Tuesday November 25, 2014

North West Territories Assembly

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They governed us before we became a Province in 1905.

This group pictured in Regina in 1886 consists of members of the North West Territories Legislative Assembly and one page-boy.

I have mentioned from time to time in the History Corner that Yorkton was located within the boundaries of the Provisional District of Assiniboia from 1882 to 1905. Those were the years when we were governed federally. Lieutenant-Governor Dewdney is sitting in the front row, second from the left. Judge Richardson, who presided at Louis Riel’s trial in 1885 is the first man sitting to the left. Next to Dewdney is Judge Rouleau, then John Turiff and Hayter Reid. Standing is H.S. Cayley, Robert Crawford, James Ross, David P. Jelly. Major Irvine of the North West Mounted Police, J.C. Secord, J.D. Lauder, Senator Perley, Charles Marshallsay; Owen Hughes, Sam Cunningham, and A.E. Forget, who became Lieutenant Governor of the North West Territories in 1898, then was Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan from 1905 to 1910. The Page-boy is Jimmie McAra.

Comment: the Page-boy, Jimmie McAra appears to be hardly 6 years old. It was a common practice to employ numerous page boys in government to run errands, etc. (One Web site photo of 1893 features 18 page-boys of about nine to twelve working at the Ontario Legislative Building.) Little Jimmie draws my empathy for he lived in the century before the enactment of laws to protect children from exploitation. Social reformers began to lobby in the 1870s and 1880s to prohibit child labour in factories, coal mines, farms, etc. It was not until the 20th century that laws against this injustice came into effect. (The Canadian Encyclopedia.)

 Contact Terri Lefebvre Prince,
Heritage Researcher, City of Yorkton Archives,
Box 400, 37 Third Avenue North
Yorkton, Sask. S3N 2W3
306-786-1722        herit...@yorkton.ca



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