Treaty 5 Adhesion Commission

Overview

Under Order-in-Council, P.C. 1114, 12 May, 1908, the Commissioner who had been appointed to take adhesions to Treaty 5 was also authorized "... to investigate, in accordance with instructions to be given him such claims for half-breed scrip as may be preferred before him, and report upon such claims to the Minister [of the Interior]...". The treaty adhesion, which was signed at Split Lake on 26th June, 1908, was to include the tract of land lying north of the original Treaty 5 boundary and east of Treaty 10. Four years later, in 1912, the region would be added to the borders of the Province of Manitoba. The Commissioner named in the Order-in-Council was John Semmens, an Inspector of Indian Agencies and Reserves from Stonewall, Manitoba.

Owing to the remoteness of the region, Semmens could only complete the treaty adhesions and his investigations into Métis scrip over a period of three successive summers, from 1908 to 1910. The claimants from all three trips were indexed together by departmental officials along with the claims taken by Thomas A. Borthwick under Treaty 10. This register is now retained as RG 15, volume 1516 (see description elsewhere). Although two Commissions are listed together in the same register, Semmens' entries are clearly distinguished from those taken by Borthwick. As well, Semmens' entries are indexed according to the year in which they were accepted.

Regrettably, all other records associated with the Treaty 5 Adhesion Commission are now interfiled with other records of the Department, and this register is now the only concise listing of all applicants considered by the Department under Order-in-Council, P.C. 1114, 12 May, 1908.

During his first trip, Semmens reportedly took evidence in support of some 200 Métis claims. These claims were later dealt with by the Minister of the Interior under a separate Order-in-Council, P.C. 1060, 29 May, 1909, on the following basis: "Half-breeds born in the territory covered by the adhesion to Treaty No. 5 who were residents therein on the date of the signing ... at Split Lake; Half-breeds born in the territory covered by the adhesion to Treaty No. 5 who were residents in territory previously ceded on the date of the signing ... at Split Lake; Half-breed residents in the territory covered by the said adhesion to Treaty No. 5 on the date of the signing of such adhesion at Split Lake, but who were not born in that territory; ..." providing, of course, the recipient's rights were not extinguished under an earlier issue of scrip (P.C. 1060, 29 May, 1909).

Apparently, among the applicants received by Semmens were some claims which did not come within the scope of the claims referred to above, and Order-in-Council, P.C. 1060, 29 May, 1909, also authorized the Minister of the Interior "... to deal with them in the same manner as claims belonging to the same class were dealt with in the past and to issue scrip in accordance with the regulations which governed the former issues of scrip ...".

Additional applicants accepted by Semmens during his trips through the region in 1909 and 1910 were adjudicated by the Minister of the Interior under a second Order-in-Council, P.C. 1193, 24 May, 1911. The latter allowed the Minister to consider the additional claims on the same terms and conditions as were those referred to him by P.C. 1060, 29 May, 1909. The scrip issued in both instances by the Minister was delivered personally to the grantees either by Commissioner Semmens himself on one of his return trips into the region, by a Dominion Lands Agent, by the local Indian Agent, or by the local Royal North-West Mounted Police officer.

Dates

[1908-]

Authorities

Orders-in-Council, P.C. 1114, 12 May, 1908; P.C. 1060, 29 May, 1909; P.C. 1193, 24 May, 1911.

Members

J. Semmens (P.C. 1114, 12 May, 1908)

Reports

RG 15, series D II 1, vol. 1016, file 1,578,625, parts 1 and 2, title: "Joseph H. Lowes, Oxford House, re. Indian selling their scrip, John Semmens Commissioner, [1908]"

Sittings

Split Lake, Fort Churchill, York Factory, Nelson House, Oxford House, God's Lake, and Island Lake.

Awards

In 1908 a total of 31 claims were collected with 7,440 acres in land scrip awarded. In 1910 a further 86 claims were allowed with 18,480 acres in land scrip and $2,160 in money scrip awarded.

Applications

Unlike earlier Commissions, Métis applications under Order-in-Council P.C. 1114, 14 May, 1908, were not filed separately by the Department. Instead, all the applications were set up by the Department as case files and were filed in the Dominion Lands Branch central registry. These records are now found in RG 15, series D II 1, Dominion Lands Branch, Correspondence (see description elsewhere). To obtain a listing of all the applicants under the Treaty 5 (Northern Manitoba Adhesion), researchers should refer to the claims register (RG 15, volume 1516, described elsewhere).

Scrip Certificates

Unlike earlier Commissions, scrip certificates not issued by Semmens while investigating claims in the Treaty 5 adhesion area.

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.

This series contains all the cancelled notes for money scrip awarded by the Department of the Interior to Métis claimants of the Province of Manitoba and the North-West Territories. However, the majority of claims settled by Semmens under P.C. 1114, 12 May, 1908, were for land scrip. There were only a few instances when money scrip was awarded, and in all cases these claims were processed by the Department in 1910. The few notes issued by the Treaty 5 Commission are not identified in this series as a separate block of records, but instead are inter-filed with the notes awarded by other Métis scrip commissions. All claims for money scrip under Treaty 5 were awarded $240 which was issued as one $80 note and one $160 note. Recipients of money scrip awarded by Semmens are listed in volume 1516.

The scrip notes are retained by Library and Archives Canada in their numerical order. All the recipients of $80 scrip are listed in finding aid FA15-24, parts 19 to 22; and of $160 scrip in finding aid FA15-24, parts 23 to 25. To find the note awarded to a particular claimant when the number of the scrip note is unknown, researchers should first refer to the delivery register (RG 15, volume 1520, described elsewhere) to obtain the scrip note number, and then to the appropriate parts of finding aid FA15-24 to find the RG 15 volume number where the note 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.

This series contains all the cancelled notes for land scrip awarded by the Department of the Interior to Métis claimants of the North-West Territories. The notes issued by the Treaty 5 Commission are not identified in this series as a separate block of records, but instead are inter-filed with the notes awarded by all the North-West scrip commissions. All claims for land scrip under Treaty 5 were issued 240 acres which was usually awarded as one 80 acre note and one 160 acre note. The recipients of land scrip awarded by Semmens are listed in volume 1516.
 
The land scrip retained by Library and Archives Canada is grouped according to the amount of the scrip (either 80 acres or 160 acres), and in numerical order 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 number of the scrip note is unknown, researchers should first refer to the delivery register (RG 15, volume 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 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, series D II 8m, volume 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 Record Group 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 all the Scrip Commissions, including the Treaty 5 (Northern Manitoba Adhesion) Commission. The files in this series are numbered sequentially from 1 to 5,644,152 and are listed, in numerical order, in finding aid FA15-5. The series also contains all the case files relating to the awards given to individual Métis families under P.C. 1114. The case files relating to the Treaty 5 Commission would appear to start around file number 1,700,000. The case files are index in Archives Search under the name of the claimant The claims register (see description elsewhere) will provide researchers with the names of all the claimants under Order-in-Council, P.C. 1114. A copy of finding aid FA15-5 is available elsewhere in Archives Search.

Registers/Indexes

Dept. of the Interior, RG 15, Series D II 8m, 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.
[Alphabetical] Index to North-West Half-Breed Claims Authorized by chap. 54, sec. 90, par. F., R., S., C., as amended by sec. 4, 62, 63, Vict., chap. 16 (1899), and Order-in-Council of the 2nd March, 1900 [and Subsequent Orders]

This alphabetical index of Métis claimants under Treaty 5 and Treaty 10 includes the applications taken by Borthwick in 1907 and those taken by Semmens in 1908, 1909, and 1910. The claims taken by Semmens under the Treaty 5 adhesions were collected under entirely separate authorities (Orders-in-Council P.C. 1114, 12 May, 1908; P.C. 1060, 29 May, 1909; and P.C. 1193, 24 May, 1911) from Borthwick's Treaty 10 entries (Orders-in-Council P.C. 1459, 20 July, 1906 and P.C. 1497, 20 July, 1906). Semmens' entries are clearly dated and, for each letter of the alphabet, are listed after those made by Borthwick; thereby, making it possible for researchers to separate the two. In both cases, the entries are organized alphabetically by the claimant's name, with each entry recording his/her date of birth, his/her place of residence, his/her parents' names, the case file number (if such was created), and a summary statement by the department as to whether or not the claim was allowed.
 
RG 15, vol. 1516, Aperture Card Book 99, reel C-11879
 

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 by the Treaty 5 Adhesion Commission see RG 15, vol. 1520, Aperture Card Book 103, reel C-11880
Date modified: