Law:St. Regis Islands Act

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S.c. 1926-27, c. 37

Assented to 1927-03-31

An Act to provide for special control by the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs of certain islands in the St. Lawrence river being part of the St. Regis Indian reservation

PreambleWHEREAS the St. Regis band of Indians situated at the village of St. Regis, in the township of Dundee, county of Huntingdon, in the province of Quebec, hold certain islands in the river St. Lawrence, between the town of Prescott and the village of Lancaster, as part of their Reserve; and whereas over a century ago the chiefs and headmen of the said band purported to grant leases of a number of the said islands, or portions of islands, in consideration of a nominal rental, for terms of ninety-nine years with covenants for renewals of the said leases for further periods of ninety-nine years; and whereas in the interest of the Indians of the said band, the Crown has taken action in the courts to have these alleged leases declared null and void and has already succeeded in recovering what are known as Lewis island, Snyder island and Thompson or Macmaster island; and whereas actions are still pending in respect of Thomas or Hamilton island, and what is known as the Easterbrook farm on Cornwall island; and whereas it is considered that the revenues to be derived from these islands maintained in their scenic beauty and leased for summer resorts or agricultural purposes, would be of much greater benefit to the band than they would derive from having these islands thrown open to the Indians generally resulting in the groves of timber being cut down and removed for firewood, as has happened with many other islands, rendering them non-productive as summer resorts: Therefore His Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:—

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the St. Regis Islands Act.

Superintendent to have power to deal with certain islands

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of the Indian Act to the contrary, the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs shall have full power to deal with the said Thompson or Macmaster Island, Lewis Island, Snyder Island, also Thomas or Hamilton Island and the Easterbrook farm, in the event of the leases under which they are held being declared by the courts to be null and void, and also any other island or islands belonging to the St. Regis band which are not held under location ticket or under any recognized interest by individual members of the band, in any way that may be deemed to be in the best interests of the band, and may for such purpose grant leases, licenses or other concessions without the necessity of obtaining a surrender to the said islands from the band.

Consent of Superintendent required for occupation, etc.

3. No Indian or other person shall without the consent of the Superintendent General, expressed in writing, use or occupy any part of the said islands or cut, carry away or remove from the said islands any of the trees, saplings, shrubs, underwood or other material whatsoever.

Penalty

4. Any one violating the provisions of the preceding section shall be liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months nor less than one month, or to a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars with costs of prosecution and in default of immediate payment to a term of imprisonment not exceeding three months.


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