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Implementation of the Commission Recommendations

Before the recommendations could become official or be implemented they had to be approved by both governments, which proved to be a difficult process. The Provincial government complained that too much land was allocated for the Indian reserves despite the fact that they stood to gain financially from the sale of better quality cut-off lands. The province also objected to the requirement of First Nations' consent for cut-off lands despite the legal requirement for such consent. The testimonies and subsequent meetings also show First Nations' rejection of the Commission's authority to reduce reserve sizes.

The Dominion Indian Affairs Settlement Act of 1919 and the British Columbia Indian Lands Settlement Act of 1920 were passed in an attempt for both governments to claim the power to adopt the recommendations of and make changes to the Royal Commission Report. Through these Acts, the Governments also claimed the power to cut off lands without consent, in opposition to the existing laws requiring consent and ignoring Aboriginal Title.

The Dominion and Provincial government were at odds again. Duncan Campbell Scott, Deputy Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, recommended a joint review of the Royal Commission Report. W. E. Ditchburn, Dominion appointee, and Col. J.W. Clark, Provincial appointee, were given this responsibility along with anthropologist James Teit, was appointed to represent the interests of the First Nations.

Between 1920 and 1924 Ditchburn and Clark jointly reviewed the Royal Commission Report and gathered additional evidence and testimony. Teit died in 1922, leaving First Nations without any representation. Ditchburn and Clark made amendments and adjustments to some of the original recommendations including further reductions to reserves amounting to approximately 10,000 acres and reductions to the amount of land for new reserve acreage. Notably absent from their final report was the issue of Aboriginal Title. The Ditchburn-Clark Report was stepping-stone toward an agreement that was acceptable to both the Dominion and Provincial governments, without consideration of First Nations interests. On July 19, 1924 the McKenna McBride Commission, with the recommendations from the Ditchburn-Clark Report, was finally adopted. In total 35 cut-offs were made from 23 Bands belonging to 15 Agencies.

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