Glossary of Terms Used in Aboriginal Historical Research

From Indian History and Claims: A Research Handbook Volume 2.
Prepared by Bennett Ellen McCardle for the Treaties & Historical Research Centre,
Research Branch, Corporate Policy, AANDC

The definitions given here apply to the terms as they are used in historical research. They are suitable for general reference, but you should consult a law dictionary or a lawyer for more precise legal meanings if you intend to use any of them in a legal document or claim. Consult the “definition sections” included at the beginning of the Indian Act (or related statutes) for meanings of terms not given here.
Words in CAPITALS are also found as separate entries.

ABORIGINAL –
Relating to Indian or Inuit life before the coming of non-native people. Compare CONTACT.
ABORIGINAL RIGHTS –
The special rights of native people that arise out of their ABORIGINAL use and occupancy of territory. “ABORIGINAL title” is usually used to refer specifically to land rights. In practice however, it often also indicates closely connected matters such as rights to hunt, fish, and trap, and rights to use various other resources. See also CLAIM.
ABROGATION (legal term) –
The breaking of an agreement, such as an Indian TREATY, by one of those who made it, or by a higher power. This term is used when breaking is, or may be, authorized by law. For example, the Migratory Birds Convention Treaty is said to abrogate the hunting rights provisions of some or all of the NUMBERED TREATIES.
ABSTRACT –
A record held by the INDIAN LAND REGISTRY, listing all land dealings (“transactions”) on a particular Indian reserve, or in a particular region. Some abstracts, such as the Registry’s “Surrendered Land Leasing” abstracts, cover only a particular kind of transaction.
ADHESION (legal term) –
A legal undertaking by which someone accepts the terms of an existing agreement, such as an Indian TREATY. Bands who were not present at the signing of a TREATY sometimes “adhere” to it (that is, they sign short written adhesions) many years later. The adhesions often do not repeat all the words of the original agreement. Individual Indian people who have never been in treaty before sometimes join a treaty band after the main agreement is negotiated. These people are sometimes said to have “informally adhered to treaty”.
ADVERSE POSSESSION (legal term) –
A person who lives on someone else’s land for some time, who does not abandon it, and who is never removed by the owner is “in adverse possession” of the land. In some special situations this person can gain ownership of the land; that is, if he or she has been there long enough and has used the land in certain ways specified by law. See also PRESCRIPTION and SQUATTER.
AFFIDAVIT –
A formal written statement of facts to which the person making the statement attaches a formal oath swearing that everything in it is true. Affidavits are sworn to and signed in front of a special official with the authority to “take” them, such as a notary or magistrate. Since 1876 the Indian Act has required that both Indian and government representatives swear an affidavit after every SURRENDER. This is meant to show that the surrender has been done in the proper legal manner. Affidavits are sometimes also called “depositions”.
ALIENATE (legal term) –
To sell, give away, or otherwise dispose of land, or other property, permanently. SURRENDERED Indian reserve lands are not fully alienated from their previous owners until the buyer receives his final deed or PATENT.
AMENDMENT –
See STATUTE.
ANNUITY (or TREATY ANNUITY) –
A token payment, made yearly by the Crown to individual members of an Indian band under the terms of certain TREATIES. Anuities (as distinct from once-for-all lump sum payments made when the treaty was signed) were paid under most of the pre-Confederation Upper Canadian Treaties from 1818 onward, and under all post-Confederation agreements except the Chippewa-Mississauga Treaties of 1923. Up to about 1827-29, payment was in cash and/or goods worth certain stated sums; each would be substituted or “commuted” for the other according to circumstances. After this date, annuities were paid in cash, usually as a small fixed sum per person, sometimes (as in ROBINSON TREATIES) with a ceiling on total amount payable within the treaty area. In the early period cash annuities were either distributed to individual band members or banked (“funded”) on their behalf; these latter sums became the foundation of some band TRUST FUNDS. Annuities in the NUMBERED TREATIES were distributed annually in cash. See also CONSIDERATION, PRESENTS, TREATY PAYLIST, TREATY DAY, and TRUST FUNDS.
ANTHROPOLOGY –
A type of study that deals with human beings and their society, both now and in the past. Anthropologists study people’s ways of making a living, family patterns, political systems, religion, languages, and so on. Some anthropologists have written descriptions of Indian life that are accurate and detailed enough to be used in historical or claims work. See also ETHNOLOGY, ETHNOHISTORY, and ARCHAEOLOGY.
APPROPRIATION –
The amount of money that Parliament allots each year, out of public funds, for a particular purpose. An appropriation is given to the Department of Indian Affairs to fund its administration programs. This money is completely separate from band-owned TRUST FUNDS, even though both funds have until recently been managed by the Department. Appropriation money is sometimes called “the Parliamentary vote”.
ARCHIVES –
Collections of old or unpublished records which can be used in historical and other RESEARCH. Archives contain such things as family or personal letters and papers; government, church and business records; maps, pictures, and photographs; films and TV shows; and tapes or records. A large proportion of these items are PRIMARY SOURCES.
ARCHIVAL RESEARCH –
RESEARCH that looks for facts in the records held by ARCHIVES. Archival research is thus usually different from ORAL HISTORY, or from research in SECONDARY SOURCES.
ASSIGNMENT (legal term) –
A document that formally hands over soneone’s part-ownership or INTEREST in a piece of land to someone else. For example, a buyer of SURRENDERED Indian reserve land, who has paid only part of the price to the Department of Indian Affairs, could assign his interest in the land to another person. That person would then have to pay the rest of the price, and would receive the final LETTERS PATENT. LEASES can be assigned in similar ways.
BAND –
A group of Aboriginal people. The word has at least two meanings today.

  1. (1) A legal group defined by the Indian Act. In this sense, a band is the basic unit of Indian government recognized by the federal government. Each has its own BAND COUNCIL and legal membership list. Most have reserve land and a TRUST FUND as well. See also IRREGULAR BAND.
  2. A small social group, usually of people following a traditional way of life of hunting, fishing, trapping, and gathering, with special kinds of leadership and family patterns.
BAND BYLAW –
A law enacted by a BAND COUNCIL on certain subjects specified in the Indian Act. Generally speaking, bylaws are enforceable only on the band’s reserve(s). Since 1951 the Act has provided that band bylaws come into effect under the Indian Act when the Minister approves them. They are now customarily registered under the Statutory Instruments Act and are indexed, though not printed, in the Canada Gazette (Part II).Before 1951 band bylaws were called “rules and regulations” and were brought into force either by ORDER IN COUNCIL or (for those made under the INDIAN ADVANCEMENT ACT) by Ministerial approval.

BAND COUNCIL –
The governing body of a BAND under the Indian Act. It is composed of one or more chiefs and usually several councillors (formerly called “headmen”). Some bands choose their councils today under the ELECTIVE SYSTEM, and some by CUSTOM. See also HEREDITARY CHIEFS and TRIBAL COUNCIL.
BAND COUNCIL RESOLUTION (or BCR) –
A document by which a BAND COUNCIL records a formal decision or a band bylaw.
BAND FUNDS –
See TRUST FUND.
BLUE BOOK –
See ESTIMATES.
BONUS –
See MINERAL RIGHTS.
CAVEAT (or “CAUTION”) –
A formal legal action, by which someone claims ownership of, or an INTEREST in, a particular piece of land that is registered in someone else’s name. The usual procedure is for the “caveator” to place a notice in the land title registration books, warning all concerned that the ownership of the right is disputed and it may be taken to court. Provincial laws relating to land titles set down more specific rules as to how caveats must be set up and dealt with.
CEDE –
See CESSION.
CENSUS –
A count of all the people in a given place, at a given time. Formal censuses sometimes include other information about the people counted, such as names, ages, and amount of land and property owned. The Department of Indian Affairs has taken unofficial censuses of Indian bands for at least 150 years. Until the 1880s, few of these were done on a regular basis and were not carried out in an organized way. TREATY PAYLISTS are a kind of census. The ten year national censuses taken by the federal government, such as those of 1871 and 1881 include some Indian settlements and reserves.
CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPATION/POSSESSION –
See LOCATION TICKET.
CERTIFICATE OF TITLE –
A secondary legal document issued to show that a grant of public (Crown) land or mineral rights has been made to a private owner. The primary deed – that is, the original LETTERS PATENT making the grant – is kept by the Crown, usually in the offices of the federal or provincial Registrar-General.
CERTIFIED TRUE COPY (or TRUE COPY) –
A copy or photostat made from an original document where the copy is specially signed or stamped to show that it is a full and correct duplicate of the original. Certified copies are required in some legal proceedings.
CESSION (legal term) –
See SURRENDER.
CHARTER (legal term) –
A legal document issued by the CROWN to grant certain rights to a group, or to set up a business, town government, or other institution. For example, the Hudson’s Bay Company was given exclusive rights to trade within large areas of western Canada by a royal charter issued by King Charles II in 1670.
CLAIM –
A formal statement by a person or group claiming a legal right to something or demanding protection or recovery of a right alleged to have been lost. Also, the action taken to have the claim settled. Indian claims are often made for the recognition of ABORIGINAL RIGHTS, for the fulfillment of Indian TREATIES, and for compensation for or return of land and other rights. Most claims today are made against the federal government, but some have been brought against the provinces or private persons. Claims can be settled by LITIGATION, ARBITRATION, MEDIATION, NEGOTIATION, and other kinds of political action. The federal government’s view today is that there are two kinds of claim: comprehensive claims, based on ABORIGINAL RIGHTS in areas where no TREATIES have been made; and specific claims for rights arising out of TREATIES or relating to reserves, Indian moneys, and specific provisions of the Indian Act. This distinction is not, however, accepted as valid by all Indian groups.
COLONIAL –
Referring to the colonies such as the colonies of British North America before Canada was created by Confederation (Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, etc.). Colonial governments in Canada shared responsibility for Indians with the British IMPERIAL government. Their records are often used in Indian historical research.
COMMUTATION –
A legal action provided for in the Indian Act between 1876 and 1951. An Indian woman who married a non-Indian, and so lost her INDIAN STATUS could “wind up” her financial connection with the band by “taking commutation”. That is, she received a lump sum payment covering ten years’ worth of (a) treaty annuities and (b) any other regular cash payments made out of the band’s TRUST FUND. If she did not “commute her interest” in this way she could continue to collect these monies indefinitely. Her name remained on the band lists for the purpose of recording the payments, but she had no other rights as an Indian. In treaty areas during the 1930s and 1940s, such people were called “red ticket women” after the colour of the special treaty card issued to them. Since 1951 [to 1985], all women marrying non-Indians have been obliged to take the lump sum at the time of their marriage, and were removed from band lists immediately.See also PRESENTS for a different meaning of the term.
COMPREHENSIVE CLAIM –
See CLAIM.
CONSIDERATION (legal term) –
Money or valuables given by one person to another under the terms of a CONTRACT. This can be a large or a token payment. Treaty ANNUITIES and RESERVE lands are kinds of consideration promised in the TREATIES.
CONSOLIDATION –
See STATUTE.
CONSTITUTION –
The legal document that sets out the basic laws and principles by which a nation is ruled. From Confederation in 1867, until 1982, the Canadian Constitution was embodied in the British North America Act, a STATUTE of the British Parliament. It is now a Canadian STATUTE, the Constitution Act of 1982.
CONTACT –
The term used for the time in history when North American native people first met with non-natives from other parts of the world. This meeting could be either face to face or indirect (that is, through foreign TRADE GOODS and influences). The early part of the contact period, when native life had been changed by new influences only in part, is sometimes called the “contact-traditional” period. Most scholars think that the contact period in Canada began anywhere from about 200 to 400 years ago depending on what part of Canada one is discussing. This period differs in important ways from the ABORIGINAL time before it.
CONTRACT (legal term) –
A formal legal agreement that binds those who participate in it to certain things. Some contracts are binding even though they are not written down or spelled out in detail.
COURTS –
The places in which legal disputes and CLAIMS can be settled by judges and/or juries. There are different levels of courts in Canada, from local courts up to the federal level. Some of these deal with particular kinds of cases. Each court has its own special rules. Decisions that have been given in local or “lower” courts can, in some ways, be appealed to “higher” courts, where they may be changed or “reversed”.The national system can be summed up as follows, although the first three levels are not always the same in all regions.

  1. Provincial or Magistrates’ Courts. These deal with minor offences. They may include general courts and special divisions known as “provincial criminal court”; “family” or “juvenile court”; and “probate” or “surrogate court”. Small claims and bankruptcy courts may be included at this level or the next.
  2. County or District Courts. These deal with civil and criminal cases within certain limits as to the type and seriousness of the charge.
  3. Provincial Supreme Court. These are sometimes divided into “trial” (or “High Court of Justice”) and “appeal” levels. They deal with all kinds of cases, except for certain special matters that must be referred to the federal courts.
  4. Federal Boards and Tribunals. Various court-like bodies dealing with specific federal matters, such as immigration and taxation.
  5. Federal Court of Canada (Trial and Appeal Divisions) – These deal with (a) certain special federal matters named in various STATUTES; (b) appeals from the federal boards; and (c) CLAIMS against the Crown. Some of these matters go directly to the appeal level without passing through the trial court.
  6. Supreme Court of Canada – Deals with appeals from lower federal and provincial courts on all subjects.

Until 1949 cases could be appealed from the Supreme Court of Canada to the highest court in Britain, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. A number of important native law cases were dealt with in this way. Today, cases relating to Aboriginal peoples are heard at all levels depending on the subject and the rules of the court. See also CLAIM, LITIGATION, and EVIDENCE.

CROP SHARE LEASE OR SALE –
An arrangement in which a person buys or leases a piece of land by paying a fixed proportion of the crops grown on it each year, instead of cash. SURRENDERED Indian land has sometimes been sold by crop share, especially during the 1930s and 1940s.
CROWN –
The King or Queen as Canada’s Head of State. Also, the government that represents the monarch. The Crown is in many ways an idea more than a person. Thus the Governor-General “is” the Crown when he exercises the powers the Queen has given him. A federal or provincial government department “is” the Crown when it carries out the duties assigned to it, in the manner in which they were intended to be carried out. Exactly what these delegated duties are is not always clear. Most, however, are set out in the CONSTITUTION of Canada and in federal and provincial STATUTES.
CROWN LANDS –
Public lands, legally the property of the Crown. They are administered by the Crown’s representatives (the federal or provincial governments) and may be sold to private owners. Some Crown lands are held by the Department of Indian Affairs for use by Indian people, but do not have RESERVE status. See INDIAN LAND REGISTRY and SETTLEMENT.
CUSTOM-
A technical term referring to an actually or nominally “traditional” Indian practice, as opposed to one set out by Canadian law. For example, “custom” adoptions are regular Indian forms of marriage and adoption that are not carried out under conventional Canadian family law. BAND COUNCILS chosen “by custom” are chosen or elected by traditional means other than the ELECTIVE SYSTEM. They are however, recognized under the Indian Act as the lawful government of the BAND, except in unusual circumstances (see HEREDITARY CHIEF).
DEED –
Any formal legal DOCUMENT passing ownership of land from one person to another.
DISCRETIONARY (legal term) –
A discretionary law states what may be done without saying that it has to be done. For example, one possible interpretation of section 71(1) of the Indian Act (R.S.C. 1970, chapter 1-6) is that it is discretionary. This is because it says that the Minister of Indian Affairs “may” operate farms on reserves for certain purposes. It does not, however, say that he must do so. See also MANDATORY.
DISCHARGE FROM TREATY –
See ENFRANCHISEMENT.
DOCUMENT –
A paper or record, especially an official one. To document a CLAIM means to bring together all records needed to prove it. Documentary history is history that is researched using written records, as opposed to history based on facts taken from ARCHAEOLOGY, ORAL TRADITION, or similar sources.
“DOUBLE MOTHER” RULE –
A clause in the 1970 Indian Act [ Chapter 1-6 section 12(1)(a)(iv)] that denies INDIAN STATUS to children of Indian-status parents if their mother and their father’s mother were both of non-Indian status before marriage, or were both not registered or entitled to be registered under certain specific parts of the Act. The rule was introduced into the Act in 1951, apparently to deal with certain bands in Canada where Indian/non-Indian intermarriage was frequent. It caused controversy and was not uniformly enforced.
DURING PLEASURE (legal term) –
Grants of land are sometimes made “during pleasure”, that is, they last for an indefinite time but can be cancelled whenever the grantor pleases. Some grants of Indian reserve land for churches or schools are made “during pleasure” of the Crown and/or of the band.
EASEMENT (legal term) –
A right to use land for a particular and limited purpose. Easements are granted or allowed by the owner of the land to someone else, often someone who owns adjoining property. Easements across Indian reserves for such things as telephone cables, powerlines, and pipelines are often granted by BAND COUNCILS. Compare RIGHTS OF WAY.
ENCUMBRANCE (legal term) –
An INTEREST in or right to a property, though not a full right of ownership, that continues to exist even when the property is passed from one owner to another. For example, an EASEMENT granted to a third party may encoumber the title to land when it is sold to a new owner.
ELECTIVE SYSTEM –
The method of choosing BAND COUNCILS by formal elections, according to rules laid down in the INDIAN ACT or the INDIAN ADVANCEMENT ACT. See also CUSTOM and HEREDITARY CHIEFS.
ENFRANCHISEMENT (legal term) –
The process by which an Indian person or family gives up its INDIAN STATUS, or is forced to give it up, is called enfranchisement. The person receives a share of band moneys and sometimes of reserve land, but thereafter has no further rights as an Indian under the Indian Act. The term is now applied both to people who give up their status by choice, and to Indian women who lost their Indian status by marrying non-Indians. Certain western Indian people gave up their Indian status to take scrip as METIS in the period from 1885 to 1910. These were not enfranchised; instead, they were “discharged from treaty” under special provisions in the Indian Act of the time.
ENTITLEMENT (or TREATY LAND ENTITLEMENT) –
The rightof certain Indian groups under some TREATIES to specific pieces or amounts of land. Entitlement is often calculated using complex formulas based on stated amounts of land per person. In other cases the group is entitled to lands described in the TREATY itself or in related agreements. Entitlement CLAIMS are one of the most important types of SPECIFIC CLAIM.
ESTIMATES –
The detailed budget or report of planned spending issued by each government department every year. Estimates are issued after the overall federal budget has been approved at the beginning of a fiscal year. These are different from the actual expenditures reported at the end of the year. The documents laying out federal departmental estimates are known as the “Blue Books”.
ETHNOHISTORY –
A technique or method of writing history, especially the history of a non-literate people for whom relatively few written records are available. In ethnohistorical research many different sources of information are compared and interpreted. These may include ARCHIVAL or DOCUMENTARY sources; ARCHAEOLOGICAL, ETHNOLOGICAL and GEOGRAPHICAL studies; ORAL HISTORY; SECONDARY writing, and others. Many of the scholars writing about Indian history today call themselves ethnohistorians.
ETHNOLOGY –
A type of anthropological study which describes, compares, and interprets the ways of life of specific groups of people. Ethnological writings often include historical information and can be useful in histories or in claims research. An ethnological study relating to one particular group of people is sometimes called an ethnography.
EVIDENCE –
Facts that prove a statement or a CLAIM. COURTS have special rules and standards as to what evidence can be used and what cannot. These rules are usually more restrictive than standards of proof used in other claims settlement methods,or in writing of history and similar studies.
EXECUTIVE ORDER IN COUNCIL –
See ORDER IN COUNCIL (PROVINCIAL).
EXPERT WITNESS –
An expert or professional person with special knowledge of a skill or field of study and good standing in his or her profession who is called by a COURT to give EVIDENCE in a case. For example, a licensed surveyor could be an expert witness in a CLAIM to ownership of reserve land if information is needed on the proper methods of surveying a reserve boundary line. Courts usually accept evidence from an expert witness only within his or her area of competence.
EXPROPRIATION –
The taking of privately owned land by the Crown or by specially empowered authorities for certain “public works”. Land for railways, roads, canals, irrigation, schools, hospitals, power-sites, and government buildings may be expropriated under certain condiitons. The Crown may take land itself or may pass a STATUTE empowering a private company to do so. The owner of the land usually cannot stop the land from being taken but it has a right to fair payment, or compensation, for it. There are usually detailed legal rules directing how expropriations must be done. These may include rules about advance notice, making legal surveys and recording them, getting formal approval, and paying compensation.
EXTINGUISHMENT (legal term) –
The complete wiping out, or ending, of an existing legal right.
FIELD NOTES –
A surveyor’s technical working notes on a survey. These are often in the form of field books which record all measurements and markings made during the survey. Field notes of the surveys of Indian reserves often include reports, maps, and other information on the land surveyed.
FINDING AID –
A list, index, or guide to the contents of an ARCHIVE, or to a special group of documents within it.
GEOGRAPHY –
A kind of study that deals with the landforms, products, and people of particular regions or types of regions. Geographers often study the relationship of people to their surroundings over time, so that some of their work is classed as ETHNOHISTORY. Some ethnohistorical writing about Aboriginal peoples in Canada is done by geographers.
GOVERNOR IN COUNCIL –
See ORDER-IN-COUNCIL (FEDERAL).
GRATUITY –
Originally, a freely given gift or payment of money. In the fur trade gratuities were special PRESENTS of goods, given by the fur trader to Indian hunters to initiate trading sessions. When the NUMBERED TREATIES were signed, a one-time gratuity or “present” of a small sum of cash was given to every person along with their first TREATY ANNUITY. Gratuities were sometimes also paid to individuals who made late, informal ADHESIONS to treaty.
HEADMAN –
See BAND COUNCIL.
HEREDITARY CHIEF –
In certain Canadian bands this refers to leaders chosen by traditional means, often in opposition to the BAND COUNCILS recognized by the federal government and the Indian Act. That is, they are chosen neither by the ELECTIVE SYSTEM nor by the form of CUSTOM recognized by the government.
IMPERIAL GOVERNMENT –
The British government, especially before Confederation, when it was still closely involved in the affairs of the Canadian colonies. The Imperial government through its colonial secretary, was responsible for the administration of Indian Affairs in Upper and Lower Canada (Ontario and Quebec) up to at least 1860, and retained authority to pass laws concerning Indian Affairs up to at least 1867. Therefore British records contain important information on Indian local history and claims in the period before Confederation.
IMPROVEMENT –
Any valuable change or addition to a piece of land, such as buildings, clearing of bush, fencing, or irrigation works. If the land is sold or expropriated special compensation may be paid for the improvements on it depending on who made them and when.
INDIAN ACT –
The federal STATUTE that, since 1876, has embodied most of the federal law concerning Aboriginal peoples. Before 1876 there were a large number of colonial and local STATUTES relating to Indians. Parts of these were rewritten, expanded, and incorporated into two new federal acts relating to Indians, passed in 1868 and 1869. The first complete “Indian Act” as such was passed in 1876. “New” versions were issued in 1880 and 1951 and REVISED STATUTES (including all amendments passed since the last complete reprinting of the Act) were issued in 1886, 1906, 1927, 1952, 1970, and 1985.A few federal laws relating directly to Aboriginal peoples are not included in the Indian Act, including the INDIAN ADVANCEMENT ACT of 1884; the Indian Oil and Gas Act of 1974; and special acts relating to particular reserves, including Songhees (1914), St. Peter’s (1916), St. Regis (1926-27), and Caughnawaga (1934).
INDIAN ADVANCEMENT ACT –
A federal law, first passed in 1884 and merged with the Indian Act in 1906 that allowed “wider municipal privileges and powers” to certain BAND COUNCILS who, in the Department’s opinion, were ready for them. For these bands it laid out special election procedures, by-law making powers, and control over lands and moneys.
INDIAN FUND –
See TRUST FUNDS.
INDIAN LAND AGENTS –
Officials of the Indian Affairs Department in parts of eastern Canada (and especially in Ontario) at the end of the 19th century who were responsible for promoting and administering sales of SURRENDERED Indian land. Like similar officials in the Department of the Interior they were sometimes paid commissions rather than, or as well as, salaries. The position was merged with that of the regular Indian Agent by about 1900.
INDIAN LAND MANAGEMENT FUND –
A federal fund intended to pay the expenses of managing Indian lands and to some extent, the costs of the Indian Department generally. It was established in 1856 and closed out in 1913-14. The fund consisted of a ten per cent “tax” or levy on all sales of SURRENDERED Indian reserve land, minerals, and timber. This money was taken from the band TRUST FUNDS, banked in the Indian Land Management Fund (Account No. 75) and used at the discretion of the Indian Affairs Department on a wide variety of expenses. These included land matters such as survey, clearing, and road building costs; administrative expenses relating to schools; medical care; loans to bands; departmental staff salaries and pensions; etc. The fund never covered even the full cost of land management and eventually had to be subsidized by Parliamentary APPROPRIATIONS. In 1913-14 the Department closed it out and returned its contents to band funds. It is not clear how the 1914 distribution was actually made, but the stated plan of division was that western bands, who received little benefit from the fund, would be reimbursed in full. After this the remainder was to be divided up fairly among the Ontario and Quebec bands concerned.
INDIAN LAND REGISTRY –
The central records of the Department of Indian Affairs in Ottawa that document all legal dealings, or “transactions”, on Canadian Indian reserves and related lands. Four of the Registry’s five Registers, excluding the Surrendered Land Sales Register, are made up of ABSTRACTS (one for each reserve, lot, or parcel of land). These describe each transaction briefly and give the names and registration numbers of the legal documents relating to it. Copies of these documents are also held by the Registry. For some reserves two or more Registers (e.g. the “General” and “Leasing” Registers) are filed together.The ABSTRACTS were gradually changed from a longer typewritten format to an abbreviated computerized format, which omits file references and some historical information.
The five Registers are as follows:

  1. Reserve General Register – Lists all general transactions affecting the reserve as a whole, including authority for establishing the reserve, surrenders for sale and lease, rights of way, easements, and major lease agreements. (organized by province and name of reserve).
  2. Reserve Land Register – A breakdown of all transactions affecting each separate lot or parcel on reserves which have been legally subdivided and leased or allotted. Maintained under Section 21 of the Indian Act, R.S.C. 1970. (Organized by province, reserve, and lot, parcel or quarter-section number.)
  3. Surrendered Land Leasing Register – Lists all individual reserve land leases. Some lease documents are also listed in the Reserve General Register. Maintained under Section 55(1) of the Indian Act, R.S.C. 1970. (Organized by province, reserve, legal surveys plan number, and lot or quarter-section number).
  4. Surrendered Land Sales Register also known as the “Land Sales Books” – Lists all major sales of reserve land from the 1830s up to about 1960, including date and terms of sale, names of buyers, payments made, patent references, and file numbers. The Register is in the form of ledgers and cross-referenced index cards. Maintained under Section 55(1) of the Indian Act, R.S.C. 1970. (Organized by province, reserve, and sale number or parcel/quarter section. Note that there are three separate sets of ledgers: one group of miscellaneous pre-Confederation books varying in detail and format, and closely related to similar records in the Public Archives of Canada, RG-10; a second group of standardized ledgers for sales made between about 1880 and 1935; and a third, the “looseleaf ledgers”, for sales made or continuing after 1935. These books are to be converted to ABSTRACT form at some time.).
  5. Crown Lands Register – Lists all federal Crown lands administered by the Department of Indian Affairs, which do not have reserve status. Includes certain Agency, Indian school and hospital sites, Indian SETTLEMENTS, some lands purchased by or for the bands, and miscellaneous others. (Organized by province and name of settlement.)

The Registery also holds these special indexes:(a) a daybook or registration book for all new land documents as they came in, organized by registration number and date; (b) cross-reference indexes to all LEASES and LOCATIONS in reserves, organized by surname of locatee or lessee; (c) a partial index to mineral, oil, and gas leases on reserves, organized by reserve and name of lessee; (d) a register of mineral, oil, and gas lease assignments under the Bank Act, section 82; and (e) two indexes to delegations of authority under the Indian Act: one for Ministers’ delegations to band councils, organized by name of person or band, and by subject.

INDIAN LANDS –
Between 1876 and 1951, this was a technical term used to refer to Indian reserve land which had been SURRENDERED for sale, but which had not yet been ALIENATED from the Crown, that is, not yet PATENTED to buyers. This land remained under the control of the Indian Act until the patent was issued. Between 1887 and 1951, disposition of Indian lands was, at least in theory, governed by the Indian Land Regulations. See REGULATIONS.
INDIAN REGISTER –
The central record kept by the Department of Indian Affairs in Ottawa that lists every person in Canada who has legal INDIAN STATUS. The Register was begun in 1951 and shows all formally reported births, marriages, deaths, and changes of status within every REGISTERED INDIAN family since that date.
INDIAN STATUS –
A person’s legal status as an Indian, and specifically his or her status as defined by the Indian Act. It is not necessarily the same thing as status as an Indian under the Canadian CONSTITUTION or as status based on descent or “race”. The Indian Act’s complex rules on status are interpreted and applied by the REGISTRAR OF INDIAN MEMBERSHIP in Ottawa. Everyone who has Indian status is listed in the INDIAN REGISTER. The legal term for these people is REGISTERED INDIAN, but they are also informally called STATUS INDIANS, or in the NUMBERED TREATY areas, TREATY INDIANS. In practice these three terms usually mean the same thing, although ADHESION to treaty is in theory a different process from registration. See also NON-TREATY INDIAN, NON-STATUS INDIAN, METIS, and SCRIP.
INSTRUCTIONS –
The orders given to officials by their superiors, or to employees by their employers, stating how they are to do their particular jobs. For example, a TREATY COMMISSIONER might be instructed by letter, or by ORDER-IN-COUNCIL as to what terms to offer the Indian side when negotiating a treaty. An Indian spokesman at a treaty negotiation might likewise be instructed by his council as to the terms they desire. A surveyor might be given fromal written instructions as to how to lay out an Indian reserve. COURTS sometimes consider instructions as evidence in legal disputes over whether, say, a treaty has been properly interpreted, or as to where the correct legal boundaries of a reserve may lie. See also PREROGATIVE.
INSTRUMENT (legal term) –
A former legal document, often a document that grants a particular right. The documents listed in the INDIAN LAND REGISTRY are called instruments.
INTEREST (general meaning) –
A legal right to something, especially when it is less than full ownership. For example, the right to use land owned by someone else, as in an EASEMENT, is an interest. So is the right of someone who sells land to collect the purchase price from the buyer. For example, an Indian Band has an interest in INDIAN LANDS after the down payment is made, which ends when the land is finally PATENTED.
INTEREST (money) –
A term used for at least four different types of monies payable to Indian groups:

  1. TRUST FUND monies deposited in the Interest (“Revenue”) section of a Band account. These are handled according to rules implied or laid out in the Indian Act.
  2. The yearly bank interest earned by a band TRUST FUND as a whole. This is paid off by the federal government at the same rates of interest allowed on “public” monies held by the Receiver General. In Trust Fund statements it is often called “government interest”.
  3. The interest on deferred installment payments made by buyers of sold SURRENDERED Indian reserve land. This was calculated at special rates set by Order-in-Council, and deposited at irregular intervals in either the Interest (Revenue) or Capital section of a BAND TRUST FUND.
  4. The interest that may be earned for a band on money payable to it out of a CLAIMS settlement.

Types (a),(b), and (c) have often been confused in the past. Before 1951, many SURRENDERS provided for a “distrubution of interest” to band members in cash, from land sales proceeds. This was meant to persuade the band to agree to the sale. The money given out was often some combination of these three sums. These payments were sometimes recorded in “interest distribution paylists” similar to TREATY PAYLISTS.

IRREGULAR BAND –
A term found in the Indian Act between 1876 and 1951 and defined as: “any tribe, band, or body of persons of Indian blood who own no interest in any reserve or lands of whiich the legal title is in the Crown, who possess no common fund managed by the Government of Canada, or who have not had any treaty relations with the Crown.” (C.S. 1876, Chapter 18, Sec. 3(2), and nearly identical provisions up to 1951). See discussion under NON-TREATY-INDIAN.
LAND PAYMENTS –
A term used in the early part of the 19th century in eastern Canada, to refer to monies from the sale of SURRENDERED Indian lands that were paid to or banked for the bands concerned. These payments should be distinguished from cash given out as PRESENTS or as treaty ANNUITIES. All three types of monies were often administered and paid out in similar ways, though they were made under quite different legal authorities. At or just before Confederation, land sales revenue began to be deposited regularly in band TRUST FUNDS, which lessened to some extent the confusion surrounding the category.
LAND TITLES OFFICE (or LAND REGISTRY OFFICE) –
A local office which records all land transactions in a particular district. These records include legal documents such as LEGAL SURVEY maps, records of LETTERS PATENT, RIGHTS OF WAY, and EASEMENTS. They usually do not record dealings on existing Indian reserve lands, which are documented in the INDIAN LAND REGISTRY in Ottawa. They do keep records relating to former reserve lands sold to non-Indians and land near reserves. Thus they can be used to research SURRENDERS, disputed reserve boundaries, EXPROPRIATIONS, and RIGHTS OF WAY.Land titles offices ae administered by the provinces or, in the NWT and Yukon, by the federal government. In Quebec, the offices are called “registres terriers”.
LAND USE AND OCCUPANCY STUDY –
A type of study that describes all the uses to which people put a particular area of land. It can include reviews of land ownership and large scale development, settlements and houses, hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering, use of other natural resources, and the ways in which people organize themselves to do all of these things. Studies of this kind can be used to collect information for native CLAIMS.
LAWFUL POSSESSION –
See LOCATION.
LEASE –
An agreement by which the owner of land allows someone else to use it temporarily, usually for payment, and often for particular purposes only, such as farming, grazing, mining, or operating a store. Since 1876 most leases of Indian reserve land have been granted with at least nominal band approval, after a “SURRENDER for lease”. Not made with band consent were certain general, mineral, and location leases drawn up under Indian Act amendments of 1898 and 1918; see Sections 50 and 93(3) of the Indian Act of 1927, R.S.C. Chapter 98. MINERAL, TIMBER, and WATER RIGHTS were also leased out to non-Indians in similar ways.
LEGAL DESCRIPTION –
A detailed, formal description of a piece of land, in surveyor’s language, that is used in legal documents. For example, a legal description of the land to be set aside as an Indian reserve is often included in the ORDER-IN-COUNCIL “confirming” the reserve. The description can include measurements, landmarks, astronomical readings, and references to LEGAL SURVEY PLANS.
LEGAL SURVEY PLAN or MAP –
An official survey map that is made, formally approved, and registered, in ways set out in laws or formal agreements. For example, legal survey plans of all the lands in any province are drafted according to rules in the provincial “Land Titles” or “Land Surveys” Acts, and are stored in local LAND TITLES OFFICES. The legal survey plans of Indian reserves are held by the Legal Surveys Section of the Department of Indian Affairs, and the Department of Energy, Mines, and Resources (Legal Surveys Division) in Ottawa.Legal survey plans can be used with other legal documents to define the size, boundaries, and ownership of reserve lands.
LEGISLATION –
Laws, or the making of laws.
LETTERS PATENT (or PATENT) –
The legal document by which the CROWN grants public land to a private owner. The patent is signed by the monarch, the Governor General, or a representative. When Indian reserve land is SURRENDERED and sold, and when the buyer has paid all installments of the price and met any other terms, he receives letters patent for the land from the Department of Indian Affairs. Once the patent is issued the land no longer comes under the control of the Indian Act. The letters patent themselves may be retained by the Crown, in which case a substitute, the CERTIFICATE OF TITLE, is given to the grantee.
LICENSE OF OCCUPATION –
A permit to use CROWN LAND, granted by the COLONIAL governments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick before Confederation. A number of Indian reserves in these provinces were established on land originally granted to Indian groups by licenses of occupation. These date from about the last quarter of the 18th century to the first quarter of the 19th century. Such licenses were granted as a result of formal PETITIONS from the residents concerned.
LITIGATION –
Going to court; for example, settling a CLAIM by submitting it to a court for a hearing and a final decision. Compare ARBITRATION, MEDIATION, and NEGOTIATION.
LOCATEE –
See LOCATION.
LOCATION and LOCATION TICKET –
A member of an Indian band who lives on and uses a particular plot of land on a reserve can, under terms set out in the Indian Act, get legal recognition and protection of his or her right to go on doing so, on a semi-permanent basis. Before 1951, he or she was called a LOCATEE, the land was called a LOCATION, and the document recording the right a LOCATION TICKET. After 1951, location tickets were replaced by three other types of document: CERTIFICATES OF OCCUPATION (temporary, short-term, and sometimes conditional licenses); CERTIFICATES OF POSSESSION (permanent licenses that can be cancelled only under special conditions); and NOTICES OF ENTITLEMENT (provisional certificates issued to people entitled to CERTIFICATES OF POSSESSION, where technical obstacles prevent the issuing of such a document; this is where there is no adequate LEGAL SURVEY of the land in question).Locatees are said to be in “lawful occupation” or “lawful possession” of their locations. They have special rights to lease them out, by what are called “locatee leases”. They may bequeath them to their Indian-status heirs, within limits prescribed by the Indian Act.
All legal LOCATIONS today are recorded in the INDIAN LAND REGISTRY’s Reserve Land Register. Some bands in Canada do not use this system; instead, they allocate land on the basis of CUSTOM. See also SEVERALTY.
MANDATORY (legal term) –
A law that states what must be done, as opposed to what is DISCRETIONARY and may or may not be done. For example, it is possible to interpret part of Section 61(1) of the R.S.C. 1970 Indian Act as mandatory: that is, the provision stating that TRUST FUNDS “shall” be spent only for the bands for whom they are held.
MARINE ALLOWANCE –
A narrow strip of land along a shoreline, kept by the provincial CROWN in some parts of Canada when it sells waterside (RIPARIAN) land. This is usually meant to protect public access to, or RIGHT OF WAY along, the shore. It is also used to reserve swampy land that is not suitable for development. The size and locations of marine allowances are determined by specific STATUTES. They sometimes affect the boundaries of Indian reserves.
MARK –
The signature of someone who does not know how to write. It is usually and “X” witnessed by someone else to prove that it is the signer’s true signature. The signer need not make the mark himself or herself, but can merely “touch the pen” held by someone else, as long as the action is properly witnessed. Some Indian marks on early TREATIES are drawings of family or clan symbols, often called “totems”.
MEDIATION –
Settling a CLAIM or political dispute by NEGOTIATION, which is managed by a neutral outsider, the mediator. This person is chosen by both sides and is given authority to influence or arrange negotiations in certain ways. However, he or she normally cannot impose a final settlement. Compare NEGOTIATION and ARBITRATION.
MEMBERSHIP (or INDIAN MEMBERSHIP) –
Membership issues are generally the same as INDIAN STATUS issues. The term sometimes refers specifically to the rights of an Indian person as a member of a band. See REGISTRAR OF INDIAN MEMBERSHIP.
METIS –
In its most general meaning, the term refers to a person of mixed Indian and non-Indian descent. In Canadian history, it was apparently first used very early in the 19th century (along with other terms including “halfbreed”, “brulè”, or “bois-brulè”, “chicot”, “native” and “country-born”) to refer specifically to members of distinct communities of mixed ancestry on the Canadian Prairies, such as the Red River Settlement. Further, “Mètis” sometimes referred to people of Indian-French descent, while the term “half-breed” was applied to those of Indian and English (or Scottish) ancestry.From the late 19th century until the mid-20th, “half-breed” was used in the English texts of federal laws by English speaking administrators, and in common speech to refer to people of mixed descent generally. The parallel term in French-language administration seems to have been “Mètis”.
Usage of all these terms has varied widely according to time, place, and speaker. Thus no absoulute definition can be stated for any one term without specific reference to its historical context. Likewise these words are used in a derogatory sense only in certain periods and by particular speakers.
“Mètis” (sometimes “Mètif”) is used in its historic senses by some speakers today. It often also indicates anyone of mixed descent from the Prairies or elsewhere, who does not have INDIAN STATUS under the Indian Act, and who is not considered to be a NON-STATUS-INDIAN.
In the past the federal government accorded certain legal rights to the Mètis, mainly land rights, which were dealt with through SCRIP issues under the Manitoba Act and the Dominion Lands Act. The province of Alberta has also accorded the Mètis limited special rights to land and to the use of certain wildlife by provincial statutes and regulations. The question of whether the Mètis are definable as Indians under the new Canadian CONSTITUTION, or what special rights they have under it has not yet been settled.
MICROFILM, MICROFICHE, and MICROCARD –
ARCHIVAL documents are often filmed, reduced in size, and issued as microfilms (on reels or cassettes), microfiches (on flat plastic cards) or microcards (other types of flat cards). These must be read on special machines. Most of the Indian Affairs Department records in the Public Archives of Canada in Record Group RG-10, are on microfilm.
MINERAL RIGHTS –
The rights to own and sell minerals under a piece of land, as opposed to ownership of the land or “surface” title. The term usually includes base metals, coal, oil, natural gas, tar sand, and sometimes precious metals.On most Indian reserves, the mineral rights go with the surface title and are administered for the benefit of the band. There are some exceptions such as certain reserves purchased from the provinces or from private owners. On these, for various reasons, mineral rights have not been transferred with the surface title.
Since the 1880s, minerals on Indian reserves (including oil, gas, and sometimes precious metals) have been administered under federal REGULATIONS passed under the Indian Act. These generally provide for mineral exploration under temporary PERMITS. Minerals can only be exploited, however, by special arrangement with the BAND COUNCIL (if the mining is done by band members) of under leases authorized by a mineral SURRENDER (if the mining is to be done by outsiders). After a surrender, the rights are leased out to private companies who pay bonuses, rental, and royalties on any minerals found. All revenues are put in band TRUST FUNDS except for levies transferred to the INDIAN LAND MANAGEMENT FUND between 1856 and 1913.
Stone, sand, and gravel on reserves are usually not defined as minerals and are exploited by means of informal permits or direct sale.
MINISTERIAL ORDER –
A formal document by which the Minister of Indian Affairs exercises powers given to him by the Indian Act. For example, Ministerial Orders were used to create or merge bands under Section 17 of the R.S.C. 1970 Indian Act, Chapters 1-6.
NEGOTIATION –
The settling of legal CLAIMS or political disputes by discussions between the parties concerned. These may be formal or informal. For more structured kinds of negotiation involving independent third parties, see MEDIATION and ARBITRATION.
NON-STATUS INDIAN –
A person who does not have legal INDIAN STATUS under the Indian Act, but who considers himself or herself to be Indian because of descent or way of life. This is not a legal term,but it is often used today to refer to people who have been ENFRANCHISED, voluntarily or otherwise…and people in various other special situations. See also METIS.
NON-TREATY INDIAN –
A term found in the Indian Act between 1876 and 1951 and defined as : “any person of Indian blood who is reputed to belong to an irregular band or who follows the Indian mode of life, even though such person be only a temporary resident in Canada”. (Canada Statutes, 1876, Chapter 18, sec.3(4), and nearly identical provisions up to 1951.) This term and the term “IRREGULAR BAND” were apparently applied by the federal government mainly to two particular groups: first, border-area American Indians such as the Sioux, who immigrated to or visited Canada in the mid-nineteenth century, and who were not allowed to sign TREATIES along with the native Canadian bands; and second, various Indian bands or individuals in the treaty areas who initially refused to sign treaty, or who were not at first offered treaty. Bands and people of this second kind could be found in the NUMBERED TREATY areas at least as late as the 1950s and some may still exist today.
NOTICE OF ENTITLEMENT –
See LOCATION.
NUMBERED TREATIES –
The eleven post -Confederation TREATIES covering northern Ontario, the Prairie provinces and parts of British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. They are referred to as Treaties One (signed in 1871) through Eleven (signed in 1921). There were late ADHESIONS to several of these, the last being in 1929-30 (to Treaty 9 covering the northernmost part of Ontario) and in 1944-54 (to Treaty 6, individual bands in west-central Alberta and Saskatchewan). The ROBINSON TREATIES and the Chippewa (Ojibwa) and Mississauga Treaties of 1923, covering parts of northern Ontario, are sometimes linked with the numbered treaties because of their similar contexts and terms. See also TREATY and ANNUITY.
O.C.P.C. –
See ORDER-IN-COUNCIL (FEDERAL).
ORAL HISTORY –
Evidence about past life, events, and traditions, taken from the spoken word of people who have personal knowledge of these facts. Oral history is often collected by interviews, recorded on tape, and then transferred to paper. When compared and cross-checked with ARCHIVAL and other records, it can be used to write history and to document claims.
ORDER-IN-COUNCIL (FEDERAL) –
Or “O.C.P.C.” – ORDER IN COUNCIL OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL. A formal legal document used to carry out the authority of the CROWN; that is, to authorize many different kinds of government action, usually in ways dictated by a specific STATUTE or legal agreement. In theory, Orders-in-Council are issued by the CROWN through its respresentative the Governor General, after discussions with his Privy Council of Cabinet Ministers and others. (This is the “GOVERNOR IN COUNCIL” referred to in the STATUTES.) In fact, most Orders-in-Council today are drafted by government departments. Routine topics are usually passed by a small committee of cabinet ministers while the more sensitive or important ones are discussed in full cabinet. When passed, they are “rubber stamped” by the Governor General or his representative.Most Orders-in-Council relating to Indian matters are passed under one or other of the following powers:

  1. The Indian Act; for example, Section 11(1)(b)(ii) of the R.S.C. 1970 Act states that bands can be brought into legal existence by the GOVERNOR IN COUNCIL. Orders of this kind are, or have been in the past, used to appoint and dismiss chiefs and councillors; to approve reserve land surrenders and appropriations; to fund Indian schools and hospitals; to set up REGULATIONS under the Act; and for many other purposes.
  2. Other federal Acts; for example, to appoint or fire Indian Affairs staff under the laws governing the public service.
  3. Treaties or other general powers of the Crown; for example, to authorize and ratify TREATIES, to establish or confirm Indian reserves, and to approve claims compensation and payments.

Orders-in-Council are public documents and are kept in the Public Archives of Canada’s Privy Council Records (RG-2), except for those less than five years old which can be found in the Privy Council office itself. Selected Orders are also published in a weekly government document called Canda Gazette (Part II). Many Orders are accompanied by important documents or maps describing the action or issue in question.
TREASURY BOARD MINUTES have to do with monies and federal employees. They do not originate in the same ways as Orders-in-Council, but they are approved in the same manner and can be found recorded in the same places.

ORDER-IN-COUNCIL (PROVINCIAL or COLONIAL) –
Sometimes called an EXECUTIVE ORDER-IN-COUNCIL. A formal legal document, similar to a FEDERAL ORDER-IN-COUNCIL, that is issued by the Executive Council or similar body of a provincial government or pre-Confederation COLONIAL governing body. These are used to carry out those duties and rights of the CROWN that belong to the provincial or colonial governments. They were originally records of decisions taken by the Council, which developed into formalized legal documents over time.Provincial Orders-in-Council since Confederation deal with such matters as transfers of land to the federal government for Indian reserves and payment of compensation for EXPROPRIATED reserve land.
ORDINANCE –
See STATUTE.
ORDINARY HIGH WATER MARK (legal term) –
The usual or average level to which a body of water rises at its highest point. Often located where there is a definite change in the shoreline or its vegetation. This water mark is sometimes used as a boundary for Indian reserve lands lying along shorelines where water levels fluctuate widely.
OUTSIDE PROMISE –
See TREATY.
PATENT –
See LETTERS PATENT.
PER CAPITA –
A per capita payment or grant is one made to every man, woman, and child in a group, regardless of age.
PERMIT –
A legal document granting temporary or short-term permission to do something. for example, permits are granted to private companies to explore for minerals on Indian reserves; or to hunters to take particular kinds of animals at certain times and places, in limited numbers.
PETITION –
In common speech, any document signed by a number of people and sent to an office or authority asking that something be done. In legal language it refers to specific kinds of formal applications. Among others, there are the land petitions made by colonial settlers to get title to, or use of, land (see LICENSE OF OCCUPATION). Petitions of right are a now-superseded kind of formal legal action, taken by some Indian bands early in this century, asking that the Crown restore lost or impaired rights to land or money. These were dealt with by the COURTS.
PLAN (legal term) –
See LEGAL SURVEY PLAN.
PREROGATIVE –
Or “Royal Prerogative”. The Crown’s rights, especially as opposed to those of lesser authorities, or as exercised in the absence of a specific STATUTE. For example, some Indian reserves are said to be established by Royal Prerogative where no treaty or other right to land exists. Before Confederation, the Crown sometimes issued formal “prerogative instruments” (called “commissions” or “INSTRUCTIONS” when they are directed to Crown officials) commanding that the Crown’s prerogative in a particular matter be carried out.
PRESCRIPTION –
A way of gaining rights by exercising them: for example, by occupying land for a long time under certain conditions. When applied to land, the term ADVERSE POSSESSION is sometimes used instead.
PRESENTS –
Originally, gifts exchanged between trading partners during a fur-trading session. The term later came to refer to formal gifts of TRADE GOODS to Indian groups, given by the eastern Canadian COLONIAL governments in the 18th and 19th centuries. These were intended as tokens of good will from the Crown, or encouragements to peace and order, or incentives to military alliance, depending on circumstances. By the 1830s they had become a regular yearly custom in parts of eastern Canada and were stopped for good only when the IMPERIAL government ceased to subsidize Canadian Indian Affairs in 1858. Toward the end of this period, presents were sometimes COMMUTED from trade goods to money; this was paid in much the same way as were treaty ANNUITIES and LAND PAYMENTS. See also GRATUITY.
PRIMARY and SECONDARY SOURCES –
Two kinds of information used in historical research. A primary source is a source of information about a person or happening that is directly related to what it describes. An example is an eyewitness’s account of an event. A secondary source is either a source that summarizes information from other places, both primary and secondary, or a source that is only indirectly related to what it describes. For example, a copy of an original TREATY or an Indian spokesman’s speech at the treaty negotiations would both be primary sources. A book or report summarizing and discussing different accounts of how a treaty was negotiated, or a book describing traditional Indian life at the time the treaty was signed, would probably be secondary sources. “Hearsay” evidence ( a story somebody retells from another person’s account, and not something the teller has personally experienced) is usually secondary evidence. Most ARCHIVAL sources, and some ORAL HISTORY used in Indian historical and research claims, are primary sources. See also EVIDENCE.
PROCLAMATION –
A formal legal document, issued by the CROWN or its representative, which gives orders, makes a statement, or otherwise exercises Royal powers. Proclamations can be very general, as was the ROYAL PROCLAMATION OF 1763. They can also be specific, or tied to specific statutes; see, for example, the GOVERNOR IN COUNCIL’s power to suspend parts of the Indian Act by proclamation (Indian Act, R.S.C. 1970, Chapters 1-6, Section 4(2).) Royal Proclamations since 1867 have been printed in the government document known as the Canada Gazette, Part I. They are indexed by subject in the annual Statues of Canada. See also PREROGATIVE.
PUBLIC ARCHIVES OF CANADA –
The central national ARCHIVE that holds the older records of the federal government, including those of the Department of Indian Affairs and various historic private records.
QUIT CLAIM (legal term) –
A legal document by which a person formally gives up all claim to a piece of property. Quit claims are often used where the person’s claim is uncertain or not very strong. They are sometimes called for in sales or leases or SURRENDERED Indian land, where there is confusion as to the conflicting rights of different buyers and assignees.
RED TICKET –
See COMMUTATION.
REFERENCE –
The name and description of a book or document, used to locate it or to refer others to it. A reference is always complete enough so that the book or paper can be found again by another person. For example, to locate a document in an ARCHIVE, a researcher needs a reference that includes the name of the archive; the name of the group of records; the box or volume number; the file number; and (usually) the date, author and title of a report, or the date, sender, and receiver of a letter.
REGISTERED INDIAN –
See INDIAN STATUS.
REGISTERED TRAPLINE –
A fixed trapping area, allocated each year by a provincial or territorial government to one or more licensed trappers. Provincial/territorial laws regulate the size of the lines, the way they are used, and the number of animals that can be taken on them each year. They were first introduced to this country in the 1920s and are now found in most of central and northern Canada. In some areas individual registered traplines are replaced by large undivided “trapping blocks” shared by groups of licensed trappers.
REGISTRAR (or REGISTRAR OF INDIAN MEMBERSHIP) –
The official of the Department of Indian Affairs who, since 1951, has had powers under the Indian Act to administer INDIAN STATUS and to decide who does and does not have status.
REGULATIONS –
A formal written set of rules used by a government department to conduct a particular kind of business. They are usually confirmed by ORDER IN COUNCIL under the terms of a STATUTE, after which they may have the force of law. Examples of regulations relating to Indians are the “Indian Land Regulations” of 1888, governing sale of SURRENDERED Indian land (made under Section 41 of the Indian Act of 1886, R.S.C. Chapter 43); the “Indian Health Regulations” of 1953 (made under Section 72(1)(f) of the Indian Act of 1952, R.S.C. Chapter 149); and the “Indian Oil and Gas Regulations” of 1977 (made under the Indian Oil and Gas Act of 1974, S.C. Chapter 15). Other current Indian regulations deal with topics such as Indian economic development and housing; borrowing of funds by band councils; council rules of procedure, elections, and referenda; Indian estates, health, and waste disposal; on-reserve mining and timber cutting; and control of dogs and traffic on reserves. Regulations are consolidated in the same way as STATUTES. Consolidations of federal regulations have been made in 1889, 1955, and 1978.
RELEASE (legal term) –
See SURRENDER.
RESEARCH –
Looking for facts and records that help tell a story, write a history, or document a claim. Research deals with many kinds of information, such as material from ARCHIVES and libraries, ORAL HISTORY, ANTHROPOLOGY, GEOGRAPHY, and other scholarly studies, and other PRIMARY and SECONDARY SOURCES.
RESERVE – (or INDIAN RESERVE) –
Land set aside for the use or occupancy of an Indian group or BAND. Reserves are defined in the Indian Act and are provided for or mentioned in the CONSTITUTION, various TREATIES, various FEDERAL STATUTES, and various other CROWN agreements and executive actions. It is still not entirely clear in law exactly what sort of land an Indian reserve is, or how reserves are established. The current position of the federal government is that all Idnain reserves are legally the property of the Crown, and that Indian bands have significant rights to or INTERESTS in them, but not full ownership in the ordinary sense. See also ENTITLEMENT, EXPROPRIATION, SEVERALTY, and SPECIAL RESERVE.
RESERVE GENERAL REGISTER –
See INDIAN LAND REGISTRY.
REVENUE –
See TRUST FUND.
REVERSIONARY RIGHT (legal term) –
A person’s land is sometimes granted to someone else, or EXPROPRIATED for a specified use on condition that it be returned to its first owner when it is no longer used in that way. The first owner is then said to have a reversionary right to the land. For example, some railways expropriate reserve land on the stated condition that the land will revert to the band when it is no longer used for railway purposes. In some parts of Canada, reserve land reverts to the province if it is surrendered or permanently abandoned by the band.
REVISED STATUTES –
See STATUTE.
RIGHT OF WAY –
A right to cross another person’s land. Generally speaking it can include both pathways that are bought or EXPROPRIATED, and pathways that are established simply by long, unbroken use. The term has been used to indicate many types of right on Indian reserves, such as trails used by long custom, and lines (railways, roads, pipelines, canals, power lines, etc.) that have been EXPROPRIATED, SURRENDERED, or granted as EASEMENTS. See also ROAD ALLOWANCE and MARINE ALLOWANCE.
RIPARIAN RIGHTS (from the Latin ripa “a shore”) –
Special rights to land along the shore of a body of water. Among other things, these includes rights to use the shoreline, rights to land under water, and rights to land washed away from the shoreline (erosion) or added to it by water action (accretion). See also WATER RIGHTS and MARINE ALLOWANCE.
ROAD ALLOWANCE –
Land retained by the Crown for use as a road when it grants a piece of public land to a private owner. Road allowances are governed by specific STATUTES; these usually provide for specific road widths and a standard road pattern or grid over a specific area. If not actually used for road-building, road allowances are sometimes sold or transferred to owners of neighbouring lands. They are different from RIGHTS OF WAY, which are irregular in layout and are not usually governed by specific STATUTES.
ROBINSON TREATIES –
Two Ontario Indian TREATIES signed in September of 1850 between the Crown and Indian peoples inhabiting areas north of Lake Superior (the Robinson-Superior Treaty) and north of Lake Huron (the Robinson-Huron Treaty). They are so called from the name of the Crown’s Treaty Commissioner, William Benjamin Robinson. See also NUMBERED TREATY.
ROYAL PROCLAMATION OF 1763 –
A PROCLAMATION, issued by the British CROWN on 7 October 1763. It defined British Imperial territories in North America, set up governments for the new British COLONIES on the continent, provided for land grants to European war veterans, and stated principles concerning the Indian people within the area claimed. The section of the Proclamation referring to Indians provides for the protection of Indian “possession” of certain territory; the procedure to be followed when Indian interests in land are CEDED to non-Indians (which formed the basis of later Canadian TREATY and SURRENDER policy); the regulations of trade between Indians and non-Indians; and peace-keeping in the territory reserved for Indians. This Proclamation is an extremely important one in Canadian Indian history and law.
ROYALTY –
See MINERAL RIGHTS.
SCRIP (or HALFBREED SCRIP, sometimes misspelled “Script”) –
A certificate redeemable in land, issued by the federal government to Métis families between 1885 and the late 1920s. Scrip was intended to compensate the Métis for the loss of their Aboriginal rights and to deal with the grievances leading to the uprisings of 1869-70 and 1885. Each person entitled to scrip under the law received a paper that could be exchanged for a certain number of dollars’ worth of Crown land or resource rights (“money scrip”). Some families of Indian descent took scrip, but they were later allowed to give it back to take TREATY; some TREATY INDIANS left Treaty to take scrip. Scrip issues were governed by the Manitoba Act, the Dominion Lands Act, and ORDERS-IN-COUNCIL made under them. Except for limited issues within the areas of Treaties 10 and 11, no further scrip was given out after 1912. See also METIS and NON-STATUS INDIAN.
SEAL (legal term) –
A formal stamp or marker used to witness and approve legal documents. Small round seals are often found beside the MARKS or signatures of Indians on TREATIES or SURRENDERS.
SECONDARY SOURCE –
See PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SOURCES.
SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM –
The land holding system in Quebec before 1854, under which some Indian reserves were established. Land was granted by the French CROWN to a lord (“seigneur”) who then granted ownership of parts of it to smallholders or tenants (“censitaires”). Some of the land granted to religious orders, acting as “Seigneurs”, was used by Indians from an early date. Some of this has Indian reserve status today.
SETTLEMENT –
An unorganized, unincorporated townsite or village, usually one which has been surveyed into lots or claims. The term is sometimes used more technically to refer to a permanent, Indian occupied townsite on federal CROWN LAND which does not have Indian RESERVE status under the Indian Act. Settlements of this type are not restricted to any one band. They are listed in the INDIAN LAND REGISTRY’s Crown Lands Register.
SEVERALTY –
Land held “in severalty” is land held by a single owner, as opposed to communal land held by a group of people. NUMBERED TREATIES Eight and Ten provided for small reserves or reserve-like holdings of “land in severalty”, to be taken by individual Indian families who did not wish to live in band communities. The term was sometimes also applied casually to individual LOCATIONS within Indian reserves. The concept is analogous in some ways to allotments of reserve land “in severalty” in the United States, under the Dawes Act of 1887.
SPECIAL RESERVE –
Land set aside for Indian use by owners other than the CROWN. According to provisions in the Indian Act and earlier pre-Confederation STATUTES, these lands are subject to the same laws as ordinary reserves. In the past, certain parcels of land held by religious orders, charitable organizations, or private owners may have been special reserves in law. See also RESERVE.
SPECIFIC CLAIMS –
See CLAIM.
SQUATTER –
Someone who moves on to and lives on another person’s land (or public land) without permission, for a certain period of time. If not removed, a squatter my under certain conditions gain an INTEREST in, or even ownership of, the land. Special legal rules apply, however, to the rights of squatters on Crown lands and Indian reserve lands. See ADVERSE POSSESSION and TRESPASS.
STATUS INDIAN –
See INDIAN STATUS.
STATUTE –
A written law, made by a federal parliament or a provincial legislature. The Indian Act is a statute. Statutes are written in a standard form: they have (a) a title; (b) sometimes a preamble, or general introduction describing the law and its intent; (c) the text, subdivided into sections or clauses, subsections, or even smaller divisions; and sometimes (d) attachments or schedules. Changes or additions made after the statute is first passed are called “amendments”. Cancellation of a statute, or part of one, is known as repeal. When a statute is made to apply to events that happened at an earlier date, it is called “retroactive” or “retrospective”.New statutes are published yearly, either in the STATUTES of CANADA, or the Statutes of a particular province. Territorial laws, which are similar to STATUTES, are called “ordinances”. Each statute or ordinance appears as a chapter of the annual statute-book. Therefore the 1876 Indian Act is found in the Statutes of Canada for 1876 as “Chapter 18”. Older statutes are often referred to, not by year, but by the year of the current Queen or King’s reign. (For example, the federal statute on Indian Affairs of 1868 was referred to as “Statutes of Canada, 31 Vic., Chapter 42”, since it was issued in the 31st year of Queen Victoria’s reign. Statutes amending existing laws also appear as chapters or parts of chapters.
Every so often an existing statute is reprinted unofficially together with the amendments made since it was first passed. This process is called “consolidation” and the document is used for reference purposes only. (There have been, for example, “office consolidations” of the Indian Act in 1938, 1963 and 1978.) From time to time all existing statutes are consolidated and technical or grammatical revisions are made to them. These are printed as the Revised Statutes of Canada, or of a province. The Revised Statute books also contain other important legal documents such as the Interpretation Act (which determines how the revisions are to be understood), the ROYAL PROCLAMATION of 1763, and the CONSTITUTION.
To identify a statute, give the name, year, and chapter of the statute book it appeared in, and also the statute’s title. For example, the Indian Act as revised and consolidated in 1906 would be referred to as follows: “Revised Statutes of Canada (or R.S.C.), 1906, Chapter 81 — The Indian Act”.
SURRENDER –
A formal agreement by which an Indian band consents to give up part or all of its rights on its RESERVE. A surrender for sale allows the CROWN to sell a specific part of the reserve to outside buyers, under stated conditions. Land surrendered for sale has special status (see under INDIAN LANDS). It is held for the band’s benefit until it is patented to the buyer. The sales revenue is banked in the band’s TRUST FUND except when levies are made for the INDIAN LAND MANAGEMENT FUND. A surrender for lease allows the Crown to lease reserve land on specified conditions. The land does not lose its reserve status. A mineral surrender, timber surrender, or surrender of other off-reserve resources allows the Crown to lease the rights for exploitation by third parties and to collect the revenue for band funds. Some RIGHTS OF WAY cannot be EXPROPRIATED and must be surrendered.Accepted procedure for surrenders has been laid down in law beginning with the ROYAL PROCLAMATION OF 1763 and continuing up to the present detailed provisions of the Indian Act. These laws all provide, among other things, that only the Crown can take and dispose of Indian land. The distinction between certain early “TREATIES” and “SURRENDERS” is often unclear. Both are often referred to as “cessions” or “releases”, even though the four terms do not have exactly the same legal meanings.
Since about 1888 standard printed forms have been used for most surrenders and related AFFIDAVITS. These have been revised several times, most extensively in 1914 and 1951. Procedure for the sale of surrendered land was governed mainly by custom and special ORDERS-IN-COUNCIL before 1876; by the Indian Act after 1876; and by the “Indian Land Regulations” from 1887 to about 1951. These sales are documented in the INDIAN LAND REGISTRY.
See also AFFIDAVIT, INDIAN LANDS, LAND PAYMENTS, ROYAL PROCLAMATION OF 1763, and TRUSTEESHIP.
SURVEY SYSTEMS –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward. Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
TIMBER BERTH (or TIMBER LIMIT) –
A piece of Crown land leased exclusively for timber cutting.
TIMBER RIGHTS –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
On Indian reserves these rights can be SURRENDERED and leased out to outsiders separately from rights to land in much the same easy as MINERAL RIGHTS. They can also be granted by PERMIT to band members or others, under the Indian Act.
TOTEM –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
See MARK.
TRADE GOODS –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
European goods that were commonly traded to Indian people for furs, etc. during most of the fur trade period. Typical trade goods were metal knives, axes, guns, ammunition; metal “kettles” (large pots); blankets, cloth and clothing; foods such as flour, sugar, and pork; tea; tobacco; liquor; and silver jewelry (“trade silver”). Many trade goods were made in special styles or materials, sometimes to the specifications of the Indians who received them. See also PRESENTS.
TRAPPING BLOCK –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
See REGISTERED TRAPLINE.
TREASURY BOARD MINUTE –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
See ORDER-IN-COUNCIL.
TREATY (or INDIAN TREATY) –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
An agreement signed between an Indian group (or groups) and the Crown, through their representatives. The Canadian Treaties purport to cover just under half of the land area of Canada, including parts of the Maritimes, British Columbia, and the Northwest Territories, Ontario, and the Prairie provinces. Members of Treaty bands today make up a little over half the REGISTERED INDIAN population of Canada.The numerous pre-Confederation treaties in British Columbia, Ontario, and the Maritimes vary widely as to style and terms. The post-Confederation treaties of Ontario, the Prairies, British Columbia, and the NWT are more uniform and cover larger areas, as noted under NUMBERED TREATIES. Most of these agreements have been published in book form; those dating from 1680 to 1903 in Indian Treaties and Surrenders, 3 volumes (Ottawa:Dept. of Indian Affairs, 1891-1912, reprinted Toronto:Coles, 1971); and the Robinson and post-Confederation Treaties in fourteen separate booklets (Ottawa:Queen’s Printer, 1957-1969). The originals of most of the treaty documents are in the Public Archives of Canada, Record Group 10, Volumes 1840-1853.
The true historical and legal meanings of the Canadian treaties and the true intentions of each side in making them are still uncertain. The written texts sometimes refer to alliances and the maintaining of peace and friendship, and sometimes to the CESSION of Indian rights to land in return for various benefits granted by the Crown. These may include money, land, goods, the continuance of hunting and fishing rights, and other forms of CONSIDERATION. In some cases there were also “outside promises” – benefits promised during the treaty negotiations but not included in the final written text; these, too, are of uncertain legal effect.
Certain important kinds of SPECIFIC CLAIMS relate to the interpretation of treaties and the carrying out of their provisions: for example, claims relating to land ENTITLEMENT, ANNUITIES, hunting, fishing, and trapping, and the provision of specific goods and supplies.
See also ABORIGINAL RIGHTS, CLAIMS, MARK, and SURRENDER.
TREATY COMMISSIONER –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
The government official formally empowered to negotiate a TREATY on the CROWN’s behalf. His authorization may be by formal INSTRUCTIONS or by ORDER-IN-COUNCIL.
TREATY DAY –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
The annual meeting at which treaty ANNUITIES were (and in some remote areas still are) distributed to members of particular bands under the NUMBERED TREATIES. These occasions were often used by federal officials to transact other business with the band.
TREATY INDIAN –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
See INDIAN STATUS.
TREATY PAYLISTS –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
Lists of members of a particular band, used to record yearly payments of treaty ANNUITIES. They sometimes give details about family sizes, births, marriages, deaths, and places of residence. Therefore, they are often used in historical research, especially on INDIAN STATUS or ENTITLEMENT. Regular annual paylists have been kept for bands in the ROBINSON TREATY areas since 1850; for the NUMBERED TREATY bands since 1871; and on a less regular basis for other treaties involving annuities. Paylists vary widely in detail and accuracy. See also ANNUITY, CENSUS, and INTEREST.
TRESPASS –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
Going on to another person’s property illegally and without the owner’s consent. The Indian Act defines trespass on Indian reserves in special ways and provides for special penalties. Long-term trespass may be referred to as SQUATTING, especially if the SQUATTER gains, or purports to gain, rights to the land he occupies.
TRIBAL ADMINISTRATION –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
A term that has come into use in some regions to refer to what was previously called a BAND COUNCIL, including the elected council itself and its administrative staff.
TRIBAL COUNCIL –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
A term that has come into use in some regions to refer to a grouping of TRIBAL ADMINISTRATIONS or BAND COUNCILS into a regional political unit. The tribal council may or may not be empowered to represent the bands externally, or to administer common funds or resources. The term is sometimes also used as a substitute for BAND COUNCIL.
TRUST FUNDS (or BAND FUNDS, INDIAN FUNDS, or INDIAN TRUST FUND) –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
Monies belonging to individual Indian bands, held and managed by the federal government for each band as a group. Most are made up of proceeds from the sale, lease, or expropriation of reserve lands and the resources on them. Some Ontario funds were originally based on “capitalized” lump-sum ANNUITIES paid under pre-Confederation TREATIES. Rules for their management are given in the Indian Act, a series of historic ORDERS-IN-COUNCIL relating to interest rates and interest handling, various ORDERS-IN-COUNCIL and REGULATIONS governing the sales of Indian land and resources, and any specific SURRENDER agreements governing the spending of money for particular bands.Indian band trust funds, referred to collectively as “the Indian Fund”, should not be confused with public monies (APPROPRIATIONS) granted by Parliament to the Department of Indian Affairs or to BAND COUNCILS. Both types of fund are held by the federal Receiver-General and receive the same rate of government INTEREST. However, the Indian Fund is not the property of the CROWN in precisely the same sense.
Each band has its own numbered trust fund account. Yearly statements of all debits and credits on each account have been compiled since 1860, or earlier for a few bands. There are also federal “savings” accounts for individual Indian people, accounts for groups of bands, and “funds” for various special purposes. See also INDIAN LAND MANAGEMENT FUND and INTEREST.
TRUSTEE and TRUSTEESHIP –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
Legal terms referring to a relationship between two people or groups, one of which has a special responsibility to protect or manage the property or interests of the other. For example, a lawyer may be a trustee responsible for managing the money of his or her client, who is called the “beneficiary”, “trustor”, or “cestui que trust”. This trust relationship may be set up and governed by a formal written agreement or it may simply be “implied” by the actual relations between the two parties. Canadian law lays down certain other definite rules that apply to a legal trust. Relationships that do not have all the features of a legal trust, but which still involve one party taking responsibility for the property or interests of another, may be called fiduciary relationships.The meaning of the term “trusteeship” in Canadian Indian history and law is as yet unclear. It has been tentatively applied to two somewhat different situations: (a) the federal government’s management of Indian reserve lands and resources and band TRUST FUNDS on behalf of the bands; and (b) the Crown’s general moral and political relations with Indian people (not confined to matters of property). A fuller legal definition of the term may arise out of various court actions that are still (as of November 1982) unsettled.
USUFRUCT (or USUFRUCTUARY RIGHTS) (legal term from “use of the fruits”) –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
The right to use and occupy a property or piece of land (as opposed to owning it). One legal view of ABORIGINAL RIGHTS is that they are usufructuary rights on land actually owned by the Crown. That is, Indians have rights to live on, use, and make a living from their traditional territories, but they do not own them outright and the Crown can appropriate them for other uses if it chooses to do so. This interpretation has, however, been challenged by some legal scholars.
WAMPUM –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
Valuable shell beads, once widely used by eastern Canadian and American Indian groups for ornament and ceremony, and by non-Indians for currency. (It appears that Indians generally did not use wampum as money, although they esteemed it as a valuable TRADE GOOD). Wampum was made into jewellery, strung on cords (“strings”) or woven into patterned strips (“wampum belts”). The belt and string patterns often symbolized particular events, peoples, or alliances. Different groups used them for various ceremonies, such as ransoming captives, paying tribute, proposing marriage, and condoling on the death of chiefs. Their best known use, however, was in the establishment of trade or political relations between peoples. Wampum of this kind was formally displayed or “read” by speakers, on occasions commemorating or renewing the relationship.Wampum was exchanged between Indians and non-Indians in the early Canadian fur trade, and in military contexts, both ceremonially and as a TRADE GOOD. Indian groups showed their assent to certain pre-Confederation Canadian treaties by presenting wampum to Crown officials.
Wampum takes its English name from a New England Algonkian word meaning “white strings”. It comes in two basic colours, white and purple (also called “black” or “blue” and varying from light to very dark violet). It was made from several different kinds of shell, mainly Atlantic Coast seashells. Porcelain substitutes were used in some places. Some early wampum was disc shaped, but most ceremonial wampum beads are cylindrical. Wampum is sometimes confused with other kinds of shell that have esoteric religious meanings.
WATER RIGHTS –
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.
Generally speaking, the term “water rights” includes various kinds of water use such as rights to use water for navigation, drinking, irrigation, and fishing; access rights to water or to the shores of bodies of water; and RIPARIAN RIGHTS. On Indian reserves water rights are governed by a number of different legal principles, including the terms of any relevant treaties, federal and provincial STATUTES, the common law, and the specific terms under which the reserve was originally established.
The systems set up by federal and provincial law to survey and grant public lands. Three basic systems have been used in Canada, all of which affect the layout and ownership of Indian reserve lands:

  1. The SEIGNEURIAL SYSTEM of Quebec before 1854, in which grants are of relatively irregular size. They are arranged in ranges of lots, often in the “riverlot” strip pattern along major rivers. This system was also used in the old Red River area around Winnipeg before Confederation. Affects a few reserves in Quebec and Manitoba.
  2. The English Colonial System, in which the land is divided up into more or less irregular counties, each subdivided into townships and standard sized concessions and lots. Affects reserves in the Maritimes, Quebec, and Ontario.
  3. The Dominion Lands System, in which the land is divided up into standard sized townships, each containing 36 square miles or “sections” with more or less uniform patterns or road allowances. This system was used in western and northern Canada from 1871 onward. A similar “township” pattern was also used in new Quebec surveys from the mid-19th century onward.Indian reserves were sometimes established within these systems and sometimes stood outside them; that is, the layout and granting procedures relating to reserves sometimes conformed to local survey systems and sometimes did not.