(Note, this issue 2 pages only)
INDIANS IN LOWER CANADA.
In the legislature of Lower Canada, on the 15th inst. Mr. Nelson presented a petition from the Lorrette Indians, representing their claims upon the seigned (sic) of Sillery, and praying redress. It was couched in respectful terms and, though coming from those we call savages, stated their hard case clearly and well. It was upon a well known subject of that conmlian (sic), had been agitated a great number of years, and had even, as a dernier resort, induced the poor Indians to send a mission to His Majesty George IV where they got fair words, gold medal, 'c. But were referred back for justice to the very usurpers of their property,-the Colonial Government. The property was included in that belonging to the Jesuits Estates, and now that those had been given up to the province, they came to claim the rights that had been wrested from their forefather.- They represented the miserable plight they were in. They were not only debarred from receiving that instruction for which the grant was originally made, which would advance them in the scale of civilization, but for want of their inheritance, the most robust young men, and the most industrious women amongst them could with great difficulty procure a bare subsistence. Mr. Smart, considered this petition to be one of a public character. Nothing could be more so than anything relating to the conduct and connections between the red men of the forest and the descendants of the Europeans. Is it because they are poor and few in number that we are not to listen to them? Our ancestors, listened to their ancestors, because they were numerous and powerful; but now these poor red men of the forest, whose property we are enjoying, by what right he did not enquire, for he did not mean to enter into the merits of the petition, are to be put off on account of an informality. He thought this was distinctly and plainly a public petition and ought to be received as such.
Mr. Speaker said, with respect to the reception of the petition, that had it been a general representation from the whole body of Indians, it would then have been a public petition, but this was from a particular set of men, claiming particular lands. But he thought the rules in this case should not be followed up to the utmost rigor, and as it appeared to be the general sense of the House that the petition should be received, he should not, for his part, object to it. The petition was then received and referred to a Committee of five.