Reorganization of Indian Agencies


Sub-division of agencies -- detachment of Fort Pitt (Onion Lake) from Battleford, detachment of Moose Mountain from Birtle, and division of Treaty 4 agency into Touchwood Hills, File Hills, Muscowpetung's Assiniboine, and Crooked Lake agencies.

These divisions hoped to make the work of administering the agencies more efficient, as there would be more officials to deal with First Nations individually. Furthermore, it was rationalized that the subdivision would limit the need for those on reserve to leave so as to speak to their Indian agent, better controlling their movement. From a bureaucratic perspective, the government argued that whereas before they would make a long list of grievances and then have to travel to meet with their agent, the agent under this new system would be available to address issues as they arise. Whether Indian Agents effectively addressed grievances, however, is another issue. As well, this would prevent the potential for fomentation of grievances and raising of communal political awareness amongst Indigenous peoples, thereby circumventing the possibility of political organization. The government wanted to minimize the replication of an event like the Riel Resistance.