The Doukhobor homestead crisis 1898-1907
Szalasznyj, Kathlyn Rose Marie
This thesis traces the Doukhobor homestead crisis, from the granting of a land reserve to the Doukhobor settlers in 1898, to the final cancellation of their homestead entries in 1907. The initial terms of the Doukhobor immigration, and the settlement of the Doukhobors on the Saskatchewan lands are studied. The separate issues of the homestead crisis, homestead entry (1900-1902), the dissolution of the reserve (1904), the cultivation issue (1905) and naturalization (1906), are examined chronologically. It is a study of Dominion land policy toward settlers, whose peculiarities extended to land-holding. The issues comprising the homestead crisis are examined within the context of general trends in Canadian imigration and land settlement. In 1907, the Doukhobors were compelled to adapt their land-holding arrangements to the requirements of federal land policy. This was an attempt to draw the Doukhobors into the Canadian model of land ownership. This work also examines the homestead crisis from the Doukhobor perspective. For almost ten years, the Doukhobors tried to resolve the conflict that existed between Canadian homestead law and their particular faith. In 1907, their personal attitudes toward land-holding were clarified and the conflict was resolved. The Doukhobors' migration to British Columbia proved that with regard to property-holding the measures of the federal Lands Branch had largely failed. Resource materials for this thesis are drawn largely from the P.A.C., R.G. 15, Department of the Interior Dominion Land Files, file # 494483, P.A.C., R.G. 76, Records of the Superintendent of Immigration, the accounts of Doukhobor settlement by both Russians and Doukhobors (especially V. Bonch-Bruevitch, Doukhobortsi v Kanadskiikh Preriiakh, and the Government Documents Section of the Murray Memorial Library at the University of Saskatchewan.