ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE INSTRUCTION
AND PERMANENT SETTLEMENT OF THE INDIANS:
MARCH 19, 1842
This was the first official effort made by the British to help the Mi'kmaq survive since they took over the province in 1713. It provided meagre assistance to construct housing and provide education and economic development. It also provided for the appointment of an Indian Commissioner.
Act to Provide for the Instruction and Permanent Settlement of the Indians:
WHEREAS, it is proper to provide for the Education and Civilization of the Aboriginal Inhabitants of this Province, and for the preservation and productive application for their use of the Lands in different parts of this Province, set aside as Indian Reservations: ...
(I) BE IT ENACTED, by the lieutenant governor, council and assembly, that it shall, and may be lawful for the Governor to appoint ... a fit and proper person to be Commissioner for Indian Affairs, who, upon entering on the Office, shall give security for the faithful performance of its duties, to the satisfaction of the Governor, and Her Majesty's Executive Council.
(II) AND BE IT ENACTED, that it shall be lawful for the Governor, by and with the advice of Her Majesty's Executive Council ... to issue instructions to the said Commissioner for his guidance, in performing the duties of his said Office....
(III) AND BE IT ENACTED, that it shall be the duty of the said Commissioner for the time being, to take the supervision and management of all Lands that now are, or may hereafter be, set apart as Indian Reservations, or for the use of the Indians, to ascertain and define their boundaries, to discover and report to the Governor all cases of intrusion, and of the transfer or sale of the said Lands, or of their use or possession by the Indians; and generally, to protect the said Lands from encroachment and alienation, and preserve them for the use of the Indians.
(IV) AND BE IT ENACTED, that in cases where there have been, or hereafter may be, erected or made valuable buildings, or improvements on such Lands, it shall be in the power of the Governor, by and with the advice of Her Majesty's Executive Council, to make Agreements with the persons who shall have made the same, or those claiming under them, either by way of satisfaction and compensation for the value of the lands so improved, with so much adjacent Land as may be necessary, or by way of rent or allowance for the use of such Lands, for such term of years, and under such considerations, as may be expressed in the Agreements, and all such Agreements shall insure by way of sale or demise, as may be therein expressed, and shall convey a legal Title to the Parties accordingly; and all monies received in compensation or satisfaction as aforesaid, shall be laid out, either in the purchase of other Lands for the use of the Indians, or in some other manner, for their permanent benefit....
(V) AND BE IT ENACTED, that in all cases of intrusion, encroachment, or unauthorized settlement, or improvement upon any such Lands as aforesaid, it shall be lawful to proceed by information, in the name of Her Majesty, before Her Majesty's Supreme Court of Halifax, or in the County where the Lands may lie, notwithstanding the legal Title by grant or otherwise, may not be vested in Her Majesty.
(VI) AND BE IT ENACTED, that it shall be the duty of such Commissioner, under such Instructions, to put himself in communication with the Chiefs of the Different Tribes of the Micmac Race throughout the Province, to explain to them the wishes of the Government, and to invite them to cooperate in the permanent settlement and instruction of their people.
That it shall be his duty, subject to such instructions aforesaid, to parcel out to each head of family a portion of the Reservations, with such limited power of alienation to Indians only as the said Instructions may, from time to time, authorize; and also, to aid them in the purchase of Implements and Stock. With such moderate assistance from the Fund placed at his disposal, as they may seem ... by their Industry and Sobriety to deserve, to aid in the erection of a dwelling for each Chief, a School House and a place of Worship, and generally, to take such measures as, in his discretion ... carry out the Objects of this Act.
(VII) AND BE ENACTED, that such Commissioner shall have power to make arrangements with the Trustees, or Teachers of any Schools, or Academies throughout the Province, for the Board and Tuition of such number of Indian Children as may be desirous of acquiring Education; and ... the expenses shall be paid out of the funds placed at his disposal.
(VIII) AND BE ENACTED, that in order to form a permanent Fund, applicable to the purposes of this Act, the Commissioner shall be authorized to raise subscription, to apply for Contributions from Charitable Institutions, either in this Province, or elsewhere, and to draw from the Treasury, by Warrant from the Governor ... such sum or sums of money, as may, from time to time, be granted by the Legislature for that purpose.
(IX) AND BE IT ENACTED, that the said Commissioner shall, at the close of every year, furnish the Governor, to be laid before the two Branches of the Legislature, a detailed report of his proceedings, and an account of his receipts and expenditures, together with the names of each Chief, for the time being the number of Heads of Families Settled, and Children Educated, and generally, such other information as may enable the Governor and the Legislature to judge of the value and correctness of his proceedings.
The full report can be found in We Were Not theSavages