Memo Recommends Abolishment of Tribal System

Following the 1885 resistance, Assistant Commissioner Hayter Reed issued a memo that classified bands into “loyal” and “disloyal,” corresponding with a system of reward and punishment for loyalty or disloyalty. The memo also advocated for the abolishment of the tribal system for all bands, loyal or disloyal - when Reed became the Indian Commissioner in 1888, he put his policy of tribal system abolishment – “severalty” – into place on a large scale. This policy contributed to the political disintegration of First Nations.


McCord Museum, McGill University, Reed Papers, “Address,” 30. Canadian House of Commons, Sessional Papers, vol. 23, no. 12 (1889), 165.

Other Note

See also: Hayter Reed appointed Indian Commissioner; Introduction of Severalty policy.

For more information on "severalty" policies, please read "Lost Harvests: Prairie Indian Reserve Farmers and Government Policy."
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