Petitions

This collection consists of petitions, written between 1786 and 1878, relating to land grants in colonial New Brunswick in which Aboriginal people are either the petitioners or their land is the subject of attention.

Little documentation exists in New Brunswick surrounding the early period of Aboriginal-settler interaction in the province. These 90 petitions, located in RS108 at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, offer valuable primary evidence about the experience of First Nations people in the province.

As the name denotes, land petitions are those documents which are submitted by a person or group of persons seeking to acquire ownership of Crown Land which is being set aside by the government for private use. Being able to settle on land, the ownership of which would someday be legally granted to them, was very attractive to those of small means but who could endure the hardships of clearing, farming, and improving the land.