David Leask to Frederick Chesson, 10 September 1886, C140/77

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Leask, David


Indigenous person







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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C140-77


Metlakahtla British Columbia
10th September 1886

Dear Sirs,

We received your very kind and welcome letter of the 30th July 1886. The letter reached us the same day when another party of surveyors landed here sent specially by the Government to survey our land.

We cannot express how glad and thankful we were to receive such a letter of comforting words from unknown true friends just at the time when troubles assailed us.

Your effort and endeavours in your good work to obtain justice for us as appears in your letter are a comfort to us, we hope and pray that God will use you as His instrument that justice may now be granted to the aborigines of British Columbia in regard to their lands.

The surveyors who were sent by the Government did not consult us what they were about to do. They went to put stakes on our land without our consent. To this their work we cannot agree and so we have prevented them from using their instruments on our land. It is now fully two weeks since this sad work started among us. Every fine day the surveyors attempt to work, but we quietly stop them from going their work. In spite of our endeavours against their surveying the land they say that they will keep on doing it because they were sent by the Government.

Many Indians from other tribes have come to the place where they are attempting to survey. Most of our people were away fishing and doing other work when the surveyors came, now they begin to come and leave their work, some have come from a good distance when this sad news reached them. The number of Indians are increasing daily at the surveyors encampment.

Dear Sirs, a strong feeling is in our minds not to give up nor surrender our land to the Government in the way they are wanting it. Our wish and desire about these lands is that a treaty should be made, and portions of land be made sure for our children. God had given this land to us and we feel sure that it cannot be taken away from us by just laws. We trust and pray that God according to His own word will give you His Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen you to defend the oppressed.

Signed on behalf of the people of Metlakahtla
David Leask