How did the Dominion Indian Schools originate?


How did the Dominion Indian Schools originate?

Under the British North American Act in 1867, those First Nations of Canada and the lands reserved for them became a responsibility of the Dominion Government.  Subsequently, the Act of the Canadian Parliament 1873, set out the Minister of the Interior as the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs.  This Department of Indian Affairs as set out in the 1915 Canada Year Book "is the advancement of the Indian in the arts of civilization."

In September of 1879, Lieutenant Governor Archibald of Manitoba set out a Treaty with North West Indians.  Amongst the terms, "Her Majesty agrees to maintain a school in each reserve whenever the Indians desire it" from the Canada Year Book 1872.  In the second treaty for those Indians north and west of the province of Manitoba, the terms of the second treaty be the same as those with the Manitoba Indians.  

Educational facilities were set out for educational advantages by providing day schools, boarding schools, and industrial schools.  1,293 students attended Indian schools by 1913, and 1,339 in 1914.   By 1915, there were 670 boys, 705 girls for a total of 1,375 pupils in attendance for the province of Saskatchewan in Indian Schools. This number stayed about the same for 1916, showing an enrolment of 1,396, and 1,395 the following year and dropping to 1,352 in 1919 and 1,299 by 1920.

In 1945, the administration of Indian Affairs is a mandate of the Indian Affairs Branch of the Department of Mines and Resources.  Across Canada there were 349 Indian Schools in operation for 1943-1944 including 75 residential schools, and 258 day schools.  These were supplemented with combined public and Indian schools.

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