BRANTFORD – The debate over whether certain Six Nation lands in Brantford were legitimately surrendered for sale or lease has brought polarized opinions, but what were the terms of those transactions as agreed to between John Brant on behalf of the Six Nations Chiefs and the Crown?
That is where to begin. There were terms and conditions the Crown itself put in place for the surrender of Indian Lands. That is another misunderstanding that has been perpetuated through false education. When a question arises over which history is true, the start point is the terms and conditions. Sale or lease, transaction approved by Six Nations or not, a survey and map created and included in the transaction, were these sales and leases actually paid for, did that money ever get to the Six Nations Trust Fund.
Since so many frauds were conducted by the Crown and government officials, just having a government stamped deed is not enough.
According to the Canadian Archives document, these were the terms of sale:
Sale of Indian Lands at Brantford
25th day of August 1835
We the undersigned persons do hereby agree to pay to the Honorable Commissioner of Crown Lands the sums of money set opposite the respective parcels of land in the following account of the sale of Indian Lands, as designated and described to have been sold to us, and to the account of which we have severally? Subscribed our resources — and according to the following conditions of sale.
Condition of sale
1st – the highest bidder to be the purchaser, and in case a dispute shall arise respecting any bidding, the lot shall be immediately again put up and resold. No bidder shall be permitted to retract, or to assign his or her bidding to another.
2nd – The purchase to be paid to the commissioner of Crown Lands at his office in the City of Toronto by the following instalments, viz. one quarter on or before the expiration of one week from the day of sale, and the remainder thereof by three annual instalments with interest at the rate of six percent per annum from the day of sale and no transfer of any purchase will be permitted until the full amount of purchase money and interest had be discharged.??
3rd – The purchasers to reside on the lot purchased within six Calendar months from the date of sale and the bonafide and ____ (too dark) ____ shall be shown? to the _____ Trustees of the Six Nations Indians for the time being, before the patents from the Crown shall be issued to the purchaser.
4th – In cases where land shall be purchased on which there are improvements (as well those made by Indians as by others) the purchaser shall pay for the same upon their value being ascertained, (in case the parties differ) by arbitrators, ______ by every party interested; and if they shall disagree, by an ___ to be appointed by such arbitrator or a ___ of them, before they shall proceed to ascertain the value of such improvements whose decision shall be final and conclusive — the amount thereon to be paid by the purchaser to the party or parties declared to be entitled to the same, by the _____ to be made in writing of such arbitrators of them ____ at or before the expiration of one week from the day of sale.
The parties in possession of such lands with improvements thereon, shall, by signifying their desire (either personally or by an agent appointed by writing), to the auctioneers when the lands are put up and before the bidding commenced but not otherwise be entitled to the right of ____ of such lands as against any other person not _____ and bidding for the same.
And lastly, if any purchaser shall fail to comply with all or any of the foregoing conditions, that purchasers money shall be forfeited, and the sale void, and the lands shall be liable to be re-sold at such prices and in such manner as he Trustees of the Six Nations for the time being shall deem most expedient.”
Most of the original 807 acre Brantford lot sales and leases were recorded properly but, were they ever paid for? To whom? Was it a lease or a sale? These are the questions that lie beneath the Brantford Casino, Civic Centre, Earl Hague Water Park, and certain lots along South Colborne Street now under construction for the new YMCA complex.