No. 80, Miscellaneous
1st October 1864
Sir
1. Having brought the present condition and future management of the Indian population of this Colony under the consideration of the local Legislature, I deem it my duty also to bring the subject under your notice.  
2. For the present I will merely submit the papers named in the margin *
*
Report of Commissioners of Indian Reserve, Victoria, 27th May 1864.
Report of Commissioners of Indian Reserve (Supplemental), 1st June 1864.
Superintendent of Police, 21st June 1864.  
as affording some indication
of
of the degraded and drunken habits of the Indians in the immediate neighbourhood of Victoria, and to justify the Measures which I trust the local Legislature will enable me hereafter to adopt.  
3. The policy heretofore pursued in dealing with the Indian Tribes in this and the neighbouring Colony, may have been at one time expedient, but is certainly no longer necessary or possible having regard to their own welfare or the safety of the settlers and traders brought in contact
with
with them.  
4. I am not without experience in dealing with savages, and have been much in contact with the Indians in our North American Possessions.  
5. The measures necessary to their successful government are simple, and not difficult of adoption, if the local Legislature afford me the means of carrying them out.  
6. They must be secured in the possession of their lands, and prohibited from alienating them except for a fair consideration, and through the intervention of the Government.  
7. They
7. They must be treated with scrupulous truth, justice, and unflinching firmness. Magistrates, or Protectors, to whom they may look with confidence for punishment or redress must be appointed and stationed where necessary. Whiskey selling by which unprincipled traders realize a profit of five or six hundred per cent must be suppressed. All Indian crimes and troubles may be traced to this source.  
8. Murder inter se must be
taken
taken cognizance of and dealt with according to law.  
9. I think a great mistake has been made in permitting an Indian settlement to grow up and continue in juxta-position with a city like Victoria, and a still greater error has been committed in leasing a portion of their Reserve, thus mixing the two Races together to the great degradation of the one, and the demoralization of both.  
10. The present Indian Settlement at Victoria, is a disgrace to humanity, and I cannot learn
that
that any effective measures have been taken to prevent the shameless prostitution of the women and drunkenness of the men who live mainly by their prostitution.  
11. The Indians must be removed from this locality, and the proceeds of the Reserve judiciously managed will more than suffice to supply them with all necessaries in a more suitable locality. Most of these matters will require legislative assistance and sanction and I will from time to time keep you informed of what has
been
been done.  
12. The Indians are fully competent to appreciate justice and humanity, but while they are managed like wild beasts they will not cease to be ferocious and dangerous.  
13. Protestant and Roman Catholic Missionaries are making zealous efforts to improve the condition of the Indians, and in many cases with success, but their good intentions and teaching are neutralized by unprincipled whiskey sellers, and the want of local Magistrates and Police to put a stop to these breaches of the law.  
I
I have the honor to be,
Sir,
Your most obedient Servant
A.E. Kennedy
Governor
Minutes by CO staff
Mr Elliot
Governor Kennedy has lost no time in turning his attention to the deplorable state of the Indian population. Acknowledge & express a hope that the Legislature will enable him to carry out the measures he proposes for improving these conditions?  
VJ
18 N
Mr Cardwell
Some civil general answer should, I think, be returned, but I would not introduce anything into the despatch about the action of the Legislature.  
Now that we have two trained Governors in these Colonies accustomed to a sense of responsibility, we receive accounts which make one imagine that Sir J. Douglas has earned his honors rather cheaply. Some of the despatches from B. Columbia by the present mail imply that there has been a good deal of neglect and laxity there.  
TFE
21 Novr
CF
EC
23
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
  • Copy, E.G. Alston to Acting Colonial Secretary, 1 June 1864, forwarding report from Alexander Garrett to be used as a supplement to the report of commissioners of Indian reserve.  
Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
Report of Commissioners of Indian Reserve at Victoria, 27 May 1864


Victoria
27th May 1864

Sir
We have the Honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 2nd instant requesting information on several points connected with the management of the Indian Reserve at Victoria and to report for the information of His Excellency The Governor as follows  
1. The Commissioners derive their authority from a Commission under the Public seal of the Colony nominating them "to be Commissioners for the Management of the Indian Reserve at Victoria to do and execute all such things pertaining to that Office as shall be by proper authority directed and required especially giving to them or any two of them power to grant leases of the said Reserve and recover and receive such Rents therefor as to them or any two of them shall deem expedient the same to be duly accounted for and paid to the use of Her Majesty Her Heirs and Successors and applied to and for the benefit of the Indians or for such other purpose as shall be by the authority aforesaid directed in that behalf."  
The Commissioners (whose services are gratuitously rendered) conceive that a general and unrestricted authority was thus given to manage the Reserve in any way they thought fit for the benefit of the Indians. No particular mode was pointed out
nor
nor any terms or conditions directed to be inserted in the Leases.  
2. We have had under our consideration from time to time many plans for the amelioration of the Indians but have found it impossible to carry them out from various circumstances among which may be mentioned the following The debased character of the people. Their immoderate use of Ardent spirits all attempts to prevent which have proved unavailing. The want of funds to defray the expense of carrying out Plans for their improvement such as—Teaching them Trades—Building proper Houses—Placing them out at service—providing Police and establishing other useful
regulations
regulations—all which we conceive it possible to accomplish.  
We consider the present mode of managing the Reserve as necessarily imperfect and unsatisfactory and believe that little permanent good can be accomplished for the Indians so long as they occupy their present position. But to do away with the Reserve against their Will without finding some other convenient place upon which to settle them would be attended with serious consequences, for besides the breach of faith involved in removing the Songas Tribe from Victoria the question arises "what is to be done with the hordes of Indians who annually visit Victoria for the purposes of trade service &c?  
The
The Law prohibiting the Sale of spirits to Indians brings them into contact with White Men of the very worst character from whom they can readily obtain an unlimited supply, not of pure spirit, but of adulterated and poisonous liquors, which hitherto from the want of a sufficient force it has been found impossible to check. We do not however advocate the Sale of spirits to Indians without any restrictions. The Reserve is a constant scene of drunkeness and disorder and we are strongly convinced of the necessity of placing a sufficient police there permanently for
the
the purpose of maintaining order and if possible of preventing the Sale of adulterated liquors.  
3. We think that the summary jurisdiction of Magistrates in cases of crime committed by Indians might be greatly increased with much advantage.  
[4.] Mr Pemberton, who, as Police Magistrate, has had upwards of Six years experience has found that petty crimes committed by Southern Indians (viz the Songas, Cowichan and Sooke Tribes) are fewer as compared with those of the Northern Tribes (the Hydahs Simpseans
Fort
Fort Rupert &c) in the proportion of about One to Fifty. This he attributes to the fact that the Southern Indians from constant intercourse with the white population have become more civilized than their Northern bretheren. The Songas Indians living on the Reserve and who alone have any right of occupation numbered in April last including children 285 while the Northern Indians include about 200 which number however is at times greatly increased and occasionally as high as 1500.  
5. It having become necessary to raise a Revenue for the
purpose
purpose (amongst others) of shewing the Indians an intention to benefit them on the part of those who hold the Land appropriated for them, no other way presented itself than that of Leasing the Reserve—which has been done to some extent on very advantageous terms. The proceeds or a part of them have been applied towards furnishing the Indians with Clothes and provisions at Christmas in each year. Hence the items in the account already furnished. A survey of the Reserve was rendered necessary before it could be leased.  
We
[6.] We are of opinion that as soon as the funds can afford the outlay much good (though probably only temporary) might be effected by  
1. The maintenance of an efficient Police on the Reserve.  
2. The support of a School-Master whose duty it will be (amongst other things) to superintend Industrial training, to impart moral and religious instruction and to provide situations for those Indians who may be desirous of entering service.  
3. The building of convenient dwellings.  
4. By enforcing regulations to ensure cleanliness and
decency
decency.  
7. We beg to enclose return of all Lots leased, the extent, to whom and upon what terms as requested.  
8. In conclusion the Commissioners submit that some good has been gained by the present Management of the Reserve inasmuch as the hitherto savage Tribes have been taught to respect the Laws and to submit to rule which some years ago they would have resisted, and also evidence has been given to them of an intention on the part of the Government to administer
for
for their benefit as far as possible the trust imposed upon it.  
We have the Honor to be Sir
Your Obedient Servants
E. Graham Alston
A.F. Pemberton
J.D. Pemberton



To The Colonial Secretary
&c &c &c
Alexander Garrett to Commissioners of Indian Reserve, 1 June 1864


Report as to the Social condition of the Songas Indians


The moral and social condition of all the Indians resident at Victoria is extremely bad.  
This arises mainly from the following causes:  
1. From the natural tendency to evil of the savage mind the natives copy with extreme facility the vices of their civilized neighbours.  
2. They are drawn toward ruin with resistless power by the strong temptation held out to them in the gains of prostitution, and the ease with which they obtain a large amount of intoxicating drink.  
3. There is no effective check put upon the vicious tendencies of the natives or the corrupting influences of the Whites.  
There are no police stations upon the Reserve to enforce the Law or maintain the peace. Indians may reel about drunk by the dozen fight in bands of Twenty, Fifty or even a Hundred and consume liquor by the Cask or Can, without the Police authorities being aware that any such disgraceful and dangerous conduct is being carried on.  
4. There is no Industrial School in which the young might be taught useful trades and if one were provided by benevolence there is no authority by which to enforce attendance.  
Thus the Indians are literally compelled by the very misfortune of their position rapidly to deteriorate in moral and physical energy and well being. The time thus seems to have arrived when a very decided Indian Policy should be inaugurated and firmly adhered to.  
I beg respectfully to submit the accompanying outline of a Scheme for Indian Improvement.  
Alexr C. Garrett
Principal of Indian Mission
Victoria
To The Commissioners of the Indian Reserve
Outline of Plan for the Improvement of the Songas Indians


 
  1. 1. Social Amelioration
    1. 1. Lay out in Lots the Site of an Improved Village.
    2. 2. Let all the Indians desirous of better houses be assisted with Two thirds of the Lumber required provided they themselves supply the remaining third.
    3. 3. Let a Carpenter be employed to Superintend the erection of the buildings and to assist the Indians generally in the construction of their dwellings according to a fixed Plan.
    4. 4. Endeavour to encourage habits of Industry by offering rewards for the best samples of vegetables &c raised in their gardens.
    5. 5. Appoint one or two Sanitary Officers (Whites) who shall see to the general cleanliness of the place, the removal of all nuisances and the preservation of order good and decency.
  2. 2. Education
    1. 1. Industrial Training
      1. (a) Appoint a person or persons capable of giving instruction in Needlework and as many useful trades as can be afforded.
      2. (b) Supply the materials and pay a small amount of wages for the work done.
      3. (c) Sell the goods produced and place the proceeds in the general Fund.
      4. (d) Render every boy and Girl between the ages of Ten and Sixteen who shall refuse to attend and be found habitually idle liable to be punished as a vagrant.
    2. 2. Intellectual Training
      1. (a) Appoint a Schoolmaster whose duty it shall be to attend to the Intellectual culture of the Industrial classes as well as all others.
      2. (b) Let such rewards as may be deemed fit be bestowed half yearly upon those Scholars whose attendance, progress and conduct may be most meritorious.
      3. (c) Let the School be examined every half year by the Commissioners or other proper parties and their opinion of its condition and efficiency recorded.
  3. 3. Government
    1. 1. Let the system of Native Government existing be recognized by the Appointment of those Chiefs whose conduct may be good as Police Officers paying them reasonable wages for their services so long as they behave well.
    2. 2. Let these Officers distinctly understand that it is their duty to assist the Government in every way in support of the Laws, to report all cases in which the Law is violated and to minister to the suppression of crime and the advancement of prosperity and peace.
    3. 3. Let English Law in all cases be strictly enforced for the suppression of drunkenness Offences against Public decency and all other crimes.
    4. 4. Let the Sanitory Officers be empowered to act as Police.
  4. 4. Supervision
    Let the whole be under the supervision of the Resident Missionary Clergyman who will communicate with the Commissioners upon any points of importance which may arise.  
Alex C. Garrett
Principal of Indian Mission
Victoria
June 1 1864



Horace Smith to H. Wakeford, 21 June 1864
Police Office, Victoria, V.I.
June 21st 1864

Sir,
I beg respectfully to call the attention of His Excellency the Governor to the insecure state of the various districts of this Colony.  
At the present time the settlers have no protection from the incursions of Indians, nor have the Indians any protection against the encroachments of white men.  
The lowest class of Society from Victoria infests the coast supplying spirits to the Indians and carrying on other nefarious pursuits, to the great demoralization of the Indians, and to the serious danger and annoyance of respectable settlers.  
His Excellency has expressed a wish that I should always keep myself fully informed of everything occurring in the districts, but at present my means of obtaining such information are very slow and unsatisfactory and I would therefore respectfully request His Excellency forthwith to appoint Magistrates and Constables in such districts as most need them.  
I have &c &c &c
Horace Smith
Superintendent of Police

To Henry Wakeford, Esqre
Actg Colonial Secretary
&c &c &c
Other documents included in the file
  • Draft reply, Cardwell to Kennedy, No. 62, 26 November 1864.  
  • Draft reply, Cardwell to Kennedy, No. 67, 20 December 1864.  
 
Despatch to London:
Kennedy to Cardwell, 1 October 1864, National Archives of the UK, 10589, CO 305/23. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871. Ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria: University of Victoria. http://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/getDoc.htm?id=V64180.scx. Accessed 22 July 2018. 

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