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RETURN To an Order of the House for a return of all lands set apart for Indians in this Province subsequent… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly. 1885

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 48 Vic. Indian Resekves. 391
EETURN
To an Order of the House for a return of all lands set apart for Indians in this
Province subsequent to the return made to this House on 13th January, 1873,
with the names of the tribes and the number of Indians for whom each reserve
has been made; and a return of the reserves which have been made to the
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, but not assented to by him.
WM. SMITHE,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Lands and Works Department,
20th February, 1885. 392
Indian Reserves.
1885
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h'-C.O 48 Vic. Indian Reserves.
Mr. O'Reilly to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
698 Indian Reserve Commission,
Victoria, B. 0., June 13th, 1882.
Sir,—I have the honour to inform you that, -while recently at Alberni for the purpose of
defining the reserves for the Indians in that locality, I found Mr. Charles Taylor occupying a
portion of the land belonging to the Oj>etchisaht tribe, on the Somass river, which he claimed
under a record of pre-emption dated November 16th, 1872. In conversation, Mr. Taylor
admitted to me that the Indian village stood upon this land prior to his record.
I have reserved a frontage of twenty chains on the Somass River, being a portion of that
claimed by Mr. Taylor (a rough sketch of which is enclosed), and I think it well to place this
fact before you, lest any application should be made for a title in his name.
I have, &c,
(Signed) P. O'Reilly,
/. R. C.
Mr. O'Reilly to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
395 Indian Reserve Commission,
Victoria, B. C, February 26th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to forward herewith amended Minutes of Decision, and rough
sketches of that portion of the land allotted by me for the use of the Tsimpsean Indians at
Fort Simpson, embraced in Reserves JSTos. 1 and 2.
The alterations were rendered necessary by the Local Government having in effect carried
out the suggestion contained in my letter of 8th April, 1882, to the Superintendent-General of
Indian Affairs, by granting the Hudson's Bay Company an equivalent of about 24 acres on the
east, for that taken for the reserve on the west of their buildings.
I have, &c,
(Signed) P. O'Reilly,
/. R. C.
The Surveyor-General to Mr. O'Reilly.
395 Victoria, B. O, February 29th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to inform you that the amended Minutes of Decision and rough
sketch of that portion of the land allotted by you for the use of the Tsimpsean Indians at
Fort Simpson and Metlakatlah, embraced in Reserves Nos. 1 and 2, have been adopted and
the boundaries therein set forth confirmed by authority of an Order in Council approved by
His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor this day.
I have, (fee,
(Signed) W. S. Gore,
Surveyor-General.
The Surveyor-General to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
395 Victoria, B. C, 29th February, 1884,
Sir,—I have the honour to inform you that the amended Minutes of Decision and rough
sketch of that portion of the land allotted by the Indian Reserve Commissioner for the use of
the Tsimpsean Indians at Fort Simpson and Metlakatlah, embraced in Reserves Nos. 1 and 2,
have been adopted, and the boundaries therein set forth confirmed by authority of an Order in
Council approved by His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor this clay.
I have, &c,
(Signed) W. S. Gore,
Surveyor-General, «• Indian Reserves. 1885
The Superintendent of Indian Affairs to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works
471 British Columbia, Indian Oeeice,
Victoria, March 7th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 29th ult i
informing me "that the amended Minutes of Decision and rough sketch of that portion of the
land allotted by the Indian Reserve Commissioner for the use of the Tsimpsean Indians at
Port Simpson and Metlakatlah, embraced in Reserves Nos. 1 and 2, have been adopted, and
the boundaries therein set forth confirmed by authority of an Order in Council approved by
His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor."
I have, &c,
(Signed) I. W. Powell,
Indian Superintendent.
Mr. O'Reilly to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and. Works.
759 Indian Reserve Commission,
Victoria, B. C, April 10th, 1884.
Sir,—In view of my proposed early visit to Kootenay, for the purpose of defining the
Indian Reserves, I have the honour to suggest that, pending the negotiations with the Indians,
no application to pre-empt or purchase land in that locality should be granted, except subject
to what may be deemed necessary for the Indians.
I have, &c.,
(Signed) P. O'Reilly,
Indian Reserve Commissioner.
The Surveyor-General to Mr. O'Reilly.
759 Victoria, B. C, April 16th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 10th
inst, and to state that Mr. Vowell, Assistant Commissioner of Lands and Works for Koote
nay, has been instructed on the subject referred to therein.
I have, &c,
(Signed) W. S. Gore,
Surveyor-General.
The Superintendent of Indian A fairs to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
853 Indian Office,
Victoria, 1st May, 1884.
Sir,—In giving instructions to Mr. Surveyor Gastineau to survey Indian Reserves at
Shuswap Lake, that officer informed me that he had been told that application had been lately
made for the land at the mouth of Eagle River, which the Joint Reserve Commission allotted
to the Spallumcheen Indians on the 3rd September, 1877, and is contained in the Minute^ of
Decision of that date furnished to both the Provincial and Dominion Governments. The
InJ-aas have improvements on this land, which is one of their old and favourite fishing places,
a.il, under any circumstances, is not open to sale or pre-emption.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) I. \V. Powell,
Superintendent Indian Affairs.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
857 Victoria, B. C, 9th May, 1884.
SIR)—In answer to your communication of the 1st instant, with reference to an application to purchase land at the mouth of Eagle River, Shuswap Lake, and stating that the land is
an Indian fishing place and not open to sale, I have the honour to make the following state- 48 Vic. Indian Reserves. iii.
ment of the facts in the case :—
On the 3rd March, 1883, Mr. George Byrnes published a notice of his application to
purchase land situated on Shuswap Lake and on the East side of Eagle Creek. This application was (made on the prescribed form) for 320 acres of unsurveyed, unoccupied and unreserved
Crown land. No protest was made by the Indian Department or others against granting the
application.
Mr. Byrnes had the land surveyed and further complied with all the requirements of the
Land Acts then in force.
There being no apparent objection, a Crown Grant to the land was issued to Mr. Byrnes
on 17th December, 1883.
I may add that the description of the reserve allotted to the Indians at Eagle Pass, in the
Minutes of Decision of 3rd September, 1877, is somewhat vague; and as the ultimate was
unaccompanied by an explanatory map, the precise position of the reserve was not clear.
Objections made by the Indian Department prior to the'granting of such applications will
receive every consideration.
I have, &c,
(Signed) Wm. Smithe,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Superintendent of Indian Affairs to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
940 Indian Office,
Victoria, May 13th, 1884.
Sir,—With reference to your reply to my letter of the 1st instant, relative to the
purchase of land on the Eagle River, and informing me of the facts of Mr. Byrnes' application,
and that objections made by the Indian Department prior to the granting such applications
will receive every consideration, I have to state that the land having been both occupied and
reserved when Mr. Byrnes made his application to purchase, his declaration that it was not so
was incorrect.
The plan of Mr. Byrnes' survey made by Mr. Hunter shows the position on the land of
one of the Indian houses, hence the Crown Grant appears to have been obtained by unlawful
means.
I might remark that unless all applications for land in the Province were made through
this Office, accompanied by sketches of their location, it must, I have no doubt, be apparent to
you that it would be quite impracticable for me to detect the circumstance that any application
to purchase, as advertised in the public papers, included an Indian Reserve, or to apprise you
officially thereof "prior to the actual sale of the land."
I venture most respectfully to remind you that serious complications may ensue if land
pointed out and allotted to the Indians in accordance with the terms of agreement between the
Province and Dominion be subsequently alienated without their cognizance, and I think that
Mr. Byrnes should be at once notified that so much of the land referred to (purchased by him)
as includes the Indian Reserve at Eagle River, having been both occupied and reserved, and
moreover an old Indian fishing station, was not open to his application to purchase, and that
the Crown Patent—which appears to have been given him in error—must be cancelled.
Upon referring the matter to Mr. Mohun (in charge of the surveys in 1877) that gentleman
assures me that an explanatory map accompanied the minutes of decision respecting the land
in question, when the same was handed to your Department.
I have, &c,
(Signed) I. W. Powell,
Indian Superintendent.
Mr. O'Reilly to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
1125 Victoria, 4th June, 1884.
Sir,—Referring to our conversation this morning in respect to the land held under lease
by Messrs. Spencer and others at Cormorant Island, I have the honour to suggest that it appears
desirable that I should proceed there at some convenient time during the present season to iv. Indian Reserves. 188,5
ascertain what quantity of land is necessary for the Indians of that place, and to report thereon
to the Provincial Government, with a view to its re-entry on such portions of the leasehold as
may be deemed necessary for the use of the Indians. This should be done in justice to the
tribe who have inhabited that portion of Cormorant Island known as Alert Bay for many
generations, and can, I feel sure, be arranged without inflicting a hardship on the lessees.
I have, <&e,
(Signed) P. O'Reilly,
/. R. C.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs..
940 Victoria, 5th June, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 13th
ultimo, having reference to the land purchased by Mr. Byrnes at Eagle River.
In answer to your remarks I beg to state that the plan of Mr. Byrnes' survey, made by
Mr. Hunter, does not indicate the position of any Indian houses. A cabin supposed to have
been erected by Mr. Moberly's exploratory survey party in 1865 or 1866, is the only building
marked on the plan, or referred to in the field notes.
There is undisputable evidence in the office that Mr. Mohun is mistaken about an
explanatory map having accompanied the minutes of decision of the Commissioners in respect
of Reserves in that vicinity.
I have, (fee,
(Signed) Wm. Smithe,
Chief Commissioner of Lands & Works.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands &  Works to Mr.  O'Reilly.
Victoria, B. C, June 5th, 1884.
Sir,—I have much pleasure in approving of the Indian Reserves established by you, and
more particularly described in minutes of decision and sketches accompanying your letters of
the following dates:—
14th May, 1881; 23rd October, 1882; 28th October, 1882; 3rd November, 1882; 7th
November, 1882; 28th May, 1884.
I have, &c,
(Signed) Wm. Smithe,
Chief Commissioner oj Lands & Works.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to Mr. O'Reilly
Victoria, B. O, June 6th, 1884.
Sir I have the honour to inform you that a Crown Grant for 56 acres was issued to
Agustus Thieffry, dated December 18th, 1869, situated at the junction of Fort Dallas Creek and
Fraser River, and forms a part of the Se-ah Indian Reserve, as set apart by you and approved
May 8th, 1882, by Mr. Walkem, who was at that time Chief Commissioner of Lands and
Works.
I have to request that you will be good enough to alter the Reserve so that the land for
which Mr. Thieffry received a Crown Grant shall not be encroached upon, a sketch of which
I enclose,
I have, &e,
(Signed) Wm. Smithe,
Chief Commissioner of Lands & Works, 48 Vic. Indian Reserves.
Mr. O'Reilly to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
1208 Indian Reserve Commission,
Victoria, B. C, June 9th, 1884.
Sir,—1 have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 6th
instant, in which you state that 56 acres, for which a Crown Grant has been issued to Mr.
Augustus Thieffry, have been included by me in the Se-ah Reserve, and which was subsequently
approved by Mr. Walkem.
In reply I beg to inform you that Mr. Thieffry's claim, Lot 9, Group 1, (now owned by a
Chinaman, Ah Tockt,) is situated on Fort Dallas Creek, about a mile below the town of
Lytton, and to the north of and adjoining the old Nik-yah Reserve, while the Se-ah Reserve
is bounded by another creek of that name (Fort Dallas), which flows into the Fraser about 20
miles above Lytton.
I have, &e,
(Signed) P. O'Reilly,
I. R. C.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to Mr. O'Reilly.
Victoria, B. C, June 13th, 1884.
Sir,—In reply to your letter of the 4th instant, upon the question of making an Indian
Reserve on Cormorant Island, I have the honour to say that your suggestion to proceed there
some time during the present season to ascertain what quantity of land is necessary for the
Indians of that piece, and report thereon to the Provincial Government, meets with my
approval.
I see no reason why, if properly undertaken, the requirements of the Indians and the
interest of the lessees may not be severally conserved. I doubt not you will have no difficulty
in arranging the matter amicably, and to the entire satisfaction of both parties. Referring to
our conversation to-day about Kootenay Reserves, it has occurred to me that it might be well
not to include in any Indian Reserve the land at present reserved for reclamation purposes
between the upper Columbia Lake and the Kootenay River.
If the Baillie-Grohman Company should fail, it might still be possible that another
Company may be found to carry out the scheme, and it would be desirable that the land through
which the proposed canal should have to be cut should not be in the hands of either white
men or Indians.
I have, &c,
(Signed) Wm. Smithe,
Chief Commissioner of Lands & Works.
The Superintendent of Indian Affairs to the Chief Commissioner of Lands & Works.
1578 British Columbia, Indian Office,
Victoria, 5th July, 1884.
Sir,—With reference to the correspondence which has taken place in regard to the
Reserve at Soushwap Lake, near the mouth of Eagle River, assigned to the Indians in 1877
by the Joint Reserve Commission, I have the honour to state that I am directed by the Right
Honorable the Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs to acquaint you that this Department
will not recognize Mr. Byrnes' title to the piece of land which has been illegally patented to
him, owing to the mistake of the Lands and Works Department, as the Indians would appear
to have priority of claim to said land.
I may add for your information, that in addition to the fact of the place referred to
having been used as an old fishing station, the land there was cultivated, and numerous potato
patches were upon it in 1877 when the Commission first visited the locality.
I may venture to suggest the desirability of some immediate action on the part of your
Department to revoke the patent issued to Mr. Byrnes, in so far as it relates to the land
previously allotted to the Indians.
I have, (fee,
(Signed) I. W. Powell,
Indian Superintendent, vi. Indian Reserves. 1885
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
1578 Victoria, B. C, July 7th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 5th
instant, in reference to a piece of land near the mouth of Eagle River, and for which Mr.
Byrnes holds a Crown Grant.
I have, <fee,
(Signed) Wm. Smithe,
Chief Commissioner of Lands <k Works,
Mr. Moffait to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
2454 British Columbia, Indian Office,
Victoria, September 22nd, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to inform you that I am in receipt of a letter from Mr. J. W.
McKay, Indian Agent for the Kamloops and Okanagan District, stating that all the marsh
land belonging to the Indian Reserve at Osoyoos, allotted by the late Reserve Commission,
" has been sold, or is being sold, and the Indians are very much exercised thereat, as they
require the marsh grass to winter their stock."
A portion of this land was sold some years since to J. C. Haynes, Esq. A Mr. Patterson,
C.E., is now surveying the remainder.
The north end of the reserve has been pre-empted and has lately been surveyed by Mr.
Patterson for a Mr. Armstrong, who will, no doubt, apply for a Crown grant for the same.
Might I respectfully suggest that no patents be issued to any parties for portions of the
above land, until the Indian claims, which at present appear to be in dispute, are finally
adjusted. I have, &c,
(Signed) H. Moffatt,
For the Indian Superintendent.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
2454 Victoria, B. C, September 23rd, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of yesterday's
date, in which you state that all the land belonging to the Indian Reserve at Osoyoos has
or is being sold, and suggesting that no Crown Grants be issued for any portions of the land
in question.    In reply I beg to state that the matter referred to will have due consideration.
I have, (fee,
(Signed) Wm. Smithe,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Mr. Moffatt to the' Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
2469 British Columbia, Indian Office,
Victoria, September 24th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to enclose copy of a letter from Mr. McTiernan, Indian Agent,
in reference to a Chinaman named Ah Young, at present occupying a portion of the Indian
Reserve on Sea-Bird Island (between Skawtits and Popkum).
Would you have the goodness to inform me if the statement of the Chinaman has any
foundation in fact.
I may mention for your information that Sea-Bird Island was allotted to the Indians of
Popkum, Skawtits, Ohamil, Skawahlook, Hope, Union Bar and Yale, by the late Reserve
Commissioner, Mr. Sproat, on the 13th June, 1879.
I have, &e,
(Signed) H. Moffatt,
For the Indian Superintendent, 8 Vic. Indian Reserves. vii.
[Enclosure.]
New Westminster, September 22nd, 1884
Sir,—1 have the honour to inform you that a Chinaman by the name of Ah Young is
now, and has been for some time past, living on Sea-Bird Island. By referring to the maps of
Indian Reserves, I find that the whole of that island is set apart as a reserve for Indians.
I have served the Chinaman with a notice to move off the place. He says he will not do
so, as he has bought 160 acres of that land from the Provincial Government, and pays the
purchase money by instalments, and also pays $7.50 real estate tax yearly.
Be good enough to inform me if his statement is correct or not.
I have, &e,
(Signed) P. McTiernan,
//. Moffatt, Esq., Indian Agent.
Acting Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Victoria.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
2469 Lands and Works Department,
Victoria, B. C, September 25th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of yesterday's date,
having reference to a claim set up by a Chinaman named Ah Young to 160 acres of land on
Sea-Bird Island, the same having been set apart as an Indian Reserve on the 13th of June,
1879.
In reply I have to say that I cannot find any evidence of a pre-emption claim ever having
been taken up by Ah Young, neither does his name appear on the assessment roll.
I have, &e,
(Signed) Wm. Smithe,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works  .
Mr. O'Reilly to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and, Works.
2598 Indian Reserve Commission,
Victoria, B. O, October 6th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to report for your information that, on my return from Kootenay,
I visited Keremeus, on the Similkameen River, in the Osoyoos District, for the purpose of
completing the Indian Reserves left unfinished by the late Indian Reserve Commissioner, Mr.
Sproat.
I ascertained from Mr. Sproat's notes that he had definitely reserved certain tracts of
land, and that he had also made a temporary reserve, commencing two miles below the
Ashnola river, and extending on both banks of the Similkameen River to the old Custom
House, near the boundary line. From this tract so temporarily reserved by Mr. Sproat I
allotted to the Indians about 2400 acres, and supposed the matter of reserves in this locality
was permanently settled. Some four or five days afterwards, when on my journey to Hope, I
met Mr. F. Richter, and he informed me that he had purchased from the Local Government
and had obtained a title to 555 acres, a portion of the land which had been definitely reserved
by Mr. Sproat in 1878. Had I known this when I was at Keremeus, it would have materially
affected my action there, and I would suggest that the land referred to as having been temporarily reserved should remain so reserved, until the matter be finally settled, as it may
otherwise be impossible to procure any land suitable for Indians in that neighbourhood.
I have, (fee,
(Signed) P. O'Reilly,
/. R C, viii. Indian Reserves. 1885
F. G. Richards, Jr., to Mr. O'Reilly.
2598 Victoria, B. C, October 9, 1884.
Sir,—I am directed by the Honourable Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to
acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 6th inst., having reference to the Indian Reserves
at Keremeus, and in reply to inform you that the subject of your letter will be duly considered.
I have, &c,
(Signed) F. G. Richards, Jr.
The Superintendent of Indian Affairs to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
2908 British Columbia, Indian Office,
Victoria, November 11th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to bring to your notice the condition of the Indians at Osoyoos
who, although an industrious and law-abiding tribe, possessing considerable stock, have been left
without any Reserve land, owing to the fact that Mr. J. C. Haynes was permitted by your
predecessor in office to purchase all the land which had been previously set aside for them by
the joint Indian Reserve Commission on the 16th and 21st November, 1877.
I may premise, by stating that the subject was brought to your notice by the Honourable
the Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs on the occasion of your visit to Ottawa last
spring, and the Department was advised in reply as follows:—
" With regard to the alleged sale to Mr. J. C. Haynes of lands on the Okanagan River
" which it is said had been apportioned by the late Reserve Commission for the Osoyoos Indians,
" I cannot, at present, say anything. I know nothing of the matters except what I have
" gathered from a perusal of the correspondence you were good enough to place in my hands.
" One side only of the case is presented, however, in the papers before me, and until I shall
" have had an opportunity to consult records in the Lands and Works Department, Victoria, I
" must decline to express an opinion."
Mr. Moffatt also had the honour of calling your attention to the statement of J. W.
McKay, Esq., Indian Agent for the locality referred to, a copy of whose letter is now
appended, and was acquainted in reply, that the complaint would have " due consideration."
I now venture to submit the correspondence to your notice, and will be glad if you agree
with me that in view of satisfying the Indians in some way, and preventing troubles which
are now arising on account of the injustice with which they consider themselves to have been
treated, some definite action should be taken in redressing what will no doubt grow to be a
more serious grievance than it would perhaps appear to be at present to anyone not cognizant
with the circumstances, or of the feelings of the Indians on the matter.
Mr. Sproat alleges in his letter to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works that " Mr.
Haynes was perfectly aware that the land purchased by him had been reserved for the Indians,"
and in such a view it would seem that apparent advantage had been taken of the blunder
which is referred to as having been committed by the clerk in copying the minutes. Permit
me to refer you to these minutes of decision, by which the land in question was reserved for
the Indians, and also to Mr. Sproat's letter to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, of
April 9th, 1879.
I venture to submit, for your consideration and action, that the long delay in finally
confirming the decision of the late joint Commission by gazetting the reserves, or the issue of
patents therefor, is very unfortunate, as tending to unsettle the minds of the Indians in the
good faith of the Government after they have been informed that the Commissioners were
regularly authorized Chiefs, whose decisions were to be final, and after these lands have been
duly pointed out to the natives by the Commission as permanent reservations.
Another great evil which the long delay in notifying the public generally of these reserves
is, that white settlers are beginning to question the right of the Indians to such apportionments,
and frequent encroachments by them are becoming the subject of serious complaint and almost
daily report.
Many reserves made by Mr. Sproat on the Coast are in this condition of uncertainty, and
in the interior I might mention that sales of reserves have actually been made to applicants,
not only at Osoyoos—the locality under consideration—hut at Eagle Pass, Keremeous
Similkameen, Spuzzum, etc. 48 Vic. Indian Reserves. ix
It may be remarked that the quantity of land allowed Indians is less in British Columbia
than in any other Province of the Dominion—much less than is set aside in the United States—
but when, in addition to this circumstance, it is considered that on account of the mountainous
nature of the country, and the necessity of irrigation for the cultivation of lands in many
parts of the interior where water is scarce and often quite beyond the reach of the Indians,
the reserves capable of development in the way of cultivation in the country is absurdly small,
in comparison with the large aboriginal population and their positive necessities. In any event,
the peace and welfare of the Indians, and the establishment of harmonious relations between
them and the whites, depend much on the good faith that is kept with them by the Government.
In the instances named, and in others which I could call to mind, there can be no doubt
that they are being treated with great injustice which appeals strongly for interference and
your prompt and kindly action.
The local Agent reports that great hardship is being suffered by the Osoyoos Indians,
particularly, and the Honourable the Superintendent-General has therefore desired me,
respectfully, to beg your attention to this matter, with a view to the lands in Township 50 and
51, etc., being restored to the Indians, or to some other arrangement whereby their just
expectations may be realized and their urgent necessities provided for.
I have, &e,
(Signed) I. W. Powell,
Indian Superintendent.
Mr. McKay to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
Osoyoos, 8th September, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to report that the Indians on this Reserve are  very   much
disappointed  and seriously injured  by the  sale of the   most  valuable  portion of  the  land
promised to them by the Reserve Commissioners, i. e. the bottom lands along the east side of
the Okanagan River, included within the Reserve as laid out by the Commissioners.
They have now no marsh lands, and as they are working hard to improve their condition,
and their live stock is increasing, the loss of their meadow lands is a serious one.
The fact that the promises made to them by the Reserve Commissioners have not been
kept, is a decided injury to their progress and well-being, as it has shaken their faith in the
probity of the Government. A proper explanation of the facts of the case might smooth
matters over.
The Chief, Gregoire, asks that that portion of the land which lies between Mr. Haynes'
feeding shed and Mr. Haynes' cross-fence be returned to him for the use of his band, say a strip
about three miles long and about 600 acres in extent.
I beg your instructions in this matter.
I have, &c,
(Signed) J. W. McKay,
Indian Agent.
Mr. McKay to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
Princeton, 12th September, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to report that all the marsh land belonging to the Indian Reserve
at Osoyoos has been sold, or is being sold, and the Indians are very much exercised thereat, as
they require the marsh grass to winter their stock.
A portion of this land was sold some years since to J. C. Haynes, Esq. A Mr. Patterson,
C. E., is now surveying the remainder, I presume, to complete the sale thereof.
The north end of the Reserve has been pre-empted, and has lately been surveyed by Mr.
Patterson for a Mr. Armstrong, who will lose no time to get the Crown Grant therefor unless
he is prevented.
On the Keremeous Reserve, Joseph MacAuley, Manuel Barcello, and a Mr. Corston, who
has purchased Franz Richter's property, are extending their lines, and, as the Indians complain,
are encroaching on their Reserve.
I have not the necessary information to satisfy myself as to the facts of their statements
but if you will kindly send me instructions, I will run their lines and determine their boundaries, pending the completion of proper surveys thereon. Indian Reserves. 1885
I have written the above hurriedly in order that you may be able to prevent, if possible,
the consummation of these encroachments, and the bearer of this (who is bound to Hope)
cannot wait.
I have, cfee,
(Signed) J. W. McKay,
Indian Agent.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
Victoria, B. C, December 4th, 1884.
Sir,—Referring to your letter dated 11th ultimo, with enclosures upon the subject of
reserves for the Osoyoos Indians, I have the honour to inform you that I have, since my
return from Ottawa, enquired into the question of the sale of land to Mr. J. C. Haynes on the
Okanagan River, and am now in a position to explain the transaction, which I was not able
to do when the matter was submitted to me by the Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs.
The land in question was applied for by Mr. Haynes in October, 1875. It was surveyed for
him at his expense in 1876, by Mr. Ralph, C. E., acting under instructions from the Honourable Mr. Vernon, then Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
The survey made by Mr. Ralph having been found to be not altogether in accordance
with the Land Act, it was not accepted, and a second survey was ordered, the expense of
which was partly borne by Mr. Haynes.
This second survey was made in 1877, before the Indian Commissioners had visited the
Okanagan Valley. In due time the surveyor's notes were checked and found to be correct,
and in April, 1878, the usual notice of the survey having been made was inserted in the
Government Gazette and newspapers, and all persons having claims to the land were required
to submit them in manner provided. No claim was put forward to any of the land in question
by the Indian Commissioner, or by any one acting for or on behalf of the Indian Department.
Absolutely nothing transpired to lead the Government of the day to consider that they should
not issue Crown Grants of the land to Mr. Haynes. Accordingly, the Honourable Mr.
Walkem accepted the purchase money from Mr. Haynes and issued the grants.
It now appears that, subsequent to the second survey of the land having been made for
Mr. Haynes, the Indian Commissioners visited the Okanagan Valley, and in the face of all the
expense which Mr. Haynes had incurred, and despite his undoubted claim for consideration
after having, in strict accordance with the Land Act, spent a good deal of both time and
money in his effort to secure the land, they appear to have deliberately intended to take all
from him, without a thought of compensation. Whatever may have been their intention in
that direction, however, does not appear on their Minutes of Decision received at this office on
the 13th May, 1878,
In the minute affecting Osoyoos we are not definitely informed, but are left to infer that
all vacant "land in Townships 5 and 6 lying east of the Okanagan River and Lake" is reserved.
The minute seems to have been carelessly drawn, and in addition to the general vagueness
which pervades it we are now advised that the Commissioners meant 50 when they said 5, and
51 when they said 6. That may all have been as it is now represented, but it would be unfair
to expect that the Chief Commissioner of the day would be in a position to divine it.
Had the Commissioners sent a sketch with their minutes, the reserve which they intended
to have made might have been seen, and the mistake of substituting 5 for 50 and 6 for 51
have been detected. No sketch did accompany the Minutes of Decision, as is shown by the
Commissioners' letter, a copy of which I append to this communication. Neither were they
subsequently furnished, as was promised by the Commissioners of the time.
Everything having been done in this office in strict accordance with the law, it would be
quite impossible now to attempt to dispossess Mr. Haynes of the land, to which he has got a
Crown Grant in perfectly regular manner. Whatever fault there is in connection with the
affair seems to attach to the Indian Commissioners.
I am not in a position to say what can now be done, but I would suggest that the present
Indian Reserve Commissioner, Mr. O'Reilly, should take an early opportunity to visit the
section, with a view of arranging matters there for the Indians in the best manner now
remaining.
I have, (fee,
(Signed) Wm. Smithe,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, 48 Vic. Indian Reserves. xi.
The Superintendent of Indian Affairs to the Chief Com:;iissioner of Lands and Works.
3040 British Columbia, Indian Office,
Victoria, November 19th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to bring to your notice the case of a band of Indians living on
the west shore of Okanagan Lake, opposite the R. C. Mission, numbering 54 souls, who have
never had any land reserved for them, notwithstanding the fact that they have for many years
used the land on which they live, and have considerable improvements thereon. I beg to
enclose copy of a letter from Mr. J. W. McKay, the Okanagan Indian Agent, and also from
his predecessor, whom I had directed to inquire into and report upon the condition of this
band.
No applications, so far as I am aware, have been made by other than the tribe of Indians
referred to for this land ; but were any attempt made to pre-empt the land, no doubt considerable trouble would ensue, and cause given for serious complaint on the part of the Indians.
I am unable to account for the evident omission on the part of the first Reserve Commission, in setting aside for this band the land upon which they live, but, in order to avoid
trouble hereafter, it would only seem just that the land they have so long regarded as their
own should be reserved by the Provincial Government from sale or pre-emption to any other
applicants. If you concur in this, until some permanent arrangement has been made for them,
I shall be glad to inform the Indians accordingly.
I have, &c,
(Signed) I, W. Powell,
Indian Superintendent.
[Enclosures.]
Okanagan Agency, Spence's Bridge,
2nd October, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to report that on the west shore of the Okanagan Lake, opposite
the R. 0. Mission, a band of Okanagan Indians, numbering 54 souls, under Charles, their
chief, are settled on a plot of land which has not as yet been allotted to them, and on which
they have made considerable improvements.
It appears that they met the Joint Reserve Commission in 1877. The Commissioners
encamped on the ground which they now occupy. At that time a Mr. J. F. Allison had a
pre-emption claim adjoining their lands. The Chief Charles, in stating his case to the Commission, somewhat brusquely asked that Mr. Allison be dispossessed of his claim, in order that
the band might have all the advantages of the situation. This demand disconcerted the
Commissioners, and the interview was abruptly closed for that day, with the understanding
that negotiations were to be resumed on the following morning. Early the next morning the
Commissioners struck tents, left camp, and proceeded towards the sea-coast.
Since that time Charles has had no opportunity of having his reserve allotted to him.
He met you near the R. C. Mission two or three years since, and told you of his troubles.
He says that you promised him that Mr. Agent Howse would enquire into the matter and
report thereon. Shortly afterwards Mr. Howse visited the place and sent you a lengthy
statement of the matter, giving you full particulars.
In the meantime Charles and his band are very anxious indeed about the uncertain
tenure on which they hold their lands and improvements.
At their request I promised that I would send you the above particulars, and get your
favourable answer to their claims as soon as possible. I also promised to meet Chief Charles
again before the close of the season, and to let him know what you could do for him.
Mr. Allison has sold his claim to a white man, who is married to a native connected with
the band.
I have, (fee,
(Signed) J. W. McKay,
I. W, Powell, Esq., Agent.
Indian Superintendent, Victoria, B. G. xii. Indian Reserves. 1885
Indian Office, Nicola,
October 5th, 1883.
Sir,—I beg to submit for the consideration of the Department of Indian Affairs the
following report upon the claim of a band of Indians residing opposite the Okanagan Mission.
The Chief at Eukom-opolicks, or head of Okanagan Lake, informed me last May that
there were a number of Indians residing opposite the Mission who had no land, and he wished
them to come and reside upon his reserve. I informed him I would speak to Superintendent
Powell and ascertain what could be clone in the matter.
When in Victoria I mentioned the question, and asked if I had any authority to remove
them from Crown lands. iVs I received a reply in the negative from Lieut.-Colonel Powell, I
decided the only course was to advise with them and if possible persuade them to find places
upon the reserve at Eukom-opolicks.
My intention was to have paid them a visit when making my regular trip; but about the
14th of September an Indian named Sho-kin-choot came to my office and complained that some
person had posted up a notice on the place occupied by him, to the effect that he had preempted said land.
As the Indian informed me that the band he represented had made improvements upon
the land of a permanent character, and had occupied the place for many years, I deemed it
advisable to investigate their claim and report upon it.
I therefore proceeded to Okanagan, and thence to the Mission, where I engaged an Indian,
who ferried me across the lake.
I first visited a camp situated about a mile below the farm lately owned by J. F. Allison,
Esq., where I found 19 camped.
I called them together, and informed them that I had come to investigate what claim
they had to the land they occupied, and that I wanted a correct statement from them regarding the questions I might ask.
They said Sho-kin-choot was their chief and he would speak for them.
The Indian name for this place is Ta-ca-quenoot.
I will try to give you correctly the statement made by Sho-kin-choot as follows:—
" I think it was in September, 1877, that Messrs. Anderson, McKinlay, and Sproat came
" from Eukom-opolicks down this side of the lake on their way to Penticton. I heard they
" were camped on a creek above Mr. Allison's, and I suppose did not know any Indians lived
" here. When I heard where they were camped I went up to see them. I asked them to
"come and camp at my place. The next day they came to my house. Mr. Sproat asked me
"what I wanted, and I said I wanted to know his mission, and from whom he came; but said
" if it was the Queen who sent him, and she wanted me to speak first, I would do so.
" I then told the gentlemen that I wanted some land on a creek above Mr. Allison's, and
" some where we were talking, down to a creek where salmon could be caught. Mr. Sproat
" said, as I understood it, that as my claims were small he would give me what I asked. I
" told them I was born on this land, and that my father was buried here, and we had lived
" here very many years, long before the white man came, and I was, therefore, the owner of
" the land upon which I lived. I ivanted to say more, but Mr. Sproat said I was to say no
" more, and this was all the conversation I had with the Commissioners. They were here only
" one day, and did not talk longer than an hour. They talked a long time with Mr. Allison.
" I always thought the land I lived on was my own until they carne. God gave us the land
" and I don't understand how the white man now claims all of it and only allow us what they
" like." (Here I explained to them why the Queen gave them the land now, and that she
always provided liberally for all). " We wish to tell you that we want no ploughs, harness,
<' nor other things; all we ask is for the land, and that a paper shall be given us by which we
'' know our land."
This is the conversation I had with them. I asked them to tell me how many lived on
this side of the lake; they counted, and claim a total of 54. I am, however, of the opinion
that they are not all bond fide residents, still I might be mistaken.
They said had they known I was coming they would have sent word to all their friends
to come, and I could have seen their statement was a correct one. They claim 400 horses and
50 head of cattle. Some of their horses were very good. As near as I could judge, from a
hasty observation, they have 1,000 acres fenced on the place below Mr. Allison's. There are
5 comfortable houses and 3 stables.    I saw good wheat, corn, potatoes, pumpkins, and melons. 48 Vic. Indian Reserves.
xm.
Their burying ground shows twelve head-boards, and evidence that it has been used as
such for probably more than half a century.
They occupy a place at ove this, about 5 or 6 miles, where there are 4 houses and 1 stable,
with considerable fencing.
From the knowledge 1 have gained in this matter by investigation, I am strongly convinced that if possible a reserve should be made here, as they are not likely to leave it for even
a more favourable location.    It is their home, and has been for many years; of this I am certain.
I am of the opinion, from a map I saw at Penticton (in the house of Chief Franz-wah),
that a piece containing 320 acres has been allotted, but I am impressed with the idea that this
land was some distance back from the lake shore, while they claim that along the lake.
Possibly, if this is "the case, some record may be found among the papers of the late Commission.      However, if this is the case, the Indians appear to have no knowledge of it.
I have endeavoured to give the department the fullest information, and hope, if it cannot
be settled soon, that the Provincial authorities will reserve this section until the Indians get
their rights.
There is a great influx of immigrants in this section, and I fear if action is not taken at
once some grievous injustice may be done these Indians.
I have, &e,
(Signed)       A. E. Howse,
/. W. Powell, Esq., Indian Agent.
Indian Superintendent, Victoria, B. C.
Mr. O'Reilly to the Ciiief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
3041 Indian Reserve Commission,
Victoria, B. C, November 19th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to enclose herewith, for your information and approval, rough
sketches and minutes of decision of the Indian Reserves made by me in the Kootenay District
during the past summer.
I may mention that in no case have the reserves encroached on lands claimed by any
settler.
I have, <fce,
(Signed) P. O'Reilly,
I. R. C.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
3040 Victoria, B. C, November 24th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 19th instant, with
enclosures, representing that a small band of Indians numbering 54 souls, living on the west
shore of Okanagan Lake, opposite the Roman Catholic mission, have had no land reserved for
them, and asking that the Provincial Government withdraw from sale or settlement the land
upon which they reside.
In reply I beg to inform you that I have just returned from a visit to the Okanagan
District, and when there I saw at the head of Okanagan Lake, in one block, a Reserve of
29,392 acres, and in another block, separated from the first by a narrow strip of water only,
another reserve, called a " Commonage Reserve," of 24,742 acres, making in the aggregage a
reserve practically in one block of 54,134 acres. When my attention was called to 'this
immense area of land lying in a wild, waste condition, without any attempt being made to improve it, by cultivation or otherwise, so as to make it productive and of benefit to the community at large, I felt that an almost criminal wrong had been clone in withdrawing from
settlement so large a tract of fertile land. A wrong, particularly apparent at this time, when
there is such a demand, for land by white settlers, who are entering the country in search of
homes. Constantly applications are being made to me for just such lands as are locked up in
these reserves, by me;. who would invest large means in their development, and make them
productive of wealth to the state, xiv. Indian Reserves. 1885
If the Indian Department of the Dominion Government were making any effort to train
the Indians to utilize the broad acres set apart for them, no one, I feel assured, would be
disposed to grudge the allotments to them of areas ample for their requirements; but when no
such effort is being made, and the reserves generally which have been set apart are allowed to
remain in a state of nature to the detriment of settlement, there can be nothing to justify the
extension of those reserves.
Tf the Joint Commissioners in 1877, prodigal as they notoriously were in their allotment
of land for reserves, were aware of the presence of the Indians of which you speak, and did
not make any special reserve for them, it may fairly bo assumed that they had considered their
claims and had decided that they were amply provided for in the reserves already made for the
tribe at the head of the lake. It is also fair to assume that when the Commissioners laid out
those extensive reserves, of which there is such good reason to complain, they had in view the
centralization of the Indians upon them; nothing else. No other view of the question would
in any way account for the reserves made.
No doubt families of Indians were found scattered over the district, and when the Commissioners appeared they gathered in detachments from far and near to swell the number
applying for a tribal reserve. Having got that reserve on the understanding that they would
come upon it and live, it would not be just that they should then disperse and ask for
additional and independent reserves at their nomadic homes or places of temporary abode.
That the reserve at the head of Okanagan Lake is admittedly ample for all the Okanagan
Indians is shown by the letter from Mr. Howse, late Indian Agent, a copy of which you were
good enough to enclose to me. Mr. Howse says " the Chief at Eukom-opolicks, or head of
" Okanagan Lake, informed me that there were a number of Indians residing opposite the
" Mission who had no land and he wished them to come and reside upon his reserve." The
fact that the Chief referred to wished the Indians, for whom you now ask a special reserve, to
share the tribal reserve at the head of the lake with him, is evidence that he considered there
was room enough there for all.
If there be any good reason for a special reserve being made for the family of Indians
residing on the west of Okanagan Lake, or any sufficient reason for not requiring them to live
upon the tribal reserve at the head of the lake, I would be willing to consider it. It would be
necessary, however, to show that the interests of the community at large, as well as of the band
of Indians in question, would be advanced by the de-centralization plan, and upon the advantage
of the separate and individual reserve being established it would be necessary to reduce the
area of the central reserve, established, I am bound to believe, upon an opposite principle.
I have, (fee.,
(Signed) Wm. Smithe,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to Mr. O'Reilly.
3041 Victoria, B. C,
November, 21st, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 19th instant,
covering sketches and minutes of decision of the Indian reserves proposed to be made by you
in Kootenay District.
I would be glad if you would furnish me with information upon the subject of the Indian
population in the Kootenay District generally, and particularly as to the number of families
upon the several reserves which you have located, and for which you seek my approval.
At first sight the area proposed to be reserved seems in the aggregate to be large, but
until I have the requisite data as to the number of Indian families, the number of stock owned
by them, and the area enclosed and cultivated, it would be impossible for me to determine
whether the proposed reserves are excessive, in area or not.
I have, (fee,
(Signed)        Wm. Smithe,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, 48 Vic. Indian Reserves. xv.
The
Superintendent of Indian Affairs to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
3063 Indian Office, Victoria,
November, 21st 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to enclose copy of a letter from Mr. Agent McKay relative to
the water privileges assigned to the Indians of the Niskahnilth Reserve by the Joint Indian
Reserve Commission in 1877.
May I request that such steps may lie taken by your Government as may be considered
necessary to protect the Indians from the evil complained of.
I also enclose copy of the Reserve Commissioners' decision in regard to the allotment of
the water in Niskahnilth Creek and Lake.
I have, (fee.
(Signed)       I. W. Powell,
Indian Superintendent,
[Enclosure.]
O'Keefe's Farm, Okanagan,
30th August, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to report that the Indians on the Niskahnilth Reserve complain
that whereas two farmers, Grahame and Ross, have already the right to take water for
irrigation purposes from Niskahnilth Creek, a Chinaman has been employed by a third party,
whos) name they clo not know, to take another ditch from this stream to irrigate one of the
higher benches.
The opening of this last ditch will reduce the water in the creek below the quantity required for the use of the Indians.
The Indians say that they were promised by the Reserve Commissioners that a sufficient
supply of water would be protected in the above creek by the Government for their use. In
order to fulfil this promise it appears absolutely necessary that the Provincial authorities be
notified, as soon as possible, that any further privileges granted in respect to taking water from
Niskahnilth Creek will interfere with the rights of the Indians.
I have promised to lay out two ditches for these Indians on my next visit to their camp.
I have, (fee,
(Signed)        J. W. McKay,
/.  W. Poivell, Esq., Indian Superintendent, Indian Agent.
Victoria, B. C.
Mr.
O'Reilly to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works
3086 Indian Reserve Commission,
Victoria, B. C, November 25th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 21st inst., and,
as requested by you, enclose herewith a statement showing the number of Indians in the
Kootenay District, the cattle and horses owned by them ; also the amount of acres they have
enclosed and cultivated.
It must be borne in mind that by far the larger portion of the land embraced in the
proposed reserves is utterly worthless for agriculture, and very inferior for grazing purposes,
being stony, rough, and broken, and covered with stunted, valueless trees,
I have, (fee,
(Signed) P. O'Reilly,
/. R. C. xvi. Indian Reserves. 1885
[Enclosure.]
Return showing the number of Indians resident in the Kootenay District, the number of
horses and cattle owned by them, also the total acreage enclosed or cultivated :
Heads of families  121
Total population  442
Horses  2551
Cattle  620
Acreage enclosed and cultivated  95
Shuswap Indians resident in Kootenay District:—
Heads of families  16
Total population  58
Horses  312
Cattle    2
Acreage enclosed and cultivated  28
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to Mr. 0
3086 Victoria, B  C, November 29th, 1884.
Sir,—Referring to your letter of the 25th inst., covering a "return showing the number
of Indians resident in the Kootenay District, the number of horses and cattle owned by them,
also the total acreage enclosed or cultivated," I have the honour to say, that in the return there
is nothing to indicate how many Indian families are upon, or in the vicinity of, the several
tracts of land which you have proposed for reserves in the Kootenay District. The total
number of Indians for the whole district is given, but whether they are equally divided among
the several allotments is not made clear.
I think it my duty to call your attention to the following facts :—
British Columbia, under the Terms of Union, is required to make as liberal an allowance
of land for the use and benefit of the Indians as was the custom before Confederation, under
the Colonial Government. It was found, upon enquiry after Confederation, that the custom
previous thereto had been to allot ten acres to each family of five persons; but the Dominion
Government, upon assuming the care and control of the Indians of the Province, asked for
more liberal grants of land than had been customary, representing that the welfare of the
Indians demanded a larger allowance. The utmost amount of land asked for, however, by the
Dominion authorities, to be set apart for the benefit of the Indians, was 80 acres to each
family of five persons. The Provincial Government of the day demurred to giving 80 acres,
which they considered to be an excessive area, beyond what would ever be utilized by the
natives, and they offered to give 20 acres to each family of five persons. After a great deal of
correspondence, the Dominion Government assented to the view of the Provincial Government,
and by Order in Council dated 24th'April, 1874, agreed to accept a reserve of 20 acres to each
five persons. Subsequently, it is true, an arrangement was made by which the agreement to
give and take respectively 20 acres to each five persons was superseded, and Commissioners
were appointed, representing both Governments, to deal with the whole question of Indian
reserves in the Province and to make such allotments as might be necessary, according to the
varied requirements of the several tribes, without being bound by strict limit of 20 acres to
each family. The idea was, as I have always understood it, that under certain circumstances
and conditions the area previously agreed upon might be found to be either larger or smaller
than was requisite, and that the Commissioners should be at liberty to give a less or greater
amount, as the reasonable requirements or necessities of the case might demand. How very
different was the view of the Commissioners, the areas they set apart as reserves, with such
reckless extravagance, in all parts of the country, amply demonstrate.
Since you have assumed the work of laying out reserves, I am bound to say that a much
fairer and more accurate appreciation of the duties and responsibilities of the office has been
displayed. At the same time, I cannot but think that in Kootenay you have over-estimated
the requirements of the Indians and under-estimated those of the whites, who, if not there
now, are more than likely in the near future to be found there, anxiously looking for land to
settle upon, I find that the area proposed by you to be given to the Kootenay Indians amounts to
about 440 acres to each family of five persons ; and when, as is reported by you, the proportionate area enclosed and cultivated by the tribe is only about one acre to each such family, it
does not appear that any necessity for 439 acres more of unenclosed land, to be set apart for
each of them, exists. No one, I think, will venture to say that Indians are capable of utilizing
as much land as white men, and our Land Act only contemplates providing a homestead of
320 acres to a white family in the same district, and the Dominion authorities only recognize
a white settler's claim to 160 acres of land within the limits of their railway reserve.
I am firmly of opinion that so long as Indians are so slightly advanced in the ways and
customs of civilization, it will be impossible for them to utilize tracts of land more than sufficient for white men ; and when they should become more advanced and able to cultivate and
make productive larger areas, the true policy would be to keep them no longer in tutelage, but
to enfranchise them and enable them to take land in the same way, to the same extent, and
under the same conditions of settlement and improvement as other citizens clo.
I have, (fee,
(Signed)       .        Wm. Smithe,
Chief Commissioner of Lands & Works.
Mr. O'Reilly to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
3138 Indian Reserve Commission,
Victoria, B. C, November 29th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to enclose, for your information and approval, a minute of
decision of the land reserved by me at Keremeous, being part of the temporary reserve made
by Mr. Sproat for the use of the Indians resident on the Similkameen River. Much the
larger portion of this reserve is of little value, being a mountain slide. About 200 acres on
the banks of the river, though poor, gravelly soil, may, when cleared, be converted into hay land.
The land previously reserved by Mr. Sproat in 1878 having been recently sold by the
Provincial Government, I cannot consider this tribe of Indians finally dealt with as regards their
reserve.
I have, cfee,
(Signed)        P. O'Reilly,
I. R. C.
Mr. O'Reilly to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
3139 Indian Reserve Commission,
Victoria, B. C, November 29th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to enclose herewith, for your information and approval, minutes
of decision and sketches of the lands reserved by me for the Nimkeesh Indians, resident at
Alert Bay, Cormorant Island, containing in the aggregate 52 acres.
This island is held under lease by Messrs. Spencer and Earle, the circumstances of which
are fresh in your memory. I may mention that before defining these reserves I conferred with
Mr. Spencer on the ground, and that he expressed himself perfectly satisfied with the arrangement made by me.
I have, &e,
(Signed) P. O'Reilly,
I. R. C.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to Mr. O'Reilly.
Victoria, B. O, December 3rd, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge your letter of the 29th ultimo, enclosing minutes
of decision of the land proposed to be reserved at Keremeous for the Indians of that place.
I have to request that you will furnish mo with a statement shewing the number of
Indians resident there, the number of cattle possessed by them, the number of acres enclosed,
and the number of acres under cultivation at the present time. xviii. Indian Reserves. 1885
I would also be glad to learn what other reserves have been set apart for the Similkameen
Indians, and what the whole tribe numbers. I may say that unless I have the advantage of
all the data which, being in your possession, has enabled you to form an opinion as to what
area of land is really requisite for any particular tribe or body of Indians, I cannot be
expected to be in a position to determine whether the area proposed by you is adequate,
excessive, or otherwise.
I beg to call your attention also to the fact that, under the present arrangement, no
reserve can be made by you alone, as your letters covering minutes of decision seem to imply;
and I think it to be of the greatest importance—indeed to be essential to the maintenance of
cordial relations between the whites and natives—that information as to the boundaries and
extent of proposed reserves should be withheld from the Indians, until the reserves shall have
been definitely established by the approval and consent of the Chief Commissioner.
I have, &e,
(Signed) Wm. Smithe,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
3063 Victoria, B.C., December 5th, 1884.
Sir,—Referring to your letter of the 21st ultimo, enclosing copy of letter from Mr. Agent
McKay, relative to the water privileges assigned to the Indians of Niskahnilth Reserve by the
Joint Commissioners in 1877, I have to say that it does not appear that the Provincial Government have any authority to interfere, in any way, with the rights of any person who has a
water record. The Laud Act provides for the acquisition of water privileges, and I opine it
applies to Indians and white men alike.
The Indian Commissioners seem to have had not the slightest authority to confer any
rights to water upon the Indians, and their action in assuming to do so could be productive of
nothing but injury to the persons it was professedly intended to favour.
The Commissioners would undoubtedly have done service to all concerned in the good
government of the country if they had taught the Indians that they were entirely subject to
the law of the land, and not superior to it; and they could not have taught the lesson better
than by explaining that they themselves were subject to the law and could not grant rights and
privileges to water or anything else in the teeth of the express provisions of the Act upon the
subject.
If the Indians of Naskahnilth Reserve require water for irrigation purposes, let them or
the agent who has charge of them apply for a record of a reasonable quantity, and I see no
reason why it should not be granted. If the Commissioners had adopted this course in 1877,
instead of telling the Indians " that, as the oldest owners or occupiers of the soil, they were
" entitled to all the water they might want," independent of the law, their action would have
been much more judicious, patriotic, and commendable.    I have, &e,
(Signed)        Wm. Smithe,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
The Superintend nit of Indian Affairs to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
3236 British Columbia, Indian Office,
Victoria, 9th December, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 5th instant, in
reference to the water privileges of Indians, and, particularly, to those of the Niskahnilth
Reserve.
Without commenting upon the opinion expressed in your letter, that the " Reserve Commissioners had not the slightest authority to confer any rights to water," it may be observed,
that the allotment of. reserves in nearly all portions of the interior would be of no service without water.
I was unaware that an Indian had any rights whatever under the Land Act, unless first
permitted "by a special order of the Governor in Council to record land," and Indian Reserves
having been assigned under a special agreement they are in no way affected by the provisions
of the Act to which you have called my attention, 48 Vic. Indian Reserves. xix.
If the Commissioners had no power to assign water with a reserve, it appears to me that
all their work in the interior will be useless, so far as the Indians are concerned, and, should
this view become known, it will not be long before the Government has undoubted evidence of
great dissatisfaction.
However, beyond stating my impression that an Indian cannot record water for use on a
reserve under.the Land Act, and unless the Commission had power to assign it he will consequently go without it, I will not venture to interpret a question which should, perhaps, be
referred to the Department of Justice.
It is to be hoped that, in any event, Indians may ere long be made secure as to the finality
of awards made by the Reserve Commission, and that they may soon be permitted the free use
of their reserves and water rights, without any question of doubt or interruption arising.
Until this is effected it must be apparent that little can be clone in the way of encouraging
them to put permanent improvements upon or utilize their land.
I have, (fee,
(Signed)        I. W. Powell,
Indian Superintendent.
The Superintendent of Indian Affairs to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
3235 British Columbia, Indian Office,
Victoria, December 10th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 4th inst, on the
subject of the sale of land to Mr. J. C. Haynes, which had been allotted by the Joint Reserve
Commission to the Indians of Osoyoos.
With reference to the suggestion contained in the closing paragraph thereof, " I am not
" in a position to say what can now be done, but I would suggest that the present Indian
" Reserve Commissioner, Mr. O'Reilly, should take, an early opportunity to visit the section,
" with a view of arranging matters there for the Indians in the best manner now remaining,"
I have been informed that the land purchased by Mr. Haynes included all the cultivable or
low land held by the Crown in that locality, and it would appear impossible to select any other
land from this source, that would be satisfactory or just to the Indians, in lieu of that which
has been taken from them.
In attaching blame to the Indian Commission, it should be observed that one of its members was a paid officer of the Province, and the Local Government paid a moiety of the
expense in maintaining the Commission, and, if a mistake was made, it was in a great measure
due to its own agent.
Under any circumstances, there seems not a doubt that the land which had been given to
and reserved for the Indians was sold to Mr. Haynes, it appears, in error, and the money
received in the same way. Now, in view of the impossibility of obtaining suitable lands
without purchase, I beg to suggest that, in the event of the Commissioner being unable to find
any vacant cultivable Crown lands in the locality, the money paid in by Mr. Haynes should
be devoted to a settlement of the question—either expended in the purchase of other land, or
in satisfying the tribe in some way for the serious loss they have sustained through the mistake
of some Government officer.
A great injustice would, in my opinion, be perpetrated were the Indians not to receive
compensation, nor be provided with a reserve equally good, in lieu of that which has been
taken from them without their knowledge or consent; and I venture to hope that their condition and necessities may have the favourable consideration of the Provincial Government in
settling upon some final and satisfactory arrangement.
I shall be glad to forward a copy of your letter to the Honourable the Superintendent-
General.
I have, cfec,
(Signed) I. W. Powell,
Indian Superintendent, xx. Indian Reserves. 1885
The Superintendent of Indian Affairs to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
3222 British Columbia, Indian Office,
Victoria, December 9th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 24th ult., in
reply to mine of the 19th, upon the subject of land required for the band of Indians living on
the west shore of Okanagan Lake, opposite the R. 0. Mission.
With reference to the statements contained therein I venture, with much respect, to
remark, that it seems most unfortunate, in view of the great importance of having matters
connected with the management of Indians generally in the Province, and especially as regards
the reserves allotted by the late Joint Commission, that any apparent misunderstanding as to
what is just to the Indians should continue to exist.
The results of your personal observation, and the facts as to the extent and cultivable
quality of the reserves referred to in your letter, differ so widely that I am led to indulge in
the hope that the subject may have your reconsideration, with a view to the early settlement
of the present very unsatisfactory condition of Indian affairs in respect of the reserves apportioned in the interior of the Mainland.
Although considerable grazing land was set aside in the Okanagan Agency, the quantity
of cultivable land is comparatively small, and you will pardon me for stating that your
impression as to "the immense area of land tying in a wild, waste condition" is, in my opinion,
calculated to mislead in a correct consideration of this matter. Nor can I understand, under
such circumstances, the justice of your reflections upon this department in the statement "that
no effort is being made to train Indians to utilize the broad acres set apart for them"—lands
which the Provincial Government have refused to confirm as reserves, notwithstanding the
length of time which has elapsed since they were set apart by a Commission whose decisions
were, by agreement between the two Governments, to have been final.
It is also important to remember that great doubt and uncertainty have been caused as to
the intentions of the Provincial Government with regard to all reserves of the interior, on
account of their action in alienating and receiving moneys for reserve lands which were gravely
promised and given to the Indians by the Joint Reserve Commission.
Lastly, it is well known that in most parts of the interior irrigation is necessary to ensure
cultivation; and if the stand taken in your letter of the 5th inst. referring to this subject,
namely, that the "Commissioners had not the slightest authority to confer rights to water
upon Indians," be correct, there is scarcely a reservation in the region I have named which
could be utilized by Indians.
The Land Act provides only for the water rights of those who have obtained land, or hold
t under its provisions.
Now, reserves are not apportioned under the Land Act, but by special agreement, and it
does not seem to me probable that any Indian living on a reserve could himself, or through an
agent, apply for water under the provisions of that Act. Unless, therefore, the Commissioners
were to set it aside for him, the allotment of a reserve would really seem a delusion.
I beg, therefore, to submit for the consideration of the Government that little encourage
ment could be given to Indians under existing circumstances to improve their lands, and that
their tenure has been so doubtful, owing to the non-confirmation of the Commissioners'
decisions and the positive sale of some of the lands apportioned to them, that the investment
of their labour upon them has been, up to the present time, open to serious risk and objection.
. Adverting more particularly to the statements in your letter relating to the Okanagan
Reserve, which is considered very exceptional and the best reserve in the Province, I remark,
that the area is 25,539 acres. It is chiefly mountain, containing some gravelly prairie and
several cultivable patches fringing along the shores of the lake, amounting in all, according to
the computation of the surveyor, to 1,213 acres.
The other reserve of 24,742 acres is all grazing land, and was, as you are aware from your
reference to it, set aside as a commonage, it having been the opinion of the Commissioners that
the tract might remain for common use to both Indians and whites. So far, however, from
being "a large tract of fertile laud," it has been represented by the Commissioners to be quite
the contrary, and only fit for grazing purposes. In the journal of the Commissioners it is
remarked that "in this tract there is no place fitted for settlement;" and, speaking generally
as to their assignment of lands in this region, it is further stated that "they were at a loss to
find a sufficient quantity of cultivable land." It could never, therefore, have been intended
for any centralizing purposes, as you observe, for both whites and Indians use it 48 Vic. Indian Reserves. xxi.
In connection with this subject it may also be remarked, that the policy inaugurated by
the late Sir James Douglas, owing to the large native and sparse white population, of treating
with each band separately, was quite opposed to centralization, and was strictly adhered to
by the Joint Commission as the best mode of treating with Indians.
Prior to observing the statement in your letter, I have never heard that Indian families
gathered when Commissioners appeared, and then, after getting lands, dispersed to apply for
more in other places; nor does it appear reasonable that vague reports, or rumors of such
deception, should control or influence the action of the Government in withholding- for so many
years their final approval and confirmation of Indian lands which have been so long in a state
of uncertainty.
With respect to the request of the Indians living on the land opposite the Mission, it has
been shown that they have always resided there, and, as noted by both Indian Agents, they
have considerable improvements. The Commissioners did not decide as to their reserve, but
appeared to have been called suddenly away, having promised the Indians, as they state, that
they would visit them again.
Were these lands, on which they have had improvements so many years, sold, it appears
to me there would be great disappointment and possibly serious trouble.
Speaking generally of reserves, the impression that they are excessive certainly does not
apply to the Province at large.
Along the Fraser from Yale they are very small garden patches, and on the upper Fraser
the present Commissioner was unable to set aside lands of much use or value, for the reason
that all available tracts had been taken up by white settlers.
At Williams Lake the Indians were in a starving condition, and were relieved by this
department, and subsequently, as you are aware, the Dominion Government purchased a tract
of land from the estate of the late A. S. Bates, and from which the band has since been able
to obtain a large supply of both hay and grain. The Indians at Soda Creek are as badly off as
were those to whom I have just referred. Were it desirable, I could enumerate many other
bands in British Columbia who are similarly placed, and whose condition affords abmidant
proof of the deficiency, rather than the excess of reservations, when considered in respect of
the native population, taken as a whole.
I have, (fee,
(Signed) I. W. Powell,
Indian Superintendent.
Mr. O'Reilly to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
3249 Indian Reserve Commission,
Victoria, B. C, December 10th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 29th November,
in which you request information as to " how many Indian families are upon or in the several
tracts of land " reserved by me in the Kootenay District.
In reply, I regret to state that I am unable to give you such precise information as you
require, for the reason that the habits of the Kootenay Indians have in the past been migratory,
moving from place to place, at different seasons of the year, as suited their pursuits and requirements.
You may not be aware that prior to my visit to Kootenay no reservations had been defined,
and but very little land occupied by white settlers. The Indians claimed to be, and virtually
were, in possession of the whole district, cultivating such portions as they pleased, and pasturing their cattle and horses in the most favoured spots. It was, therefore, my duty as Indian
Reserve Commissioner, to define what land was necessary for them, having regard to their
habits, wants, and pursuits, and to deal liberally with them; and I may here remark that I
had the utmost difficulty in persuading the Kootenays to agree to the boundaries fixed on by
me, and which they look upon as meagre in the extreme, compared with the millions of acres
set apart by the United States Government for American Indians, a few miles south of the
line. Moreover, I think it important, for Provincial and International reasons, that Indians
living on the frontier should have no reasonable ground of complaint, and in this view I feel
sure you will concur, xxii. Indian Reserves. 1885
That I have not overestimated the requirements of the Indians will be admitted by any
disinterested person acquainted with the character of the country, and the number of cattle
owned by the Kootenays, upon which they must in future depend in a large measure for food,
the buffalo east of the mountains being now almost extinct. The amount of cultivable land
within the reserves is extremely limited, and is found only in small patches, whereas a large
area is of little or no value. Had I included within the reserves all the scattered patches of
land cultivated by the Indians on the banks of the Kootenay river, the acreage would have
been largely in excess of the return forwarded to you in my letter of the 25th November.
That return shows only the cultivated land lying within the boundaries of the reserves.
I consider that in the interest of both whites and Indians it is well, wherever practicable,
to clo away with isolated patches, and in lieu thereof give, as an equivalent, land in blocks,
where the Indians can reside permanently and not be brought into conflict with the whites.
The amount of land cultivated by the Kootenay Indians prior to my visit cannot, I submit,
bo taken as indicating their capabilities or requirements. Much as this tribe desired to engage
in agricultural pursuits, they could not be expected to do so until their land had been defined.
No sooner was this clone, and they felt secure in the possession of it, than they set to work to
fence (they had some thousands of rails split in readiness for the purpose), and a month after I
'eft I met three ploughs, and other agricultural implements, packed on horses, being transported
y them from Sand Point.    I have, &e,
(Signed) P, O'Reilly,
'   /. R, C.
Mr. O'Reilly to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
3250 Indian Reserve Commission,
Victoria, December 10th, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 3rd instant, in
which you request me to furnish you with a statement shewing the number of Indians resident
at Keremeous, the number of cattle possessed by them, the number of acres enclosed, and the
number of acres under cultivation at the present time.
In reply, I beg to state that a census was taken by Mr. Sproat in 1878, a copy of which I
now enelose; and- this is all the information in my possession on the subject.
The reserves for the Keremeous Indians were defined in that year by the late Indian
Reserve Commissioner, when, in addition to the lands he allotted to them absolutely (as stated
in his minutes of decision), he set apart a further tract on both banks of the Similkameen
river, as a temporary reserve, from which to select hay land, and also a winter run for cattle,
and it was with this last only that I had power to deal.
In answer to the last paragraph of your letter, I beg to state that you appear to have
misunderstood the purport of my covering letters, in which I distinctly state that the contents
of the enclosures are sent for your approval, and further, that the view you take of the manner in which information as to the boundaries and extent of the reserves should be withheld
from the Indians until after they have been definitely established by your approval and consent, is in direct opposition to the instructions received by me from the Superintendent-
General, and which are based on the Order in Council of 6th January, 1876.
I may also observe that, in my opinion, if the Indians are to be consulted at all as to the
extent of their reserves, as is contemplated by the Dominion Government, the course you
dictate would be found impracticable.    I have, <fee,
(Signed)        P. O'Reilly,
/. R. C. 48 Vic. Indian Reserves. xxiii.
Census of the Keremeous Indians taken by the late Indian Reserve Commissioner, Mr .Sproat,
in 1878.
Total population     136
Men     41
Women  37
Youths (Male)    1
,,      (Female)     3
Bovs  25
Girls  29
Horses     447
Cattle  151
The Superintendent of Indian Affairs to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
206 Indian Office, Victoria,
2nd February, 1885.
Sir,—With reference to your letter, upon the subject of the reserves set aside for Indians
in the Okanagan Valley, of the 29th November last, and my reply thereto of the 9th of
December, I have now the honour to enclose, for the information of the Provincial Government, the statement of Mr. J. W. McKay, the local Indian Agent, to whom I had forwarded
a copy of your favour. In view of the impressions conveyed in your communication as to the
undesirability of setting any lands aside for the Indians living on the west side of Okanagan
Lake, whose village site or cultivated grounds were not reserved for them by the late Joint
Commission, the statements of Mr. McKay appear to me to have an important bearing upon
the subject, not only on account of his long acquaintance with the Okanagan Indians while
chief officer of the Hudson's Bay Company, but from his more intimate association with their
affairs since, as agent of this department. I venture, with much respect, to suggest that the
Reserve Commissioner when adjusting the claims of the Similkameen and Osoyoos tribes,
should also visit the band living on the opposite side of. Okanagan Lake, and if the representations I have had the honour of submitting to you be verified, that the lands which have
always been occupied and claimed by the Indians referred to should, in pursuance of the
agreement made between both Governments, be accordingly reserved for them.
I have, &e,
(Signed)        I. W. Powell, •
Superintendent Indian Affairs.
[Enclosure.]
Okanagan Agency, Kamloops,
23rd January, 1885.
Sir,—A few facts relating to the Indian Reserves fronting on the Okanagan Lake, and
more especially referring to Charles' band of Indians, established on their original winter
quarters on the west shore of the Okanagan Lake, opposite to the Mission Settlement, suggested
by copy of a letter from the Hon. the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, Victoria, B. C,
to the Indian Superintendent, and sent to me from the Indian Office, Victoria, for my information.
Of the 25,539 acres of land comprising the Eukom-opolicks Reserve, about one-tenth only
are suitable for growing crops without irrigation—say about 2,500 acres. A large portion of
this arable land is now fenced in by the Indians, who are extending their fields with considerable energy. Last autumn I estimated the total length of their fences at somewhat over
ten miles. The Indians of this band will continue to extend their fences until the whole
reserve is enclosed. At present more cattle belonging to the neighbouring settlers are pastured
on the reserve than belong to the Indians themselves. The land is thus overstocked, and the
indigenous grasses are nearly exterminated. There are no streams in the immediate neighbourhood of the larger portion of this reserve available for irrigation, consequently nine-tenths of
the whole area is useful for pasturage and timber only. xxiv. Indian Reserves. 1885
The proportion of stock belonging to settlers pastured on the commonage referred to in
the Hon. the Chief Commissioner's letter, as compared with the stock belonging to the Indians,
may be stated as twenty to one.
There are no streams of water worthy of the name on this tract of country, and if there
were, the land is so rocky and broken that no appreciable extent of it could be utilized for
agricultural purposes. A few small patches along the Okanagan Lake might grow grapes, and
probably other kinds of fruits, were water raised from the lake for watering the plants, and
proper measures taken for preserving them during the winter from the effects of severe frosts.
These operations however involve higher systems of culture than are as yet contemplated by
the settlers and Indians who occupy that region.
Charles' band is located at the distance of thirty-five miles from Eukom-opolicks. The
Reserve Commissioners knew the Indian character too well to expect these people to willingly
leave the lands which their forefathers have used for generations, and which they consider
their own, and to unite their interests with those of another band. As well expect the
Songhees of Victoria to surrender their lands without compensation, migrate to the Cowichan
Reserve and content themselves there.
The Chief of Eukom-opolicks would naturally offer to receive an accession of people to the
number of his band; as from the Indian point of view such an event would add to his dignity
and importance. The immigrants on the other hand would find themseves a despised minority
on all occasions, and their position in their new home would, for the first generation at least,
be excessively uncomfortable.
The Joint Reserve Commission visited Charles' people at their camp. The Chief's demands appeared to them somewhat offensive, as he asked for the removal of Mr. Allison, a
settler, from a portion of the land which his people wanted. As the settlement of this question
might have occupied more time than they had to spare, owing to the near approach of winter,
they postponed their decisions on this question for future consideration, struck their tents,
and retired to the sea coast. During the following winter the work of the Joint Reserve
Commission was entrusted to Commissioner G. M. Sproat alone.
Mr. Sproat did not re-visit these Indians, and this, with several other questions connected
with this agency, were left unsettled.
The Indians at Eukom-opolicks are already divided into two parties, and the addition of
a band of strangers to their numbers would increase their troubles and dissensions, and
materially check their forward progress.
It has been customary to designate all the Indians who inhabit the Okanagan Valley as
Okanagans, without distinction, as if they belonged to one band, and thus conveying to the
minds of strangers and superficial observers the ideas of unity and community of interests; but
this is far from being the case. Each band has its own separate and distinct views and
interests; claiming its own particular lands, village sites, fishing grounds, and other special
rights, and no amalgamation, or partial amalgamation of these bands can be instituted without
doing violence to the traditions, sentiments, and real and imaginary rights of the people.
The refusal of the allotment of their lands to Charles' Indians may lead to the dispersion
of the band; the more energetic may become discontented agitators and vagabonds, stealing
and making reprisals at every favourable opportunity. The arresting and punishing of a few
such transgressors will cost the Government of the country many times the value of the few
hundred acres of land which these people crave.
Instead of requiring a good reason for allotting to these Indians the lands which they are
now living on and using, it would appear difficult to find a good reason for refusing them their
reasonable requests.
It may be well to remember that at least half the Indians . belonging to the Okanagan
Valley live in Washington Territory, United States of America, where they are treated to
liberal annual subsidies.
During last summer Tunasket and Moses, two Chiefs of the bands living within the United
States Territory, surrendered to the United States Government some large sections of the
extensive reserves originally allotted to them. Moses agreed to accept in return for his lands
an annual subsidy, to be paid partly in coin and partly in live stock.
Tunasket is to receive, for the use of his band, one grist mill, one school-house, agricultural
implements, carpenter's and blacksmith's tools. The United States Government is to furnish
and maintain on his reserve a miller, a carpenter, a schoolmaster, a farmer, and a blacksmith,
until such time as the people of his band are of themselves sufficiently advanced and skilful to
replace the above-mentioned functionaries, 48 Vic. Indian Reserves. xxv.
Tunasket's Reserve is bounded on the north by the 49th parallel of north latitude, on the
west by the Okanagan River, on the south and east by the Columbia River, extending upwards
along said river to the mouth of the Pend d'Oreille.
The United jS +es Okanagans twit their British Columbia confreres on the apparent
illiber&hty_of our G-oveniinent towards them. The British Columbia Indians retort by directing the attention of their United States friends to the liberty enjoyed by the British Indians,
ijje security tftey feel in the honourable intentions of their Government respecting the invio-
labiffc of their-¥«§erves, and the protection given to life and property by the just administration
of our lays.
Unfo^unately the unjust-sale of the best portion of the Osoyoos Reserve by the Provincial
Government $ British Columbia to a settler, the non-allotment of a reserve to Charles' band
of Indians, the.unsettled condition of the reserves in the Similkameen Valley, where the
settlers are encroaching on lands which Vhe Indians maintain were allotted to them by Commissioner G. M. Spftat, are circumstances which are teftsliaa: very much to dispel the confidence
which the Indians shoufLhave in the just intentions of our GovernBreSrlitauthorities.
Charles' band does not^sk for any special concessions. The fact that the feriwr. used by
these people were not secured S> them is merely incidental, and but for changes in the Indian
Reserve Commission there woulc probably have been no unreasonable delay in the settlement
of this difficulty.
Because the Eukom-opolicks band an apparently large reserve,  is hardly a sound
reason why the  Charles' band should  not be treated  with  the same  consideration as their
neighbours.
In some respects this little band is entithi to special consideration. The present community represents the remnants of the Mission Valley and Trepannier River people. The
lands in the Mission. Valley having been nearly a1!, secured by settlers, the Indians of that
place united with those of the Trepannier River to form t';eir present settlement on the site
of an old village common to both bands. They contendeJ. with the Reserve Commissioners
for a fishery site on Mission Creek, which has been secured to ttuVSQ*
As regards the value of the lands reserved for the Indians in the O/anagan Valley, I feel
that I am justih'ed in stating that there is more improvable land own cl by the two settlers
adjoining Eukom-opolicks than can be found in all the Okanagan Valley rc&serves considered
together. The Eukom-opolicks Reserve would make one good stock farm. Tire Penticton
B.eserve would also suffice for one good stock range. The other Okanagan Valley Reserves
are not of much value.
The commonages are used by the settlers, as compared with the Indians, in the proportion
of twenty to one, i. e., counting the stock fed thereon.
As factors in the " production of wealth to the State," the Okanagan bands collect more
wealth in the course of a year than any two average stock farmers in the country. They are
active and trustworthy common carriers, harvesters, and herders ; they collect annually many
hundred dollars' worth of valuable furs, and produce most of their own food.
I sincerely trust that Charles' little band will be treated .with due fairness. These people
appear to be as much entitled to a separate reserve as any other band of Indians in this
Province.
I have, &c,
(Signed) J. W. McKay,
Indian Agent, Kamloops and Okanagan Agencies.
I.   W. Powell, Esq., Indian Superintendent,  Victoria.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
206 Victoria, B. C, February 3rd, 1885.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 2nd
inst., enclosing a statement from Mr. J. W. McKay, local Indian Agent, respecting the
reserves set aside by the Indian Reserve Commissioner for the use of the Indians in the
Okanagan Valley.
I have, &c,
(Signed) Wm. Smithe,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.

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