Series GR-0494 - Indian Reserve Commission records

Memorandum of instructions to Archibald McKinlay, B. C. Commissioner on the Indian Reserve Commis... Charles Good, Dept. Prov. Sec., to Honourable Alexander Mackenzie, [Prime Minister of Canada], 25... Archibald McKinlay to A. C. Elliott, Provincial Secretary, Camp Opposite New Castle Island, Nanai... Alexander C. Anderson, McKinlay and G. M. Sproat to Elliott, Camp at mouth of Skwanmish River, Ho... Sproat to Elliott, In Camp, Skwawmish River, Howe Sound, 27 Nov 1876, giving observations on Musq... Sproat to Elliott, Camp, Thunder Bay, Jervis Inlet, 7 Dec 1876, giving observations on the Sechel... Sproat to Elliott, Thunder Bay, Jervis Inlet, 7 Dec 1876 ;Minute of decision (Sechelt Indians); T... Sproat to Elliott, Comox Vancouver Island, 12 Dec 1876, giving observations on Comox Indians and ... McKinlay to Elliott, Nanaimo, 17 Dec 1876, re dispute between Mr. Boyd and Musqueam Indians; Copy... McKinlay to Elliott, Nanaimo, 20 Dec 1876, containing census of Muskweam, Skwamish and Se Shell I... Anderson, McKinlay and Sproat to Elliott, Camp, Chemainus, 21 Dec 1876, enclosing letter from Dom... Sproat to Elliott, Nanaimo, 20 Dec 1876 giving observations on Qualicum and Nanoose Indians and t... Anderson, McKinlay and Sproat to Elliott, Horse Shoe Bay, Chemainus, 4 Jan 1877 re Comox and Nana... McKinlay to Elliott, Horse Shoe Bay, Chemainus, 4 Jan 1877, enclosing abstract of census; Abstrac... Sproat to Elliott, Nanaimo, 20 Dec 1876, giving observations on Nanaimo Indians and their reserves Anderson, McKinlay and Sproat to Elliott, Horse Shoe Bay, Chemainus, 7 Jan 1877, re the Pen-a-lak... McKinlay and Sproat to Elliott, Horse Shoe Bay, Chemainus, 10 Jan 1877, re two sections of land i... Sproat to Elliott, Horse Shoe Bay, Chemainus, 8 Jan 1877, giving observations on the Chemainus In... Sproat to Elliott, Horse Shoe Bay, Chemainus, 8 Jan 1877, giving observations on the Halalts and ... McKinlay and Sproat to the Attorney General of British Columbia, Victoria, B.C., 27 Apr 1877, re ... McKinlay and Sproat to Elliott, Cowichan, 7 Feb 1877, enclosing correspondence between Mr. Fawcet... Report of the proceedings of the Joint Commission signed by Anderson, McKinlay and Sproat, (no da... Summarized Report of the Indian Reserve Commissioners acting for the Government of British Columb... James Lenihan, Indian Superintendant, to Elliott, New Westminster, 20 Jan 1877, inquiring as to d... Abstract of Census and Inventory of Live Stock by George Blenkinsop, Census-Taker to the Indian R... McKinlay and Sproat to Prov. Sec., 26 Apr 1877, enclosing Commisioner's memo and letter from J. L... Sproat to Prov. Sec., 14 May 1877, re Elliott's letter of 12 May on the subject of Sproat's posit... Provincial Commissioners (McKinlay and Sproat) to Provincial Secretary, 16 May 1877, enclosing a ... McKinlay and Sproat to Prov. Sec., 9 Jun 1877, announcing departure for Kamloops Sproat to Prov. Sec., Kamloops, 30 Jun 1877, discussing state of Indian feeling in Okanagan
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Indian Reserve Commission records

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  • 1876-1878 (Creation)
    British Columbia. Dept. of the Provincial Secretary

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1 reel of Microfilm [B11011(1)] (637 pages)

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Biographical history

The Dept. of the Provincial Secretary was established in 1872. Prior to that, the origins of this department was in the offices of the Colonial Secretaries for the Colony of Vancouver Island (1863-1866), the Colony of British Columbia (1864-1866) and the united colony of British Columbia (1866-1871). When British Columbia joined confederation in 1871, the name Colonial Secretary remained in place until April 1872 when a Provincial Secretary was named to assume the duties and functions (SBC 1872, c. 15).

The mandate of the Provincial Secretary included all the powers, duties and functions held by provincial secretaries and registrars in other provinces of the Dominion of Canada. They included being the keeper of the Great Seal of the Province, with the authority to issue letters patent and commissions, and being the keeper of all registers and archives of the province and previous governments of the province. As with other departments, it was also the duty of the Provincial Secretary to make an annual report to the Lieutenant-Governor. The first annual report was produced in 1872.

At various times, different agencies have been under the direction of the Provincial Secretary such as treasury and audit branches, Bureau of Mines, gold commissioners, Returned Soldiers’ Commission, Provincial Library and Archives, Provincial Board of Health, Vital Statistics, Provincial Home, and others. In most instances these agencies were later transferred to the control of new ministries established to administer the specific function or functions. At various times and for varying periods, the Provincial Secretary was responsible for industrial schools, mothers’ pensions, administration of the Infants’ Act, protection of historic sites, and arbitration of labour disputes. In 1947, the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary administered the Civil Service Commission, Government Printing Bureau, Superannuation Commission, mental hospitals, institution farms, homes for the aged, inspector of hospitals, and the Elections Act. In 1976, with the addition of travel and tourism functions from the Dept. of Recreation and Travel Industry, the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary was renamed the Ministry of the Provincial Secretary and Travel Industry (OIC 3199/76).

Custodial history

Scope and content

The records in this series consist of correspondence and reports inward to the Provincial Secretary from the Joint Indian Reserve Commission (Alexander Caulfield Anderson, Dominion Commissioner, Archibald McKinlay, Provincial Commissioner, and Gilbert Malcolm Sproat, Joint Commissioner) which was agreed to in principle by the governments of British Columbia and Canada in November, 1875, and officially established by federal orders-in-council 444 and 779 of 1876. The records include minutes of decision; census of Indian population, livestock and acreage of reserves; and two memoranda dated 1869 by J.W. Trutch regarding disputes about Indian lands in Cowichan district.

Copies of correspondence inward to the Lieutenant Governor from the Commissioners and certain correspondence with Dominion Officials is also included in the record. The records are as originally filed. In most cases, the original Provincial Secretary's file number may be seen on the first document in a file, eg., for file 3 the number is 664/76.

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Transferred from Legislative Library, 1978.


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There are no access restrictions.

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Associated materials

See PR-2107 for additional records from the Joint Indian Reserve Commission.

Researchers interested in the activities of the Commission should also consult the Department of Indian Affairs Central Registry Black Series (Western) available at the BC Archives on microfilm (reels B00271-B00361), in particular file 3756 (reel B00279), and GR-0495, which contains records relating to the Commission's activities for which provenance is unknown. Sproat's reports to the Minister of the Interior are also available at the BC Archives on microfiche Bf-3.

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Accession number(s): 94-8225


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