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Métis Scrip Records

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Abandoned Homestead: A homestead abandoned by the original applicant before improvements were met. Since Letters Patent would not have been issued, the homestead transferred back to the Crown. In such cases, the homestead would usually be re-opened for a new entry by the Crown.

Acre: A unit of measure equal to 4,840 square yards or 43,560 square feet. There are 2.47 acres to 1 hectare.

Affidavit: In legal terms, an affidavit is a declaration of fact, made voluntarily, under oath or affirmation, and taken before a person having legal authority.9 Affidavits were collected by representatives of the Crown from Métis and Original White Settlers or their heirs in support of  their claims under the Manitoba Act and its amendments.10 These documents provide information of interest to genealogist, such as the name of the claimant, date of birth, names of parents, and affiliated parish.

Alienation: The transfer of property from one party to another. The term is usually applied to transfers by the Crown rather than individuals.

Assignment: In law an assignment generally refers to the transfer of an interest in a lease, permit, license of occupation or other instrument, by writing. The assignee then stands in the place of the assign or. Under the Dominion Lands Act, assignments were a specialized document noting the transfer of property (by the assignor) to a second party (the assignee) prior to filing a homestead fiat. Title automatically went to the second party on completion of the conditions of improvement. Assignments were often used by parties interested in land speculation.


Cancellation: The act of terminating a homestead entry because of the failure of the purchaser to meet the conditions of sale (i.e. the improvements) in the required time frame. If a homestead entry was canceled, the land was usually transferred back to the original owning agency (colonization company, Department of the Interior, etc.) and re-opened for sale or entry. This procedure was enacted in an effort to stop land speculation.

Certified Copy: A copy signed and certified as true by the official (or his/her representative) to whose custody the original is entrusted

Chain: A instrument used by surveyors to measure horizontal distances. A surveyor's chain is the equivalent to 66 feet and is made up of 100 links. There are 80 chains to a mile.

Church Sites: Under the original Dominion Lands Act, the Governor in Council was authorized to set aside Dominion Lands as sites for places of worship.11 These lands were to be provided as a free grant. Originally, the parcels were not to exceed 40 acres, but this limitation was later reduced to 10 acres, and was further reduced again to two acres.12 Any Letters Patent issued for church sites clearly stated the purpose for which the land was to be used. If the grantee decided to have this restriction removed from the Letters Patent, the grant could be purchased from the Department at a minimum cost of three dollars an acre and a new Letters Patent would be issued. Authority was granted by Order-in-Council, for the sale of land for church purposes without any restrictions on the use of the land.13 The land was to be sold at three dollars an acre, and the parcel could not exceed two acres.

Coal District: A large tract of land withdrawn from sale or settlement.14 Originally, individuals were permitted to lease up to 320 acres of coal lands from the federal government for a 21 year period. The lease was subject to an annual rent, based on the amount of land involved, and a royalty payment, based on the amount of coal extracted.15 However, under these regulations, there was no guarantee that several lessees might form a company and withdraw large sections of coal lands from active production. Such action would not only seriously restrict bona fide mining activity, but it would also reduced federal revenues. In order to overcome this difficulty, the Department of the Interior decided to allow mining companies to purchase coal lands outright, but only in areas designated as coal districts, such as the Souris and Bow River valleys.

Conveyance: An instrument, such as a deed or mortgage, by which interest in land is transferred from one individual to another.

Crown Land: All land in a province or territory owned and administered by the provincial or federal government. Such lands have not been alienated. Originally, all crown land in the prairie provinces, as well as the Railway Belt and the Peace River Block in British Columbia, were administered by the federal government. However, under the transfer of resources agreements of 1930, most of this land was transferred to the care of the provincial governments, except for large blocks which were set aside for Indian reserves, national parks, etc.


Dominion Lands: Crown lands owned and administered by the federal government. Originally, Dominion lands also included all un-alienated lands in the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba until the transfer of resources in 1930.

Dominion Land Surveyor: Under the Dominion Lands Act of 1872, surveyors who wished to be employed in the surveying of Dominion Lands were required to pass a special exam administered by the Dominion Lands Branch.16 Surveyors who passed the exam were entitled to call themselves Dominion Land Surveyor (or DLS).

Dominion Topographical Surveyor: Under the Dominion Lands Act of 1872, Dominion Land Surveyors were eligible to undertake a more intensive course of studies and exams to qualify as topographical surveyors. Dominion Topographical Surveyors were the most highly qualified surveyors in Canada.


Entry: The application or record filed by a homesteader as the first step in acquiring a homestead. The document stated that the applicant had not already filed an entry. It also legally bound the applicant to meet the conditions of homestead and opened the way for the homesteader to received his Letters Patent once improvements to the land were made. Pre-emption entries would also be filed at this time.


Fiat: The document filed by a homesteader after meeting the conditions of homestead. Once the document was filed with the local Dominion Lands Office, a Homestead Inspector would be dispatched to the property to confirm that the proper improvements had been made. If the Homestead Inspector approved of the improvements, the homesteader would be issued with the Letters Patent on the property.


Game Guardian: A person appointed by the Governor in Council to administer the Unorganized Territories Game Preservation Act.17 Under the terms of this Act, the person was required to take an oath of office and was given all the powers of a justice of the peace within the district for which he was appointed Game Guardian (see sections 22 and 23). Enumeration was determined by the Governor in Council.

Game Officer/Game Warden: A person appointed under the Northwest Game Act to administer the provisions of the Act.18 Game Officers and Game Wardens were required to take an oath of office and were given full powers of search, seizure and arrest within the district to which they were appointed. The Act makes no distinction in the responsibilities of Game Officers and Game Wardens. It uses both terms synonymously.

Grant: A parcel of land set aside by the Department of the Interior for a specific purpose (e.g. School Lands Grant, Swamp Lands, Hudson's Bay Company Lands, etc.). See land grant.

Grazing Lease: Unoccupied Dominion Lands leased from the Department of the Interior for grazing purposes.19The lease had to be returned to the Crown when the land was required for homesteading. The terms and rates of the lease varied from time to time.


Hay Lands: Unoccupied Dominion Lands leased from the Department of the Interior for cutting hay.20 The lease could amount to no more than 80 acres and had to be returned to the Crown when the land was required for homesteading. The terms and rates for leasing varied.

Homestead: The vacant quarter-section selected by a homesteader. The selection would be registered in the local Dominion Lands Office by issuing an entry on the property. Most of the even-numbered sections throughout the North-West Territories (less the quarter-sections set aside as Hudson's Bay Company Lands) were available as free homesteads, providing the homesteader made certain improvements to the land within a specified period.

Homestead Act: A term sometimes used inappropriately by Canadian researchers to refer to the act which governed the settlement process in western Canada. Passed by the United States Congress on 20 May, 1862, the Homestead Act provided the basis by which public lands in western United States were patented to individual homesteaders. Although many of the regulations were similar, the settlement process in western Canada was controlled by the Dominion Lands Act.

Homestead Inspector: An agent appointed by the Dominion Lands Branch to administer the conditions of homestead as outlined in the Dominion Lands Act. When a homesteader filed a fiat with the local Dominion Lands Office, a homestead inspector visited the property and confirmed whether or not the conditions of residency, cultivation and construction had been met. If the improvements were satisfactory, the Homestead Inspector then authorized issuing Letters Patent to the homesteader.

Hudson's Bay Company Lands: When surrendering Rupert's Land to the Dominion of Canada in 1871, the deed of surrender granted to the Hudson's Bay Company one twentieth of all the lands bounded "on the south by the United States boundary, on the west by the Rocky Mountains, on the north by the north branch of the Saskatchewan River, on the east by Lake Winnipeg, Lake of the Woods and the waters connecting them".Lands reserved for the exclusive use of the Company under the one-twentieth allotment generally included sections eight and twenty-six in every fifth township (namely, townships five, ten, fifteen, etc.) and sections eight and the south half and the northwest quarter of section twenty-six in all the other townships.21 These lands, as well as those surrounding individual trading posts, were known as Hudson's Bay Company Lands or H.B.C. reserves. The Company was free to dispose of these lands at its pleasure.


Improvements: Any work or addition to land, costing labour or capital (cultivation, grading, draining, building construction, etc.), that increases its value or utility.

In Fee Simple: A individual is said to own the surface rights to land "in fee simple" if the ownership is without restriction on the rights of disposition. This is the highest and most ample right known to law.


Land Description: A description recognized under law by which property can be definitely located by reference to surveys or approved recorded plans.

Land Grant: A general term referring to the donation of public lands by the Crown to a subordinate government, a corporation, or an individual. The Dominion Lands Act offered a wide variety of such grants to colonization companies, the Hudson's Bay Company, railways (for right of ways and stations), municipalities (for communities and schools), religious organizations (for church sites and cemeteries), and homesteaders. The lands awarded to Métis residents of Manitoba under the Manitoba Act were often referred to as one type of specialized land grant, as were the lands awarded to non-Métis residents as a quarter-section homestead. Most land grants were numbered consecutively, according to the type of grant.22

Land Guide: An agent hired by the Department of the Interior to advise and to assist would-be settlers in finding a homestead. Land guides appear to have been paid on a commission basis and usually worked out of regional offices of the Dominion Lands Branch.

Letters Patent: An instrument issued by the Crown, granting or confirming rights to a portion of land. Letters Patent are issued as the first title to land. The instrument serves as proof that the land has passed from the public domain. Often referred to colloquially as "crown grant" or "deed" or "title deed".

Location: The act of choosing land and exchanging scrip for title (i.e., the Letters Patent) to the land.

Lot: A term loosely applied to timber lots, river lots, and townsite (or settlement) lots. It also refers to the 40-acre units into which some sections were divided. These lots were numbered separately and totaled 16 to a section.


Memorial: A document addressed to a legislative body by an individual(s) or corporation(s) containing a statement of facts, and often accompanied by a petition. Under the North-west Irrigation Act of 1894, any individual or company applying for irrigation rights was required to file a memorial with the Minister of the Interior. The memorial was to show the names and residences of the applicant and/or principle shareholders, a statement of financial standing, and details of the proposed irrigation project, including waters to be diverted, a description of lands to be irrigated, and a description of the works to be constructed. The memorial was also to include maps and plans of all irrigation works and lands affect by the project.23

Meridian: Strictly speaking, a meridian is a great circle on the surface of the earth that passes through the poles; they are numbered in degrees longitude. The Dominion Lands Branch established seven major meridians, which acted as base lines for surveying and numbering the townships. The first (or principal or prime) meridian was established on the international border, near Emerson, Manitoba, at 97° 27' 28'' longitude. Subsequent meridians were surveyed at consistent intervals along more regular longitudes. For example, the second meridian falls on the 102° longitude, the third on 106°, the forth on 110° (which also constitutes the Alberta-Saskatchewan border), the fifth on 114°, the sixth on 118° and the coast meridian on 122°.Homestead lands are described according to the last meridian which lies to the east of the township. Therefore, a homestead in western Saskatchewan, for example, is described as "W4M" or "W4" or west of the fourth meridian. Only lands located along the east side of the prime meridian and the east side of the coast meridian will take their description from the meridian along their west side. Therefore, a homestead near the Ontario-Manitoba border is described as located "EPM" or "E1" or east of the principle meridian.

MÉtis: The name used in Canada and some parts of the northern United States to described people of mixed North American Indian-European descent. Although mixed marriages occurred throughout much of the early history of Canada, it was in the North-West Territories that the Métis developed a distinct cultural identity. Historically, the name is synonymous with Country Born, Mixed Blood and Half-Breed. Most government documents dating from the late-nineteenth century use the latter term.

Military Scrip: See Scrip

Mineral Lands: Lands containing salt, petroleum, natural gas, coal, or minerals. Rights to these deposits were retained by the Crown and were not passed to the individual land owners on alienation. Rights to these deposits were leased separately under regulations established by the Governor in Council. Certain coal lands in Alberta could not be sold, leased or otherwise disposed of without special authority of the Parliament of Canada.24

Monument: A mark left by surveyors to establish a line, corner, or boundary of a surveyed parcel of land.


Order-in-council: " order of the Governor General by and with the advice and consent of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada. In fact, it is formulated by cabinet or a committee of Cabinet and formally approved by the governor general. Some orders simply make appointments. About a third are legislative, forming part of the law and enforceable by the courts. Most legislative orders are made under authority expressly conferred by Act of Parliament."25

Original White Settler: The term "Original White Settler" applied to residence of the Province of Manitoba who came into the Red River country between the years 1813 and 1835 under the auspices of Lord Selkirk. The term also applied to the children of these settlers.26


Patent: See Letters Patent.

Peace River Block: Because some lands within the Railway Belt were alienated by the British Columbia government prior to the transfer of the Railway Belt to the Dominion of Canada, the province compensated the federal government by awarding it a separate block of some 3,500,000 acres in the Peace River district of the east-central region of the province. This parcel of land became officially known as the "Peace River Block," and was generally subject to different rules and regulations under the Dominion Lands Act from other lands in western Canada.

Power of Attorney: An instrument authorizing a person to act as the agent of the person granting it.

Pre-Emption: At various times under the Dominion Lands Act, individual homesteaders were given the right to purchase a second, adjourning quarter section. This right was held before or in preference to any other person, but only if certain conditions could be met. The intent of this provision was to enable a settler to acquire property for the expansion of his agricultural operation, if he should be in a position to do so.

Privy Council: The "common name for the Queen's Privy Council of Canada, established under the Constitution Act, 1867, to advise the Crown. Privy councillors are appointed for life by the governor general on the prime minister's recommendation, ....The Cabinet, which has no statutory basis, acts formally as the Privy Council through Orders-in-Council issued in the name of the governor-in-council."27

Public Lands: Generally, lands acquired by the Government of Canada for public purposes other than defence. The lands are vested in the Crown in right of Canada, of which the Government of Canada has sole right of disposition.


Quarter Section: The basic unit (a quarter of a section) by which homestead lands throughout the North-West Territories were measured. It was also the basic unit on which homestead entries were based. A quarter section consisted of 160 acres (a quarter square mile) and were designated as: northwest quarter, northeast quarter, southwest quarter, and southeast quarter.

Quit Claim: A legal document by which a person relinquishes a legal claim to property when there is in fact no record of a right having been granted. Quit claims were often used in Manitoba where more than one family made claim to a particular river lot.


Red Backed Scrip: Scrip granting specific land to a Métis resident without requiring his or her presence at the given land upon its issuance. In some cases, the Department of the Interior excused that person from attendance when determining the location of the land if he or she had a valid reason. The term "red-backed scrip" derives from an explanatory note that was stamped in red ink on the verso of the document (i.e., the scrip).28

Reservations in Letters Patent: Pursuant to Order in Council P.C. 874 of April 25, 1871, all mine sites, as well as all mineral resources-whether in solid, liquid or gaseous form-were reserved by the Crown, and as such, withdrawn from ordinary sale or settlement as regards land grants for homesteaders. Such reservations of land were later confirmed by an amendment to the Dominion Lands Act.34 Afterwards, under Act 43 Vic., c. 26, s. 6, 1880, the provisions of the Dominion Lands Act no longer applied to surveyed or unsurveyed lands containing coal or other minerals and such lands were to be disposed of on such terms and conditions as may be fixed from time to time by the Governor-in-Council through regulations adopted to this end. The revised 1908 Dominion Lands Act stipulated that the Crown could temporarily transfer its rights to mineral deposits by leasing out lands containing these when such lands were purchased for farming, grazing or fodder, or lands for which the buyer was granted surface rights only. This transfer was possible with the proviso that an indemnity was paid to the landowner.30 At different times, such reservations were also issued by the Crown concerning land grants it set aside for wood harvesting, for land use rights of water and waterways, for hydropower generation and for road construction.31

Right of Way: The legal right of a party to pass through land belonging to another party. This term also designates the tract of land on which a railway company builds its rail line infrastructure; in this sense, the equivalent French term is "emprise" and refers to the land itself, not the right to pass through it.32

Road Allowance: A tract of land left between sections for road construction. Originally, road allowances measured 1.5 track links (99 feet) in width and extended along the four sides of each section. Subsequently, their width was reduced to 1 track link (66 feet) and two of the tracts of east-west land were no longer set aside for road construction. This allowed the Department of the Interior not only to realize significant savings on expenses related to surveying, but also to add some four million acres to the area to be subdivided into homesteads.33 Other cuts were also made to road allowances as land surveying in Western Canada advanced.


School Lands Grant: Lands set aside by the Dominion government for educational purposes. Usually the lands amounted to one-eighteenth of every surveyed township (i.e. sections 11 and 29). All revenue generated from the sale of these lands was to be invested by the Crown to help defray the costs of establishing a public school system throughout the North-West Territories and later the prairie provinces.

School Sites: Under the Dominion Lands Act, free land grants of one to three acres could be authorized for school site purposes by Order-in-Council.34" In 1911 this practice was changed and thereafter school sites applied for by School Districts, not exceeding an area of four acres fronting on a road allowance, were disposed of outright to the applicants at the rate of $10.00 an acre. Patentees of conditional schools sites previously obtained were permitted, upon reconveying the land to the Crown, to acquire their school sites unconditionally on the same terms, by purchasing at the rate of $10.00 an acre."35

Scrip: A document, warrant, or certificate that entitled the holder to a certain allotment of public lands. These certificates allowed the Department of the Interior to grant land without specifying the actual piece of land involved. Because some forms of scrip could be exchanged freely or could be bought and sold, it gave the holder the freedom to select a homestead within the special land grants, such as CPR or school lands. In other words, a holder of scrip was not restricted to selecting a homestead from only the Dominion Lands allotment. The holder of scrip, however, was restricted to selecting a homestead from the inventory of lands that had been properly surveyed and cadastered by a Dominion Lands Surveyor and were subsequently declared open for entry by a Dominion Lands office. At various times, scrip was issued to Métis residents (called Half-Breed Scrip in the records of the Department of the Interior), Original White Settlers, and members of the militia and the North-West Mounted Police.

Section: Thirty-six sections (numbered 1 to 36) make up a township. The sections are numbered starting in the southeast corner and ending in the northeast corner. Each section consists of 640 acres or one square mile. The sections, in turn, were divided into quarter sections of 160 acres each. The latter was the basic unit on which homestead entries were based.

Soldier Settlement Board: An agency established to administer the Soldier Settlement Act.36 The latter assisted veterans of the First World War in obtaining a free homestead or Soldier Grant of 160 acres. The Act also made provisions for loans up to $2,500 which could be applied against improvements or land purchases.

Soldier Grant: A free entry of Dominion Lands, granted by the Minister of the Interior, to a soldier settler on the recommendation of the Soldier Settlement Board.

Soldier Settler: A person who was engaged in active service during the First World War and who was eligible for a free homestead entry under the Soldier Settlement Act.37

Speculator: A term that was loosely applied to individuals who acquired land without any intention of settling on it. Speculators withdrew land from settlement until it had increased in value. Although the federal government enacted a number of regulations designed to restrict land speculation, it was unable to eliminate the practice completely.

Squatter: Anyone who settles on public land prior to its survey. Under the Dominion Lands Act, any squatter who was a bona fide resident of the land and who had made improvements had first rights to a homestead entry, provided the application was made within six months of the land being opened for entry.38 Most squatter's entries were accepted even if they conflicted with other grants, such as those assigned to the CPR, and those withdrawn for school lands. Squatter's entries were adjusted to the nearest quarter section and applied to an area no larger than a quarter section. Also see: Trespasser.

Staked Claim: A term often used in departmental correspondence to refer to river lots claimed by Manitoba Métis. The lots were generally located along the Rat, Salle, and Seine Rivers and were marked " the planting of two posts on the front of the lot near the bank of the river, one post for each limit....The locatees appear to have had very vague ideas of the direction in which their lots would lie, beyond a general impression that they would run back at right angles to the river."39 Since the locations were staked prior to the implementation of legal surveys by the Department of the Interior, the legal recognition of staked claims became a major issue between the federal government and Métis leaders. Several Half-Breed Commissions were formed by the federal government to deal with the issues.

Surveyor's Diary: A daily narrative kept by a Dominion Land Surveyor while conducting his surveys. They were used to draft the final survey plan and to compile the survey report. The information is usually technical in nature, but sometimes the surveyors recorded their observations on the landscape, people, settlements, etc. In a number of cases, these diaries constitute the earliest written description of some parts of western Canada.40

Swamplands: Under the terms of an 1885 Act of Parliament, all Dominion Lands in Manitoba that were under swamp or marsh were transferred to the province to "enure wholly to its benefit and uses".41 It was intended that the sale of these lands, once drained, would become an important source of revenue for the province, which had found itself in desperate fiscal need and without public lands as a source of revenue. The province disposed of some 850,000 acres under this agreement. In 1912, all unsold swamp lands were returned to the Dominion in lieu of other forms of subsidies.42 Swamp lands were transferred to the province under an Order-in-Council and were usually listed in the Statutes of Canada.


Timber Agent: The local officer of the Department of the Interior appointed to administer timber grants on Dominion Lands in certain regions of extensive timber development. Sometimes also referred to as crown timber agent.

Timber Belt: Under the original Dominion Lands Act, the term timber belt referred to a strip of timber along the shore of a lake, river, or water course.43 Also see wood lot.

Timber Berth: A parcel of land set aside under the Dominion Lands Act for the harvesting of its timber resources. The berth would be surveyed and would have precisely defined borders. Timber berths were usually leased to a specific company or individual for a specific period and an annual fee. The lease would entitle the leasee only to the removal of timber; no other form of occupation or resource extraction was permitted.

Timber Island: Under the original Dominion Lands Act, the term timber island referred to an isolated grove or clump of timber on the prairie.44 Also see wood lot.

Township: A basic unit of the cadastral system used across western Canada. A township measures six miles square and is composed of 36 sections, each of which measures one square mile. Townships are arranged in rows that run parallel to the international border. Each row is numbered progressively from the border, with the row closest to the border numbered 1, the second closest numbered two, etc. The townships in each row are, in turn, distinguished from one another by their distance or range from a meridian. The column of townships closest to the meridian are designated as range one, the second closest as range two, etc. Generally, the ranges are numbered from east to west, that is with the exception of the ranges on east side of the Principle Meridian and the east side of the Coast Meridian, which are numbered from west to east.

Township Plan: A map of a single township compiled by the Dominion Lands Branch from surveys by Dominion Land Surveyors. The plans were first published by the Department of the Interior in 1872, but with the disbandment of the department in 1936, production was passed to the provinces. Township plans were legal documents that provided a graphic description of the land referred to in the Letters Patent. A township could only be opened for homesteading after it had been properly surveyed and a township plan filed in the local Dominion Lands Office. The plans were also practical for intending homesteaders since they provided information which helped in the selection of a homestead. Most plans were published at 1:126,720 (or two inches to the mile) and classified the land into prairie, timber, and swamps. They also showed such geographical features as creeks, lakes, ponds, trails, and major changes in elevation. Successive editions of the plans record changes and corrections to the survey, as well as refined observation.45

Townsite Lots: Under the provision of 35 Vic., c. 23, s. 32, 1872, the Secretary of State (in 1873 this change to the Minister of the Interior) was allowed to withdraw from homestead entry "any tract or tracts of land which may be considered by him expedient to lay out into Town or Village Plots, and to cause the same to be surveyed and laid out, and the lots so laid out to be sold, either by private sale and for such price as he may see fit, or at public auction." In 1908 this provision was replaced by 7-8 Edw., vii, c. 20, s. 36, which authorized only the Governor in Council to withdraw lands for townsite purposes. The terms and conditions for the disposal of these lands were only to be set in each case by the Governor in Council.

Transfer: An act by which the title to property is conveyed from one person to another.46 "Note that when the Dominion transferred its lands to the company grants (e.g., CPR, HBC), it did not usually give them a patent for the lands. Rather, the first title was issued to the first buyer of the land by the Dominion. In theory, the company grant lands were Dominion lands assigned to the company for disposal.In practice, statute law gave the companies the equivalent of a title to the lands."47

Trespasser: Under the Dominion Lands Act, anyone who settles on land after it has been surveyed, and without applying for an entry, maybe ejected as a trespasser and any improvements that had been made to the land would be forfeited to the Crown.48 Also see squatter.


Works: Under the North-West Irrigation Act the term "works" means any "dykes, dams, weirs, flood-gates, breakwaters, drains, ditches, basins, reservoirs, canals, tunnels, bridges, culverts, cribs, embankments, headworks, flumes, aqueducts, pipes, pumps and any contrivance for carrying or conducting water or other works ... which are authorized to be constructed under the provisions of the Act."49

Wood Lot: Under the original Dominion Lands Act, wood lots (i.e. timber islands and timber belts) were reserved for the benefit of the homesteader. Regulations regarding the use of timber were intended to assist the homesteader and to prevent the monopoly of this resource. The Act enable the Crown to divide timber belts of 25 acres of more into wood lots of not less than 10 acres and not more than 20 acres. Each quarter section farm would be given one of these wood lots, provided the homestead did not already have timber growing on it. The wood lot attached to the homestead was considered a free gift, and was meant for the personal use of the homesteader. If any of the timber was sold to a mill or to another settler, the homesteader could be prosecuted for trespassing.


9. Henry C. Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed., (St. Paul, 1979), p. 54.

10. 33 Vic., c. 3, 1870 and 37 Vic., c. 20, 1874.

11. 35 Vic., c. 23, s. 32, 1872.

12. N.O. Coté, "Administration and Sale of Dominion Lands Claims under the Manitoba Act, Half-Breed Claims and Letters Patent for Dominion Lands, 1871-1930" (Ottawa, 1931), p. 8; in NA, RG 15, vol. 2115.

13. P.C. 2297, 4 November, 1922.

14. Authority for these withdrawals was granted by P.C. 2424, 26 December, 1882.

15. P.C. 423, 17 December, 1881.

16. 35 Vic., c. 23, 1872.

17. 57-58 Vic., c. 31, 1894.

18. 7-8 Geo. v, c. 36, 1917.

19. 35 Vic., c. 23, s. 34, 1872.

20. 35 Vic., c. 23, s. 35, 1872.

21. 7-8 Edw. vii, c. 20, s. 44, 1908.

22. Various registers and indexes documenting different types of land grants awarded by the Crown are retained by Library and Archives Canada in RG 15, series D III 23 (Aperture Card Books 157 to 202).

23. 57-58 Vic., c. 30, s. 12-13, 1894.

24. R.S., 1927, c. 113, s. 35.

25. James H. Marsh, ed., The Canadian Encyclopedia , 2n ed., (Edmonton, 1988), p. 1584.Orders-in-Council relating to the administration and organization of the Department of the Interior are retained in NA, RG 15, series A 4c, see finding aid FA15-2.Orders-in-Council relating exclusively to the administration of Métis scrip were compiled by N.O. Coté, Registrar of Dominion Lands Patents, and are available to researchers in NA, RG 15, vol. 227, file: "Orders in Council Respecting Claims of the Half Breeds of Manitoba and the North-West Territories Comprising Provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta in Extinguishment of the Indian Title, 1871 to 1911, Revised to 1929".

26. 36 Vic., c. 37, 1873.

27. James H. Marsh, ed., The Canadian Encyclopedia, p. 1763.

28. Memo to Weld, 18 July, 1919, NA, RG 15, vol. 1128, file 3850452, pt. 4.

29. 35 Vic., c. 23, s. 36, 1872.

30. 7-8 Edw. vii, c. 20, s. 37, 1908.

31. The reservations and provisions that the Crown placed in Letters Patent were authorized under a complex series of Statutes and Orders-in-Council.As well, the reservations often differed according to the location of the grant (i.e., whether it was located in the Railway Block, Peace River Block, west of the 3rd Meridian, etc.).For a more complete listing of these authorities see N. O. Coté, "Procedure Followed by the Department of the Interior in the Preparation and Issue of Letters Patent for Dominion Lands, 1883-1929", in NA, RG 15, vol. 2114.

32. Henry C. Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 6th ed., (St. Paul, 1990), p. 1326.

33. Canada. Department of the Interior, Annual Report of the Department of the Interior for the Year 1883 (Ottawa, 1884), part II, p. 9.

34. 35 Vic., c.23, s. 32, 1872.

35. see N.O. Coté, "Administration and Sale of Dominion Lands Claims...", p. 8.

36. 7-8 Geo. v, c. 21, 1917.

37. Ibid.

38. R.S. 1927, c. 113, s. 10.

39. Canada. Department of the Interior, Annual Report of the Department of the Interior for the Year 1885, (Ottawa, 1875), p. xviii.

40. The surveyors' diaries relating to lands transferred to Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and British Columbia under the resource transfer agreement of 1930 were turned over to the appropriate province by the Legal Surveys and Aeronautical Charts Division, Department of Mines and Technical Surveys, in 1959. The diaries pertaining to Alberta lands were turned over to the Provincial Archives of Alberta by Library and Archives Canada in 1979. A complete list of the latter group can be found in NA, RG 88, series A 1 4a.Diaries pertaining to federal lands (National Parks, Indian Reserves, etc.) are still retained by the Legal Surveys Division, Natural Resources Canada.

41. 48-49 Vic., c 50, 1885.

42. Chester Martin, "Dominion Lands" Policy, Lewis H. Thomas, ed. (Toronto, 1973), pp. 173-178.

43. 35 Vic., c. 23, s. 1, 1872.

44. Ibid.

45. Library and Archives Canada retains approximately 25,000 township plans of the three Prairie provinces, the Railway Belt, and the Peace River Block in British Columbia.A summary of some of these holdings was compiled some years ago by Guy Poulin in Index to Township Plans of the Canadian West (Ottawa, 1974).

46. Henry C. Black, Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed., p. 1342.

47. D.M. Loveridge, "An Introduction to the Study of Land and Settlement Records."In A Guide to the Study of Manitoba Local History, by Gerald Friesen and Barry Potyondi, pp. 101-141 ([Winnipeg], 1981), p. 128.

48. R.S., 1927, c. 113, s. 10.

49. 57-58 Vic., c. 30, s. 2, 1894.