Little Red River Reserve Lumber Removal Request


A.J Bell of the Sturgeon Lake Lumber Company requested permission to remove fallen and standing lumber from the Little Red River Reserve. Bell asked permission from the Montreal Lake band, who were uncertain and granted their Indian Agent authority to make the decision about the lumber question. However, band members living on the Little Red River Reserve were not consulted, nor were Lac La Ronge members. There was confusion over which band had control over this reserve land.

Decisions over the use of this land were made by band members living far away from the land and the Indian agent officials. The implications of these decisions over lumber and land use, however, had the greatest impact for those living on the lands in question - who were not adequately consulted. In making this lumber clearing deal, profits from the lumber were awarded only to Montreal Lake band, not Lac La Ronge. Further, this illustrates the problematic nature of paternalistic and complicated bureaucratic practices of the Department of Indian Affairs. The policies of consultation and division of jurisdiction were unclear and inadequate - not only resulting in a misdirection of the profits to the wrong band/reserve, but also providing exemplifying recurring problems associated with colonial control over Indigenous affairs.

LAC, RG-10, C12112, Vol. 7839, File 30107-4, Frank Pedley, Deputy Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, Ottawa to James Macarthur, Indian Agent at Mistawasis, 3 July 1903; Indian Agent's Office, Carlton Agency, 249831; James Hines to Indian Commissioner, 8 August 1904.