Report of the Special Commissioners

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Report of the Special Commissioners


Name of document:

Report of the Special Commissioners appointed on the 8th September, 1856, to investigate Indian Affairs in Canada

Type of document:

Primary documentation, report, excerpt

Summary of the data:

This is an excerpt of the Report of the Special Commissioners appointed on the 8th of September 1856, to Investigate Indian Affairs in Canada. The report was requested by Sir Edmund Walker Head, Governor General of British North America, and Captain General and Governor in Chief in and over the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Island of Prince Edward. Head requested that the Commissioners report on the "best means of securing the future progress and civilization of the Indian Tribes in Canada" and the "best mode of so managing the Indian Property as to secure its full benefit to the Indians, without impeding the settlement of the country" (3).

In this excerpt there is a section titled "Scattered Bands on the Northern Shores of Lakes Huron and Superior," which outlines the population numbers of various First Nations in the region. Most relevant to Red Sky Métis Independent Nation™ is the subsection on the reservations on Lake Superior. Here the Commissioners outline the population of the various reservations in the area and also provide a description of the land. The Commissioners make the following observations:

Location Description
Fort William, near Kaministiquia River There were 256 individuals living on Chief Peau de Chat's reserve. The Commissioners make no note of Métis at this location. There were several houses in the area and some were fenced, however, they were still dependent on the fur trade and fisheries. Some people in this area were dissatisfied with how little their annuity was.
Gros Cap, near Michipicoten (now Wawa) There were 41 families, or 169 people living on Chief Totomenai's reserve, 11 of these families were of 'mixed-descent.' The Commissioners note that two of the families are no longer entitled to annuity. According to the report there was an iron mine on this reserve, which was sold to the "benefit of the band" (6).
Gull River, near Lake Nipigon There were 430 individuals in Chief Mishenuchqua's Band, most of who were hunters and trappers. The Commissioners note that some people in this area were dissatisfied with how little their annuity was.
Pic River The population of this reservation at the time was 30 families, 138 individuals and one white man.
Long Lake The Commissioners note that three families from Long Lake went annually to Michipicoten (now Wawa) to receive their money.

Important dates mentioned in the document:

September 8, 1856: Date of appointment
1858: Date the report was published

Important people discussed in the document:

Chief Peau de Chat
Chief Totomenai
Chief Mishenuchqua

Specific location(s) mentioned in the document (if applicable):

Michipicoten (now Wawa), Ontario
Fort William, Ontario
Gros Cap, Ontario

Non-specific location(s) mentioned in the document (if applicable):

Lake Superior, Ontario-Minnesota-Wisconsin-Michigan
Lake Huron, Ontario-Michigan
Lake Nipissing, Ontario
Kaministiquia River, Ontario
Gull River, Ontario
Lake Nipigon, Ontario
Pic River, Ontario
Long Lake, Ontario

Specific event(s) identified in the document (if applicable):

Robinson-Superior Treaty, 1850 (September 7, 1850)

Relevant citations:

Canada (Province of, 1841-1866) Indian Affairs, Special Commissioners to investigate. Report of the Special Commissioners appointed on the 8th September, 1856, to investigate Indian Affairs in Canada. Toronto: Stewart Derbyshire & George Desbarats, Printer to the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, 1858. Print.

Was the information found online (yes/no)?:

No.

Document links and URLs (if applicable):

N/A

Date of access:

N/A

Webmaster if identified (for online documents only):

N/A


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