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NORTH-WEST AMERICA MISSION.
The Committee have already stated the establishment of a New Mission, designed for the benefit of the Indians of North-West America.
The suggestion of this measure, with the grounds on which it was brought before the Society, will be found in the Twentieth Report and its Appendix. The Rev. John West, there mentioned as proceeding to the Red River as Chaplain to the Hudson's-Bay Company in that quarter, sailed for his destination in the Autumn of 1820, and reached the Settlement on the 14th of October. The communications of Mr. West to the Society were of such a nature as to lead to a Special Meeting of the Committee, for the purpose of taking the subject of a North-West America Mission into consideration. The Rev. William Dealtry was in the Chair. The Meeting, which was numerously attended, had the benefit of hearing from Benjamin Harrison, Esq. and Nicholas Garry, Esq., two of the Committee of the Hudson's Bay Com
such a detail of circumstances relative to the Settlement, and to the prospects of usefulness among the numerous tribes of Indians to which access may by its means be ultimately obtained, that the Committee unanimously determined on the establishment of the Mission.
The statements of Mr. Harrison conveyed so just a view of the whole question, that the Committee having been favoured with them in writing, subjoin his paper for the information of the Members :
It has long been a subject of great anxiety, to better the condition of the Inhabitants and Native Tribes of Indians in Hudson's Bay, and to afford them religious instruction.
The arrangements for the regulation of the Fur Trade, which have recently taken place, have restored tranquillity to all the country over which the Hudson's-Bay Company have Trading Establishments, extending from Canada to the Pacific Ocean, and as far to the North as has hitherto been explored.
Opportunity is now afforded for every exertion; and all the parties, who have influence in that country, appear ready to render their cordial co-operation in the plans under considera
tion, for the extension of Religious Instruction, Civilization, and Education over this immense extent of country. But the great difficulty is, to provide funds for that part of the arrangement which is intended for the benefit of the NATIVE HEATHENS; and to the points connected with this subject, the attention of the Society is earnestly solicited.
It may be necessary, in the first instance, to notice the steps which the Society has already taken, in regard to the plan for civilizing and instructing the Native Indian Children.
It appears, in the Twentieth Report, that the Rev. Mr. West offered his services to establish Schools, and that the sum of 1001. was placed at his disposal for the year 1820, to enable him to make trial of the proposed plan,
A Letter from Mr. West, dated Red River Colony, June 4, 1821, states, that the Indians were willing to part with their Children for the purpose of their being instructed—that he had several Children under his care—that a School House was erecting, and nearly completed—and that many more Children would be consigned to him, when the House was ready for their reception.
The Journal kept by Mr. West from the time of his arrival in Hudson's Bay, has been forwarded to the Society*. In it, allusion is repeatedly made to his frequent intercourse with the Indians, and to the favourable manner in which he was received by them.
The Officers and Servants of the Hudson's-Bay Company are distributed over the whole extent of country before mentioned; but, at the Red River, a Colony is established, consisting of 600 or 700 Settlers; besides Canadians and Half-breeds, who are very numerous.
Missionary.- At this spot, the Roman Catholics of Montreal have built a Church, and have established a Minister. Here it would be desirable to form a PROTESTANT MISSIONARY STATION; and the energy and zeal, which Mr. West has evinced, shew that no person can be better calculated for such an appointment. He will be surrounded by misery and distress; and will have frequent calls on his benevolencet. To enable him to meet these claims of charity, his salary, as the Resident Missionary, should be liberal. In consideration of his Clerical Duties, half of the stipend which will be requisite can be provided from other sources; but the performance of these Duties will be perfectly consistent with his objects as a Missionary. The benefit which will result from the residence of a Clergyman in such a situation,
• Extracts from Mr. West's Journal and Letters are printed in Appendix XVIII.
+ The remembrance of relief afforded in times of distress, is never eradicated from the mind cf an Indian.
and the example of a well-regulated and pious family, are incalculable.
Assistant Missionary. It has been confidently stated, that, in New Caledonia and the Rocky Mountains, the Indians are living in a state bordering on civilization. These remote districts should all be visited, and equal opportunities afforded them of having their children educated. It is highly desirable that a Missionary (a Clergyman of the Church of England) should be appointed, who would take under his charge such Catechists and Teachers, as may be useful in different situations. He would hold communication with the chief Missionary Station, at the Red River Settlement; and it is confidently expected, that the blessings of Christianity may thus be extended through these wide regions. Whichever way the Missionary may direct his steps, he will have the assistance of the Resident Officer at the next Station; and he would thus never be at a loss for an Interpreter.
Schools. It is unnecessary to enter into many particulars on this head: since Schools have been already recognised on the Journals of the Society, as the most promising means of promoting the instruction of the Indians in the Territories of the Hudson's Bay Company. (See Twentieth Report. Appendix XII. pp. 370—372.) The expense of provision for the Children will every year be diminished, as the garden-ground and land are brought into improved cultivation. The greater the number of Children, the less will be the proportional expense. A Hunter must, in the first instance, be attached to the establishment, in order to procure a supply of provisions. Twelve pounds per annum will be required for each Child; and, on the production of certificates that the benefits have been afforded, it will be for the Society to determine to what Number they will extend their liberality.
School-Master and Mistress, and Assistant.-With a view to carry into effect the plan proposed by the Society for the Education of the Indian Children, a Young Man was taken out by Mr. West, who was educated at Christ's Hospital and apprenticed to Bridewell. He appears to have succeeded in his management of the Indian Children, and to have reconciled them to civilized life and habits of industry; and therefore seems well qualified for the charge of the School. If he were appointed by the Society, he would remain in Hudson's Bay.
Protestant Church. - Although temporary accommodation has been afforded for the purpose of Divine Worship, it is to be hoped, for the credit of the Religion of the country to which the Colony belongs, that a Protestant Church is not the last edifice to be erected. So zealous were the Catholics of Montreal, that, no sooner was the Settlement contemplated, than they procured the means, and have actually completed the building of a Church, and have provided for and established a Minister A great proportion of the European Population, for the want
of religious instruction, may be considered as Heathen! The Women, for the most part, and Children are certainly such. These, together with the Children educated in the Indian School, unless a Church be provided, will form part of the Catholic Congregation. It may be proper to state, that, with some assistance toward building the Church, all the other buildings requisite will be provided from other funds; and land will be allotted for the Church, the Missionaries, Schoolmaster, and Assistant, &c.
Mr. Garry, a Member of the Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company, during the last summer, visited their Territories in North America; and had the satisfaction of witnessing the improvements which have taken place in the morals of the inhabitants, from the religious instruction which had been afforded: and, from every information which he could obtain, as well as that which has been received from those who are most conversant with the country, there is every reason to believe that the various plans in contemplation can be carried into effect.
The last object proposed in this able Paper, that of the erection of a Church, the Committee trust will be effected by the benevolence of the public, and they cordially recommend it to the support of the Members: to the other parts of the plan, the Committee, for the present, appropriated sums, amounting together to 8001. per annum. The Rev. John West was appointed Superintendant of the Mission : another Missionary will be sent to his assistance: Mr. George Harbage, the Schoolmaster referred to in the Minute, has been received into the service of the Society: and such a number of Indian Children will be maintained and educated, as circumstances may allow.
In the NINE MISSIONS of the Society which have now been surveyed, there are about FORTY STATIONS, with a number of schools dependent on them. These Stations are occupied by about NINETY EUROPEANS, who have been sent forth from this country to the different Missions : of these, Thirty-two are Ordained Missionaries ; Twenty-four are Wives of Missionaries; and the rest are Teachers and Settlers, male and female: of NATIVE LABOURERS, there are about ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY ; two of whom are Ordained Missionaries, and the others' Readers, Catechists, Teachers, and Assistants. The number of scHOLARS, Adults and Children, cannot be exactly ascertained; but it appears,
from the last Returns, to be about TEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED. In various places, CHURCHES have been built; and, every year, CONVERTs are added to the Lord. The work is, in truth, as yet, still but a work of preparation - except, indeed, in a few favoured spots, where the gracious out-pouring of the Holy Spirit has most strikingly shewn what blessed effects will follow, wherever the arm of the Lord shall be revealed.
On a review of the facts and statements laid before the Society in this Report, the Committee cannot but congratulate the Members on the aspect of its labours. Its Missionaries faithfully declare, as has been seen, their difficulties, their discouragements, and their fears; and, wherever success is, for the present, either withheld or greatly restricted, they seem more anxious to obtain for themselves, and that the Society should also obtain, a patient waiting for God, than either to make a good appearance before the Society and the World, or to obtain success until the full time of God's
mercy shall come. And where success is granted—and, blessed be God, it is, in some parts of the Society's field of toil, largely bestowed !-tbere, grace is given to the Labourers to ascribe it all to the free mercy of Him whom they serve.
Can any state of things be conceived, better calculated to exercise all the Christian Graces of faith and patience, of humility and gratitude ?
The Committee have already said that they are prepared to meet the false estimates of incompetent judges on this great subject; but, for themselves assuming, as they have a right to assume, that it is the duty of every man to make every practicable exertion for the Salvation of the World; and willing, themselves, to take the counsel of any man who can improve their plans; and receiving testimonies from all quarters that the great body of the Society's Missionaries are executing those plans with diligence and zeal-under such circumstances, they joyfully leave the whole work in the hand of Him, who will make perfect his own strength in the weakness of his servants.
Such are the conclusions to which the Committee