have something to say on another subject.
Mb. Davie—What subject?    Ans.—We want to build houses for ourselves now.
What do you mean? Ans.—We want to be authorized, to be assured that we can build now.
3Ir. Davie—There is a magistrate, here and you can make your complaint to 31r. Elliott,
and it will be dealt with. Ans.—I know that immediately this vessel gets away things will bo
as before. Dr. Powell has told them so many times, and when he is absent they just proceed
as before. This last time they were told not to do so, and immediately he went they did it.
I know it will happen again as soon as the ship goes, 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. lix.
Mr. Davie—3Ir. Duncan, is it true that these proceedings go on with your countenance ?
Mr. Duncan—I decline to answer such a question. Such a question should not be asked
me. I would likely criminate myself if I answered it. I think that it is premature for
the Commission to take up such questions until they hear all the Indians. I don't want to
speak before the Indians have spoken. I should like you to hear all the Indians have to say,
then I will answer any questions.
Mr. Elliott—Whatever the Indians may say cannot possibly affect the fact—and did
you countenance this or not ? Ans.—I refuse to answer, on the ground that it would criminate me.
Mr. Duncan—I wish to ask the witness a question. He has referred to my blessing
children—ask him how I did that?
Witness—Mr. Duncan had a paper on which he wrote the name of the child, and he
offered a prayer.
Whose blessing did he ask ? Ans.—He said "we will bless the child." He was praying
over the child.    He was praying to God Almighty.
Mr. Duncan—Whose blessing did I ask ? Ans.—A blessing on the child. Mr. Duncan
must have been frightened, because he stood off at a distance.
Mr. Duncan—I want to ask him another question. Ask him if he came to me to send
him as a teacher to Kitkatlah ?
This question was asked him.
Ans.—Yes; he did.
Mr. Duncan—Did I offer to send you?    Ans.—No; but I wanted to go myself.
Mr. Davie (to the interpreter)—Tell them we shall hear one more witness on that side,
and we ask them to choose two men for the other side. Yesterday we were disappointed
because when one man came forward we found he was not the spokesman, but wanted to speak
about his private troubles, which had been settled long ago.
An Indian stood up and said a few here wanted each to give a short speech, about ten of
Mr. Davie—Tell them that would be too many.
The Interpreter—Each of them has only a small matter to speak about.
Mr. Ball—Has each of these ten Indians a separate grievance?
Interpreter—I don't know. They say they have the subject divided, so that eight or
ten will perhaps take up no longer time than three or four.
Mr. Davie—What subject?    Ans.—The subject of their troubles.
What we want to know is their grievances against the Government.
Another Indian stood up and said that Samuel had accused Mr. Duncan of teaching them
all the evils, and these statements were all taken down and they wished to reply to it. Wo
want to reply to the charges that Samuel laid against us, and we feel that the Court has not
questioned him as they questioned the others.
Mr. Davie (through the interpreter)—We cannot stop here for ever, and to-morrow we
would like to close the meeting in the evening; but we wish to hear everything you have to
say, but we don't want repetition, because that takes up time unnecessarily. I want you
to consider whether you cannot arrange for three at the most; see if you cannot arrange for
three to speak.
The Interpreter—They have agreed for three to speak.
Mr. Davie—Are you satisfied for three to speak ? I want you to bo satisfied, and I
think that throe is enough.    Is it arranged for three ?
The Interpreter—They arc satisfied for throe to speak.
Mu.-Duncan asked them if thoy are satisfied with three?
An Indian thinks that four might be more satisfactory.
Mr. Davie—Four on different subjects.    Arery well; we will hear four.
Court was then adjourned till 10 a. m. next clay.
Metlakatlah, B. C,
Friday, November 21st, 1S84,
All the Commissioners present.
Bishop Ridley was asked what Samuel Pelham wished to say ?
Bishop Ridley—I believe it is about persons going from hero to other villages on account
of troubles that have arisen here.    I don't think he will detain tho court very long. Ix. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
Samuel Peliiam was then recalled and continued (through the interpreter):- -
Mr. Davie—Please be as brief as possible, as we wish to hear other witnesses.
Samuel Pelham—I want to talk about the time when the Kitkatlahs came here; about
their coming here very late one evening, and Mr. Duncan opened his store very late at night
and supplied these Indians with food.    These Indians were very  much pleased when Mr.
Duncan gave them food.    These were the same parties that broke down the Kitkatlah church.
Mr. Davie—How do you know they were the same parties that broke the church down?
Ans.—I saw them that evening.
How do you know they were the same parties that broke down tho church. Ans.—I saw
some of them and said you have broken the church, and they said " Yes." That raised my
suspicions, when Duncan was supplying them that evening.
Mr. Davie—Which of these Kitkatlahs was it that told you—what is his name ? Ans.—
Dake. Previous to this I had heard of the arrival of the Kitkatlah canoe, and had gone to
enquire. I was going to see them and saw a crowd of constables where the jiarties were. I
addressed one of them, saying, "You help us to catch the people that broke clown the building,"
and one of them addressed me and poked a cane at my breast, saying, " Do you not know that
it is all through your lying that the Kitkatlahs are so ?" And after he had clone so and 1
asked him why he assaulted me, and this same party that poked mo said, " Come on, let us
fight them; let there be bloodshed now." And I said, "Hear the remarks coming out of the
mouth of an elder." One thing is certain, if I had retaliated, this man would have pounced
upon me.
Mr. Davie—What i3 the name of the man whom you had this altercation with? Ans.—
Robert Hewson.    I would like to talk about something more serious.
Mr. Davie—What else do you want to talk about? Ans.—I want to say a few words
about Mr. Duncan's constables. I heard one of his party say to Sitka Jim and carrying in his
hand a pistol, saying, " Look at this. Every constable is supplied by Mr. Duncan with these
Mr. Davie—Were you present when that was done ? Ans.—I never saw it, but 1 was
told so by Jim.
It is no use telling us about Jim, as his case is being investigated. Did you see it ?
Ans.—No. I heard some of the remarks that Solomon has made, and I am certain that they
will still continue doing what they have done to us. 1 heard a remark that Solomon made
about all the white people coming here to sit with the Bishop, and that they had bettor take
him.    That is all I have to say.
JonN Tait then came forward.
What is your name ?    Ans.—John Tait.
Do you speak English?    Ans.—No.
Witness was then sworn through the interpreter.
Mr. Davie—How long have you been hero?    Ans.—Ever since there was a village hero.
Tell us what you have to say.
I am deputized by the village to speak for them—to tell you what their grievances are.
I know that Mr. Duncan came here while we wore yet children at Fort Simpson, he was there
for a few years. He was there at the time when there was a great deal of bloodshed and confusion—in our old heathen times—and he visited the houses of the chiefs, teaching them what
was good. It was at tho request of the Indians that Mr. Duncan was told to come and teach
in this same Metlakatlah. Of course he came here, and did good work. He was straightforward, and did good work for nineteen years; and then, at the time of the rupture, for about
three years. All the Government officials—the parties belonging to tho Queen-- have always
come hero and told Mr. Duncan to go on, and encouraging him in his work; tolling him at tho
same time that the work that he was doing was right. Lord Dufferin was here, and said tho
same thing. Lord Dufferin also said that this was the Indians' land and the Indians' village,
and he also sanctioned the Council and the constables. He saw the progress of the village, and
was very much pleased at the advanced state of the Indians. He told us, one thing you have
an advantage over whites is that you arc all of one heart, and he said that he was very much
pleased, and he said tins Government officials would help us. Ho also said that tho Queen's
officials would protect us. The state of things at that time was clue to the following out of the
directions of Mr. Duncan. We were all pleased when we heard that this was our own land.
For over nineteen years things have been going on well, and for three years there has been
confusion, and I ask the Commission to look at both sides, and to look at the doings of nineteen years and those of these three years,   I am going to tell you the causes of tho three years' 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. lxi.
confusion.    Just before the confusion, Mr. Duncan told us what the Society requested of him,
saying that he was going to make this a regular Church of England.
Mr. Davie—Who was going to do this?    Ans.—The Society was.
And Mr. Duncan said we had already reached the time when we could choose for ourselves
what is good. That if we would wish to have a regular Church of England that he would not
stop us; or, if we wished, to have the church go on the same as it did before; saying "I will
not say much on the matter, you can think for yourselves." Mr. Duncan addressed these
remarks to the elders at the time, and I was one of them. We had a meeting amongst ourselves to enquire about this matter; we were about a week, and we came to the conclusion that
we would not at all like to have the Church of England, but that we would have what we
believed before—the same truth as before, the same form of faith. Mr. Duncan also said "That
if you succeed in not having the Church of England go on, I will have nothing much to do
with the matter, I will leave; if you succeed in having your own faith as before, I will leave;
but if you think that you will benefit yourselves by following the Church of England, I will
leave." One reason I say this, is because of some remarks made by Matthew Auckland—in
answer to what Auckland said. The real cause of'the confusion was the split between the two
parties. We have never at all thought, or said, or agreed that there should be a split in Metlakatlah between the churches. We had all agreed in the spirit that we should be one ever
since Metlakatlah was started. That was one reason for the rupture. That was one of the
laws—the rules of the village—that there should be unity. That law was broken, and the
people could not very well mend it again. That is why there was a split. Another reason
why, is concerning our land. The village does not wish to have any split, and also they do
not wish to have their grounds belong to one or two different parties, or have their grounds
also split. There are just two reasons for the confusions—the split of the people, and the split
of the ground. I would wish you to look into the matter, and we wish the Commission not to
survey the land just at present—not to touch it just now—for the solo reason that we know it
is our own land, and because half the village site will then not belong to us; and we wish the
Commission not to begin to do anything which they do not mean to carry through; not to do
it in a half way, because I hope the Commission is going to do it thoroughly. The land question
is also one reason for the confusion. I will explain what I have heard Matthew remark yesterday. It is true what Matthew said about the bible, that Mr. Duncan told us what was
right, and to hand the bible to somebody, either to him or someone else. We knew what was
right, that was why we agreed to it. Matthew says that Mr. Duncan was not sent for at the
time; it is not so. I went and called Mr. Duncan myself. It is so that Matthew was with
us for some time before there was a split. I wish to refer to some of the remarks that Samuel
made. Matthew says that we are getting weak in the law, and that the outlaws are getting
the upper hand. It is not so; the law has never fallen whatever. They might have fallen,,
but the laws are still standing. The law is standing, but promises have been broken by the
Queen. Because Matthew's party has broken the law, they have got into trouble themselves.
Now, about Samuel's remarks. He says that Mr. Duncan had flogged people, and that although
their relatives were very much put out about the matter. Mr. Duncan never did this for
nothing; the parties had done something wrong—for some transgressions they had been
punished. I mean that Mr. Duncan or his constables did not do it for nothing. Samuel says
that Mr. Duncan was living on the Indians' land; does he not know that Mr. Duncan is working for the Indians, and that he has never taken any land whatever. The Commission now
has the reasons why this confusion has arisen. One thing, I would beg the Commission not to
survey the land, that being one of the reasons.
Mr. Davie—What do you want us to do—to refer the matter to the Government? Ans.
—Yes; I wish it referred to the Government. Of course I wish the Commission to know that
there were two reasons for the confusion—the split and the land; and I also wish the Commission to look into the matter.
Mr. Davie—We have every word you have said.
Witness—That is all I have to say.
Mr. Davie—What would you suggest as the solution of the trouble? Ans.—That there
should be unity in the village.    I consider that the best plan.
Do you think the Government can compel all men to think alike? Ans.—I do not know.
I am no Government. If I were acquainted with the hearts of the people I might tell it; but
of course I could not otherwise.
Mr. Davie—I want to tell you one thing, that it is wrong, at any time, for people to take
the law into their own hands.    What I mean is this, that when buildings are pulled down Ixii. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
that is taking the law into your own hands, and the reason is this: whenever the law is taken
into your own hands there is always going to be trouble. If things are only done by order of
the law no one will fight. I have every word you have said, and tho Government will see it all.
Witness—That is what we wish. Dr. Powell told us not to do this. The whole matter is
to be put before the Government.
Mr. Davie—Have you anything else to tell us ? Ans.—No, that is all. I am open to
answer any question.    I know more about it than anyone.
Mr. Davie—Do you know the difficulty the Government is in about this question ? Ans.
—I do not know—-I have not been told.
Twenty years ago, Mission Point, at the request of Mr. Duncan, was promised by the
Government to be held in trust for the Church Missionary Society. . Ans.—We never have
approved of that, Mr. Duncan has never referred the matter to us. It is not Mr. Duncan's
Mr. Davie—Mr. Duncan has told us different things about that. This is what he has
told us:—
" In reference to the Indian Reserve, I could have bought it years ago without your
consent, and if I had not taken the steps I did the land here would not have been your property. And through my efforts and God's blessing, the Tsimpseans have the largest reserve
in British Columbia."
When was it you first began to say that Mission Point belonged to you ? Ans.—I could
not tell, but ever since years and years we knew that it was our own.
Was there any question of it before the rupture, as it has been called ? Ans.—Mr. Duncan
never told them so, but it had been understood that this land had been held in trust by parties
that should look after the Indians, and wo considered that all right. Mr. Duncan said to us
that they would not take it entirely from us, but that the parties who would look after us
would live there.
Mr. Ball—Have you been told that Mission Point was going to bo sold ? Ans.—I havo
never heard so.
Mr. Davie—Is there anything else you want to say ? I have nothing else to ask you.
Ans.—I would like to say something about Anderson having sworn about the key being refused to him—the key of the market-house. Mr. Anderson was on his oath and said that the
key was refused to him.
Mr. Davie—Which Mr. Anderson? Ans.—The constable. In the morning we heard
about the fellows that Mr. Elliott had sworn in as special constables of tho Bishop's party.
We also heard that a lot of guns had gone in, and also one of the Bishop's party was seen going
into a canoe with a gun, and land at Mission Point and walk up with tho gun ; and wo heard
it stated that Mr. Elliott said to this same Bishop's party, that if you saw lots of people coming
to the Mission Point fire on them. And we also saw them make preparations, by putting a
board around the top of the mission-house, and we felt sore on tho matter, and that perhaps it
was not for a good purpose that Mr. Elliott was coming here—that perhaps ho was not como
here to make peace; and we said we had better not have court to-day—for one day let us be
quiet for awhile. That was the real reason why the key was refused that day ; but the key
was given up at once. They considered that it was best—that it was all right. We could
fetch witnesses who would state there were guns in the building.
Mr. Davie—Do you think there is, or was, any occasion for the Bishop to protect his
house ? Ans.—There might have been a reason. I think there was a paper sent to him, telling
him to go away and to be on their guard—to look out.
Mr. Davie repeated the question. Ans.—There was a paper sent to him by the Indians,
requesting him not to stay on that land, being the reason of the confusion.
Mr. Davie—That might have been the Bishop's reason, but do you yourself think there
was any reason—do you, or any of the Indians, think there was any reason ?
Bishop Ridley—I think he means that the notice had been sent me, telling me to be off
and that they would send me away, and that there was no need for the barricading, for they
did not intend to act that day.    They only intended to send me away.
Mr. Davie—Do you, or your people, consider it necessary that the Bishop should protect
himself by barricading? Ans.—It would have been right if the Bishop thought there were
parties that wished to contend against him.
That is not tho answer. Do you consider the Bishop was right in barricading himself ?
Ans.—It is not right to make so much out of a little piece of paper.
Bishop Ridley—He also moans, that we used guns and they used paper. 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. lxiii.
Mr. Davie—Do the Indians intend to use firearms against the Bishop ? Ans_—I do not
think the Indians had any power to do so, but they simply sent him a paper to tell him the
state of their minds.
That is not the answer to my question. Do the Indians intend firing at the Bishop ?
Ans.—No; we would not do so. It has never entered our minds to use firearms on Bishop
Bishop Ridley—He only mentions myself.
Mr. Davie—You made a distinction between the people of the Bishop and the Bishop
himself—the person of the Bishop.
Mr. Collinson understood him to say that he himself, and others to his knowledge, intend
no violence to the person of the Bishop, or to those of his party.
Mr. Davie—Are you one of the elders ?    Ans.—I was one once, but not now. you one of the Council ?    Ans.—No, not one of the Council.
Do you think the Bishop will be perfectly safe when the man-of-war goes away ? Ans.—
Nobody intends to touch him—but we know that he is on our property.
Bishop Ridley—I would like you to ask him this question: If I won't leave the mission
premises, will the Indians put me out ?    [This question was then put to the witness.]
Mr. Tomlinson objected to this question being asked.
Bishop Ridley—I wish to state publicly that it is my belief that there will be great
danger after the ship goes, unless sufficient protection is left for us.
Mr. Davie (to witness)—Remembering this, that you have asked us to lay everything
before the Government, is it your intention to use any force in turning Bishop Ridley out of
that house? Ans.—Not at all. We have told everything, and we know that it will go the
Mr. Davie—The Bishop states that he understands you to say, on behalf of the
Indians, that you don't intend to molest the Bishop at all ?    Ans.—Yes.
Bishop Ridley—I will have the doors opened at once then.
Witness—I want to make a few remarks about our laughing at the law, and also laughing
at the man-of-war. Remarks have been heard from the people of the Bishop's party to the
effect that if we persecuted them, that the man-of-war will come and shoot at houses, and wherever
there are houses belonging to the Bishop's party they will not be shot at; and also any houses
that the Bishop's party have been friendly with, they will put some mark that they will not be
shot at at all. That is the real cause of all the laughing at the man-of-war. We were laughing
at these tales, not at the man-of-wai-. We used to laugh at Dr. Powell saying that he had not much
power. It was not so, he had power, because when the building was torn clown, we came to
Dr. Powell when he summoned us, and it was not our fault that we were not taken to Victoria.
Mil. Davie—Did you offer to go in such numbers that the ship could not take you ? Was
the reason that you were not taken clown that you wanted all the village to go down, and the
ship was not able to carry you all ?    Ans.—I could not toll; they refused to take us.
How many of you were there that wanted to be taken clown ?    Ans.—I could not tell.
Were there any persons besides those who were summoned that wanted to go ? Ans.—
No, only those that were summoned. We have heard it stated that we have been laughing
at the laws of Queen Victoria, and that is not the case. Why I remarked that no one would
ever persecute the Bishop, was that no steps are to be taken to survey the land, and things are
to remain as they are.
Mr. Davie—That was our intention, if we found out that you and the people were well
disposed toward Bishop Ridley.
Witness—That is all I have to say.
Mr. Davie (to the interpreter)—Ask them who is the next man, or if they want to say
anything more ?
Interpreter—They want to know if the other side is to stand up ?
Robert Hewson then came forward, and was sworn, through the interpreter.
Mr. Davie—How long have you lived at Metlakatlah? Ans.—Ever since the village was
built. I have just a few words to say, and will not be very long. Ever since the village
started, for nineteen-and-a-half years, things have run on very well. Mr. Duncan taught us
properly, what he had to teach us, and we firmly believed him, nothing else beside, and we
followed what we were told to do, for nineteen years. Lately we heard that they were going
to make this Church after the doctrines of the Church of England. Mr. Duncan explained to
us; and we heard a report that we were to join the Society—that they were to make us conform
to the rules of the Church of England.    The effects of Mr, Duncan's teachings were very good, lxiv. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
and people dying often said they were having a good end. Wo heard plainly that when Bishop
Ridley came, we were to follow the rules and teachings of the Church of ihigland. The Hishop
came, and he said that he was going to make us conform to the rules of the Church of England;
he never mentioned very much about God, but told us more about the Society. After a little
while, Mr. Duncan was put out; ever since that there has boon confusion, for three years, up
to this time. I would also ask the Commission to look into this matter, and just consider that
for nineteen years there was harmony, and no>v for three years, confusion; and to look at tho
difference. It is plain to me that the real cause of all these troubles, is Bishop Ridley. I
want to impress this upon your minds. I would like to say something concerning tho land. I
know this much, that Mr. Duncan—the time he had communications with Sir James Douglas
—told us that the two acres were simply held in trust for the parties that were to teach us, and
for them to live in. One reason why there is confusion here, is that we have heard that the
Bishop wanted to buy it, and that hence he went to England. It was never bought, but simply
held for the parties that were to teach us. And we have heard after Mr. Duncan has been
put off that place, that the Bishop wanted to secure it—the place where tho teachers were, to
remain. Suppose I was to work for Mr. White, and Mr. White gave mc a house, and the land
also on which it stands, and I had finished work for him, and my time was up, it seems very
queer if I should say to Mr. White that I wanted to buy this place; that is exactly how Bishop
Ridley acts—he wants to secure the place. Many Government officials have come here, visiting
the village here. They have always said the same thing, that they were thoroughly satisfied
with the way things were going on, and that the land was our own. Mr. O'Reilly was sent
here, and he surveyed the land. I only heard that he had done so. He surveyed this place,
as Mr. Duncan as stated.    Mr. O'Reilly never mentioned about tho two acres.
Mr. Davie—Are you sure of that? Ans.— I have never heard of it; of course the village
might have heard it. Because Bishop Ridley is very anxious to secure these two acres that
little point—is one of the causes of a great deal of confusion, and tho village with one accord
want this place and don't want to give it away. You already know that there are two parties
up here bitter against each other. I have heard that this was from the effects of bad teaching.
This is true; it is from bad teaching. I wish the Commission to look at these facts, that for
nineteen years Mr. Duncan was here by himself and things went on well. There are too
many ministers here teaching at Metlakatlah, and in fact wc know less when there are more.
It was not so when Mr. Duncan was here by himself. There are too many ministers here is
why we are in the present condition—that is, bad. The Government formerly gave Mr.
Duncan the power of a Magistrate, and while he was acting in that capacity things have been
very orderly in Metlakatlah; blood has never been spilt since this village started. He held
the laws of England, the same laws that turn neither to one party nor to the other. This
state of things went on until tho time of the rupture, and since then things have been all eon
fusion. It seems very queer to me that at the time Mr. Duncan was Magistrate everything
was quiet, but now there are magistrates everywhere and things arc; in great confusion.
There are too many ministers and too many magistrates, and that is the real cause of tho confusion. You have already heard of that little piece of land, and also the split into two pii'ties.
I beg the Commission to thoroughly investigate into this matter and lay it before the Government, and we would wish you to leave instructions, and I think that if the other party build
houses there will be confusion as before. I would like you to leave instructions that people
are not to build houses. Mr. Duncan taught us the contents of the bible, and Bishop Ridley
came and opened the bible and told us the contents of the outside, and he told us about tho
bible and about God, but he told us more about the Society, and he has told us about God but
has never followed it. He has only told us about the outside of the bible, and that is why his
work has not grown.    I have finished about that, and now I want to talk about Matthew.
Mr. Davie—You said you would make a short statement. Are you going to tell us anything that the other witnesses have told us? Ans.—Yes, I am going to talk about the saino
things.    I can explain the remarks of Samuel Pelham.
Mr. Davie—JoIiii Tait referred to that.
Witness—I would like you to leave instructions forbidding them to build.
Mr. Davie—Have you got any school in the village?    Ans.—Yes.
All the children go to it ?    Ans.—Yes.
Who is the teacher? Ans.—-Mr. Duncan himsolf. lie has taught us since ho was a
young man till tho present day. Referring to what Samuel said about the meetings being
held in Mr. Duncan's house and followed by these riots, I would say that Mr. Duncan is old 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. lxv.
now and is not foolish. When a man is young he sometimes acts foolishly, but Mr. Duncan
is old enough now and knows better.
Mr. Davie—Are you an elder ?    Ans.—Yes.
Are you one of the Council ?    Ans.—No.
You heard what Tait said about the Bishop not being molested or troubled ?    Ans.—Yes.
Do you, as one of the representative spokesmen, say the same thing that Tait has said
about the Bishop not being molested or troubled? Ans.—Yes; I say the same thing. We
are really surprised at Bishop Ridley arming himself in that manner. I always considered
that ministers, as a rule, preach the doctrine of love one another.
Mr. Davie asked the same question again.
Witness—We have no idea of hurting anyone. We wish to hear the effects of our
evidence that has been taken upon the Government.
Mr. Tomlinson was asked if Mr. Duncan would attend, and replied that owing to business matters he would be unable to attend.
Mr. Davie (through the interpreter)—During the course of the investigation the miners
here have asked me to state the opinion of the commission as to their right to go upon the
Indian Reserve while they are travelling. They tell me that the missionaries tell the Indians
to drive the white men oft' when they come upon their reserves in the course of their travels.
I have looked into the law upon the subject and I find this to be the law: That a white man
has no right whatever to reside and live permanently upon an Indian Reserve, but that there
is nothing to prevent a white man, when travelling, from landing at any village or Indian
Reserve and camping there for the night or a short time. This may be clone on any Indian
Reserve by any white man or any Indian, in just the same way that any white man or any
Indian is entitled to go to Victoria City; except this, that a white man cannot reside permanently upon an Indian Reserve. Of course, 1 don't know whether the missionaries have so
told the Indians, that a white man cannot land; but if the missionaries have been telling the
Indians this the missionaries are wrong; and if they have been telling them this the missionaries should recollect that they should keep within their own limits and not interfere with
matters that are not spiritual. When a man travels outside of his line of duty he always
makes mistakes.
Mr. Tomlinson—I object to the statement that missionaries have told the Indians to
drive white men or miners off their reserve.    It is not the case.
Mr. Davie—Mr. Clifford, can you name any missionaries that have told the Indians they
have a right to keep miners off their reserves ?
Mr. Clifford—Yes; I can name Mr. Tomlinson. George Kelly told me he was forbidden, and Jerry Griffith, also George Fairbrother, and I ask Mr. Tomlinson if he has not
forbidden miners to land at Kincola? Did you not write a letter to Captain Lewis forbidding
him to land any miners, as it would injure the morals of the Indians? These three men I
have mentioned and others have told me that they have forbidden them to go on an Indian
Mr. Davie—And you say that Mr. Tomlinson was the missionary?    Ans.—Yes.
Mr. Tomlinson—I have merely to say that I wrote a letter from information received at
Fort Simpson that the Hudson's Bay Company would take up sixty men on their steamer and
would land them there at Kincola. I wrote to Captain Lewis to tell him that we had no
accommodation for these men. All the males had gone away from the village, and nobody
was left but old men and young girls, and I said that there was no fit refuge for these persons.
I showed that letter to Mr. Trutch, and the Lieutenant-Governor told me that no white man
had any right upon an Indian Reserve.
Matthew Auckland, Samuel Pelham, John Tait, and Robert Hewson, were then
Mr. Davie (through the interpreter) to Matthew Auckland and Samuel Pelham—These
two people (Tait and Hewson), representatives of the great majority of the Indians at Metlakatlah, have requested the Commission not to make tho survey now, but to leave to the
Government of British Columbia, for their decision, the troubles now existing at Metlakatlah—
all questions, all troubles,—and they say they are willing to abide by the decision of the
Government; are you, upon your part, willing to abide by the same decision? Ans.—Yes, we
are both willing.
Mr. Davie—That being the case, the Commission think it well that the survey should not
proceed, and they will refer everything to the Government of British Columbia. The whole of
this evidence in these books will be read by tho Government, and tho short-hand notes will bo Ixvi. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
made out into English words at length; and in tho meantime, also we understand from your
people, that the Bishop is not to be molested in any way at all, neither in person, nor in tho
house, nor in property. The last witness (Robert Hewson) asks the Commission to give
instructions that the Bishop's party are, during this interval, not to build upon this reserve;
we can give no instructions, for the reason that we have no power, but we recommend tho
people to abstain from putting up buildings pending the investigation. Now do you, tho
Bishop's people, consent to that as well?
Samuel Pelham—Are the other people to be the same?
Bishop Ridley—Some of these people have no place to sleep in, and this man wants to
build himself a house, and it does seem hard that they have had to wait so long for a house.
He has the money, but is frightened to build. Dr. Powell told them that he forbid any
buildings to be erected. Will Dr. Powell's prohibition continue? They did promise not to
build, but they have never heard from Dr. Powell; it is over a year now.
Mr. Davie—Do you object to that man completing his house, so that he can live in it
this winter?
John Tait—Where has he been sleeping?
Mr. Davie—How can it hurt you to allow any man a place to sleep in in the winter?
Ans.—We cannot answer this question before seeing the other Indians.
Mr. Elliott—John Tait and Hewson : How can it possibly hurt you if any Indian who
happens to be opposed in some things, makes himself comfortable in any way for the winter?
Ans.—We have never at all prevented people from making internal repairs.
Mr. Davie—Do these people want to do more than that?
Samuel Pelham—I, for myself, would want to make internal repairs.
How about the others?
Donald—The foundation of his house has been standing for some time, and Matthew
wants also to make some internal repairs.
Mr. Elliott (to the interpreter)—Explain to them that the Indians, to whom they are
opposed, if they put in an additional room they do it at their own risk, because tho Government
may say they have no right to do it, and this people will benefit by it.
Mr. Davie—Can you find out the feeling of the other Indians who are here? The decision
will be given this time very soon.
Interpreter—They say it is all right concerning the internal repairs.
Mr. Davie—But there is one man who has got lumber and cannot put it up.
Interpreter—They say they want to hear the decision of the other people.
Mr. Davie—Can they find out that here, in this room 1
Interpreter—They say one reason was they had broken one of the laws of Metlakatlah,
and they told them to wait, that, perhaps, they might have united again.
Mr. Davie—You tell them they call themselves Christians—surely if that be so, they
cannot wish to prevent their brothers building houses, especially in the approach of the winter
Matthew Auckland—Dr. Powell has told us, on two occasions, not to build, to stop.
We have stopped, but the other party are still building.     Dr. Powell told both sides not to build.
Mr. Collinson—The whole thing seems to hinge upon Moses Venn's affair—which case
was not tried.
Bishop Ridley—Dr. Powell promised $25 compensation to Moses Venn, but he has never
heard a sound of it.
Mr. Davie (to the interpreter)—Ask the Indians here if the majority will have any
objection to the minority building?
Interpreter—They would like to have a meeting and talk over it.
Mr. Davie—How long would you take to get through it?    Ans.—Half an hour.
Mr. Davie (to the interpreter)—Tell them not to be any longer than that.
The Court was then adjourned for half an hour.
After Recess.
Mr. Davie (to the interpreter)—Ask those parties to step up—those that were here before.
Interpreter—They say that they will promise not to do anything until they hear about
the results of the Commission.
Mr. Davie—We are told that you were informed that it is the decision of this Commission
that you refer to.    It is not, it is the decision of the British Columbia Government,  and this 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. lxvii.
Commission has no power to decide the matter at all, and we are not going to decide it. The
British Columbia Government will decide it. And then there is no use referring to the Government unless you are willing to abide by their decision. You don't suppose that the Government is going to make a decision if, after that is done, this party or that party say they won't
have it. It is the same for one as for the other; and there must be an end to these troubles,
and you cannot get that unless you say that you are willing to accept the decision of the
British Columbia Government—on both sides. If you are not willing to trust tho British
Columbia Government, why do you refer the matter to them?
Interpreter—They thoroughly understand it now.
Mr. Davie—You thoroughly understand it; both parties?    Ans.—Yes.
And do both of you agree to it? Ans.—We have already stated we agreed if the ground
was not surveyed, but now we find the other parties want to build houses.
Bishop Ridley—I think the people will agree to leave it in the hands of the Government.
Mr. Davie—I will read what I have written in this book:—
" It is agreed between John Tait and Robert Hewson on the one side, for the majority of
the Indians of Metlakatlah, and by Matthew Auckland and Samuel Pelham for the minority,
that all questions and troubles between them—including the two acres known as Mission Point—
be left to the decision of the British Columbia Government; and they agree to abide by their
decision. The majority also agree not to molest Bishop Ridley, or any of the people attached
to him, or the house and premises at Mission Point."
Mr. Davie (to the interpreter)—Now tell them that we all think that is the best thing
for everybody.    Ask them if they thoroughly understand it?
Bishop Ridley—I think it has been well interpreted to them.
Mr. Tomlinson—I do not think that this is the general feeling of the Indians in the
village.    I believe the people do not understand what is being clone.
Mr. Davie—Your remarks are quite uncalled for. The Indians have every opportunity
of knowing what is being clone, and I believe they understand it thoroughly. They say they
do.    I will read it over to them again.
Bishop Ridley—I think if it were read slowly those of them who speak English would
understand it.
It was then interpreted to the Indians again; Mr. Davie reading it slowly.
Mr. Davie—Do you understand it now? Ans.—We agree to this; we thoroughly agree
to it, and there will be nothing clone just at present—nothing till we hear the decision of the
Government concerning the two acres, and about these parties breaking the village law. We
will thoroughly agree with the decision of the Government if it is in our favour.
Mr. Davie—What is the use of making any reference to the Government on such terms?
We have already told you that everything will be put before the Government. Suppose the
Government were to say we are going to measure that land off, and it does not coincide with
your wishes.
Hewson—If the Government decide upon measuring off Mission Point we will not be
satisfied with it.
Mr. Davie—We have all your complaints, and the Government will consider them.
Bishop Ridley—They state that if the word sent by the Government is in their favour
they will acquiesce.
Mr. Davie—The Government will not accept the reference on any such terms; as I stated
before. You want your troubles decided, and do you suppose that anyone is going to take the
trouble to look into your troubles unless you will abide by the decision. You yourselves asked
that it might be referred to the Government. We have taken down every word that you have
said, and everything goes down to the Government. You asked that it be referred to the
Government; how foolish to say if it goes against you, you will not abide by it. The Government would not accept the reference.
Mr. Davie—Will you agree to this, or do you not? You know what it means, do you
not?    Ans.—We will agree if the decision is in our favour.
We shall not ask the Government to consider the matter at all in the way of arbitration
if you will not agree to abide by its decision. It is your own suggestion, and we have clone
what we consider to be best for you, and it is very wrong for you to infer that the decision will
be against you; it may be in your favour; it may be partly in favour and partly against you,
but if you don't refer it to the decision of somebody, how are you going to have your troubles
settled at all?    We cannot do anything more for you. lxviii. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
Mr. Elliott (to the interpreter)—Will you say that I believe that these Indians are well
disposed, but I believe that they have been influenced by bad people.
Mr. Davie—Are you not able to think for yourselves without going for advice to somebody else. These troubles have come aboat, in a great measure, by bad teaching; Robert
Hewson says so himself to-day. It is very evident to me that you cannot settle your troubles
yourselves, and how are you going to do it?    You have got troubles, you do not dispute, that.
Robert Hewson—That is true.
You cannot settle them between yourselves, and now you say that you don't want anybody to settle them for you.
Robert Hewson—Another matter we are not satisfied with is, this reserve has never been
explained to us.
Mr. Davie—Do you mean the extent of it? Ans.—We have heard that this ground is
our own, but it is the Queen's ground, and now we have heard that it is their land.
Mr. Davie—It is the Queen's land in this sense that nobody else shall have it but the
Indians.    She guarantees that reserve against all comers, and in favour of tho Indians.
Hewson—One thing we would like to know exactly, whether this is the Queen's or our
own land?
Mr. Davie—Which land? Ans.—The reserve. And we wish to have a paper stating
that this is really a reserve.
Mr. Davie—I have no doubt that if you apply to the Indian Department that they will
give it to you, but the Commission has no power to do so. We can recommend tho Department to send you such a paper, and we will recommend them to do so.
Do you wish to refer your troubles to the decision of the Government, and do you agree
to abide by what the Government decide?    Ans.—Yes, we thoroughly agree to this.
Mr. Davie—I tell you then you are very wise, and I think you have done what will
preserve peace and order amongst you. I think that if you had taken any other course, there
would not have been peace and order; there would have been troubles amongst yourselves,
and, possibly, worse trouble between the Government and the Indians, which I hope and think
will never occur. We shall now be able to tell the Government of British Columbia, and the
people of British Columbia, that it is false that you want to make a law for yourselves.
I will ask you to step up and sign this paper. If you don't agree with it let us know.
We have read it to you twice already, and you know what it means.
Robert Hewson. (after consulting with the other Indians)—We would like to have it
read over again.
Mr. Tomlinson—I don't think that the interpretation of a certain sentence is satisfactory.
I don't believe it was made plain to them.
Mr. Davie then asked Mr. Collinson to translate it to the Indians.
After he had clone so—■
Robert Hewson—We also wish that this house building affair should be in; also that
the minority will not build on the reserve in the meantime.
Mr. Davie (to Mr. Collinson)—Will you translate this additional sentence to them if you
please:—" The minority agree not to build on the reserve pending the decision."
Mr. Davie (to Matthew Auckland and Samuel Pelham)—Do you agree to this? A ns.—Yes,
we agree to it.
Samuel Pelham—Although it is hard, yet we agree.
Mr. Davie—The minority are ready to sign their names to this paper.   .
Robert Hewson—The greater part of our people do not wish us to sign our names,
although they say we will agree to it.
Mr. Davie (to Mr. Collinson)—Will you explain to these two people—Robert Hewson
and John Tait—what I have stated, and that we thought they were really anxious for their
troubles to be settled, and that unless they adopt some mode of settling them, things will go
from bad to worse.
Mr. Collinson did so, and said that they were pleased, and agree to all that is on the paper,
but that there are other people who do not wish them to sign it; they request a little more
time to consider it—they wish to have another half-hour.
Mr. Davie—Will you ask them if they would like to decide by taking the vote of those
here present.
Mr. Collinson (after asking the Indians)—They would rather have a little time to talk
over it.
Mr. Davie—Very well, we will be back here in half an hour.   Let me ask you one thing. 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. ixix.
I beg and pray of you to act on your own good judgment, and not on the judgment of other
people.    You are men of good sense; do not act like children—always being led.
After Recess.
Mr. Collinson was asked to interpret for a little while.
Mr. Davie—Ask the two Indians on each side to come forward again.
We have been away for over half an hour, and what is it you have to tell us?
Robert Hewson—We have asked all these people, and they have all said that they are
all agreed that we should not write our names.
Mr. Davie—Have you been consulting anybody, or have you been talked to by anyone?
Have any white people been talking to you and dissuading you from doing it?
Robert Hewson—Mr. Tomlinson said "I will not prevent anything you say; speak of
your own accord, and from your own hearts."
Mr. Davie—Has anybody dissuaded you from signing? Ans.—There was only Mr. Tomlinson here, and he did not prevent us from signing it.
Mr. Davie—I understand that the people agree to it, but object to your signing it?
Mr. Davie (to Mr. Collinson)—Please explain to them that inasmuch as they agree to it,
they should not object to sign it. Tell them that a long document with a great many names
on it, to show us that it was genuine, was presented to us this morning. If they are willing
to agree to this, we want their names on this paper to show that it is genuine. The Government will say to us, where is the evidence to show that they agree to this paper.
Robert Hewson—Our names are already on the paper.
Mr. Davie—Although your names arc at the beginning of the paper, they are not your
signatures; they were written by myself. Do you think, or do these people think, that we want
to cheat you, or that the Government wants to cheat you. Neither the Government nor
myself have any wish to do anything of the kind.
Robert Hewson—We have told you that we trust you, and we have asked you to
consider it.
Mr. Davie—What is the use of your trusting us if you refuse to put your names on this
paper.    It docs not look like trusting us.
Robert Hewson—We are giving you the words of those wc represent. I, for my own
part, was willing to sign my name.
Mr, Elliott—Do your people think that any of the members of the Commission here are
trying to deceive them in any way, or get the better of them in any way?
Robert Hewson—No; they don't believe it.
Mr. Davie—Will the other two come forward and sign the agreement—if they are
willing to do so?
The two men of the Bishop's party—Matthew Auckland and Samuel Pelham—then came
forward and signed their names to tho agreement in Mr. Davie's book.
Mr. Davie—Mr. Tomlinson, are there any Skeena River Indians here who wish to give
some evidence? ,
Mr. Tomlinson—Yes; there are two.
What is the nature of their evidence? Ans.—In connection with the evidence given by
Mr. Clifford and others, about miners having been threatened at Lome Creek. They have an
interest in the hunting on Lome Creek.
You said that these Indians had a claim against the Government on account of the game
having been driven off by tho miners; do you back them up in that claim? Ans.—Yes, I do;
they have made their representations to the Government.
Mr. Elliott—I insist upon that man being sworn before he says another word. I will
not sit here if he is allowed to say anything without being sworn.
Mr. Tomlinson was then sworn.
Mr. Davie—What is your name?    Ans.—Robert Tomlinson.
What is your occupation?    Ans.—Missionary.
Proceed with what you have to say.
Mr. Tomlinson—I have been requested by two of the Kitmangar Indians, who, by family
ties, consider themselves entitled to the hunting on Lome Creek—concerning a statement made
by Mr, Clifford to the Commission, that these Indians had threatened miners at Lome Creek. lxx. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
These Indians deny that any threats were used by them or their party towards miners- - they
deny it for themselves and for their family.
Mr. Elliott—What Indians told you this?    Ans.—The Indians are hero—in this Court.
Mr. Davie—Have you got any representation from these Indians? Ans.— Yes; 1 have
a statement here in writing from them.
Mr. Elliott—When was that drawn up? Ans.—On the 20th November. They brought
it to me, and asked me to give it to the Commission.
[The document was then shown the Commission.]
Mr. Elliott—Whoso handwriting is that in?    Ans.—Dr. Bluett's.
Mr. Davie—The Indians could not say more than they do in this paper: Ans—-I suppose not.
Bishop Ridley—These Indians will be found to bo residents of Metlakatlah. One, and
I think both of them have been here a year.
Mr. Elliott—Mr. Tomlinson: Did you and Mr. Duncan come to my house last October?
You had then come clown from Lome Creek?    Ans.—Yes.
I think you said that your life had been threatened ? Ans.—I mentioned it, but 1 made
no complaint.
Will you describe to the Court how it was? Ans.—I was on my way up the river and
spent Sunday at the Kitsegulah village. When I reached a little more than a mile above the
village, we were stopped by an Indian, the father of the boy who was drowned with two China
men at the mouth of the Skeena River in the springtime.    He was armed with a gun.
Mr. Elliott—Are you sure it was not a rifle? Ans.—No, it was not a rifle there was
a cover on it.
How could you tell what it was? Ans.—I swear it was a gun. Ho called upon the crew
to stop the canoe. They stopped at the request of the Indian, and they asked him what was
the matter. He said that he wanted me; and they asked him what he wanted me for, and ho
said he wanted to hear some news. He both looked and acted so strangely, that the crew all
believed he intended to kill me.
Mr. Elliott—The crew believed so ? Ans.—Yes. Tho man in the stern asked me not
to get out. Two of them—of the crew—got out, and he asked them what they got out for ■
he didn't want them he only wanted me. I asked him what ho wanted with me. lie said he
wanted to speak to me. I got out of the canoe, against the wishes of those in tho canoe, believing then, from what I saw, that he did intend to harm mo, and I walked up to him and
shook hands with him and asked him what he wanted. He then told mo that he had heard
that his son, instead of being drowned, had been murdered by Johnson—
Mr. Elliott—How long before this was his son supposed to be murdered ? How long
before had this thing happened?    Ans.—It happened in April or March.
How many months before?    Ans.—Five or six months about—
That he had heard that Johnson was in prison, but that if Johnson was hung he would
go for the two Chinamen, but that his boy would go unavenged. He said that ho intended to
avenge his death by taking the life of some white man whoso life he thought was of some value.
Mr. Elliott—You adopted this description of a white man to yourself? Ans.- Well, I
can truly say that I was afraid I was going to die when I stepped out of the canoe.
Mr. Elliott—Were you armed—did you not have a weapon of any kind with you ?
Ans.—No ; I never carry arms—my only weapon is the bible.
Your only weapon is tho bible?    Ans.—Yes.
Have you ever supplied pistols to any one?    Ans.—No ; never.
Has Mr. Duncan ever done so ?    Ans.—No ; I don't know anything about that.
I may say that this man's action was not echoed by tho other Indians. They told me
afterwards that they regretted it, and that the man himself was bordering on insanity. This
man was by himself, and they said it was his own individual act.
Mr. Elliott—I would like to have this interpreted to the Indians here. Mr. Cunningham: Tell them that Mr. Tomlinson says that, about a month ago, ho ways going up the
Skeena River, and he saw an Indian who called him and told him to come ashore, that he
wanted him. Mr. Tomlinson says that an Indian who was steering the boat said " Don't go
ashore, he is going to kill you." Mr. Tomlinson went ashore and spoke to that Indian and he
was not hurt by that Indian—he saw a gun in tho Indian's hand. 1 asked him if the Indian
had tho remotest intention of killing him, and Mr. Tomlinson swears that that Indian intended
to kill him, 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. lxxi.
Mr. Elliott—What is the name of that Indian?   Ans.—Kowquait Neegaswy.
Mr. Tomlinson—I also said he was bordering on insanity.
Mr. Davie—I understood it that way.
Mr. Elliott—And you believe the Indians at Lome Creek are damaged by the miners ?
Arts.—Yes ; I think they are damaged—at any rate so far as the hunting is concerned, as I
think the animals are chased away by the noise into other creeks.
Mr. Ball—I have had considerable experience of miners in this country, and I have
never heard that miners damaged the hunting in any place they went into. I thought it was
quite the other way.
Mr. Davie (to the interpreter)—Ask them if I was correct in taking down this—that
the other parties, John Tait and Robert Hewson, said that they agreed to this statement, but
would not sign it.
The interpreter asked the Indians, and their reply was " Yes; that is correct."
Mr. Davie—And that you are authorized to say that you agree to it? Ans.—Yes; all
our people say that it is all right, but we are not allowed to do it.
Mr. Tomlinson—They are perfectly willing and ready and leave it to the consideration of
the Government, and that so far is all that they have promised.
Mr. Davie (to the interpreter)—Tell these people that I understand these parties assent
to this agreeement, although they will not sign it. I wish to ask another question from curiosity's sake. I want to know why they don't want to sign it when they have agreed to it ?
Ans.—We just don't wish to bind ourselves. We are not willing to put our names to that,
fearing that we might be obliged to stand by whatever the Government may decide hereafter.
Mr. Davie—That means that you won't agree to what the Government says if it is
against you 1    Ans.—Yes.
Mr. Davie—Mr. Collinson : Do you think, from conversation with them, that they understand what we mean—that it is no use referring the matter for the decision of the Government
unless we have their names to the paper, agreeing to abide by that decision.
Mr. Collinson—I will put it to them again.
After talking to the Indians present, Mr. Collinson said "Yes; they say that that is what
the hearts of the people say; that is what the mind of the people is."
Mr. Davie—That they won't accept it if it were against them ?
Mr. Collinson—Yes; I cannot say but they are not willing that their names go down.
Mr. Daa'ie—Tell them we are really sorry, especially on their own account, that they will
not sign this paper. It was their own suggestion that their troubles were to be referred to
the Government for settlement, but, of course, the Government will not accept any such reference if they will not abide by the decision of the Government. We really thought everything
was settled, and now we have to stay over for another day by reason of their harping back
upon this subject.
The Court was then adjourned till 10 a. m., the next day.
Metlakatlah, B. G,
Saturday, 22nd November, 1884.
Present:—All the Commissioners.
Mr, Tojilinson was recalled.
Mr. Davie—What is the number of the parties here, respectively?
Mr. Tojilinson—Eight or nine hundred on one side, men, women and children, and from
fifty to seventy on the other side, men, women and children.
Mr. Davie—Are there any neutrals ?    Ans.—Not that I know of.
Where is your usual residence ?    Ans.—At Metlakatlah.
Arc you not on the Skeena River?    Ans.—Not now.
As an expression of opinion, what do you suggest as the solution of the troubles here ?
Ans.—The simple and thorough investigation as to the claims of the Indians to the land, and
especially to the two acres; as to the Indians' claim to the site of the village.
Do you know the reason why the Indians would not accept McKay? Ans.—Another
solution is that if this right is found to be substantiated that the Government should recognize
it, and notify those occupying it that they can only do so with the consent of the Indians;
that it would be impossible for the Government to give them any claim or right to hold it
against the Indians; at the same time the Government will see that they get proper compen- ]xxii. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
sation for any loss of buildings that may be proved.    J. think if that was done it would settle
the question as far as the immediate difficulty is concerned.
Mr. Davie—What is tho reason that the Indians would not accept Mr. McKay? Ans.—
They said to Mr. McKay himself that they did not fool that tho Indian Act, while good in
itself, was intended for or suitable for Indians in their position, and that as he came as an
agent appointed to carry out that Act his presence amongst them would be useless, as the Act
was not in force.    At the same time they disclaimed all personal animosity to him.
Mr. Davie—I think you told us that you were a missionary here. Do you take! any part
in teaching the Indians otherwise, in the schools generally? You teach the Indians sometimes
in the schools as well as the pulpit?    Ans.—Yes.
Have you ever told these Indians that the Indian Act is the law of tho land and is in
force, and rejecting it is rejecting the law of the land ?    Ans.—No.
Have you discussed with them the propriety of telling Mr. McKay that they did not
want the Act and would not have it?    ./bis.—I was not present at any of the meetings.
Have you had conversations with these Indians about this? Ans.—-Yes, with individual
Have you not advised them one way or the other on this subject? Ans.—I could not
say whether or not I advised them on the subject.
You have told us that you have not advised them to accept it?    Ans.—Yes.
So that if you gave them any advice it was to reject it?    Ans.—Not necessarily; there
might be a medium course.
Describe this medium course. Ans.—As I understood, Dr. Powell held out hopes that
certain portions of the Indian Act might be altered to suit special cases, and the question was,
if that was done, whether they might accept the altered Act, or accept it if it would bo altered
on their accepting it.
Mr. Elliott—You are putting words in Dr. Powell's mouth that would put him in a
very difficult position.    If that Act was not in operation ho had no right to bo here.
Mr. Tomlinson—I understood Dr. Powell was asked to decide tho point as to whether
that law was in force here or not, and to make it a test case, which would prove whether it
was or not—whether the Indian Act was in force here or not, and whether an Indian Agent
could be forced upon them against their will; and he declined to do so and declined to force tho
agent upon them.
What do you think about it yourself { Why do you consider it not in force? Ans.—I
consider it a special Act, and not one of the laws of the land.
Mr. Davie—It is recognised by all authority to be the law, and it is not a question for
you or for the Indians to discuss whether the law be right or whether it bo wrong. There is
not the slightest doubt that this Act is in force. Do you know it is in force ? Ans.-—-1 give
it as my opinion that it is not in force.
On your oath, you do not believe that Act is in force? Ans.—On my oath, 1 do not
believe that that Act is in force.
Mr. Elliott—And you told tho Indians that ?   Ans.— 1 could not say whether I did or not.
Do you undertake to say that you have not taught these Indians not  to  submit  to  that
Indian Act?    Ans.—I cannot say.
What is your reason for refusing to say so ? Ans.—I cannot recollect. I cannot undertake to say one way or the other.
Of what value is your recollection of any other matter ? Is your testimony in regard to
anything else worth a straw?    Ans.—It depends altogether upon what it is.
When a thing is being discussed backward and forward, surely you should be able to
recollect what your advice was on the subject. What were tho names of those two Skeena
River Indians ?    Ami.—Edward Stuart and Hap.
Which one of them has been there this year ? Ans.—Both. Edward Stuart lias been
residing hero.
Is the language tho same?    Ans.—It is a dialect, not quite tho same.
Will these people occupy much time in giving evidence? Ans.—I cannot say; 1 don't
think so.
Hap was then called, and was found not to be in Court.
Edward Stuart was then called.
Mr. Davie-- Does this paper, which was handed us by Mr. Tomlinson, contain all you
wish to say, in reference to statements made by Mr. Clifford ? Ans.—I am going to tell you
just what it contains.    If you are satisfied to take that, I will also be satisfied. 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. lxxiii.
Mr. Davie—Please step up and sign the document, as you have not already done so.
It was then signed and handed in to the Court.
John Tait was then recalled.
Mr. Davie (through the interpreter)—Apart from the troubles that you have between
yourselves at Metlakatlah, I want to know if the Indians have any grievances or complaints
against the Government beside the troubles between what I will call Duncan's party or the
Bishop's party? Ans.—It is the land that we hear that the Government is holding. This is
apart from the trouble with the Bishop.
Any other grievances or complaints ?    Ans.—And we have heard that it is not our land.
That is not true.    Ans.—We have heard that it is not our land.
Bishop Ridley—He is referring to something he heard in your opening address.
Mr. Davie—Our address never said that. It stated that this was your reserve—that
this was an Indian reserve, and that the Queen protected it, and that you have the
largest reserve in the country. It is perfectly true that the Queen holds all the lands, but
in this limited sense,—that she holds it so that she may protect it against enemies. In the
same way, if I have a town lot in the city of Victoria, the Queen holds that; if any foreigner
or foe were to come, or invade the country, that part inhabited by the whites or Indians, the
Queen would protect it; and it is principally in that sense that all the land is said to belong
to the Queen.
John Tait—These little reserves—these fishing streams—I want to say that the reserves
laid out by Mr. O'Reilly were all very small. These two rivers—the Skeena and the Naas—
have always been considered our own from time immemorial. That is our country, we don't
look beyond either river.
Mr. Davie—How far back ? Ans.—To the head of tide water on the Naas, and a little
on this side of Kitsilas village, on the Skeena; the West side of that village is the boundary
between the Tsimpseans and the Kishkish.
Mr. Collinson—I would like the term " Tsimpsean " defined. My reason is that it
affects Mr. O'Reilly's reserve work on the Naas.
Mr. Davie—What peoples are included in the Tsimpseans ? Ans.—Ourselves, the
Tsimpseans here and at Fort Simpson, the Metlakatlah and Fort Simpson Indians, for we all
accumulate together on the Naas; and the Neska Indians on the Naas.
Mr. Davie—Have you anything more that you want to say, because we are going to close
the Commission ? Ans.—The reason why we did not sign our names was this, we don't
exactly know what the Government will say about our wishes about the whole of this land; we
cannot sign it before we know what the Government says.
Mr. Davie—The. proposition to refer your complaints and troubles to the Government
came from yourselves. You asked us instead of making the survey, to leave the whole question
—the troubles and everything—to the Government. We thought it a very good suggestion.
But at the same time the Government is not going to arbitrate upon it in the shape it is now,
because no Government would undertake to sa}', as between two parties, what should be clone,
unless both parties decide to agree to what is decided. Although the Government will not
undertake to arbitrate between the two parties, yet of course they will know everything that
has been said. The Government cannot give a decision between the parties, because the
parties will not consent to it. But of course the Government will know everything that has
boon'said here. How far the Government will communicate with you, and what will be
clone I don't know. Of course we have your promise that you will keep tho peace all round
to Bishop Ridley, and to his people.
John Tait—Yes, wo thoroughly understand.
.Mr. Davie—We don't want writing for that.    That will do.
Mr. Tomlinson—The people say that a statement was made about a bullet having been
fired into the mission house.    The man is here who was present when the bullet was fired.
Mr. Davie—One was Maitland, who is in Victoria.    I suppose it is the other man.
Mr. Tomlinson—I would like to be heard about my stating that the Indian Act was not
in force. 1 find I am not alone in that belief, because Lord Dufferin is of the same opinion.
Here is a speech of his, in which ho says—
Mr. Davie—Lot mo see it.
[After reading tho article pointed out by Mr. Tomlinson.]
Mn. Davie—There is not one word or allusion to the Indian Act in that paragraph. It
has nothing whatever to do with the Indian Act.    The Governor-General of Canada would be lxxiv. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
the last person to say that this Act—the law of the land—is not in force.     Directly, or
indirectly, there is not a single word referring to the Indian Act.
James Rudland then came forward, and was sworn, and read a statement as follows:—
" I was taking a walk one evening about eleven o'clock. I saw Edward Maitland standing
in front of the mission house, looking up at the window fronting the west side of tho village.
I went up to him and asked him what he was looking at; he said he was looking at two girls
he was acquainted with, at the window. I also looked up and saw the said persons.
Edward Maitland said, 'I wonder if a bullet would reach the top of the roof, if I were to throw
it.' I replied I did not know. He said lie had a bullet in his pocket. I did not see the
bullet, but I saw him take something out of his pocket, and throw it. Then wc hoard a crash
of one of the windows; I could not tell which window; then Edward Maitland ran away, I also
ran too. Next morning Edward Maitland was offered $5 by the Bishop, if he could find out
who it was.    That is what Edward Maitland told me."    That is all I know about it.
Mr. Davie—Did you see the figure of the Bishop at all, when you were looking at the
window ?    Ans.—No.
Was there any firearm used ?    Ans.— No, not that I know of.
Bishop Ridley—I would like to hear if it was a window up or down stairs ?
Mr. Davie—What window was broken ? Ans.—-I found out next clay that it was one of
the windows on the West side.
Bishop Ridley—Do yon think a man aiming at the upper windows, or throwing anything
on the roof, could have possibly hit the lowest pane of the window of the room in tho middle
of the house?    Ans.—I think a person throwing in the dark, could not have a very good aim.
Was there any light in the window?    Ans.—Yes.
Would not that assist the aim as well as if it were daylight?
Mr. Davie—Have you got the bullet?
Bisnop Ridley—I had it for some time; Mrs. Chantrell had it for some time. It was a
very small bullet.
Mr. Davie—Was the bullet imbedded in the wood or found upon the floor? Ana.—On
the floor.
Was there any mark on the wall?    Ans.—Until to-day, no one ever looked.
These persons were not a great distance off, because you yourself saw them? Ans.—They
might have been twenty or thirty yards away.
Supposing they were thirty yards off—a bullet fired from that distance would have imbedded in the wood?    Ans.—I think so.
Mr. Ball—Did you hear any report?
Bishop Ridley—It was my impression that there was a report. I could not swear to the
report. I thought there was a report mixed up in the sound of tho crash of the window. 1
mean a report from a small pistol.
Mr. Collinson—I would state that I had a very small girl, but her bed-room was quite
at the other end of the house. It could not have been girls looking out of the window; there
were no young women in the house—not boarding in the house—only a young girl of thirteen
or fourteen years.
Mr. Davie—The Commission is now about to adjourn, as far a Metlakatlah is concerned.
Bishop Ridley asked if the witnesses must go clown to Victoria; they are bound over to
appear on the 24th.
Mr. Davie—They will receive notice when they are required. Does anybody wish to
make a remark?
Bishop Ridley—May I ask if some of the small pieces of furniture in this building can
be removed?
Mr. Davie—Is it possible that any objection can be made?
Mr. Tomlinson—Bishop Ridley was informed that at any time he would be allowed to
remove anything he wanted; but the Indians wish to have a list in writing—an inventory of
the things taken away.
John Tait then addressed the Indians present, and said he had given them five minutes
to discuss the matter.
Mr. Davie—Do the Indians say that they arc willing to give these things to Bishop
John Tait—Yes, quite willing; provided Bishop Ridley sends them in a list of what is
his own—just the school things that were here before.
Bishop Ridley then made out a list of the things he wanted, which he handed to Mr. Davie, 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. lxxv.
Mr. Davie—These  are the  things that Bishop Ridley wishes to take away—carpet
cushion, lamps, harmonium, chairs, tables, stove, can of coal oil.
This was interpreted to the Indians present.
The Commission then adjourned sine die.
On Board H. M. S. Satellite,
Alert Bay, B. C,
Friday, 28th November, 1884.
Present:—Hon. A. E. B. Davie, H. M. Ball, Esq., Commissioners.
George Blenkinsop was sworn.
Mr. Davie—What is your occupation ?    Ans.—Indian Agent.
Where do you reside ?    Ans.—Beaver Harbour.    Fort Rupert is my official residence.
How long have you been a resident of British Columbia ? Ans.—Forty-five years. For
a long time in the Hudson's Bay Company's service—twenty-one years.
You have considerable knowledge of the North-west coast, I presume ? Ans.—I have,
and of every tribe.    I have had dealings with every tribe.
Are there any matters concerning which you would like to state an opinion ? Ans.—Yes;
I could state some facts in connection with the enquiry you have entered into. In June of
this year application was made by some Fort Rupert Indians to remove their dwellings to
Alert Bay. Before I go any further I may state that my letter to Dr. Powell on the subject
is in the Indian Office, on the subject of Indians removing from Beaver Harbour to Alert
Bay. -I reported this to the Indian Superintendent and stated I thought it highly unadvisable
that they should do so, on account of their object being to strengthen the potlatching party of
this place, which was, of course, objectionable, as the Government wished potlatching to be
put clown. Dr. Powell answered my letter, stating that my views were correct and that I was
to prevent the Indians from removing their dwellings to this place. I told the Indians that
Dr. Powell supported me in my views, and that they should not shift their dwellings to Alert
Bay. This was said in the most decided manner; this was said by me. The Chief of the tribe
that wished to remove—I had better give you the name of the tribe, the Kweahkars—said
that neither Dr. Powell nor the Queen herself had any rights to the land in question, and that
they wore determined to build at all hazards and in defiance of me. During a residence of
forty-five years in the country I have never yet known or heard a coast Indian allude to the
question of the land or their rights to it before this occasion. Three clays before this a canoe
of Naas Indians arrived from the North—or rather, they were passing the place (the Bay) and
several canoes went off and brought them in and induced them to remain for the night.
Mr. Ball—From where ? Ans.—From Alert Bay, and brought ashore the Naas Indians.
I was hero at the time. After an interview with these Indians, after a talk, I saw a marked
difference in the behaviour of the Indians here at Alert Bay, among whom were Fort Rupert
Indians. The Kweahkars were here as well as their Chief, and the Kweahkar Chief told me
that they had the same rights to their lands here that the Northern Indians had to their
country. I have now just to give you my opinion of the affair. For a time I considered I
was placed in great difficulty, and thought that bloodshed might follow, as I had determined
to carry out the orders of my Superintendent. I was apprehensive that bloodshed might be
tho result of my preventing them. The Indians wore very determined. At this time, having
to arrest some whiskey sellers, I appointed constables for this purpose.
Mr. Ball—Were they Indians? No; white men; and I kept these men under pay for
a clay or two. The Indians, seeing that I was very determined, decided not to build. As I
was so determined they desisted from the purpose of building. I don't know that I can say
any more. I will tell you what happened and what I told them. They had the logs ready to
build and the ground staked off, and I went to where they were and I told them to stop, and
1 drew my revolver and I said to them: "You can roll the logs if you like, but you will have
to roll them over mo" I told them I had in my hand the lives of six of them, and they saw
1 was determined and, as I said, they desisted. They gave me great anxiety, and it is the
very first time the Indians have referred to the land question.
Mr. Ball—This results from the Metlakatlah troubles? Ans.—Yes. There were Tsimpseans with the Naas Indians. They were Naas canoes, but Tsimpseans with them. They did
not refer much to Naas; the talk was more about Metlakatlah—the lands at Metlakatlah.
Mr. Ball—How long ago is that?   Ans.—I must consider,    This last spring; the early lxxvi. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
part of this summer; in May, probably, this year; since last March or April. They will be
able to give you information at the Indian Office in Victoria.    They have my letter there.
Have you heard any expression of opinion about Metlakatlah?    Ans.—No.
Is there a reserve at Fort Rupert ?    Ans.—Yes.
There is not any reason for their removing? Ans.—None whatever; they have plenty of
room. Perhaps this occurred in June. You can find out at the Indian Office. Dr. Powell
wrote me back to say that I had taken the correct stand and to carry it out.
Can you give any of their names ?    Ans.—No.
How long since you were at Metlakatlah ? Ans.—Not since Lord Dufferin was there in
Is it of any use asking you as to your knowledge of the Indians up there—as to their
numbers, and where situated, approximately? Ans.—The Naas River 350 in all—men, women,
and children—and the Kincolith; Skeena River, every tribe on the Skeena,—I should say
1,500—men, women, and children.
How many men? Ans.—One-third—500. There are seven or eight tribes on the Skeena
River; the Kitkatlahs 180 men, women and children.
Is their place accessible ?    Ans.—Yes.
Could this ship go there ?    Ans.—Yes.
Is the Naas accessible ?    Ans.—No.    Kincolith is accessible..
On Queen Charlotte Island, Masset, the north end—it is many years since 1 have seen
them—say 220 men, women and children.
Skidegate 120.
Gold Harbor 120.
Two small tribes at the south end, called Cape St. James Indians, 150—altogether 610.
I recollect the time when the Skidegates numbered 2,000. There is now not a single
woman left that can breed amongst them.    There is not a single married woman.
How many years ago was that?    Ans.—In 1843.
Speaking of decimation in point of numbers, to what cause do you ascribe it? Ans.—To
their coming in contact with civilized life generally. Tho change of life from the open air to
houses, and drinking of spirits and prostitution.
Is the Indian Department aware that there are 1,500 Indians up on the Skeena River?
Ans.—I should think so.    Only a few years ago they had 1,800.
Is there an Indian Agent there? Ans.—Not that I am aware of. Mr. McKay was
appointed to take the agencies north of mine, from Rivers Inlet up to tho Naas, including
Queen Charlotte Island.
And including the Naas ?    Ans.—Yes.
Is there any Indian Agent to the north of you now ?    Ans.—No one, that I am aware of.
Do you consider it would be beneficial to have Indian Agents ?    Aits.—Yes, I do.
For what reason ? Ans.—We prevent crime being committed—if tho Indians do not
improve morally and physically—by our presence, to a great extent.
That is amongst the Indians ? Ans.—Yes. And we save the Government a great deal
of expense.
Do you know the reason why the Indians would not accept Mr. McKay at Metlakatlah,
of your own knowledge, or from hearsay ? Ans.—I have heard that they had arrived at that
state of civilization, that they considered themselves beyond being under tho power of the
Indian Act. That they were fit to govern themselves, and have their own institutions. I
think there is only one way of dealing" with the Indian question—the Government has to
come out and have a number of industrial schools on the Coast.
Is there anything else you would like to say ?    Ans.—I don't think so.
Victoria, 4th December, 1884.
Present:—Messrs. Ball and Davie.
P. O'Reilly (Indian Reserve Commissioner)—I went up to Metlakatlah in the fall of
1881—I think September,—upon the representation of Mr. Duncan that it was of tho utmost
importance I should go there at once, as tho Indian fisheries were being taken possession of
by whites for cannery purposes, and that if stops were not taken to secure to the Indians
their fisheries, they would suffer great injustice. This conversation took place at Victoria,
when he also said there was a strong feeling amongst the Indians on the subject,  and unless 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. lxxvii.
something was done immediately he feared there might be worse results between whites and
Indians. In consequence I went there. Before going Mr. Duncan kindly interested himself
in giving me all information in his power, and prepared a rough sketch himself, with his own
notes, of the different places he thought necessary to reserve for the Indians; not only at
Metlakatlah, but also outlying fishing stations at Naas and Skeena. I went there, being
accompanied by David Leask as interpreter, who was furnished by Mr. Duncan. At Metlakatlah we were supplied with a crew, and proceeded to the Naas. Havnig completed our work
there and at Fort Simpson, we came clown the coast to Metlakatlah. There I attended a
council of the Indians called by Mr. Collinson. I explained to them the object of my visit,
and invited them to accompany me next day to the lands south of Metlakatlah. Several spoke
on that occasion as to the different fishing stations, asking whether they would be reserved.
I referred, in a great measure, to David Leask, the interpreter, and the crew who had taken
me, to explain what had been done up the coast, with which they expressed themselves satisfied
and pleased. The extent of the reserve on the coast for the Tsimpsean Indians was explained,
and they demurred to it, stating they wished to have the entire peninsula—including Mr.
Turner's fishery on the Skeena (the Inverness). I explained I could not entertain it; not
having power to deal with lands sold to whites. They then said they were satisfied so long as
they were not separated from their brethren at Fort Simpson; and as all their fisheries had
been secured to them, I then went south with my own crew, accompanied by some canoes of
Indians, and reserved a number of small patches of cultivable land on Digby Island—in which
they appear to have been individually interested,—and also some fishing stations which lie
back of Fort Simpson. During my conversations with them as to tho boundaries of their
reserve, the question of the two acres (Mission Point) wras spoken of. On several occasions I
explained to them I had no power to deal with it, as it had already been reserved by the
Government. I explained to them the extent of the reserve on either side of the two acres.
At that time they did not take the same interest, as the severance had not then taken place
between the Church Missionary Society and Mr. Duncan. David Leask and Mr. Collinson
were present at all our conversations at Metlakatlah, and David Leask accompanied me to lay
out all the reserves.    There was a great deal of conversation at the different places.
When I returned to Victoria, after having completed the reserves so far as possible that
year, Mr. Duncan waited upon me and I explained to him very fully all that I had done, and
thanked him for his assistance in procuring an interpreter and crew, and specially for the map
he had furnished, and which I found to be of great service. Every jDoint indicated by him as
necessary to be reserved, I found to be so, with some few additions made by the Indians. Mr.
Duncan expressed himself as pleased and perfectly satisfied. Upon the map of the reserve for
the Tsimpseans, the two acres are excepted; so also in the minutes and the report.
In the spring of 1882, before going north, Mr. Duncan said that he had had several consultations with Indians as to the reserve at Metlakatlah. He said they were perfectly satisfied
with all I had clone, with the exception of the mode in which the reserves had been marked out
on Digby Island, i. e., the whole island was not included, and there were points upon the island
upon which whisky-houses might be erected. The result was, I included the whole island. I
believe that no maps have been deposited with the Indians in this case, because surveys have
not, as yet, been made. After the island was included, Mr. Duncan expressed himself as fully
satisfied, and that the Indians also were. Mr. Duncan knew that the two acres were not
part of the reserve. He spoke of it as being a paltry reserve, and as having been reserved for
the Church Missionary Society. When I was at Metlakatlah the notion was never mooted
that all the lands belonged to the Indians. It was, however, mentioned by Mr. Crosby, at
Fort Simpson, at a council of the Indians there. I was present when he did so. I told Mr.
Crosby it was a dangerous thing to do, and endeavoured to disabuse the Indians' mind from the
suggestion. Mr. Crosby referred to Lord Dufferin's speech. Mr. Green, C. E., was present at
all the conversations, and at the making of the reserves. Mr. Collinson was also present at
Metlakatlah during the meetings, assisting to interpret my remarks to the Indians, and he
said he was satisfied.
Charles Hixon Clough—I am a native of Boston, at present residing at Victoria.
Previously to being in Victoria, I was on the Fraser with Mr. Laidlaw and Mr. English.
Occupation, foreman of cannery. I recollect being at Metlakatlah during the present year
with Mr. J. E White. I recollect being present with him and Mr. Duncan. Mr. White and
I had just been stopped by the Indians from the council. They presented us with a notice
asking to know our business before we proceeded any farther. I told them I had come there
to see Mr. Duncan, and the Bishop also.    After some conversation with the Indians, we were lxxviii. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
allowed to proceed upon our way to see Mr. Duncan. I went into Mr. Duncan's house with
Mr. White, and was introduced to Mr. Duncan. While there some of the, Indians came in,
and were talking some little time in their own language. After they got through, Mr. Duncan
said the Indians wished him to apologize to me for having stopped me. I told Mr. Duncan I
was rather surprised at being stopped; that I was not interested in any of their troubles, but
simply called to see him on business in regard to favours he had shewn me during tho season.
He told me it was a mistake on their part; that a Surveyor had been there, to survey their
land against their wishes, and that they understood Mr. White was a constable, and seeing I
was with him, had imagined I might be on a similar business. Mr. Duncan, to the best of
my remembrance, said we recognize no constables here. I told Mr. Duncan I did not think
the Indians thought I had any idea of surveying, as many of them knew mo and how I had
been employed. He then changed the conversation, and commenced to speak about the Indians'
rights to the land. He said it was not between the Bishop and Mr. Duncan, but a question of
principle. That the land belonged to the Indians; they had had their title from time immemorial, and that was the best that could be shewn. That the Government had not any
basis for any law in the matter, and there were only three ways of acquiring land—by purchase,
or by conquest, or they could steal it. That the Government had not bought it; they had not
taken it by conquest; then how did they get it? And that when they came to enquire into tho
matter they would find it a very difficult question to settle, and that he had legal advice on
the subject.
Question—When you say that Duncan's remark about the constables is to the best of
you remembrance, have you any doubt in your mind as to his language?
Ans.—After that remark, and bearing in mind the remainder of his conversation, 1 had
some doubt whether I had understood the remark rightly, and this was tho doubt. I was in
doubt whether he had said "we" or "they;" as in one case he identified himself with the
Indians; and to make myself certain, when I came outside I asked Mr. White what was Mr.
Duncan's language about the constables, and Mr. White told me he had said " we recognize
no constables here." I told Mr. White I thought that was what he said, and I was surprised
at Mr. Duncan being so foolish as to identify himself with them. Mr. White said ho was
sure that was what he said. Except that I am in some doubt as to whether his remark commenced with "we" or "they," I am sure the remark was made, and I am very confident
" we " was the expression. Captain Shearburn was not there at the time. Mr. Duncan made
some remark about him, but I cannot recollect what it was.
(Signed)        C. IT. Clough.
H. M. Ball. 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. lxxix.
[Produced in evidence 18th November, 18S4, by Mr. Duncan.—A.E.B.D.]
To Ilia Excellency the Governor-General of Canada:
We, the undersigned inhabitants of Metlakatlah, make our humble petition to your Excellency:—
When Lord Dufferin, as Governor-General, came to Metlakatlah a few years ago he was pleased to see
us, and he spoke many kind words to us.
He told us to let him know if any trouble assailed our progress and he would help us. We are in trouble
now and our progress is seriously injured, and so we send five of our brethren to convey to you our words,
entreating your Excellency's help.
For over twenty years Metlakatlah has been growing in numbers and strength. We left our old homes,
heathen customs, and buried our tribal feuds and jealousies, to become Christians and live as brethren at
Metlakatlah under the teaching and guidance of Mr. Duncan.
All the Indian tribes around have looked up to us, being attracted by our peace, unity and progress.
Now a sudden change has come over us.    We are plunged into sorrow and perplexity.
Last November a letter from the Church Missionary Society reached Metlakatlah, through Bishop
Ridley, informing Mr. Duncan that he must resign his work amongst us and hand it over to Bishop Ridley;
Mr. Duncan called us together and solemnly expressed his willingness to go away if we consented, and his
determination to do so if his presence under his altered circumstances would result in dividing us. But wo
would not consent to his leaving us. At a large meeting, Mr. Duncan not being present, we unanimously
resolved to entreat him to continue at the work he had begun and carried on so long amongst us, and as a
pledge of our sincerity and unanimity every hand at the meeting was raised and held up in solemn silence.
Mr. Duncan was then sent for, and in obedience to our earnest request, and seeing we were unanimous in
calling him, he pledged himself to remain at his post, and we hoped that the threatened danger had passed
During the winter months the Agent of the Church Missionary Society remained at Metlakatlah, and
it soon became evident that he was endeavouring to draw a party around him, and thus divide our
His endeavours succeeded to a certain extent.
Some few of our people, from one evil motive or another, pretended to forget the pbdge they had
solemnly and recently made; and being anxious to advance their own importance, or get an easy living, have
dared to perjure themselves, and thus become the nucleus of a Church of England party under Bishop
Ridley. James Leequneesh, who has, on several occasions, in previous years, done his very utmost to
destroy the Mission at Metlakatlah, and has had to be sent away for his conduct, was the first to raise the
voice of opposition to the general will; and he now publicly declares that he and his party are watching a
game of chance, and if the struggle results in bloodshed he will not be shocked, as it would be no new
experience to him to shed blood.
Bishop Ridley and Mr. Collinson since May last have been doing their utmost to enlarge the rupture.
They shrink not from adopting means to accomplish their purpose, which are not only hateful to us, but
would, if known, we conceive, be condemned by all right thinking people.
We are already somewhat aware of the evils which have come to Christianity among the whites through
their divisions and sectarianism, and we dread such evils springing up in our midst. We are therefore
resolved to resist every attempt to force these divisions upon us.
To the present time we have never enrolled ourselves as members of any particular Church of the white
We know only the Church of Christ as revealed in the Bible, and desire to belong to that, and be in
brotherly union with all people who love the Lord Jesus Christ; but independent as far as church order,
ritual and discipline are concerned.
We have learnt since we have been Christians to be law-abiding subjects of Her Majesty the Queen,
and being anxious to continue such, we now appeal to your Excellency for protection.
This division, if permitted and sanctioned by your Excellency, will destroy our peace, drive some of
our settlers back to their, old haunts, and become a serious stumbling block to the advancement of true
religion amongst us.
Many of our loss enlightened brothers in surrounding tribes are already halting on the road, and are
asking can that religion be true that prompts men to divide and distract a peaceful community;—stirs up and
fosters the evil passions of pride, rivalry and hatred, and forms a refuge for all who resist the salutary
restraints of the law.
In conclusion, we beseech your Excellency to exercise your authority on our behalf, and prevent the
evils of which we have spoken; and also that you will forbid our land being given to, or used by, any white
man's church contrary to the will of the majority of our Christian community.
And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray. lxxx. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
[Produced by Mr. Duncan 19th November, 18S4.— A.E.B.D.]
Declaration made 29th November, 1852.
We, whose names follow, inhabitants of Metlakatlah, having learnt from tho Superintendent, of Indian
Affairs at Victoria, that we are to be punished by law if we take steps to prevent the Agents of the Church
Missionary Society from holding and occupying the property of the Society, (consisting of a school-house),
on our Reserve, "for the uses hitherto sanctioned."
We now declare that, being fully aware of the consequences of our action, we cannot and will not permit
the Agents of the Society to occupy the school-house on our Reserve, because they have signified their
intention of turning it into a church.
We have counted the cost and are persuaded that the evil and suffering which will result from a rival
church in our midst, will be greater to us and our children than our suffering the penalties of tho law.
Paul Legato,
Joseph Nkeshkeetk,
Edward Mather,
and 133 others.
[Produced by Mr. Duncan 19th November, 1884.—A.E.B.D.]
To the Agents of the Church Missionary Society now residing on a piece of land at Metlakatlali, granted  hy the.
Government, from nine-tenths of the inhabitants of Metlakatlah.
1. We announce that we have our Church at Metlakatlah which we have named the Christian Church
of Metlakatlah, and we will have no other Church on our Reserve.
2. You have declared it to be your intention to turn the school-house belonging to the Church Missionary Society, now on our Reserve, into a church to be conducted on the principles ot the Chimb of Kij'dnnd.
3. We will not allow two churches on our Reserve and therefore hereby notify you to remove the
school-house belonging to the Church Missionary Society to the ground already granted to the Society at
Metlakatlah by the Government.
[Produced by Mr. Duncan 19th November, 18S4.—A.E.B.D.]
List of Indian Shareholders, Co-operative Store, Metlakatlah,   19th November, 1884.
Albert Webster 8 100
Daniel Wahteeboo  100
Jenny Spencer  100
Ambrose Spencer "  50
Frederick Ridley  100
Moses Baines  100
Richard Tsishnay  100
Robert Allen  100
Alfred Baines  100
Adam Gordon  100
John Komshnaish  100
Alfred Aucland  100
Isaac Lip-dzee-cheeoost  50
Peter Kemshak  50
Joseph Wahlach  100
Frederick Parker '.  100
Oswald Dobson  100
Joshua Judson  100
Wee-dil-dahl  100
Edward Nash-ta-naout  100
Leopold Elliott  100
Richard Kikeaux-unwahlb  100
Leonard Compol  100
Edgar Ath-skoo-woh  50
JamesCompol  100
Cladai  100
Charles Yoush  100
George Comtsoob  100
Christopher Cashtaeeuy  100
Andrew Shay  100
Cornelius Shadzahn  100
Robert Neash-spootk  IwO
Stephen Thret-quahtk  100
Charles Neesh-ji-yunsht  100
Luke Tach-ah-yat  100
Isaac Mohuan  100
Andrew Neash-mants  100 48 Vic. Metlakatlah Commission. lxxxi.
Luke Shay  100
Arthur Auksh  100
Simon Loolach  100
Caleb Neash-orkisht  100
Edmund Shay ,  100
Matthew Lance  100
Edward Cawish  100
Edward Benson  100
Arthur Dundas  100
Benjamin Dundas  100
William Weetkedoo  100
Peter Weetopran  100
Timothy Weetkedoo  100
Josiah Weenachst  100
Simon Qunbahthsk  100
Frank Wealayot, Sr  100
Enoch Neeuks  100
Job Kemshot  100
Frank Wealayot, Jr  100
Francis Neash ka-nahst  100
Theodore Thrchket  100
Mark Hamilton  100
Henry Ncash-quchist  100
Mark Lipst-mekshoond  100
Amos Hi-ant-quah  100
Matthias Kittan-quah  100
George Ananay  50
Philip Johnston  100
Walter Thrat-quashtk  50
Peter Wah-she-bach  100
'timothy Milton  100
Joseph Neash-Keetk  50
Noel Neash-et-jjootk  50
Charles Hewson  100
David Leask  1000
James Rudland  1000
Henry Ridley  100
Abel Wutseen  100
(ieorge We qush-neht  100
Edward Buss  100
Total $9,100
Metlakatlah, B.C.,
22nd September, 1884.
To the Agents of the Church Missionary Society, Metlakatlah, B.C.:—
We are much surprised this morning to learn that it was the intention of Mr. E. E. Shearburn, land
surveyor, (who arrived here on Saturday night) acting under the authority of the Surveyor-General, to
have surveyed a portion of our village site known as Mission Point, without our being in the least consulted,
and also in spite of our written protest, now before the Government.
By this attempt to surreptitiously deal with our property we are convinced that our protest in reference
to the occupancy of our land is being ignored, and our effort to obtain justice by peaceful means futile ; we
therefore feel impelled to take immediate action to assert and defend our rights, and hereby notify you that
the school house which you have turned into, and use as a rival church in spite of our written protest, is
no longer at your service.    It being on our land wo have taken and shall hold possession of the same.
(Signed) The Indians ok Metlakatlah.
[Produced in eviebnoj by Mr. Tomlinson, 21st November, 1884.— A.E.B. U.]
Metlakatlah, November 20th, 1884.
Sirs,—We, the undersigned natives of the village of Kitwingahk, wish to inquire concerning the statement   made by Mr. Clifford before you that the Kitiksheans had threatened the miners at Lome Creek.
Inasmuch as Lonio Crook belongs to our village of Kitwingahk (which is one of the Kitikshean villages),
wo deny that the minors have been threatened by that village.
Mr. Clifford statod that next spring there would be 200 fully armed miners up the Skeena, and that
while the main body would have nothing to fear, prospecting parties of two or three would be in danger. If
such be the case we believe it to be more likely that the lives of small parties of Kitiksheans will be in still
greater danger.
We desire to inform you that it is not correct,  as stated by Mr.  Clifford, that Mr.  Duncan has had .
anything to do with our troubles up tho  river, which  liavo  arisen solely from  the coming of  the miners
amongst us.
Edward Stuart,
Denaiiap   x   his mark. Ixxxii. Metlakatlah Commission. 1884
[Received on board H.M.S. Satellite, through tho hands of Mr.  Duncan, on tho evening of Thursday the
20th day of November, 1884.—A.E.B.D.]
Metlakatlah, B. C.,
November 19th, 1884.
To the Commissioners:—
Sirs,—We, the undersigned women of the village of Metlakatlah, desire to acquaint you that this is
the third time our signatures have been written on paper protesting against our land being given away to
any white people without our consent.
The first paper we signed was our petition to the late Governor-General of Canada; that petition was
replied to by very comforting words and promised that careful consideration would be given to our petition,
but up to this day wo receive no reply concerning our land. Secondly—'Phis month of last year wc were
informed that the Government had given orders to Mr J. W. McKay to survey two acres of our land called
Mission Point, and to hand it over to the Church Missionary Socic ty to be their property. On hearing this
report we at once again signed our names on paper protesting against our land being taken away from us
and from our children; this protest was sent by Mr. J. W. McKay to Dr. Powell, Superintendent of Indian
Affairs, Victoria.
Dr. Powell sent us an official letter stating that he had forwarded our protest to "The Honourable
Provhicial Secretary," but again, up to now, we have no reply concerning our land. Thirdly - On your
arrival here at Metlakatlah we were informed again that you had publicly declared that our land here at
Metlakatlah is not ours, but the Queen's, and you had already given orders to the surveyors to nurvcy two
acres of our land called Mission Point. We now again make our most solemn protest against such action,
and must repeat the same words with regard to this land.
We claim the whole of Metlakatlah—the home of our forefathers, the land which was handed to us by
them—to be our own property, and for our children, and we feel sure that this our land cannot be taken
away from us by force while we are under the protection of the laws of our White Mother the Queen of
England, which are made for the benefit of all.
We trust that you will use your influence, judgment, and ability in your office as Queen's servants to
what we now lay before you.    We are waiting for your reply.
We remain
Your humble servants,
Sarah Neasiiumaokkem,
Lucv Spencer,
Barbarre Lacjiteetiisl,
and 264 others.
[Received on board H.M.S. Satellite, 4 i>. m. November 22nd, 1884.—A.E.B.D.]
My Lord, may it please your Lordship:—
As I have heard that some of these people claim this place, so I intend writing you this note to inform
you that the Mission Point, and as far as where the prison is now, belonged to my relations. There were
six of the Chiefs on that place, some of them were my grandfathers and uncles, and they are all gone, and I
am their heir, so it is necessary for me to speek of it now. They wero not all gone when the Mission
commenced to reside on that place, but they consented to let the Mission have it.
I am,
Your humble servant,
Grace Lerquanksiik.
[Received on board H.M.S. Satellite November 22nd, 1SS4.—A.E.B.D.]
Metlakatlah, 15. C.,
November 22nd, 18S4.
To the Honourable the Attorney-General:—
Dear Sir,—The bearer of this,Chas. Barton, heard the stat >ment mado to-day by John Tait before the
Commission touching the claims of the Tsimpseans on the Naas River. Ho statos that John only admitted
the right of the Nishkahs to assemble on the said river with the Tsimps.ans for tho fishing, whereas, Mr.
O'Reilly allotted them, the Nishkahs of Kincolith, their reserve on tho sit j of tho fishery.
Mr. O'Reilly informed me on his return to Metlakatlah from the Naas of this fact, but he also informed
me that the shore line would remain as before, common to all tribes. It is on this point I believe that a
miunderstanding exists, and it might I think be removed by the authorities defining the exact limits of
such common foreshore.
The Nishkahs further state Mr. O'Reilly informed them that the Tsimpseans were not to erect p. ran-
nent buildings there, and that if they did the Nishkahs might remove them. This has already been done
in one instance and has led to much ill feeling.
I trust that some steps will be taken before the next spring fishing to ensure the peace of the river, and
to establish a proper understanding between the tribes who assemble there.
The Nishkahs fear lest their rights might suffer, and a few words from you, through the bearer, to their
people, will re-assure them and tend to prevent disorder and,misunderstanding.
I remain,
Honourable and clear Sir,
Yours very sincerely,
W.  H. Collison.


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