No. 129
27th September 1867
My Lord Duke,
I have the honor to report that at the special request of Mr William Duncan, Missionary and Magistrate, I visited the Indian Settlement of MetlakahtlawhichManuscript image which is under his charge.
It was most gratifying to me to see the progress in civilization made by the natives under his care and Government. I was received on the beach by eighteen native Constables well drilled and dressed in artillery uniform. They fired a feu de joie and then some four or five hundred Indians, with their hats off, sang "God Save the Queen"inManuscript image in English which was followed by some cheers equal to anything that a London crowd could give.
3. Mr Duncan has taught the Indians under his charge to build houses in the European style and to add glass windows, decent furniture, regular beds. They cultivate the grounds and have flowers in their fenced in gardens and in their windows.WitchcraftManuscript image Witchcraft, "Medicine," paint and feathers are banished. The people are dressed like white men and nearly all of them worship in the Church which Mr Duncan, at their own expense, has built for them. The children attend school and I was pleased to see the boys engaged in leisure hours at cricket and other games of the English playground. No spirits are allowed inMetlakahtlaManuscript image Metlakahtla, and for many miles around the influence of Mr Duncan and his native constables is felt in the suppression of the whiskey traffic. It is really suprising to find in a place possessing so few natural advantages as Metlakahtla how much Mr Duncan has done. The shop belonging to the Indians is the best I have seen on the Coast and contains, amongst innumerable articles, perfumery,artificialManuscript image artificial flowers and white kid gloves which the Indian girls wear at their weddings. Out of the profits of the shop a saw mill worked by water power has been erected and a wharf and plank road has been nearly completed along the whole sea frontage of the village.
4. One of the satisfactory points connected with MrDuncan'sManuscript image Duncan's establishment is that it costs the Government absolutely nothing. On the contrary Mr Duncan in his capacity of Magistrate remits to the Treasury considerable sums levied as fines upon the whiskey smugglers of the coast.
5. In the evening the greater part of the population assembled in the Meeting House which on Sunday is used as a Church. As aSchoolManuscript image School on the week days. I addressed some words of praise to the Indians. Expressed satisfaction at their progress, and gave some good, common place advice. I enclose copy of the replies of the principal Chiefs as taken down by Mr Duncan while being uttered with the usual Indian deliberation. On my departure I was escorted to the ship by a vast numberofManuscript image of Canoes.
Metlakahtla renewed the impression which I have ventured to express to Your Grace's predecessors that in this Colony there is no reason why the native race should disappear with the advance of the white man.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord Duke,
Your most obedient,
humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
Ackn: receipt & express satisfaction. If you wish to know more about these People Mr Birch can give you as he has more information about them.
CC 4 Dec
FR 4/12
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Most satisfactory certainly.
CBA 7/12
B&C 10/12
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See subsequent 60/7430.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Comments from speeches of Metlakahtla Indians to Seymour, 12 June 1867.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Buckingham to Seymour, No. 95, 13 December 1867 expressing satisfaction and gratification on learning “how greatly the Indians in that neighbourhood have advanced in Civilization and prosperity."