Archival Sources

and

Voices Relating to Lands and Reserves:

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Envisioning Reconciliation Relating to Land and Resources

Source: 1866 Stó:lō Petition to Governor Seymour in A Stó:lō-Coast Salish Historical Atlas, 171.
 

[Excerpt]
“The white men tell many things about taking our lands: our hearts become very sick. We wish to say to Governor Seymour: ‘Please protect our land’.”

Source: 1868 (December) Petition of the Matsqui Indians in A Stó:lō-Coast Salish Historical Atlas, 171.

[Excerpt]
“Some days ago two men arrived at our village and told us that they had orders to measure our land; these men to the greatest sorrow of your memorialists, instead of including in our small reservation the dry land where we have our potatoes and our grave yard situated but a few acres from our houses, insisted to have the line of our Reservation running into the marsh adjoining where the water stays the greater part of the year, and where it is impossible for us to raise potatoes or anything else.”

Source: 1869 (August) Burrard Inlet Petition to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works in A Stó:lō-Coast Salish Historical Atlas,171.
 

[Excerpt]
“1st- That the white man who took up the claim near our Reserve and wishes to diminish the frontage of our Reserve adjoining the sea, and which extent of frontage we have always held, has no right whatever to do so now more than in 1867, when by the decision of Judge [Chartres] Brew, orders were sent to have a post that was planted by Lewis already mentioned for the purpose of diminishing the frontage area removed, and that he more so on account of the frequent applications we have made to the Government to have our Reserve surveyed.
2nd- That we are 50 married men and 16 young men, who have built our church in the midst of our village, and we respectfully demand that there be left for us 200 acres of land having 40 chains of frontage along the sea. Surely 200 acres for 50 families and 16 young men who may hereafter have families, is a very small portion indeed, when compared to 160 acres which the Government allows each single white family.”

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[Excerpt]
“The portion of land we now ask for namely, from corner post of Brady’s [pre-emption claim] to the corner post Whonock Indian Reserve, is unoccupied by any white man. Brady himself has advised us to make application to obtain that land as our reserve, in order to put an end to any future dispute of rights and prevent us hereafter from being overwhelmed with grief and sorrow on seeing ourselves without any land to cultivate.”

Source: 1869 (August) Whonock Petition to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works in A Stó:lō-Coast Salish Historical Atlas, 172.

 

Source: 1869 (August) Whonock Petition to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works in A Stó:lō-Coast Salish Historical Atlas, 172.

[Excerpt]
“The portion of land we now ask for namely, from corner post of Brady’s [pre-emption claim] to the corner post Whonock Indian Reserve, is unoccupied by any white man. Brady himself has advised us to make application to obtain that land as our reserve, in order to put an end to any future dispute of rights and prevent us hereafter from being overwhelmed with grief and sorrow on seeing ourselves without any land to cultivate.”

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Source: 1870 Petition of Fraser Valley Chiefs to Governor Musgrave Regarding the Sale of Cranberry Patches in S’olh Téméxw in A Stó:lō-Coast Salish Historical Atlas, 172.
 

[Excerpt]
“The petition of the undersigned Chiefs of the Indian tribes residing in the vicinity of the valley of the Fraser humbly sheweth that a report having been circulated to the effect that the land from which we now gather the cranberries by the sale of which we are enabled to gain the means of buying food for the winter months are to be sold or leased. We therefore crave permission to represent to your Excellency that if this great hardship is to be visited upon us, it will bring starvation on our women and children for whom food is more especially provided, and take away from our people generally an important means of employment. We would also humbly suggest that the land in question may be reserved for our use as they are unfit for any purpose, but that of cranberry’s cultivation.”

Source: 1874 (July) Petition to Superintendent of Indian Affairs in A Stó:lō-Coast Salish Historical Atlas, 173.

[Excerpt]
“Discouragement and depression have come upon our people. Many of them have given up the cultivation of land, because our gardens have not been protected against the encroachments of the whites. Some of our best men have been deprived of the land they had broken and cultivated with long and hard labour, a white man enclosing it in his claim, and no compensation given.”

Floods 1894 Chilliwack, B.C. by GW Edwar
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Source: 1876 (August) Stó:lō Petition to the Earl of Dufferin in A Stó:lō-Coast Salish Historical Atlas, 174.
 

Source: 1875 (September) Letter to Mr. Lenihan from Burrard Inlet Indians in A Stó:lō-Coast Salish Historical Atlas, 174.

[Excerpt]
“There are a great many of them anxious to see you on the land question and I may say that a number of them are rather excited about it. You must know that Squamish (that is up the Squamish River which empties into Howe Sound) is their Native place and where they wish to have their land assigned to them several of them having cultivated potato patches up there for years and their fathers before them. Up there they have never been disturbs till now. There was a government reserve at the mouth of the river until lately but it has been taken off and parties have recently been up there surveying and staking off land, one Indian telling one that his garden is included in some ones pre-emption what they naturally want is to have their land given them before the new whites interfere with them up there and I must say I think they have justice on their side.”

“A rumor has reached us that it is probable we shall be removed from the home of our ancestors and placed with strangers upon distant reserves. We feel therefore troubled on account of this report and wish that your Excellency would intercede on our behalf that we may be allowed to remain at the reserve already allotted to us where the remains of our parents and children are buried.” “A rumor has reached us that it is probable we shall be removed from the home of our ancestors and placed with strangers upon distant reserves. We feel therefore troubled on account of this report and wish that your Excellency would intercede on our behalf that we may be allowed to remain at the reserve already allotted to us where the remains of our parents and children are buried.” 

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Source: 1894 (April) Letter to the Indian Superintendent from Various Stó:lō chiefs – presented to the Indian Superintendent on Thursday, April 26th and published in the Chilliwack Progress in 1894 in A Stó:lō-Coast Salish Historical Atlas, 175.

[Excerpt]
“With regard to our land, we would like to say just a word. We are constantly told that unless we clear up our reserves, the land will be taken from us. Have the white people cleared up all their land? Will there not be some left for the next generation to clear up? Many of us are doing the best we can and are just as anxious for the land to be cleared as anyone; but it does not help us to be constantly told that we are in danger of losing our land.” 

Source: 1910 (July) Petition of the Interior Tribes in A Stó:lō-Coast Salish Historical Atlas, 176.

[Excerpt]
“3rd. We stand for the enlargement of our reservations wherever we consider it necessary, by having a sufficiency of land allotted to us so as to enable us to compete on better terms with the whites in the way of making a living.
4th. We stand for the obtaining of a permanent and secure title (to be acknowledged by the government as such) of our ownership of our present reservations, and of such lands as may be added thereto.”

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Source: “Indians Petition to King Edward: Full Text of Appeal Which Will be Laid at Foot of the Throne.” Daily Colonist. Friday, July 6, 1906, page 8.

[Excerpt]
“We are not even consulted with regard to the appointment of the Indian agents. We consider that we would be better off if there were no agents, as we are now civilized, and able to take care of ourselves. The government acknowledges that portions of our land was given to white people, and other portions were given to us, which is quite true: but they took the very best of our land and gave us rock and gravel.”

 

Source: Ware, Reuben M. Five Issues Five Battlegrounds: An Introduction to the History of Indian Fishing in British Columbia 1850-1930. Coqualeetza Education Training Centre, 1983, 167-168.

“Skulkayn Band, 14 January 1915:
Chief William Sepass: In the early days, we were at liberty to fish and hunt all over, but now the laws are coming to a point that they are closing in on us, and some day, we will be cleared from hunting and fishing altogether... I said before, we are short of acreage and for that reason I want an enlargement of our Reserves.”


 

Source: “Stó:lō Declaration.” Stó:lō History and Information. Before you know where you are going... You must know where you’ve been... H:wp/1999/KAT/HISTORY-D4.doc. Stó:lō Nation Archives, 28 – 30.

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[Excerpt]

“We continue to exercise the rights and fulfil the responsibilities and obligations given to us by the Creator for the land upon which we were placed... That the people of the Stó:lō Tribes have held and still hold aboriginal title, and aboriginal rights to all land and resources within our Tribal territory. That the people of the Stó:lō Tribes have never reached any agreement or treaty with the governmnts of Canada and British Columbia concerning occupation, settlement, soveriegnty or jurisdiction over our land. We, the people of the Stó:lō Tribes, declare and affirm our inalienable right of aboriginal title to the land, the mountains, the minerals, the trees, the lakes, the rivers, the streams, the sea, the air, and the other resources of our land. We declare that our aboriginal title and aboriginal rights have existed from time immemorial, exists at the present time and shall exist for all future time... The government of Canada, should, as partial compensation, turn over any federal “crown lands” to their rightful owners -- the Indians who own the traditional territory.”