Impacts: Loss of Land
people suffered devastating impacts as the
result of the loss of their land and all the natural resources that
flowed from the land. With the reduction in reserve size and lack of
mobility on surrounding lands, Indian access to land
and resources became restricted to the reserve boundaries.
For example, in areas of the province where First Nations
people were traditionally dependant on salmon, some adjustments made by
the Royal Commission either reduced, restricted or eliminated Native
access to salmon. The adjustments made to the reserves allowed settlers
to fish further downstream, giving them access to the salmon before
First Nations. At the same time, salmon spawning areas were being
destroyed due to neighbouring resource development such as mining.
The ability to remain self-sufficient declined,
led to the creation of a social system where First Nations became
dependent on the government.
here to search the testimonies)
from the Royal Commission hearings indicate that the Federal and
Provincial governments, along with Indian Agents, actively encouraged
First Nations to abandon traditional practices in favour of European
agricultural and cultivation practices. First Nations people were
encouraged to cultivate their reserve lands despite lacking the
resources to do so successfully. Lands not being used for European
style farming, were considered inadequately used or completely unused.
Even people who wanted to farm on reserves faced difficulties, as seen
in the testimonies at the Royal Commission. For example:
- reserve lands were often of poor quality for
- they had insufficient access to water for
- First Nations people lacked the financial
resources needed (farm equipment, seed, etc.) in order to farm
« Prev Page | Next Page »