1	               August 1993
     4	     The Political and Economic Rights of the Peoples of the
     5	                    North-West Territories
     7	                         ............edited by Marijan Salopek
     9	               ===================================
    12	     Letter from Alex. Christie, Governor of Assiniboia, to
    13	     Messrs. James Sinclair, Bapti Larocque, Thomas Logan
    14	     and others.
    16	Fort Garry, Red River, 5 September 1845
    18	Gentlemen,
    19	     I received your letter of 29th Ultimo on the evening of the
    20	3rd instant; and I am sure that the solemn and important
    21	proceedings in which I was yesterday engaged, will form a
    22	sufficient apology for my having allowed a day to pass without
    23	noticing your communications.--
    24	     However unusual it may be for the rulers of any country to
    25	answer legal queries, in any other way than through the Judicial
    26	tribunals which alone can authoritatively decide any point of
    27	law, I shall on his particular occasion overlook all those
    28	considerations, which might otherwise prompt me to decline with
    29	all due courtesy the discussion of your letter; and I am rather
    30	induced to adopt this course by your avowal for which I am bound
    31	to give you full credit, that you are actuated by an
    32	unwillingness to do any thing in opposition either to the Laws of
    33	England, or to the Hudson's Bay Company's privileges.--
    34	     Your first nine queries as well as the body of your letter,
    35	are grounded on the supposition, that the HalfBreeds possess
    36	certain privileges over their fellow citizens, who have not been
    37	born in the coutnry.-- Now as British subjects, the halfbreeds
    38	have clearly the same rights in Scotland or in England as any
    39	person born in Great Britain; and your own sense of natural
    40	justice will at once see, how unreasonable it would be to wish to
    41	place Englishmen and Scotchmen on a less favorable footing in
    42	Rupert's Land than yourselves.--  Your supposition further seems
    43	to draw a distinction between halfbreeds and persons born in the
    44	Country of European parentage; and to men of your intelligence I
    45	need not say that this distinction is still less reasonable than
    46	the other.--
    47	     Your tenth query is fully answered in these observations on
    48	your first nine queries.--
    49	     Your eleventh query, assumes that any purchaser of lands,
    50	would have the right to trade furs, if he had not "Willed" it
    51	away by assenting to any restrictive condition.  Such an
    52	assumption, of course, is inadmissible in itself, and
    53	inconsistent, even with your own general views, the condition of
    54	tenure, which, by the bye, have always been well understood to
    55	prohibit any infraction of the Company's privileges, are intended
    56	not to bind the individual, who is already bound by the
    57	fundamental law of the Country, but merely to secure his lands as
    58	special guarantee for the due discharge of such his essential
    59	obligation.--
    60	     After what has just been said, your twelfth query becomes
    61	wholly unimportant.--
    62	     Your fourteenth query, which comprises your thirteenth, and,
    63	in fact, also all the queries that you either have or could have,
    64	proposed, requests me to enumerate the peculiar privileges of the
    65	Hudson's Bay Company, on the alleged ground that you know them
    66	only by report, considering that you have the means of seeing the
    67	charter, and the land-deed, and such enactments of the Council of
    68	Ruperts Land as concern your selves and your fellow citizens, and
    69	considering further that in point of fact, some of you have seen
    70	them, I cannot admit that you require information to the extent,
    71	which your profess and even if you did require it, I do not think
    72	that I could offer you anything more clear than the documents
    73	themselves are, on which any enumeration of the Company's rights
    74	must be based.  If however any individual among you or among your
    75	fellow citizens should at any time feel himself embarrassed in
    76	any honest pursuit by legal doubt, I shall have much pleasure in
    77	affording him a personal interview.--