(Enclosure 1 in No. 1142.)
REPORT OF COUNCIL RESPECTING PETITION ON BEHALF OF INDIANS ON LOWER ST. LAWRENCE.
File 1473 of 1861.
File 1294 of 1861.
COPY OF A REPORT OF A COMMITTEE OF THE HONOURABLE THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL, APPROVED BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR GENERAL IN COUNCIL ON THE 11TH SEPTEMBER,1861.
The Committee have had before them a Report dated 9th October, 1860, from the Commissioner of Crown Lands on the subject of certain petitions from the Administrator of the Diocese of Quebec and Indian Missionaries to the Lower St. Lawrence tribes.
His Lordship the Bishop of Tloa represents that the Hon. Hudson's Bay Company has formerly contributed towards the support of the Indian Missions upon the St. Lawrence Coast and interior some Five Hundred dollars per annum ; and that on the termination of the Lease of the King's Posts (15th Nov. last) and a partial withdrawal from the trading stations within that Territory, the customary allowance has been discontinued. His Lordship prays that the Government may, in consideration of deriving rents through this resumption and the disposal otherwise of fisheries within such territory, assume the obligations from which the Company conceive themselves to be released.
The Petition of the Rev. Charles Arnaud asks for further relief on behalf of the Montagnais and Naskapis Tribes—also that the River Bersimis be granted for the exclusive use of the Bersimis Indians.
With respect to the foregoing applications the Commissioner refers to the Act 14 & 15 Vic. Cap. 106, and appropriations made thereunder and suggests that should any balance remain for such purpose under control of the Indian Department, it might be applicable to the wants therein set forth.
That the principle of setting apart any River Salmon Fishery for the especial profit of Indians has already been denied by the terms of an Order in Council passed (14th May, 1858) upon an application on behalf of the
Montagnais and Naskapis bands. That it was however ordered that some portion of the rent derivable from the leasing of Salmon fisheries should inure to the advantage and support of Indians frequenting the Lower St. Lawrence and the interior.
The commissioner recommends to Your excellency that any allowances so made for the aid of Indians in want of succor be made payable through the Fisheries Branch of his Department and that it be intimated to all concerned that the continued payment of same must depend somewhat on the strict observance by the several tribes of the Laws and Regulations for the preservation and the protection of Salmon and other fisheries.
He further recommends that an exact statement of the numbers and actual conditions of the unsettled tribes on the St. Lawrence coast and through the interior be officially procured, to serve as data for the future distribution and application of whatever material aid may please your Excellency to approve.
The Committee concur in the Report of the Commissioner of Crown Lands and submit the same for Your Excellency's approval.
WM. H. LEE,