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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Indian reserve cut-offs in British Columbia, 1912-1924 : an examination of federal-provincial negotiations and consultation with Indians McFarland, Dana


Indian people in every agency in British Columbia suffered an injustice when the McKenna-McBride joint commission of the federal and provincial governments adjusted Indian reserve lands between 1913 and 1916. The report of this Royal Commission was amended before it was adopted by both governments in 1924, but the amendments only served to compound the inequity. This history of reserve land cut-offs in British Columbia considers the individual development of federal and provincial Indian land policies, the negotiations to homogenize them after union in 1871, and the efforts of Indians to resist reserve cut-offs. The primary sources, many of them generated by the reserve adjustment process of the Royal Commission, have allowed me to calculate the relative values of lands cut off or added by the commission, to discern the practical effects of the 1924 amendments, and to identify the principal consultants of the commission. These results, considered together with secondary sources which treat various aspects of reserve land cut-offs, indicate that the injustice was done at the insistence of the British Columbia government. Nevertheless, the federal government must share in the blame. It betrayed its role of protector of the Indians for the sake of creating a uniform Indian policy, no matter how unjust.

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