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Description found in Archives

Dominion Lands Bureau [textual record]. 



Place of creation

No place, unknown, or undetermined

4.515 m of textual records

Scope and content

Series consists of general administrative records which reflect the 1923-1930 consolidation of the Dominion Lands Bureau. These records include sectional maps, 1915-1917,(Vols. 1951-1953) and Dominion Lands rulings which include a subject index to rulings 1 to 7558, 1906-1931, (Vols. 1954-1988). Volume 2005 contains two reports: a Report on Seed Grain, Fodder and Relief Indebtedness by D.L. Hogan, 1876-1926; and a Report in Connection with Ordnance Land in Front of Parliament Buildings, Quebec City, by O. Lorne Turner, 1932. A report on the Athabaska Tar Sands and a departmental phone list from circa 1917 are found in volume 3173. The series also contains files related to the Department's western service which were created between 1898 and 1959 (Vols. 2007-2012, 2015), and Timber Berth files created by various Dominion Lands Agencies in British Columbia. After 1936 some correspondence was added to these records by the Department of Mines and Resources, Forest Products Laboratory. Also included in this series are three indexes to the files contained in the central registry of the Dominion Lands Branch, which are now retained by the National Archives in the Dominion Lands Branch registry sub-series. The indexes provide access to these files on a subject-by-subject basis. Although researchers will find them useful for some subject matters (at one time they were used by the National Archives as finding aids) none of the indexes are complete. Now that the Dominion Lands Branch registry sub-series is listed in MINISIS (the National Archives' electronic data base) they are of less importance since MINISIS includes all files in the series. The indexes have been retained by the National Archives and were placed in this series (Vol. 3172) under administrative records for those researchers who may still wish to consult them. Also contained in this series is a specialized index listing all the files in the Dominion Lands Branch registry sub-series, which date from 1873 to 1888, and which contain correspondence between the government of the North-West Territories and the Department of the Interior (Vol. 3172). The files are listed in the index on a year-by-year basis, with each entry giving the file number, the date of the correspondence, and a description of the subject matter. The index is believed to have been created by Prof. A.S. Morton. At one time it too was used by the National Archives as a finding aid (FA 15-13) to series RG15-D-II-1. This series also contains, in volume 3173, records related to the disposal of departmental records. These records include a listing of registers (township registers, school lands registers, mining lands registers, and timber and grazing lands registers) transferred to the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan by the Department of the Interior in 1931. The records in this volume include lists of applications for Letters Patent made prior to 1900 and transferred to the provinces of Saskatchewan (files 1 and 2) and Manitoba (file 3). The Saskatchewan lists are collated in numerical order by Dominion Land Agency. File 1 contains list nos. 290 to 410; file 2 contains list nos. 411 to 541. The Manitoba list is collated by file number. Volume 3173 also contains four other files which document the disposal of a variety of land records of all Branches of the former Department of the Interior by the Lands Division, Department of Resources and Development. These last four files are un-numbered and un-organized. They contain copies of letters, memoranda, etc., which ordinarily would be filed under a variety of file numbers in other record groups. This volume also contains two schedules listing the mining lands files transferred to the Public Archives of Canada in 1956.

Textual records
90: Open
from 1951 to 1988
from 2007 to 2012
from 3172 to 3173
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

Copyright belongs to the Crown.

Finding aid 15-3 is a typed file list referring to volumes 1951-1988. 15-3 (Paper)

Finding aid 15-4 is a typed file list referring to volumes 2007-2012, 2015. 15-4 (Paper)

There is no finding aid for the material in volumes 2005 and 3173. (No finding aid)

Researchers will note that a number of records listed under the Dominion Lands Bureau describe records created in the administration of Métis land settlements. These records document the activities of nine separate Métis scrip commissions and the Department's response to their recommendations. Unfortunately, the Bureau did not maintain these records as a separate entity, but instead, it distributed them across a large portion of its records legacy. A separate guide directs researchers to some of the more obvious sources in the Department of the Interior fonds for records of the Métis scrip commissions. Researchers should consult this guide before using these records in order to ensure that they are familiar with all the possible series and sub-series in which scrip records are retained. Consult finding aid 15-58, part 1 (English) and part 2 (French). 15-58 (Paper)

Biography / Administrative history

In 1923, the Department of the Interior created the Dominion Lands Bureau in order to bring together a number of branches with mandates to undertake some of the more important functions in the Department's administration and management of Dominion lands and natural resources. This move brought under one administration the Dominion Lands Branch, the Mining Lands Branch, the Schools Lands Branch, the Land Patents Branch, the Timber and Grazing Lands Branch, and the Ordnance, Admiralty and Railway Lands Branch. The Bureau existed until 1930 when the responsibility for the administration of natural resources was passed from the Dominion government to the three prairie provinces. RG15 General Inventory

Additional information

Source of title
Title is based on the contents of the series.

No further accruals are expected.


Related control no.

1. 1987-88/145 GAD
2. RG15