Petition of Rights, 1884 Canadian Northwest ------------------------ To His Excellency the Governor General of Canada, in Council. We, the undersigned, your humble petitioners, would respectfully submit to Your Excellency in Council, the following as our grievances: 1. that the Indians are so reduced that the settlers in many localities are compelled to furnish them with food, partly to prevent them from dying at their door, partly to preserve the peace of the Territory; 2. that the Half-breeds of the Territory have not received 240 acres of land, each, as did the Manitoba Half- breeds; 3. that the Half-breeds who are in possession of tracts of land have not received patents therefor; 4. that the old settlers of the N.W.T. have not received the same treatment as the old setters of Manitoba; 5. that the claims of settlers on odd numbers, prior to survey, and on reserves, prior to the proclamation of such reserves, are not recognized; 6. that settlers on cancelled claims are limited to eighty acres Homestead and eight acres of pre-emption; 7. that settlers are charged more than one dollar per acre for their pre-emptions; 8. that settlers are charged dues on timber, rails and firewood required for home use; 9. that custom duties are levied on the necessaries of life; 10. that settlers are not allowed to perform the required amount of breaking and cropping on their pre-emption, in lieu of their Homestead, when, as frequently happens in the vicinity of wooded streams, it is convenient to have farm buildings and grain fields on separate quarter sections; 11. that purchasers of claims from bona fide settlers who have not completed the required time of actual residence, do not get credit for the term of actual residence, by sellers; 12. that contracts for public works and supplier are not let in such a manner as to confer upon North West producers as large a benefit as they might derive therefrom, consistent with efficiency; 13. that public buildings are often erected on sites little conducive to the economical transaction of public business; 14. that no effective measures have yet been taken to put the people of the North West in direct communication with the European Markets, via Hudson's Bay; 15. that settlers are exposed to coercion at elections, owing to the fact that votes are not taken by ballot; 16. that while your petitioners wish to give the eastern government every credit for the excellent liquor regulations which obtain in the N.W.T. yet they must express their anxiety, lest those beneficial restrictions should be loosed, more especially as the country is sparsely settled and the Indians numerous and dissatisfied; . . . 17. ................... (h) that the N.W.T. although having a population of 60,000, are not yet granted responsible government, as was Manitoba, when she had less than 12,000 of a population; (i) that the N.W.T. and its Premier Province are not yet represented in the Cabinet, as are the Eastern Provinces; (j) that the North West is not allowed the administration of its resources as are the eastern Provinces and British Columbia. In submitting this as a fundamental grievance, your petitioners would disclaim any intention of defrauding the Federal Government of the Monies which they may have contributed to the improvement of the N.W. In Conclusion, your petitioners would respectfully state that they are treated neither according to their privileges as British subjects nor according to the rights of people and that consequently as long as they are retained in those circumstances, they can be neither prosperous nor happy; Your humble petitioners are of opinion that the shortest and most effectual methods of remedying these grievances would be to grant the N.W.T. responsible government with control of its own resources and just representation in the Federal Parliament and Cabinet. Wherefor your petitioners humbly pray that your excellency in Council would be pleased to cause the introduction, at the coming session of Parliament, for a measure providing for the complete organization of the District of Saskatchewan as a province, and that they be allowed as in/70, to send Delegates to Ottawa with their Bill of rights; whereby an understanding may be arrived at as to their entry into confederation, with the constitution of a free province, And your humble Petitioners will not cease to pray. Source: Canada, Department of Interior, Dominion Lands Branch, File No. 83808.