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RETURN To an Address presented to His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, requesting him to cause to be laid… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1897

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 60 Vict.
Further Papers—Songhees Indian Reserve.
963a
RETURN
To an Address presented to His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, requesting him to
cause to be laid before the House copies of any further correspondence which has
passed between his Government and the Government of the Dominion of Canada,
with reference to the question of the removal of the Indians from the Songhees
Reserve, since the Return elated the 17th March, 1897, was presented to the
House.
Provincial Secretary's Office,
5th May, 1897.
JAMES BARER,
Provincial Secretary.
Extract from a Repiort of the Committee of the Honourable the Privy Council, approved by His
Excellency on the 10th April, 1897.
The Committee of the Privy Council have had under consideration a Despatch, dated
16th March, 1897, hereto attached, from the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, transmitting a certified copy of a Report of His Executive Council with regard to the removal of
the Songhees Indians from their present reserve.
The Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs, to whom the said Despatch was referred,
observes that, with the exception of one paragraph, the Government of British Columbia concurs in the statement of the scope of the proposed commission in the matter of the removal of
the Songhees Indians, which was embodied in an approved Minute of Council of date the
23rd February, 1897, and transmitted to the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia.
The paragraph objected to in the statement is that numbered " 1," which provides that
the proposed commission should value the land which may be selected as a new reserve for the
Indians and the lands comprised in the present reserve, assessing the difference in valuation,
such difference to be made good by the Province either by a money payment to the Dominion
Government as trustee for the Indians or by the alloting of additional land to the satisfaction
of the Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs.
The Minister, although anxious to meet as far as possible the views of the Government of
British Columbia and the Legislature of that Province in respect to the removal of the Songhees Indians to another location, submits that he cannot, without disregarding the interests of
the Indians for the management of whose affairs he is responsible, agree with the proposition
that the site which may be selected by the Commission as a new reserve for the Songhees
should be accepted in exchange for the valuable tract at present occupied by these Indians,
even if the Indians themselves should be willing that such an exchange, without additional
compensation, should be made. As the guardian of the Indians the obligation is upon the
Government of Canada of protecting them against their own acts of improvidence, and it is
therefore necessary that in the reference of the question of the removal to the proposed commission ample and clear provision should be made so as to obviate the possibility of any loss
accruing to the Indians in consequence of their removal.
The Minister therefore cannot see his way to vary the terms of the paragraph objected to.
The Committee, on the recommendation of the Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs,
advise that a certified copy of this Minute, if approved, be forwarded to the Lieutenant-
Governor of British Columbia.
John J. McGee,
Clerk of the Privy Council.
victoria, b. c. :
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty.
1897.

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