Letter to John Diefenbaker from Percy A. Paull
419 West 3rd Street,
North Vancouver, B.C.,
February 24, 1961.
Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker
Dear Honourable Sir:
In your letter of the 5th of November, you state the Federal vote does not effect the treaty right of the Indians.
The Indians in British Columbia have no treaty, and we will not vote as things stand here in British Columbia.
The Indians feel that there is a well organized effort to justify the laws which will, without pain, wipe out the Indian treaties and aboriginal rights.
To the Indian there is no other way ofllooking [sic] at it according to an Indian patriarch. If the Indian wants to vote in the Federal elections, he must surrender his inherit rights to exemption of income on money he earns on the Indian Reserves. [Diefenbaker’s handwriting: "?"]
In the year 1920, the Parliament of Canada, by a bill, adopted a report of the Royal Commission of Indian Affairs in British Columbia, in which it was stipulated that the British Columbia Government could adopt a report by an Order-in-Council provided it was in keeping with the report of the Royal Commission. The Order-in-Council 1036 contravenes the report of the Royal Commission should be examined by a Royal Commission or a Judicial tribuanal [sic].
I’ll quote in part of Order-in-Council:
“Subject to the condition in the event of any Indian tribe or band in British Columbia at some future time becoming extinct the land would revert to the provincial and become provincial land.”
And a month ago the British Columbia Court of Appeal decision was given on a North Vancouver Indian who was in possession of a case of beer:
“That the Bill of Rights does not void the Indian Act and it mentions that it does not void according to Honourable Minister Ellen Fairclough.” Order-in-Council 1036.”
[Diefenbaker’s handwriting: “?”]
What we British Columbia Indians want to know, Sir, is will we become extinct Indians or tribes or bands by voting in the federal elections. [Diefenbaker’s handwriting: “No.”]
Percy A. Paull [signature]
Percy A. Paull