Laurier Government Gives Itself Power to Claim Reserve Land

The federal government of Wilfred Laurier gave itself the power to take reserve land without consent if it was “needed for public purposes.” This land seizure was justified by the unnecessarily large size of some reserves, especially considering the drop in reserve populations. The Superintendent General was also given permission to remove bands from their reserve or any part of it, if it was in the interest of the public or the Indians, and if the reserve adjoins or is situated wholly or partly within an incorporated town or city having a population of not less than eight thousand.

Other Note

Please see attached PDF document for Indian Act amendment concerning this event.

In giving themselves this power over reserve lands, the federal government contravened the Indian Act. Federal officials were aware that this practice consisted an infringement upon the Treaty rights of First Nations peoples, but proceeded anyways. This behaviour was in fact illegal and displayed the government's disregard to uphold agreements between them and First Nations peoples.
Rural or Urban
Start Date
File Description
An Act to Amend the Indian Act: 1-2 George V, Chapt. 14, 11th Parliament, 3rd Session