Broadview Petition for Crooked Lakes Land Sale


Some 200 citizens of Broadview sent a petition to Ottawa to open up the sale of a three-mile stretch of land in the Crooked Lakes reserve, claiming it was impeding the growth of the town. This petition followed one penned in 1891 by Broadview residents urging the government to open reserve land for settlement.

Euro-Canadian citizens internalized colonial narratives perpetuated by the government and media as it related to the rights of non-Indigenous people to occupy the lands of "uncivilized" or "barbaric" peoples. One underlying tenet of this Western philosophy of non-Indigenous expansion, domination and control was the Lockean belief that land must be "productive", that is, properly cultivated in a European agricultural manner. As well, such land must be commoditized and subdivided into plots of ownership that could be individually owned, allowing for participation in the capitalist, cash-based economy as the value of the land was leveraged through mortgaging and/or the fruits of agricultural labor sold for a profit. Those who did not participate in Western systems of capitalistic commoditization were deemed "uncivilized," thus necessitating their assimilation through oppressive government policy and sequestration on small reserves.

RG 10, vol. 3732, file 26,623, Petition from the Residents of Broadview and Whitewood,1902; J.D McLean to Rev. J.G Stephens, 2 April 1902.