North-West Half-Breed Commissions

Overview

As early as 1879 the Dominion Lands Act was amended to allow the governor in council "... to satisfy any claims existing in connection with the extinguishment of the Indian title, preferred by half-breeds resident in the North-West Territories, outside the limits of Manitoba..." (see 42 Vic., c. 31, s. 81e, 1879). Regrettably, the federal government did not act immediately on this extension of its policy on Métis claims. Indeed, it was not until news of the fighting at Duck Lake had reached eastern Canada that the Department of the Interior first initiated a claims commission for the North-West Territories. Order-in-Council, P.C. 688, 30 March, 1885, authorized the Minister to grant:

"To each half-breed head of a family resident in the North-West Territories ... the lot or portion of land of which he is at present time in bona fide and undisputed occupation by virtue of residence ... to the extent of one hundred and sixty acres ... and in the case of each half-breed head of a family ... who is not at present in bona fide occupation of any land, scrip be issued, ... to the extent of one hundred and sixty dollars.

To each child of a half-breed head of a family residing in the North-West Territories ... the lot or portion of land of which he is at present time in bona fide and undisputed occupation ... to the extent of two hundred and forty acres; ... [or scrip] redeemable in land, to the extent of two hundred and forty dollars."

Order in Council P.C. 657, 13 April, 1886, later amended this provision making it optional for Métis children to elect to take scrip for $240 or 240 acres of land instead of money scrip only.

To be eligible for scrip, the claimant had to have been a resident of the North-West Territories, outside the limits of Manitoba, at the time the region was ceded to the Dominion of Canada - that is, the 15th of July, 1870. A few months later, Order-in-Council, P.C. 1202, 2 July, 1885, re-defined the term "half-breed heads of family" to include children who were not born of Métis parents, but who themselves were Métis - that is, born of parents who were "pure Indian and white parents" and who were not necessarily married (or the head of a family) previous to 15th July, 1870, the date of the transfer of Rupert's Land to the Dominion of Canada. The definition for Métis child still held "... to include all those of mixed blood, partly white and partly Indian, and who are not heads of families" (this definition was first given in 36 Vic., c. 38, s. 1.)

Owning to armed conflict between government forces and the Métis at Batoche, certain areas of the North-West Territories were closed to the 1885 Commission. Consequently, the Minister of the Interior initiated several time extensions to the original North-West Half-Breed Commission. Order-in-Council, P.C. 309, 1 March, 1886, extended the Commission's mandate into 1886 and P.C. 898, 9 May, 1887, extended it into 1887. Three other Orders-in-Council allowed the Commission to focus on specific areas: P.C. 778, 28 April, 1886 authorized the Department to investigate the claims of Métis families who had removed themselves to the Dakotas; P.C. 1075, 21 May, 1887, authorized the Commission to grant scrip to Métis residents in certain communities which now lay within the boundaries of Northern Manitoba but which were outside the province as originally defined by the Manitoba Act and who had missed the application deadline of 1 May, 1886; and P.C. 2675, 14 December, 1888, authorized the Department to enumerate Métis residents as part of the Treaty 6 (Green Lake) adhesion.

Following the Green Lake adhesion, the Department issued a circular to all its Dominion Lands Agents in Manitoba and the North-West Territories authorizing them to accept applications from Métis residents who had failed to appear before one of the North-West Commissions. The agents were only authorized to accept the claim, along with its proof, and to forward the evidence to the Commissioner of Dominion Lands for decision. The following year Order-in-Council, P.C. 1394, 14 June, 1889, gave the Minister of the Interior the authority to deal with these claims "on the same basis as they would have been dealt with had they been proven before any of the [North-West] Commissions. . . .". Under Order-in-Council, P.C. 630, 12 March, 1892, "...all claims of Half-breeds and Original White Settlers to land or scrip ... that are not filed with the Commissioner of Dominion Lands, an Agent of Dominion Lands, or such other persons as may be duly authorized by the Minister of the Interior to receive them or on or before the 1st day of May, 1894, together with the necessary proof, shall cease and determine". According to the register that the department established to record such claims, most applications for scrip under P.C. 1394 appear to have been processed by the end of 1893. The register is now retained as RG 15, volumes 1524 and 1525 and is described in greater detail in the section entitled "Registers/Indexes". The final report summarizing all awards granted by the North-West Half-Breed Commission from 1885 to 1894 can be found in RG 15, vol. 731, file 410221.

 

 

Dates

10 April, 1885 to 28 August, 1885

Authorities

Order-in-Council, P.C. 135, 28 January, 1885,
supplemented by Order-in-Council, P.C. 688, 30 March, 1885;
amended by Orders-in-Council, P.C. 821, 18 April, 1885;
P.C. 1202, 2 July, 1885; P.C. 657, 13 April, 1886;
P.C. 1394, 14 June, 1889; P.C. 630, 12 March, 1892;
P.C. 630, 12 March, 1892.

Members

William P.R. Street (chairman); Roger Goulet; and Amédée E. Forget (P.C. 688, 30 March, 1885).

Reports

Regular reports of progress are filed in RG 15, Series D II 1, volume 574, file 175917, title: "H.B. Commission, W.R.R. Street, Chairman, Roger Goulet, A.E. Forget, N.O. Coté, Secretary [1885-1939]". Also see RG 15, Series D II 3, volume 199, file HB 5387, "Statement of Manitoba supplementary claims [prepared by N.O. Coté, 29 May, 1886]". The final report of the Commission is filed in RG 15, series II D 3, vol. 178, file HB 1166, "Report of the North-West Half-Breed Commission filed with the Commission file [by W.P.R. Street, R. Goulet, and A.E. Forget, 26 September, 1885]". A final report on claims awarded under P.C. 688, 30 March, 1885, including all extensions to 1894 can be found in RG 15, vol. 731, file 410221, "Statement of Halfbreed claims dealt in 1885 [1896]".

Sittings

Fort Qu'Appelle, Touchwood Hills, Regina, Maple Creek, Calgary, Fort Macleod, Pincher Creek, Edmonton, St. Albert, Fort Saskatchewan, Fort Victoria, Fort Pitt, Battleford, Prince Albert, Batoche, Duck Lake, the Saskatchewan forks, Fort à la Corne, Cumberland House, Moose Jaw, Willow Bunch, Grand Rapids, Winnipeg, and Griswold.

Awards

Total of 1815 claims were investigated by the Commission; 55,260 acres in land scrip and $279,200.94 in money scrip were awarded.

Extensions

1st - from 21 May, 1886 to 17 November, 1886;

Authority: Order-in-Council, P.C. 309, 1 March, 1886;

Commissioner: Roger Goulet;

Reports: no separate report found;

Sittings: Swift Current, Maple Creek, Calgary, Red Deer Crossing, Battle River, Laboucanne Settlement, Peace Hills, Edmonton, St. Albert, Victoria, Lac la Biche, Fort Pitt, Battleford, Prince Albert, St. Laurent, Fort Qu'Appelle, and Fort Ellice;

Awards: total of 1,414 claims were received by the Commission, with 2,640 acres in land scrip and $261,689.14 in money scrip awarded.

 

 

2nd - from 7 June, 1887 to 26 November, 1887;

Authority: Order-in-Council, P.C. 898, 9 May, 1887;

Commissioners: Roger Goulet (chairman) and Narcisse O. Coté;

Reports: RG 15, Series D II 1, volume 488, file 138130, title: "N.O. Coté, NWHB Commissioner, declarations as per schedule from N.W. Half-Breeds re. their claims to scrip [1887]"; also see RG 15, Series D II 1, volume 554, file 166507, title: "Report on the work of the Commissioners during the past summer [by R. Goulet and N.O. Coté, 10 January, 1888]";

Sittings: Fort Qu'Appelle, St. Laurent (Batoche, Duck Lake), Prince Albert, Fort à la Corne, Cumberland House, Birch River Portage, The Pas, Moose Lake, Grand Rapids, Norway House, Poplar River, Berens River, Fisher River, Fort Alexander, Devil's Lake, Green Lake, Russell, and Fort Pelly;

Awards: total of 565 claims were investigated; 3,120 acres in land scrip and $81,804.15 in money scrip were awarded.

Treaty 6 (Green Lake Adhesion) - from 13 February, 1889 to 27 March, 1889;

Authority: Order-in-Council, P.C. 2675, 14 December, 1888;

Commissioner: Roger Goulet; A.J. McNeil, secretary;

Reports: RG 15, Series D II 1, vol. 501, file 140862, title: "R. Goulet reporting cases investigated at present [1886-1935]"; final report on RG 15, series D II 1, vol. 491, file 138,557, title: "N.O. Coté, Half-Breed Commissioner Encloses Declarations from Half-Breeds Living Outside the Ceded Territory as per Schedule (Map), [1886-1935]";

Sittings: Montreal Lake, Red Deer Lake, Green Lake, Shell River, Sandy Lake, Prince Albert, and Batoche;

Awards: a total of 56 claims were investigated by the Commission and $18,367.72 in money scrip awarded.

Dakota Treaty - March 1887;

Authority: Order-in-Council, P.C. 778, 28 April, 1886;

Commissioner: R. Goulet;

Reports: RG 15, Series D II 3, vol. 194, file HB 4232, title: "Encloses schedule of disallowed HB applicants residing in Dakota and residents there before and after the transfer. Refers to declaration John Bruce first resident of Provincial Government in 1869, [1886]".

 

 

Northern Manitoba - from 26 January, 1887 to 28 February, 1887;

Authority: Order-in-Council, P.C. 1075, 21 May, 1887;

Commissioner: R. Goulet;

Reports: a single page was included as appendix E in RG 15, Series D II 1, vol. 554, file 166507, title: "Report on the work of the Commissioners during the past summer [by R. Goulet and N.O. Coté, 10 January, 1888]"; also see RG 15, Series D II 1, volume 488, file 138,133, title: "Roger Goulet, West Bourne, re. granting certificates to Half-Breeds living in Sandy Bay Band, [1885-1893]"

Sittings: Totogan and Sandy Bay, Manitoba House, The Narrows, Fairpond, Water Hen River, Pine River, and Duck Bay;

Awards: total of 256 claims were received, no land scrip but $40,780 in money scrip was awarded.

Applications

Dept. of the Interior, RG 15, Series D II 8b, Applications, 1885, 1.8 m, vols. 1325 to 1332; microfilm reels C-14936 to C-14942.

Applications for scrip filed before the 1885 North-West Commission by Métis living in the North-West Territories previous to 15 July, 1870. These records provide the name of the applicant, date and place of birth, the names of his/her parents and their origins, name(s) of spouse and children, and the amount and type of scrip awarded. The applications are filed alphabetically by name of applicant. An alphabetical index to the records is available in finding aid FA15-20. This index is also available on microfilm reel C-14942, and in digital form in >Archives Search.

 

If researchers can not find a particular application in this series, they should probably also consult series RG 15, D II 8c (described elsewhere), which includes applications received by the department in the years following the original formation of the North-West Commission. It is always possible that a claimant applied to the North-West Commission but in the years following its initial formation. The armed conflict at Batoche prevented many Métis families from appearing before the 1885 Commission. If the application is not found in this last series, researchers should then investigate two of the central registries of the Dominion Lands Branch, either RG 15, series D II 1 or series D II 3 (both of which are described elsewhere). It is always possible that the application was withdrawn by departmental administrators and placed in a case file.
 
To obtain a listing of all the claimants who applied for scrip under Order-in-Council P.C. 688, 30 March, 1885, researchers should refer to the claims registers compiled by Wm. Street, either RG 15 volumes 1501 to 1503, which are organized by claim number, or RG 15 volumes 1475 or 1533 which are alphabetical listings (all these registers are described in greater detail elsewhere). Other alphabetical indexes can also be found in RG 15, volumes 1509 and 1534. If a case file was created by the Departmental administrators for a particular claim, the case file number will be noted in registers retained as RG 15, volume 1475, volume 1534, or volume 1509.
 

Dept. of the Interior, RG 15, Series D II 8c, Applications, 1886-1906, 8.85 m, vols. 1333 to 1371; microfilm reels C-14943 to C-15010.

Applications for scrip filed from 1886 to 1906 by Métis families living in the North-West Territories. These applications were received by the North-West Commissions, the Alberta-Saskatchewan Commission, the Treaty 8, 10, and 5 Commissions, including all their adhesions. The applicants in this series which relate to the North-West Commission were filed the year following the original formation of the Commission under Order-in-Council P.C. 309, 1 March, 1886 and subsequent amendments.
 
Each application gives the name of the applicant, residence, place and date of birth, name of parents and origins, martial status, etc. The applications are filed alphabetically by name of the applicant. An alphabetical index to the records is available in finding aid FA15-21, which is also available on microfilm reel C-14943, and in digital form in Archives Search.
 
If researchers can not find a particular application in this series, they should probably also consult RG 15 series D II 8b, described elsewhere, to ensure that the applicant did not apply to the North-West Commission the previous year under Order-in-Council, P.C. 688, 30 March, 1885.
 
If researchers still can not find a particular application in either RG 15, series D II 8b or D II 8c, they should probably then investigate the various central registries of the Dominion Lands Branch, either RG 15, series D II 1 or series D II 3 (both of which are described elsewhere). It is always possible that the application was withdrawn by departmental administrators and set up as a separate case file. This procedure appears to have been a common practice whenever an application required special consideration by the department. By creating a separate case file on a particular scrip application, the department could keep all its correspondence concerning the application together in a single location.
 
To obtain a listing of all the applicants who received scrip from one of the North-West Half-Breed Supplementary Commissions, researchers should consult the registers retained as RG 15, volumes 1497 to 1500, and/or RG 15, volume 1525 (all of which are described elsewhere). If the department created a case file for a particular claim, then the case file number should be noted in any one of these registers. RG 15 volume 1525 is a register of all applications accepted by the department which were filed by Dominion Lands Agents, under P.C. 1394, 14 June, 1889, rather than by scrip commissioners. RG 15, volume 1508 is a register of all the claims accepted by the Manitoba Supplementary Commission, the North-West Half-Breed Supplementary Commission, and by the Dominion Lands Agents. In the case of the latter, it would appear that the Department usually placed the application in a case file rather than in the general applications series.
 

Scrip Certificates

Dept. of the Interior, RG 15, Series D II 8e, Certificates for Scrip, 1885-1906, 3.15 m, vols. 1373 to 1386.

Certificates issued by the Department to Métis who were entitled to participate in the distribution of scrip. The certificates give the place and date of issue, name of the recipient, the amount and nature (land or money) of the scrip, and the name of the commissioner. Each commission was responsible for its own block of numbers. The records are organized by certificate registration number, and are found in the following volumes:

1886 Commission Treaty 6 (Green Lake Adhesion)

  • A0001 to A0994; vol. 1373 A1565 to A1624; vol. 1374
  • A0995 to A1038; vol. 1374 B1096 to B1141; vol. 1376
  • A1201 to A1207; vol. 1376
  • B0001 to B0600; vol. 1375
  • B0601 to B0802; vol. 1376
  • C0001 to C0009; vol. 1376

1887 Commission

  • A1208 to A1564; vol. 1374
  • B0822 to B0995; vol. 1376
  • C0010 to C0022; vol. 1376

Northern Manitoba

  • A1039 to A1200; vol. 1374
  • B0803 to B0821; vol. 1376
Finding aid FA15-23 serves as a general index to these records. It is organized by registration number and gives the RG 15 volume number where the original document is now retained. Unfortunately, it does not identify individuals to whom the certificates were issued.
 
To find the certificate issued to a particular individual, researchers should refer to the delivery registers (RG 15, volumes 1518, 1519, and 1520). These registers are organized alphabetically according to the last name of the claimant. They record all the registration numbers of all records - including scrip certificates - associated with scrip awards granted to Métis claimants in Manitoba and the North-West Territories.
 
Once the certificate registration number is known, researchers can then refer to finding aid 15-23 to find the volume number in RG 15 where the original document is stored. If the scrip certificate is not found in this series, it is always possible that a copy was placed in the applicant's case file, if such was created by the department.The case files were placed in one of the central registries of the Dominion Lands Branch, and are now retained by Library and Archives Canada as RG 15, series DII 1, or series D II 3 (both of which are described elsewhere). If a case file was created for a particular claim, the file number will be indicated in the delivery registers.
 

Money Scrip

Dept. of the Interior, RG 15, Series D II 8f, Money Scrip to Métis, 1876-1927, 3.0 m, vols. 1387 to 1403.

Cancelled scrip notes which were issued to Métis by the Department of the Interior in exchange for the extinguishment of certain land claims. These notes were issued "to the bearer," and could be applied to the purchase of, or as a down payment on, any Dominion lands which were open for entry. The scrip was awarded to Métis heads of families and to children of Métis heads of families in the amount of $240 (numbers 2001 to 4312), $160 (numbers 7002 to 8216), and $160 (numbers 4002 to 4835) combined with $80 (number 2003 to 2697). For a listing of applicants who received money scrip in the amount of $240, consult finding aid FA15-24, parts 13 to 15; in the amount of $160, finding aid FA15-24, part 9; in the amount of $160 combined with $80, finding aid FA15-24, part 17 (for the $160 portion) and finding aid FA15-24, part 16 (for the $80 portion). For a listing of money scrip (numbers 10001 to 13506) divided among the heirs of the grantee, see finding FA15-24, parts 10 to 12. For money scrip (numbers 0002 to 0469) of $240, divided among heirs, and refund scrip granted under P.C. 3723, 28 December, 1895, see finding aid FA15-24, part 18.

 

The money scrip held by Library and Archives Canada is grouped according to the amount of the scrip (i.e., $80, $160, $240, or miscellaneous amounts), and in numerical order (registration number) within each group. To find the money scrip awarded to a specific claimant when the scrip registration number is unknown, researchers will have to obtain the registration number from the delivery registers (RG 15, volumes 1518, 1519, and 1520, described elsewhere). These registers are organize alphabetically, according to the last name of the claimant. Researchers can thenuse this number to find the appropriate entry in finding aid 15-24 which will then provide the RG 15 volume number where the original document is stored.

Land Scrip

Dept. of the Interior, RG 15, Series D II 8i, Land Scrip to Métis, 1885-1917, 1.1 m, vol. 1406 to 1410.

Cancelled scrip notes which were issued to Métis by the Department of the Interior to extinguish aboriginal title to land. The scrip entitled Métis children to 240 acres and Métis heads of families to 160 acres of Dominion lands which had been declared open for entry. Scrip numbers 0001 to 0302 were awarded from 7 July, 1885 to 13 November, 1906; scrip numbers 0501 to 0503 were awarded 10 July, 1885; and scrip numbers 5001 to 5038 were awarded 26 June, 1885 to 28 December, 1910. RG 15, volume 1542 (described elsewhere) serves as a location register for the Dominion lands awarded by the North-West Commissions. The register is organized by scrip number and provides the name of the allottee, name of patentee, land description, acreage, date of patent, and the liber and folio numbers of the Letters Patent issued by the Crown. The latter are now held by Library and Archives Canada in RG 15, series D III 10.
 
The land scrip retained by Library and Archives Canada is grouped according to the amount of the scrip (i.e., 80 acres, 160 acres, or 240 acres), and in numerical order (registration number) within each group. Finding aid FA15-13 will guide researchers to the volume in RG 15 where the note is stored; but to use this finding aid researchers must know the scrip number. To find the note awarded to a particular claimant when the registration number of the scrip note is unknown, researchers should first refer to the delivery registers (RG 15, volumes 1519 and 1520, described elsewhere) to obtain the scrip note number, and then to finding aid FA15-13 to find the RG 15 volume number where the note is stored.
 

Receipts

Dept. of the Interior, RG 15, Series D II 8j, Receipts for Métis Scrip, 1885-1906, 2.25 m, vols. 1411 to 1420.

Pre-printed receipts were distributed by the Department of the Interior along with money and land scrip. The receipts were issued to the Minister of the Department and were to be signed by scrip recipients when the notes were delivered into their custody. Since land scrip was only first issued under the Manitoba Supplementary Commission (P.C. 810, 20 April, 1885), these records date from June 1885. They are part of the documentation pertaining to all the Commissions which followed the Manitoba Supplementary Commission, except the last - the Treaty 11 Commission - which made cash settlements only.
 
Each receipt carries a unique number ranging from 1 to 15,700. The records are maintained by Library and Archives Canada in their numerical order. Finding aid FA15-26, parts 1 to 16, provides access to the records. Under each receipt number, it gives the volume number within the RG 15 record group; the name of the recipient; the recipient's application status (heir, child, etc.); the land or money scrip number; the amount of the receipt (in dollars or acres); the date of issue; and sometimes the scrip certificate number and the case file number.
 
In instances when the receipt number is unknown and only the claimant's name is available, researchers should first consult the delivery registers (RG 15, volumes 1519 and 1520, see description elsewhere). The delivery registers are an alphabetical index to all the recipients of scrip. Among other things, they will give the number of the receipt signed by each claimant. Researchers can then use this number to find the entry for the receipt in finding aid FA15-26. The finding aid, in turn, will give researchers an indication as to which volume in RG 15 should be ordered if they wish to obtain access to the original document.

Subject Files

Dept. of the Interior, RG 15, Series D II 1, Dominion Lands Branch, Correspondence, Headquarters, 1871-1946, 213.6 m, vols. 227 to 1176; Microfilm reels T-12176 to T-15542.

A numerically arranged series of subject files created by the Dominion Lands Branch. The series touches on all aspects of land management and natural resource administration by the Department of the Interior, including Métis land claims. The records included in this series contain general correspondence and departmental memoranda relating to rulings, policy, and procedures, which governed the operations of the North-West Half-Breed Commissions. It also contains some case files relating to the awards given to individual Métis families. The files are numbered sequentially from 1 to 5,644,152 and are listed, in numerical, order in finding aid FA15-5. Under each file number, the finding aid gives the volume number, file title, date range, and subject headings. A copy of the electronic finding aid is available elsewhere in Archives Search.
 

Dept. of the Interior, RG 15, Series D II 3, Half-Breed Files, 1885-1887, 12.75 m, vols. 170 to 226; microfilm reels T-11354 to T-11358, T-12021 to T-12036, and T12153 to T-12154.

A numerically arrangednseries of subject files created by the Dominion Lands Branch which deal with Métis claims arising out of the Manitoba Commission (including the Manitoba Supplementary Commission) and the 1885 North-West Half-Breed Commission. A number of these files still retain file jackets with a red imprint which reads "Commissioner's Office, Winnipeg", and feature a five-digit file number (for example, file HB 5347 has "57719" stamped in the spaced for the file number). The series probably originated in Winnipeg and at one time had its own classification system. When the files were transferred to the Dominion Lands Office in Ottawa, new file jackets, printed in blue and labelled "Dominion Lands Branch", were attached to some of the files, and all were given new file numbers with an "HB" prefix. In some cases, the older red jackets were not replaced, and the "HB" number was simply printed to the side of the original five-digit number.
 
A number of the HB files were withdrawn from this series, transferred to the Dominion Lands Branch central registry, and re-numbered. In particular, it would appear that files pertaining to departmental policy, procedures, and correspondence with the Scrip Commissioners were culled from the "HB" series, leaving mostly individual Métis case files which contain correspondence between the claimants and the Department of Interior, applications for scrip, powers of attorney and scrip certificates. Also included in the series are some policy and procedure files, and some reports by various agents of the Department. The files are arranged numerically from HB 7 to HB 9579. Finding aid FA15-17 is a listing of the files found in the series, giving the file title, interested parties, scrip numbers, and the file's date range, volume number and microfilm reel number. A copy of this finding aid is available elsewhere in Archives Search.

Registers/Indexes

Dept. of the Interior, RG 15, Series D II 8 m, North-West Half-Breeds and Original White Settlers, Registers and Indexes, 1877-1927, 4.5 m, vols. 1475 to 1555; microfilm reels C-11872 to C-11885.

[Claims Register for the North-West Half-Breed Commission]

Registers of Métis claimants who received scrip under Order-in-Council P.C. 821, 18 April, 1885. These are the registers referred to in Commissioner Street's report (see the hand-written statement, signed by Wm. Street on the inside front cover). Street's report is retained by Library and Archives Canada in RG 15, series D II 3, volume 178, file HB 1166. The registers are organized by claim number, with each entry providing information on the name of the claimant; his/her date of birth; martial status and spouses' name; the date of the application; the nature of the claim; and a summary statement on action taken by the Department. The latter will often indicate whether or not the claim was allowed; the place where the claim was received by the Commission; the date on which it was approved; the certificate number; the amount of the award, and the case file number (if such was created by the Department). To use these registers when the claim number is unknown, researchers should refer to one of the claims indexes (either RG 15, volume 1475 or volume 1533, described elsewhere), both of which are alphabetical listings of all the claimants referred to the North-West Half-Breed Commission under P.C. 821, 18 April, 1885. Researchers can use either index to find the claim number given to a particular application. This number can then be use to find the entry in one of the claims registers.
  • Register A, claims 0001 to 0614;
    RG 15, vol. 1501, Aperture Card Book 84, reel C-11877
  • Register B, claims 0615 to 1118;
    RG 15, vol. 1502, Aperture Card Book 85, reel C-11877
  • Register C, claims 1119 to 1807;
    RG 15, vol. 1503, Aperture Card Book 86, reel C-11877 

 

[North-West Half-Breed Commission, Alphabetical Indexes to the Claims Registers]

These indexes are referred to as "Book D" and "Book E" in the final report of the Commission (see the hand-written statement, signed by Wm. Street, on the inside front covers of each book). Street's report is now retained by Library and Archives Canada in RG 15, series D II 3, volume 178, file HB 1166. The indexes are alphabetical listings of all the claimants who appeared before the 1885 North-West Commission, chaired by W.P.R. Street. Both are organized according to the claimant's last name. Each entry in the index for volume 1533 gives only the applicant's claim number, that is, the number applied to each application on its presentation to the Secretary of the Commission. The applications were numbered consecutively from 1 to 1807. Researchers can use the claim number as a cross-reference in finding aid FA15-20 (the finding aid to the applications in RG 15, series D II 8b.
 
Each entry in volume 1475, on the other hand, gives the names of the claimant's parents; the claimant's date of birth; date when married and name of spouse; the claimant's claim number; and general remarks. The latter often includes references to case files when these were created by the Department as part of its administration of a particular claim. The case files are generally either filed in the "HB" central registry series (see the description for RG 15, series D II 3), or in the central registry of the Dominion Lands Branch (see the description for RG 15, series D II 1). Except in instances when a case file was created, the applications associated with each of the entries in this index are filed in RG 15, series D II 8b (see description elsewhere).
 
RG 15, vol. 1475, Aperture Card Book 58, reel C-11872
RG 15, vol. 1533, Aperture Card Book 116, reel C-11881

Half-Breed, North-West Territories, Order in Council 30 March, 1885

An index to Métis claims present to the North-West Half-Breed Commission. These claims were authorized by Order-in-Council, P.C. 688, 30 March, 1885. The index is organized alphabetically by the name of the claimant, with each entry proving information on the type of scrip and the amount awarded, the claimant's claim number (the number given by the Commissioners to each application), and the claimant's case file number (if such was created by the Department). In most cases, the Department placed the case files in the "HB" central registry series, which is now held by Library and Archives Canada in RG 15, series D II 3 (described elsewhere). The majority of the applications listed in this index are now to be found in RG 15, series D II 8b (described elsewhere). The index provides researchers with a convenient listing of all the Métis applicants who appeared before the 1885 North-West Commission.
 
RG 15, vol. 1534, Aperture Card Book 117, reel C-11881
 

General Index to Manitoba and North-West Territories Half-Breed and Original White Settlers, who have preferred claims under Act 33 Vic., Cap. 3, Section 31; Act 37 Vic., Cap. 20; and Orders in Council dated respectively the 30th March, eighteenth April, and 20th April, 1885

Despite the title, this volume would appear to be an alphabetical index of only those claimants who appeared before the North-West Commission (claimants under the Manitoba Supplementary Commission, P.C. 810, 20 April, 1885, seem to have been excluded). The index is organized alphabetically by the claimant's last name, with each entry noting the names of the claimant's father and mother; the claimant's date of birth; and sometimes his/her claim number (on some pages the claim number has been mistakenly entered under a column entitled "Affidavit Number"). In some cases, the index will also note a file number, which will relate to a case file in either the "HB" central registry (RG 15, series D II 3) or in the Dominion Lands Branch central registry (RG 15, series D II 1). For the most part, this volume duplicates information provided in similar indexes -i.e., RG 15, volume 1475 and RG 15, volume 1533 - and in most instances, the latter two volumes will be more useful to researchers since the entries generally contain more information on each claim.
 
RG 15, vol. 1509, Aperture Card Book 92, reel C-11878-79

[Alphabetical] Index, Heirs of Deceased Half-Breeds and "Original White Settlers", Manitoba Supplementary and North-West Claims

An alphabetical list of the heirs of deceased Métis and Original White Settlers who filed under the Manitoba Supplementary Commission (P.C. 810, 20 April, 1885) and the North-West Commission (P.C. 135, 28 January, 1885; P.C. 688, 30 March, 1885; and P.C. 821, 18 April, 1885). The index is organized by the name of the heir, with each entry providing the associated claim numbers. Researchers should note that the claim numbers which were entered into this index in 1886 and 1887 are preceded by the prefixes "86" and "87" (respectively). Claim numbers entered in 1885 have no prefix. Some of the applications associated with the 1886 and 1887 claims listed in this index are filed in the main applications series, that is RG 15, series D II 8b (described elsewhere). Others will be found in the central registry series of the Dominion Lands Branch, that is RG 15 series D II 1 (described elsewhere). It is not known at this time where the 1885 claims listed in this index might be filed.
 
RG 15, vol. 1483, Aperture Card Book 66, reel C-11874
 

Location Register of North-West Half-Breed Scrip

This register provides researchers with a summary of how land scrip issued by the North-West Half-Breed Commission was used. The register is organized by scrip number. Each entry gives the name of the allottee (the person to whom the scrip was issued); the name of patentee (the person who used the scrip to acquire a homestead); the legal description of the land acquired by the patentee; the size of the allotment; a departmental file reference number; the patent fiat number; the date on which the letters patent was issued; the liber and folio numbers of the letters patent; and general remarks. The liber and folio numbers of the letters patent identified in this register are retained by Library and Archives Canada in RG 15, series D III 10.
RG 15, vol. 1542, Aperture Card Book 125, reel C-11882-83
 

Register of Delivery of Manitoba and North-West Territory Scrip, Orders in Council of 30th March and 20th April, 1885 [and Subsequent Orders]

These registers document the delivery of scrip to claimants filing under the Manitoba Supplementary Commission, the North-West Half-Breed Commissions, the Alberta-Saskatchewan Commissions, and the Treaty 8, 10, and 5 Commissions, including all their adhesions. The registers are organized alphabetically according to the last name of the claimant. Each entry records the scrip number; the name and address of the person or agent to whom the scrip was issued; the date of scrip delivery; a brief description as to the authority (i.e., the Commission) under which the scrip was awarded; the amount and type of scrip issued; the application number (if applicable); the number and date of the receipt; the case file reference number; the certificate number; and a column for general remarks by departmental administrators. The registers are excellent sources for researchers to find documentation on a claimant's complete scrip record. They provide an alphabetical index to many of the records in RG 15 which have been filed under a numerical system. For example, the scrip certificates, scrip notes and scrip receipts are filed in RG 15 by the document number. The finding aids for these records either do not exist or consist of file lists organized under the numerical system. It can be a very tedious task to find such documents when the number is unknown. The registers described here will provide researchers with these numbers when only the claimant's name is known.
  • For deliveries made between July 1885 and December 1887 see:
    RG 15, vol. 1518, Aperture Card Book 101, reel C-11879
  • For deliveries made between January 1888 and July 1899 see:
    RG 15, vol. 1519, Aperture Card Book 102, reel C-11879-80
  • For deliveries made between August 1899 and 1928 see:
    RG 15, vol. 1520, Aperture Card Book 103, reel C-11880

North-West Half-Breed Supplementary Commission

North-West Half-Breed Supplementary Claims, Authority Act 26 Vic., Cap. 17, Clause 81, Sub-Clause E, Orders in Council 30th March, 1885, eighteenth April, 1885, and 1st March, 1886

A register of Métis claimants who received scrip under Order-in-Council, P.C. 688, 30 March, 1885, and its subsequent amendments. The registers are organized by the declaration number (which is different from the claim number). For each entry, the register provides the name and address of the claimant (or applicant); a precis of the declaration (familial history, date of birth, martial status, names of heirs); the date of the declaration; a synopsis of the Department's administration of the application (whether the claim was allowed or disallowed, the certificate number, the date and place of the department's decision); and a cross reference to any case files which may have been created in the central registry system of the Dominion Lands Branch (and which are now kept in RG 15, series D II 1).
  • Register 1, Declarations 0001 to 0683
    RG 15, vol. 1497, Aperture Card Book 80, reel C-11876
  • Register 2, Declarations 0684 to 1430
    RG 15, vol. 1498, Aperture Card Book 81, reel C-11876
  • Register 3, Declarations 1431 to 2236
    RG 15, vol. 1499, Aperture Card Book 82, reel C-11876-77
  • Register 4, Declarations 2237 to 2308
    RG 15, vol. 1500, Aperture Card Cook 83, reel C-11877

 

 

Date Index to Half-Breed Minor Claims (authorized by Orders in Council dated 30th March, 18th April and 20th April, 1885, respectively)

A general index compiled by the North-West Half-Breed Commissions from 1885 to 1888 and used by departmental officials in the issuing scrip to Métis minors. The day-by-day index served as the department's reminder of the day on which a Métis minor would reach the age of majority. Departmental regulations would only allow the issuing of scrip to Métis children once they had reached the age of 16. The index is organized by date, with each entry giving the name and reference number of the Métis minor.

RG 15, vol. 1523, Aperture Card Book 106, reel C-11880

Claims to share in North West Half Breed grant of Scrip preferred before the Agents of Dominion Land under Order in Council of 14 June, 1889

Order-in-Council, P.C. 1394, 14 June, 1889, authorized Dominion Lands Agents in the North-West Territories to accept scrip applications from Métis who resided in areas which had been ceded under Indian treaty. These volumes are indexes to the applications taken by the agents from 1889 to 1893. The records are organized by the name of the claimant, and provide under each entry, the names of the applicant's parents, the date of the applicant's birth, departmental reference numbers, and a summary of action taken by the branch. Volume 1524 is incomplete; it only contains the names of applicants with last names beginning with the letters A and B. Volume 1532 contains the names of all applicants, including those beginning with the letters A and B.

RG 15, vol. 1524, Aperture Card Book 107, reel C-11880
RG 15, vol. 1532, Aperture Card Book 115, reel C-11881

General Index to Manitoba and North-West Territories Half-Breed and Original White Settlers, who have preferred claims under Act 33 Vic., Cap. 3, Section 31; Act 37 Vic., Cap. 20; and Orders in Council dated respectively the 30th March, 18th April, 20th April, 1885 and 1st March, 1886

According to the register's frontispiece, this book is referred to as exhibit "D" in the report of Commissioners R. Goulet and N.O. Cote, dated 10 January 1888 (see: RG 15, vol. 554, file 166507, "Report on the work of the commissioners during the past summer"). It summarizes the work of the 1887 extension of the North-West Half-Breed Commission authorized by Order-in-Council, P.C. 898, 9 May, 1887. The register also includes supplementary claims accepted by Dominion Lands Agents under authority of Order-in-Council, P.C. 1394, 14 June, 1889, up to the official closing of the Commission as required by P.C. 630, 12 March, 1892. The register is organized alphabetically, according to the last name of the claimant. Each entry includes the names of the claimant's parents; his/her date of birth; his/her application status (as a Manitoba Métis resident, as a North-West Territories Métis resident, or as an Original White Settler); the amount and type of scrip awarded; the affidavit number; the case file reference number (if such was created); and a general statement as to whether or not the claim was allowed. The case files are found in the correspondence registry of the Dominion Lands Branch, RG 15, series D II 1.

RG 15, vol. 1504, Aperture Card Book 87, reel C-11877

[Alphabetical] Index, North-West Half-Breed Commission, 1886 and 1887, also Half-Breed Claims up to 1898

The page headings in this index are entitled: "General Index to Manitoba and North-West Territories Half-Breeds and Original White Settlers, who have preferred claims under Act 33 Vic., Cap. 3, Section 31; Act 37 Vic., Cap. 20; and Orders in Council dated respectively the 30th March, 18th April, 20th April, 1885 and March 1st, 1886". The index is organized alphabetically according the last name of the claimant. Each entry records the names of the claimant's parents; the claimant's date of birth; whether the claimant was applying as a resident of Manitoba, the North-West Territories, or as an Original White Settler; the amount of the scrip awarded; the scrip delivery date (and in some cases the person to whom the scrip was delivered); the affidavit (application) number; and the case file number (if such was created by the department); and general remarks by departmental administrators. If the application was accepted by a Dominion Lands Agent under P.C.1394, 14 June, 1889, rather than one of the scrip commissioners then the register usually indicates just a case file number and no affidavit number.

RG 15, vol. 1508, Aperture Card Book 91, reel C-11878

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