Changes to Indian Relief Funding

In 1934, the Department of Indian Affairs introduced relief funding caps which were tied to family size. This created a universal value scale, and was the first major change to relief funding since the relief scale had been put in place. In a circular to all Indian Agents dated 10 February 1934, A.F. MacKenzie authorizes the agents "to place on food relief Indians who are indigent and who are unable to obtain employment at the following rates: minimum allowance ($4/month), 2 or 3 persons in the same family ($6/month), 4, 5 or 6 persons in the same family ($7/month), 7 and 8 persons in the same family ($9/month), 9 and 10 persons in the same family ($10/month). Add $1.00 supplementary for each person in a family above ten persons. Please furnish the Department with a list of those Indians who are receiving relief in excess of the above rates at the end of each month, showing number in family and amount of expenditure."

Other Note

1934 would have fallen in the middle of the great depression, meaning that relief and assistance for families would have been extremely dire during this period.

Result
The government implementing funding caps would have been counteractive to the fiduciary duty that the federal government had to Indigenous peoples, relief and aid was meant to be provided to indiscriminately to Indigenous peoples as agreed upon. By capping the funding, the Canadian Government was not fulfilling their fiduciary duty.
Rural or Urban
both
Start Date
1934-02-00
Community