WHAT MR. COMMISSIONER GRAHAM SAYS OF THE INDIAN.
Mr. Graham, the Indian Commissioner, addressed the Kiwanis Club,
Regina, by request, on the subject of the Canadian Indians. There is no
better authority. The Indian Department has no more able, conscien-
tious, or experienced official, and, during the forty years he has been in
the service, the Indians of Saskatchewan have had no better friend.
In that address he gave a great deal of valuable and interesting infor-
mation including the following statistics
Indian population of Canada in 1922, 106,000; Eskimos, 3,200. Half
of this number are West of the Great Lakes. Manitoba has 11,000, Sas-
katchewan 10,000, Alberta 9,000 and 5,500 are scattered over the unor-
ganized territories in the great north.
By religious belief they are classed as follows: Catholics 48,000,
Protestants 48,000; aboriginal beliefs 10,000. These figures reflect tre-
mendous credit on the great missionary enterprise of the churches, but
it may be more than suspected that great numbers of these classed as
Christians still cling to their ancient beliefs among themselves. An
Indian has no great objection to being baptized, or to having his children
baptized, even though his notions of theology may be extremely hazy or
non-existent. Indians own 5,000,000 acres of land, or at the rate of fifty
acres for every man, woman and child. The value of this land is about
$52,000,000. The Indians produce annually from one and a half to two
million bushels of grain, and about half of this is grown in the west.
They own stock to the value of $4,500,000; and the total value of their
real and personal property is put at $65,000,000. They have capital
funds-actual money~standing to their credit at Ottawa amounting to
THE QU'APPELLE TREATY.
Alluding to the treaties with the Indians, Mr. Graham said the first
treaty negotiated with the Western Indians was signed at Fort Qu'Ap-
pelle on the 15th of September, 1874~fifty years ago. It is known as
Treaty No.4 and what to this day is sometimes spoken of as the "Treaty
Ground" was the piece of level prairie on which a monument has been
built to commemorate the momentous event. The Commissioners repre-
senting the Government were the Hon. Alexander Morris, Lieutenant
Governor of Manitoba; Hon. David Laird, at that time Minister of the
Interior, and afterwards first Lieutenant Governor of the N. W. Terri-
tories, and later on Indian Commissioner, which position he held at the
time of his death; and the Hon. W. H. Christie, a retired Chief Factor
of the Hudson's Bay Company. These Commissioners came overland
from Fort Garry and were escorted by 100 men of the active Militia
under the command of Lieut. Col. W. Osborne Smith. They marched all
the way to the Fort and back again, making 700 miles in all. Mr.
Graham said their presence had a splendid effect as Indians have a great
respect for soldiers.
There were about 3,000 Indians present at the Treaty, all living in
tepees, and having with them hundreds of horses, so that the scene in
the beautiful valley that met the eyes of the Commissioners must have
been exceedingly interesting and picturesque. Two tribes were dealt
with, the Crees and the Salteaux (Soto). The former were the more
numerous, but the latter were the more difficult to deal with, and held
out for their own way for a long time, and it was not until the Crees
had finally agreed to accept the terms irrespective of them that the
Salteaux acquiesced. The conference lasted six days and an area of
75,000 miles was surrendered. This Treaty, said Mr. Graham, was the
first step towards bringing the Indians of this fertile plain in closer
relation with the Government.
The Reserves were allotted on a basis of 128 acres for every man,
woman and child, or in other words, a section of 640 acres for every
family of five, which of course has turned out greatly in excess of their
requirements. Much of this land has been surrendered back to the Gov-
ernment and the proceeds of the sale placed to the credit of the Bands
to which they belonged. As a result of these sales funds have been
created to buy horses, cattle, implements and other equipment with which
to give young farming Indians a good start.
The Indians were allowed to select their reserves and they showed
great shrewdness and knowledge in the selection. Wherever one strikes
an Indian Reserve in the west one may be certain of finding some of the
best land in the country.