Hon. CHARLES A. STEWART (Argen-teuil) (Minister of the Interior) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 172, to amend the Indian Act.
He said: We propose to include the control of the Eskimos under the Indian Act. That is the only innovation in the legislation. The Eskimos now require some supervision, and it was thought wise that they should come under the control of the Indian Act and under the supervision of the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs.
We are amending the act in connection with the care of property of insane Indians and making some amendments with respect to the disposition of deceased Indians' property.
Another rather important amendment to the act is one dealing with the cancellation of land sales. The House will remember that two years ago we passed a validating clause in connection with the cancellation of leases as affecting their timber, mining, and so forth. We find that the same difficulty has been encountered in connection with the leasing of lands belonging to the Indians; and where sales have taken place of Indian lands and as
frequently happens, there has been failure to complete the sale, there has been some doubt whether or not the department has taken all precautions necessary to validate the cancellation of the sale or lease. We are taking power to do so up to date.
With respect to enfranchisement, we have had some difficulty in connection with the amendment of 1920, and we propose to cure the difficulty that exists in connection with the enfranchisement provisions of the 1920 amendment to the Indian Act.