"This publication is one of a series which focuses on the Aboriginal population in Canada. This information was obtained, in part, from the 1991 Census of Canada and the Aboriginal Peoples Survey. The latter survey -- conducted in the months following the Census -- included persons who identified with at least one Aboriginal group (North American Indian, Metis, Inuit, or a specific group such as Cree or Inuvialuit) or who reported having registered Indian status" -- Preface.
Resolved, That Section VI, "The Work in Canada," to end of subsection 49, "Indian and Eskimo Missions and Schools," be adopted.
At the invitation of the Primate, the Rev. T.B.R. Westgate gave an interesting address on his work in the Indian Schools.
[Triennial Report M.S.C.C., Section Six, Sections 40-46, pp. 33-37.]
40. Indian and Eskimo Missions and Schools
The responsibilities of the Church of England in Canada towards the aboriginal people of the Dominion have formed one of the most difficult problems to which the Board of Management has given careful and continuous attention. The Board is glad to report that, in its judgement, correct principles have now been laid down for the solution of the problems.
With regard to these problems it may be stated that, according to the vital statistics published by the Department of Indian Affairs, the total number of Indians is approximately 106,000, while the number of Eskimos according to the same authority, is approximately 3,300 or a grand total of Indians and Eskimos, amounting to 109,300.
The religious classification of the Indian population, as furnished by the Indian Department shows: --
From the above figures it will be observed that the number of Indians who are affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church is greater by over 6,600 than the adherents of all the non-Roman Communions put together.
41. In relation to the Indian and Eskimo Missions the Board adopted the following resolutions as furnishing the bases and conditions which will best enable the Society to discharge its obligations:--
(1). "That each Bishop shall submit annually, on a form prepared by the Executive Committee, estimates of the amounts needed for the support of each such Mission within his Diocese, for the next succeeding year."
(2). "That each Bishop shall show on such forms, the amounts, if any, accruing from invested funds, or other sources within or without the Diocese, and applicable for the support of this work".
(3). "That each Bishop shall send to the Secretary of the Indian and Eskimo Commission a copy of the said estimates on or before the date mentioned in the form".
(4). "That the Executive Committee shall include in its annual recommendations re grants to the Apportionment Committee its recommendations for grants needed for the support of this work".
(5). "That the amounts of the grants made by the Board of Management shall be paid to the treasurers of the respective Dioceses and the disbursements thereof in detail be entrusted wholly to the respective diocesan authorities."
(6). "That to the second and each succeeding estimate, the respective Bishops shall attach an audited statement showing in detail the disbursement of the preceding grant; and should such audited statement show a balance on hand, then such balance shall revert to, and be at the disposal of, the Board of Management."
(7) "That the selection, engagement, transfer, or dismissal, of each and all agents employed in the work shall lie, solely, within the jurisdiction and control of the respective Diocesan Authorities."
(8) "That, within the limits of the annual approved estimates, and for purposes provided for therein, the respective Diocesan authorities be given permission to transfer and expend items contained in such estimates." (Vide Minutes, Sept. 20th, 1923, page 62).
42. Pursuant to these resolutions the diocesan authorities concerned submitted estimates for the support of their respective Indian and Eskimo Missions for the triennial period 1925-26-27. The total annual cost, submitted was the sum of $84,976.00, of which sum the net total amount asked from the M.S.C.C. was $51,868.00. The difference $33,111.00 is made up of receipts from local endowments, local contributions, etc. The Board granted the full amount requested. The amount is made up of (1) proportion of total income from the Indian and Eskimo Memorial Endowment Fund $25,400.00 and (2) from receipts under apportionment $26,468.00. The grants are distributed to the respective dioceses as follows:-- Algoma $2,920.00; Athabasca $1,820.00; Caledonia $10,667.00; Calgary $3,180.00; Cariboo $3,860.00; Columbia $820.00; Keewatin $3,800.00; Mackenzie River $6,635.00; Moosonee $6,745.00; Qu'Appelle $1,855.00; Saskatchewan $3,711.00; Yukon $5,855.00; Total -- $51,868.00.
43. The Board is greatly indebted to the members of the Indian and Eskimo Commission for the attention with which its members have discharged the onerous duties committed to their care. The members of the Commission are (1) The Most Rev. S.P. Matheson, D.D., D.C.L., Archbishop of Rupert's Land and Primate of All Canada (Chairman); the Right Rev. W. Thomas, D.D., Bishop of Brandon, and formerly General Missionary in the Diocese of Rupert's Land; The Venerable F.C.C. Heathcote, L.Th., Vancouver; the Rev. W.J. Southam, B.D., Rector of Holy Trinity Church, Winnipeg; The Rev. T.B.R. Westgate, D.D., Field Secretary of the M.S.C.C. in Western Canada, (Secretary-Treasurer); R. Fletcher, Esq., B.A., L.L.D., Deputy Minister of Education in the Province of Manitoba; C.W. Rowley, Esq., Superintendent of the Canadian Bank of Commerce in the Province of Manitoba and Saskatchewan; H. Phillipps, Esq., K.C., Winnipeg; G.B. Nicholson, Esq., Chapleau. (2) The Bishops of the Dioceses having residential schools administered by the Commission, -- The Most Rev. G. Thorneloe, D.D., D.C.L., Archbishop of Algoma; The Right Rev. J.G. Anderson, D.D., Bishop of Moosonee; The Right Rev. G.E. Lloyd, D.D., Bishop of Saskatchewan; The Right Rev. E.F. Robins, D.D., Bishop of Athabasca; The Right Rev. C.D. Schofield, D.D., Bishop of Columbia; The Right Rev. I.O. Stringer, D.D., Bishop of Yukon. (3) Advisory Members,-- The Venerable J.W. Tims, D.D., Calgary; Mrs. Donaldson, Treasurer Dominion Board, W.A.; Miss K. Halson, Dorcas Secretary Dominion Board W.A.
44. The Board draws particular attention to the fact that, while the Department has provided for the current year a total per capita grant of $154,275.00, the shortage in the enrollment of pupils will enable the Residential Schools to earn a total sum, only, of approximately $125,000.00 In other words we suffer a loss this year of $29,275.00. This loss is due solely to the fact that all our Residential Schools are not yet filled to the capacity of their enrollments. An early enlistment of the required additional number of pupils would enable the schools to earn the equivalent additional per capita grants, and provide a total sum sufficient to solve, at an early date, the pressing financial problems of the Commission. To secure the end in view: a capacity enrollment at each school, the Board earnestly seeks and solicits the active co-operation and assistance of the respective diocesan authorities.
The returns of the Indian Department, or of the Auditor General, shows that for the years 1921-22 to 1924-25 the provision for pupilage in the Church of England Schools has increased from 702 to 946, and the expenditures made (or provided) increased as follows:-- (1) total per capita grants, 1921-22, $113,489.00; 1924-25, $154,275.00; (2) capital expenditures, 1922-23, $62,478.00; 1923-24, $182,197.00; 1924-25, $184,245.00. The total parliamentary appropriation, for the three years, for the schools under the M.S.C.C. exceeds the sum of $800,000.00. In addition there were various expenditures for class-room supplies, medical services drugs, etc., which are not charged to individual schools and therefore do not show in the Auditor General's reports but in special general accounts.
45. The General Secretary represented the Society on a joint deputation, including Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Methodists, and Presbyterians, which waited upon the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, with particular reference, -- (a) to the rate of the per capita grants, (b) to provision in the current estimates of monies required for the erection of new buildings and for the repairs of existing buildings. With regard to the first, the deputation urged the continuance of the special wartime addition of $20.00 to the per capita grant. (Vide Minutes, page 28, Con. I). This request was granted. The important conclusion reached in connection with the latter point is set out in the following extracts from correspondence between the General Secretary and the Minister of the Interior as Superintendent of Indian Affairs:--
The General Secretary to the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, April 17th,--
"It is agreed that, pending provision of the said buildings, the Dominion Government will provide the money necessary to enable the Church authorities concerned to carry out urgent repairs on the buildings owned by them and used for the purpose of Indian Residential Schools"
Secretary M.S.C.C., April 21st,--
"You may rest assured that it is my purpose to urge upon the Government the desirability of providing, as soon as possible, the residential school buildings that are needed to successfully carry out the work. As an interim arrangement, the Department of Indian Affairs, will endeavour to have voted the funds necessary to enable the Church authorities concerned to carry out the urgent repairs on the residential school buildings owned by them."
46. The following outline of duties of the Commission has been prepared from a statement submitted by its Secretary-Treasurer.
The Commission prepares annually, estimates of the cost of maintaining the schools and Missions for the ensuing year, and, when these have been examined by the Executive, Consultative, and Apportionment Committees, and approved by the Board of Management, expenditure is sanctioned quarterly on the basis of the estimates thus approved.
In connection with these "Budget Heads", quarterly requisitions are submitted by the Principals, and these, after being carefully checked, are accepted as the basis on which the quarterly payments are to be made. All orders for supplies are placed by the Commission, and the bills are paid by it on receipt of the accounts duly certified by the Principals. Salary cheques are paid monthly, and all accounts are audited quarterly by a firm of chartered accountants.
The Educational Activities may roughly be divided into two classes, namely:-- (1) those within the Class-Room and the Chapel, and which deal chiefly with the development of the intellectual and spiritual side of the child's life, and (2) those in other parts of the main building, such as the kitchen, the sewing room and the laundry, as well as on the farm and garden, and which have a closer bearing on the development of the physical and practical side.
With regard to the development of the intellectual side the Commission have been largely instrumental in securing the adoption, as the syllabus of instruction in each school, of the syllabus which is prescribed by the Department of Education in the Province in which the school is situated. They have also been instrumental in securing the inspection of all Indian Residential Schools by the Public School Inspectors.
With regard to the spiritual development, they have laid emphasis on the necessity of systematic Biblical instruction and definite Church teaching, and have provided each school with a catechism on the Bible, and have recommended the adoption of Archbishop Nuttall's Catechism and Devotions for Children and Young People as a help and a guide to the better understanding of the fundamental principles of the Christian faith as held by our Church. By resolution of the Board the direction of religious instruction is placed under the authority of the respective Diocesan Bishops. The Board regards the provision of the proper Chapel, or Church accommodation an essential part of the equipment of each Residential School.
With regard to the development of the physical side of the child's life, the girls are taught household economics in the branches mentioned, and in other branches of practical education as well, such as basketry, bead-work, etc., while the boys are instructed in the care of live-stock, including poultry, and in farming and gardening, and the use and care of farming and gardening implements.
One of the most important duties of the Commission is in connection with the appointment of staff agents; and, as the total seventeen schools at present under the Society's control, is not less than 123 (men 43, women 80) it is obvious that much careful attention must be devoted to this aspect of their administrative work. With regard to qualifications, it has been decided that none but men in Holy Orders should be engaged as Principals, and none but those who have certificates which would enable them to secure appointment as teachers under a Provincial Department of Education, may be engaged in that capacity. Careful consideration is given also in every instance to the moral and physical, as well as to the intellectual qualifications of applicants before appointments are made.
47. The great increases in the accommodation and equipment of the Schools have been indicated in the figures, given above, from the reports of the Auditor General, Requirement of space prohibits the description in detail of these increases. They affect nearly all the schools, and range from the erection of complete new institutions to extensive repairs to buildings owned by the Church and to the supply of much necessary equipment. Among the major items may be mentioned, (1) the complete remodelling and refitting of the Blackfoot School, with the erection of a barn said to be one of the best in Alberta, (2) the erection, on a new site, of new buildings for the Blood School, with the setting apart of two sections of land as the school farm, (3) the expenditure this year of $40,000 toward the cost of the erection, on a new site, of a new institution to replace the Onion Lake School, (4) the complete repair and re-equipment of the Elkhorn School, (5) the provision of various buildings at various schools, such as residences for agents, new laundries, etc.
48. Among the definite encouraging results may be mentioned the facts (1) that at the Shingwauk Home 11 pupils who passed the entrance examinations are now attending the High School in Sault Ste. Marie; while one is just completing her course at the North Bay Normal School, (2) at Alert Bay two ex-pupils have been engaged by the Indian Department, as teachers of Day Schools, (3) at the Regina Exhibition, last year, the children of the Peigan School secured 17 first, 16 second, 16 third, and 1 fourth class prizes. A record which surpassed that of all other Indian schools which competed. This achievement was recognized by the Exhibition Authorities by the presentation of a Diploma to the School, (4) Cadet Corps for the Boys and Junior W.A's for the girls have been organized at most of the schools. The former have won numerous prizes in competition with white boys, while of the latter the branch at the Mackay School raised last year the sum of $116.07 for missionary work.
Among the confirmations for this year of which information has been received, are Alert Bay School 7, Peigan 11, Chapleau 20, Onion Lake 9, White Fish 2, Mackay 14, Blood 12.
Although the total number of pupils for whom the per capita grant is paid by the Dominion Government is only 867, it should be stated that the total number of pupils in residence, according to the latest returns available, is 904. For the other 37 children certain special grants are being received from various sources, but, as these are altogether inadequate to meet their cost of tuition and maintenance, the Commission are endeavouring to arrange that none but grant earning pupils may be enrolled in future.
The Commission and the Executive Committee have given careful attention to the important questions (1) of the replacement, transfer to new sites, or combination, of existing institutions, and (2) of the establishment of new schools in areas now unprovided for. They are convinced that the following new main school buildings are absolutely necessary to take the place of those now in service:-- (a) one at Alert Bay, to amalgamate the Boys' Schools and the Girls' Home; (b) one at Aklavik, to take the place of the Hay River School; (c) one at Lesser Slave Lake; (d) one at Wabasca; (e) one at the Peigan Reserve; (f) one at Moose Factory.
In addition to those which have been in operation for many years, and forcibly remind us of those arduous and devoted labours of the Church's sons and daughters in the past, the Commission consider that steps should be taken to establish Indian Residential Schools for the benefit of the Indian adherents of our Church in the following centres:-- (1) one in the Diocese of Caledonia; (2) Two in the Diocese of Keewatin; (a) one at Lac Seul, (b) one at, or near, York Factory; (3) one in the Diocese of Moosonee, at or near Fort George; (4) one in the Diocese of Saskatchewan, at Mistawasis or Shelbrook. When these have been built, fully staffed and equipped, and are operating, then, and only then, in the opinion of the Commission, can our Church be said to have provided something approaching adequate educational facilities for her numerous Indian children remotely scattered over this great land.