The series consists of the business records, 1877-1977, of the office of the Kamloops Government Agent, including the records of several additional positions usually held by the same individual: Gold Commissioner, Mining Recorder, and Land Commissioner for the Kamloops Land District. The series also includes records of the Canadian Department of the Interior; most created and received by the Dominion Lands Agent at Kamloops as part of the administration of the Railway Belt.
Record types and subject matter include, but are not limited to the following: land alienation through pre-emption or purchase from the provincial government and homesteading or purchase from the federal government; a variety of leases of Crown land; other more general types of records; and records regarding Indigenous peoples and Indian Reserves.
Records related to land alienation include: applications for pre-emption records; land classification reports; forms completed by land inspectors of the Department of Lands Inspection Branch; declarations of occupation and permanent improvement on pre-emption claims; applications for homestead entry, cancellation, and abandonment; homestead Inspector’s reports; affidavits in support of an Application for Entry for a homestead, pre-emption or purchased homestead; land sales records including applications to purchase and certificates of purchase.
Records related to a variety of leases and other uses of Crown lands include: grazing leases; foreshore leases; dredging leases; indentures to reassign leases; special use permits; timber permits; water records including conditional water licenses, and permanent water licenses; applications for irrigation schemes; petroleum and natural gas leases; quarry leases; bar leases; coal leases; mining leases regarding surface and subsurface rights; applications for lease of crown-granted mineral claims; applications for placer leases under the Placer-Mining Act; and the lapse of a lease or forfeiture of a mineral claim to the Crown.
Other more general types of records include: correspondence regarding Crown grants; inquiries about land availability; surveyor’s reports; preliminary plans and correspondence for the surveys of townships; Soldier Settlement Board records including forms, correspondence and records of soldier land grants; attestation papers and discharge certificates; naturalization papers; personal correspondence; correspondence files on specific topics such as hay permit regulations or precipitation measurements; records regarding taxes; and business records of the office, including inter-department correspondence, circulars, and memorandum related to matters of land administration.
Files also exist for specific Indian Reserves, and can include correspondence; water records; surveys; and inspection reports created in the process of allotting new, and canceling existing Indian Reserves. Some files document instances of overlapping land use and conflict between settlers and Indigenous peoples on specific parcels of land.
Files are generally either correspondence files on a particular subject, or a variety of records related to a particular piece of land. Many files cover a wide time period and may be associated with multiple individuals or companies as land rights were often transferred to others or cancelled and reapplied for. Only the name of the first and last individual listed on the file is included in the file list. This means there may be additional names associated with files not included on the file list. The file list may also only include part of the legal description of land in cases where the description was exceptionally long, or included many different pieces of land. Single individuals may also have multiple files for each piece of land they are associated with.
Cartographic materials, consisting of blueprints and hand-drawn maps or plans, indicating the parcels of land relevant to the file, are commonly found throughout the records.
No file list or indexes were transferred with these records from the Kamloops Government Agent. Most files only included numbers with no clear names, so titles were created by the archives based on the contents of the files or by transcribing information on relevant file backs.
A fire on 17 September 1893 at the Dominion Lands Office in Kamloops destroyed some files. The contents for these files are marked [empty]. Files marked as [file back only] were likely destroyed in the fire, but then had their titles and some additional information transcribed by Lands employees onto file backs from letter books or other surviving records which were not transferred with these records.
British Columbia. Government Agent (Kamloops)