Department of Indian Affairs, Headquarters central registry system : registers, indices and indexed registers

Available reels: 236

Document Record

Canada. Dept. of Indian Affairs
Department of Indian Affairs, Headquarters central registry system : registers, indices and indexed registers
RG 10 B 3 g
Atlantic Canada
Western Canada
Document source
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
In 1755, the British Crown established the British Indian Department, and responsibility for Indian Affairs rested on the Superintendents of Indian Affairs from 1755 to 1841. After 1843, the Governors General held control of Indian Affairs, but usually delegated much of their responsibility to a series of Civil Secretaries. In 1860, the responsibility for Indian affairs was transferred from the government of Great Britain to the Province of Canada and the responsibility for Indian Affairs was given to the Crown Lands Department Commissions Responsible for Indian Affairs. The responsibility for Indian Affairs rested with various government departments between 1873 and 1966. The Minister of the Interior also held the position of Superintendent General of Indian Affairs after the Indian Affairs Department was established in 1880. From 1950 to 1965, the Indian Affairs portfolio was carried by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. In October 1966, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development was created. Today, the department is known as Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
This collection consists of letter registers, indices and indexed registers to incoming correspondence from both eastern and western Canada of the central registry system. In common with many federal agencies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Department of Indian Affairs headquarters central record filing system was based upon the process of registration. Incoming letters to the Department were registered upon receipt before being placed on a file. The registers record the date of the incoming letter, the date of its receipt, name of correspondent, a brief précis of the subject, and an indication of action taken and the number of the file to which the letter was consigned. The registers constituted important tools for the departmental recordkeepers in locating and retrieving filed documents. In effect, the registers provide a record of incoming letters put on file in the Red, Black, and succeeding file series up to 1962. They are especially useful today in reconstructing the contents of files which have been destroyed.
Some of the material in this collection has not been microfilmed, and is not presented here.