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Government and Private Records on First Nation Matters

New Brunswick was created in 1784 and the bulk of government and private records located at the PANB dealing with the administration of Mi'gmaq and Maliseet First Nations date from that year. 

At the PANB there are copies of First Nation records prior to 1784 in the following collections:

1713 MC2693 The submission and agreement of Eastern Indians;
1725, 1752 MC705 Alvah Good Papers in MS6E and MS4;
1749 MC188 Indian Treaty;
  MC300 York-Sunbury Historical Society 1725 - 1902 in MS56
  St. Marys Reserve in MS2/128
  Big Cove Reserve in MS19/10

For additional information on the years before 1784, contact the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management (NSARM).

To aid researchers, staff at the PANB have gone through various collections at that institution and have located, organized and microfilmed many letters, reports and other material dealing with the Mi'gmaq and Maliseet First Nations and have created an Indian Documentation Collection Inventory (RS965).  A copy can be viewed in the Reference Area at the PANB and a duplicate is available on microfilm F16196 that can be borrowed on interlibrary loan.

Indian Documentation Collection Inventory (RS965)

Contains interesting data on a wide variety of topics.  Community life, population size, the state of health of First Nation people and the appointment and removal of chiefs were discussed.  Other matters dealt with were the planning and surveying of designated land parcels, the leasing and sale of designated land parcels, timber berths and mill sites.  There were complaints about non-First Nation people illegally squatting on First Nation land parcels, cutting timber, grass and hay or damaging First Nation fishing grounds.  Many letters involve the Indian Commissioners and deal with financial matters such as accounts, annual grants, gifts to chiefs, aid for sick, aged and destitute individuals, money for seeds, potatoes and other farming supplies.  There are letters pertaining to the effects of the Indian Act of 1844 and the creation of an Indian Reserve Fund.  Information is available on the payment of Roman Catholic missionaries and the construction of chapels and schools.

The materials in this collection are grouped according to the Record Series (RS) where they are filed.  The titles of the RS are included to give the researcher some indication of provenance.  The documents grouped under the various RS have been ordered chronologically and microfilm reel numbers noted.  A description of each document is provided to assist the researcher.  The permanent archival reference is also noted:
The inventory lists the following collections:

RS9 Executive Council: Cabinet Meeting Records. 

1838-1848  reel F16196
1849-1862  reel F16197
1863-1891  reel F16198

This collection includes material that was formerly in RS7 and RS8 Records of the Executive Council: Indian Records listed in the Subject index to government records.  One can find a copy of RS7 on microfilm reel F1701 and RS8 is on reels F7893-F7897.

RS24 Sessional Records of the House of Assembly. 

1786-1833 reel F16198
after 1833 consult the RS24 inventory

RS1 Journals of the House of Assembly

1838 to 1860 check the inventory under "Appendixes and Tables" for a number of reports on designated land parcels.

RS76 Minister of Justice and Attorney General. 

1830-1850 reel F16198

RS108 Land Petitions: Original Series. 

1783-1918 Hundreds of petitions have been microfilmed and are listed on pages to 39 to 46 in the RS965 inventory.

RS272 Land Petitions: Current Series.

1832-1966 reel F16198.

RS557 Provincial Secretary: Indian Administration Records. 

Sub-series A to C reel F16199
Sub-series C to D reel F16264
Sub-series E reel F16265
Sub-series E to M reel F16266

Contain copies of documents from RS336, RS343, RS345, RS346, RS347, RS348, RS350 and RS352.

RS336, RS343, RS345, RS346, RS347, RS348, RS350 and RS352 contain copies of documents for the various lieutenant governors listed in the Subject index to government records.

RS416 Records of the Office of Premier Louis J. Robichaud

  1964 Youth and Welfare
#306 Indian Affairs: 1965 Youth and Welfare
#298 Indian Affairs: 1968 Youth and Welfare
#365 Indian Affairs: 1969 Cultural Affairs
#87 Union of New Brunswick Indian : 1970 Cultural Affairs
#61 Indian  

RS637/29 Surveyor General Records.

Sub-series A to D reel F16267
Sub-series D to M reel F16268

RS663 Timber and Sawmill Records

1785-1963 E12 Correspondence,
1841-1865 Indian Timber Reserves,

RS656 Crown Lands maps and plans

Indian  Reserves Flat Book, 1840-1920 Contains maps and plans prepared by the Department of Crown Lands (Natural Resources and Energy).  These show many details concerning the location and topography of designated land parcels.  A copy of this book is on microfilm reel F8911.  Researchers should also check microfilm reel F11886 for a copy of the subject card index of the cartographic collections section at the PANB under the heading Indian   lands .

RS106 Records of the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Energy

1752 file A.9 treaty with the Mi'gmaq First Nation
1929-1936, 1945  file B.1.f.3 First Nation correspondence

RS310 Historic Sites Branch Records, 1968-1984

C1.27, D1 and D6 archaeology,
C1.33 and C8.4 Indian publications,
F4.16 basketry
F4.13 N.B. Association of Métis and Non-status Indians

RS134 Government House Restoration Project Records

B.4 First Nation land claim
B.7 archaeology
C.34.h. photographs of the plans by D.M. Jamer showing the First Nation burial ground in 1933.
F.15  draft of a report titled Recommendation for appropriate protection and enhancement of the BI burial ground at Old Government House, November 1985.

RS136 Records of the Deputy Minister of Department of Health

L5.b 1918-1919 Indian Epidemic Disease Control (L): Influenza (L.5)

RS720 York County Board of Health Records

B.1  1833, 1834 Indian Committee Reports of outbreaks of typhoid.

RS184 New Brunswick Museum Records

reel 11084 three files under the heading Indian that deal with handicrafts, legends and treaties.

RS419 Records of the City of Fredericton

C/20  1970-1973 Indian affairs

RS231 Task Force on Social Development Records

This collection holds at least three references to First Nation matters:

A23/2 Meeting with Union of New Brunswick Indian
B2/22 Union of New Brunswick Indian 25 Feb. 1971 (submission)
G108 Task Force, Fredericton, 25 Feb 1971, Meeting with New Brunswick Indian People.


In addition to government documents, there are a number of private sector records that may contain information of interest to researchers.  One should check the Title index to private sector records and the Subject guide to microfilm under the headings aboriginal peoples, Maliseets and Micmacs .  A list of several interesting collections follows:

MC2344 Maillard Collection: Micmac Indians 

The work of a Jesuit priest, these are some of the earliest documents held by PANB, and provide insight to the Mi'gmaq language with translations of scriptures into Mi'gmaq and portions of a Mi'gmaq dictionary.

MC659 Joshua Winslow Diary

March-December 1750 is an account of an expedition against the Acadians and their encounters with the First Nations during the war.

MC705 Alvah Good Collection in MS2B/12

A report titled John Tyler, Englishman and Prisoner that refers to 'Indian raids; in MS5D is data on Passamaquoddy place names.

MC411 Robert Reid Letter. 

This is a four-page letter describing a journey from Chaleur Bay in New Brunswick to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1785 in company of First Nation people.

MC61 John Julian Indian Documents, 1805 to 1867

Copies of documents loaned to the PANB for microfilming.  The papers include John Julian's appointment as chief, grant maps, license of occupation and a letter recognizing Chief Julian's loyalty to the British monarch.  See microfilm reel F9351.

MC40 Chipman Family Papers. 

In the Lawrence Collection, under the following headings:

Political and Official,
Volume 7, a report on an 'Indian Council at Menaguashe on 24 Sep 1778, pages 1 to 8.

Missionary Societies,
Volume 13, is Fitch and Nehemiah Rogers and Company, Commissions of the Indian Account, 1789, page 713-714. 

Boundary Commission Records, Series I, 1784-1821,
Volume 54 are maps of the Bay of Fundy, 1796, and a First Nation sketch of the Schudiac, 1792, pages 65-76. 

Boundary Commission Records, In Series II,
Volumes 55 to 58 is data on Champlain's voyages, accounts of early settlement, extracts of the Proclamation of 1763, reports on meetings with aboriginals in 1794 and related documents.

Assembly and Legislative Council:
Executive Council: Minutes of Council: Agreement with 'Indian , 10 Jul 1812, pages 170-171.

MC416 Colonial Office Records, 1784-1920

There are 166 microfilm reels that contain correspondence between British officials in Fredericton and in London on a wide range of topics including administration of Native affairs.  The most useful sub-divisions are as follows:

 # 188 New Brunswick, original correspondence; 
 # 189 New Brunswick's entry books; 
 # 190 New Brunswick, Acts; 
 # 191 New Brunswick, Sessional Papers; 
 # 193 New Brunswick, Miscellanea.

MC1262 Department of Indian Affairs Records, 1870-1970. 

This collection holds some twenty-two reels of microfilm (F11650-F11671) from the National Archives of Canada.  There are records on: 1935-1971 the Saint John River Agency

 1840-1883, 1929-1931 the New Brunswick North East Agency
 1923-1970 the Miramichi Agency

MC745 J. Ludger Bernard Papers 1930-1988

MS3.A.9 1939-1943 League of Nations of North American Indians

MC300 York Sunbury Historical Society Collection

MS2/80 research information on First Nation People
MS2/81  Indian graveyard

MC216 Williston Collection

MS1 Research notes and writing, data on early First Nation settlement in Northumberland County.

MC3 Research Papers and Notes. 

This collection of essays, research papers, newspaper articles and so on has as been acquired by the PANB to complement research and to preserve useful unpublished works.  For a list of items pertaining to First Nation research, check under Aboriginal peoples.  There is data on historic sites, agents, First Nation bibliography, appointment of chiefs, reports, reservations, and treaties.

MC995 Project Preservation Collection

James Vroom Papers

Reel F743 aboriginal archaeology, legends, and conflicts with settlers in the Passamaquoddy, Charlotte County region. 

W.W. Brown Scrapbook

Reel F750  First Nation people in Passamaquoddy:

item 38, legends;
item 124, Peol Toma;
item 125, Indians;
item 142 treaties with the Penobscot Indians;
item 155, Mohawks invade NB;
item 182, land;
item 188 pictures of Passamaquoddy Indians;
item 190 politics and Natives.

Reel F769 Charlotte County Historical Society contributions.

In Vol. II, item 24 is a history of Indian Island;
in vol. IV, item 38 are replies to a questionnaire on the Indians of Charlotte County;

Reel F774 in Vol. VI, item 33 I archaeology in the St. George area;

in Vol VII, item 2 is data on archaeology on St. Croix Island. 

Reel F792   Collections of the New Brunswick Historical Society

In Vol. 9, page 301, there is data on the destruction of Burnt Church;
in Vol. 18, pgs 9-26 data on Indian raids, Massachusetts 1690-1704;
in Vol. 19, pages 60-65 is data on the excavations at Meductic.

MC1259 The Carleton County Collection. 

Reel F11098, MS12 Parish of Woodstock:

item 3, Indian heritage village;
item 4, Peter Paul;
item 5, John Gyles;
item 7, Meductic Indian village;
item 85, Frederick Dibblee and the Indians, 1787-1800.

MC1307 Louise Manny Collection

MS1C3.4B1  Indian Island in Charlotte County
MS1C13  various research articles that might be of assistance.

MC1330  Aboriginal Oral History: Peter Paul (1902-1989). 

This collection holds fifteen cassettes and transcriptions dealing with First Nation language, folklore and customs.

MC967 Maliseet Folklore: Sound Collection. 

This collection contains four cassettes of interviews.

MC1795 Union of New Brunswick Indians Records, 1970-1990

There is information pertaining to community development and conferences; there are also newspaper clippings.

Ward Scrapbooks. 

There is a considerable amount of data pertaining to the Maliseet and Mi'gmaq First Nations:

F115, Vol 13, page 102 canoes
F117, Vol 18, page 106 Indian relics
F115, Vol 12, page 350 legends
F115, Vol 13, page 105 Louis Sapier
F115, Vol 13, page 86 Micmacs
F120, Vol 2.  New Brunswick Indians in 1892
F113, Vol 9, page 116  place names
F115, Vol 12, page 351  place names
F120, Vol 3, page 130 place names