Search Textbook

Table of Contents
Foreword
Preface
Glossary

Chapter 19: Legal Issues and Law Enforcement

Introduction

Vertical air photos record situations that exist at a specific time and are particularly useful in recording changes if a sequence of photos of the same area exists. Property boundaries are difficult to define if they fall along a naturally changing feature such as a river channel. Three examples illustrate the legal problems that can arise.

The Western Boundary of Birdtail Sioux First Nation Near Beulah

Rivers have traditionally been used as boundaries between various administrative units: municipalities, counties, provinces, states, and even countries. However, they are unsatisfactory administrative boundaries because they change position over time resulting in ownership disputes.

In Manitoba rivers were used to delimit several First Nations Reserves. Often the rivers used were meandering rivers. However, the development of meanders and cut offs is one of the faster geomorphological processes—fast enough to be recorded on sequential air photographs (photos taken of the same area over a period of years). Figures 19.1, 19.2, and 19.3 show roughly the same stretch of the Assiniboine River near its junction with Birdtail Creek—albeit at different scales—taken in 1945, 1956, and 1994 respectively.

19.1: Meanders on the Assiniboine River Near the Junction with Birdtail Creek, 1945 Photo

On this stretch of the southward-flowing Assiniboine River, there are oxbow lakes (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) and an abandoned river segment 6. Additional cut offs appear imminent (7 and 8).

Figure 19.1: Meanders on the Assiniboine River Near the Junction with Birdtail Creek, 1945 Photo

Figure 19.1: Meanders on the Assiniboine River Near the Junction with Birdtail Creek, 1945 Photo

Figure 19.1

Vertical air photograph: A7592-34

Flight height: 12,400 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 8.25 inches

Date: April 25, 1945

Scale: 1:16,200 (approx.)

Location: Township 15; Ranges 27 and 28WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62K Riding Mountain

                    1:50,000 62K/6 Birtle


19.2: Meanders on the Assiniboine River Near the Junction with Birdtail Creek, 1956 Photo

Abandonment is still imminent at 7 but at 8 breakthrough has recently occurred; water now flows in a direct route across the meander neck as well as round the meander. This photo was taken from a greater height than figure 19.1 and consequently covers a larger area at a smaller scale. A cut off appears imminent 9, and existing cut offs can be seen to the north (10,11,and 12) and to the south 13. On this photo there is a very clear distinction between the dark tones of the cut offs and the light tone of the sediment-laden main channel.

Figure 19.2: Meanders on the Assiniboine River Near the Junction with Birdtail Creek, 1956 Photo

Figure 19.2: Meanders on the Assiniboine River Near the Junction with Birdtail Creek, 1956 Photo

Figure 19.2

Vertical air photograph: A15528-108

Flight height: 20,000 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 6 inches

Date: October 17, 1956

Scale: 1:37,400 (approx.)

Location: Townships 15 and 16; Ranges 27 and 28WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62K Riding Mountain

        1:50,000 62K/6 Birtle


19.3: Meanders on the Assiniboine River, Near the Junction with Birdtail Creek, 1994 Photo

This photo taken 38 years after that in figure 19.2 is at a larger scale and covers only the southern part of that photo. The “imminent cut off” at 8 is now completely abandoned, and, as its dark tone indicates, water no longer flows through it. Also, the “imminent cut off” at 9 has been abandoned, but historical records reveal that it was artificially cut off to prevent erosion of the Canadian National Railway line 14. Two other cut offs can be seen in the south (15 and 16) as well as an abandoned river segment 17. It seems likely that the main channel of the Assiniboine River will reoccupy the abandoned channel 13 in the near future. The DLS map of township 15, range 27 WI surveyed in 1881 shows that the cut off 16 was part of the main channel at that date.

Changes in river position in this area are of more than academic interest because the western boundary of the Birdtail Sioux First Nation is defined by the course of the Assiniboine River. Starting at the northwest corner of section 19, township 15, range 27WI (just off the northern edge of figure 19.3) the boundary runs

South fifteen chains and seventy five links, more or less, along the western boundary of said section 19 to its intersection with the left bank of the Assiniboine River; hence south easterly along the said bank of the said river to its intersection with the southern boundary of section four in said township.[i]

This intersection is located about a mile east of the eastern edge of the photo in figure 19.3.

A dashed line on the overlay marks the boundary. If the above wording is retained today and the east bank of the main course of the river defines the boundary, the size and shape of the First Nation will have changed. In the area of one cut off 8 the First Nation has gained some land but has lost more than it gained. However, the effect of the cut offs (9 and 16) will have been to add land to the First Nation (figure 19.4). Further complications will arise if the Assiniboine reoccupies the cut off 13, a potential increase of the size of the First Nation. At the time of writing a legal solution to the problem of the First Nation’s western boundary is still being sought.

Figure 19.3: Meanders on the Assiniboine River, Near the Junction with Birdtail Creek, 1994 Photo

Figure 19.3: Meanders on the Assiniboine River, Near the Junction with Birdtail Creek, 1994 Photo

Figure: 19.3

Vertical air photograph: MB94003-98

Flight height: 13,203 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.765 mm

Scale: 1:30,000 (approx.)

Location: Townships 15 and 15; Ranges 27 and 28WI

Mapsheets: 1:250,000 62K Riding Mountain

       1:50,000 62K/6 Birtle

62K/3 Miniota

Notes

[i] Descriptions and Plans of Certain Indian Reserves in the Province of Manitoba and the North-West Territories. Ottawa: Privy Council of Canada, 1889, 8.



19.4: Map of the Western Boundary of Birdtail Sioux First Nation

Figure 19.4: Map of the Western Boundary of Birdtail Sioux First Nation

Figure 19.4: Map of the Western Boundary of Birdtail Sioux First Nation


19.5: The Boundary of the Hudson Bay Company Reserve at Fort Ellice, 1945 Photograph

The sequential photos shown in figures 19.5, 19.6, and 19.7 were taken in 1945, 1956, and 1994 respectively.

On figure 19.5 there is one prominent dark-toned oxbow lake 1 and three imminent cut offs (2, 3, and 4). Eleven years later (figure 19.6) the imminent cut off 2 has occurred leaving behind a relatively dark toned oxbow lake 5; the imminent cut off 3 is very close, whereas the third one 4 has some way to go. On figure 19.7, 38 years later the imminent cut off 3 has occurred, leaving behind an oxbow 6, but the meander neck at 4 is still extant.

The significance of these changes for land ownership is profound in that the original boundary of the Hudson Bay Company Reserve is the west bank of the main river channel (figure 19.8). Neither of the two imminent cut offs (2 and 3) had occurred by 1920 (figure 19.9). If the western bank of the main channel of the river is maintained as the boundary of the reserve, a large area of land surrounded by the two oxbows (5 and 6) has been lost.[i] It would be interesting to trace land ownership in the area over the last 100 years.

Figure 19.5: The Boundary of the Hudson Bay Company Reserve at Fort Ellice, 1945 Photograph

Figure 19.5: The Boundary of the Hudson Bay Company Reserve at Fort Ellice, 1945 Photograph

Figure 19.5: 1945 Photograph

Vertical air photograph: A7563-12

Flight height: 11,800 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 8.25 inches

Date: April 14, 1945

Scale: 1:16,333 (approx.)

Location: Township 16; Range 28WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62K Riding Mountain

1:50,000 62K/6 Birtle

Notes

[i] Welsted, J. “Straight or Crooked: An Assessment of Manitoba’s Boundaries” in The Yorkton Papers. eds. J. Welsted and J. Everitt. Brandon: Brandon University, Brandon Geographical Studies, No. 2, 1997, 180-190.



19.6: The Boundary of the Hudson Bay Company Reserve at Fort Ellice, 1956 Photograph

The sequential photos shown in figures 19.5, 19.6, and 19.7 were taken in 1945, 1956, and 1994 respectively.

On figure 19.5 there is one prominent dark-toned oxbow lake 1 and three imminent cut offs (2, 3, and 4). Eleven years later (figure 19.6) the imminent cut off 2 has occurred leaving behind a relatively dark toned oxbow lake 5; the imminent cut off 3 is very close, whereas the third one 4 has some way to go. On figure 19.7, 38 years later the imminent cut off 3 has occurred, leaving behind an oxbow 6, but the meander neck at 4 is still extant.

The significance of these changes for land ownership is profound in that the original boundary of the Hudson Bay Company Reserve is the west bank of the main river channel (figure 19.8). Neither of the two imminent cut offs (2 and 3) had occurred by 1920 (figure 19.9). If the western bank of the main channel of the river is maintained as the boundary of the reserve, a large area of land surrounded by the two oxbows (5 and 6) has been lost.[i] It would be interesting to trace land ownership in the area over the last 100 years.

Figure 19.6: The Boundary of the Hudson Bay Company Reserve at Fort Ellice, 1956 Photograph

Figure 19.6: The Boundary of the Hudson Bay Company Reserve at Fort Ellice, 1956 Photograph

Figure 19.6: 1956 Photograph

Vertical air photograph: A15530-10

Flight height: 20,000 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.26 mm

Date: October 9, 1956

Scale: 1:36,200 (approx.)

Location: Townships 16 and 17; Range 28WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62K Riding Mountain

1:50,000 62K/6 Birtle

Notes

[i] Welsted, J. “Straight or Crooked: An Assessment of Manitoba’s Boundaries” in The Yorkton Papers. ed. J. Welsted and J. Everitt. Brandon: Brandon University, Brandon Geographical Studies, No. 2, 1997, 180-190.



19.7: The Boundary of the Hudson Bay Company Reserve at Fort Ellice, 1994 Photograph

The sequential photos shown in figures 19.5, 19.6, and 19.7 were taken in 1945, 1956, and 1994 respectively.

On figure 19.5 there is one prominent dark-toned oxbow lake 1 and three imminent cut offs (2, 3, and 4). Eleven years later (figure 19.6) the imminent cut off 2 has occurred leaving behind a relatively dark toned oxbow lake 5; the imminent cut off 3 is very close, whereas the third one 4 has some way to go. On figure 19.7, 38 years later the imminent cut off 3 has occurred, leaving behind an oxbow 6, but the meander neck at 4 is still extant.

The significance of these changes for land ownership is profound in that the original boundary of the Hudson Bay Company Reserve is the west bank of the main river channel (figure 19.8). Neither of the two imminent cut offs (2 and 3) had occurred by 1920 (figure 19.9). If the western bank of the main channel of the river is maintained as the boundary of the reserve, a large area of land surrounded by the two oxbows (5 and 6) has been lost.[i] It would be interesting to trace land ownership in the area over the last 100 years.

Figure 19.7: The Boundary of the Hudson Bay Company Reserve at Fort Ellice, 1994 Photograph

Figure 19.7: The Boundary of the Hudson Bay Company Reserve at Fort Ellice, 1994 Photograph

Figure 19.7: 1994 Photograph

Vertical air photograph: MB 94002-187

Flight height: 13,200 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.715 mm

Date: May 15, 1994

Scale: 1:30,000 (approx.)

Location: Township 16; Range 28WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62K Riding Mountain

1:50,000 62K/6 Birtle

Notes

[i] Welsted, J. “Straight or Crooked: An Assessment of Manitoba’s Boundaries” in The Yorkton Papers. ed. J. Welsted and J. Everitt. Brandon: Brandon University, Brandon Geographical Studies, No. 2, 1997, 180-190.



19.8: Map of Hudson Bay Company Reserve, 1873

Figure 19.8: Map of Hudson Bay Company Reserve, 1873

Figure 19.8: Map of Hudson Bay Company Reserve, 1873


19.9: Map of Hudson Bay Company Reserve, 1920

Figure 19.9: Map of Hudson Bay Company Reserve, 1920

Figure 19.9: Map of Hudson Bay Company Reserve, 1920


19.10: Land Dispute on the Banks of the Assiniboine River, Southwest of Portage la Prairie, 1989 Photograph

Figure 19.10, a 1989 photo, shows the city of Portage la Prairie 1, the Trans-Canada Highway bypassing the city to the south 2, and the Southport airfield 3. The Assiniboine River 4 flows from southwest to east across the area. As part of a flood control scheme to protect both Portage la Prairie and Winnipeg, a dam 5 has been built across the river to deflect water into the Portage Floodway 6 at times of high flow. It is noticeable that the river channel is wider behind the dam 7 than it is downstream from it 8. A dispute arose over compensation for land that was flooded as a result of the building of the dam. The area concerned is bounded by a dashed line.

Figure 19.10: Land Dispute on the Banks of the Assiniboine River, Southwest of Portage la Prairie, 1989 Photograph

Figure 19.10: Land Dispute on the Banks of the Assiniboine River, Southwest of Portage la Prairie, 1989 Photograph

Figure 19.10

Vertical air photograph: MB89021-6-182

Flight height:  lens focal length:

Scale: 1:57,600 (approx.)

Date: 1989

Location: Township 11, Range 7W1

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon

                    1:50,000 62G/16 Portage La Prairie

Notes
 


19.11: Land Dispute on the Banks of the Assiniboine River, Southwest of Portage la Prairie, Map of Land Divisions, 1875

Figure 19.11 is a map showing land divisions established in 1875 along the Assiniboine River in the area of the land dispute. A farmer bought land in this area in 1961 based on a plan filed in 1875. In the years following the survey, land was accreted by deposition on the inside of the river bend.

The area of the land dispute is shaded.

Figure 19.11: Land Dispute on the Banks of the Assiniboine River, Southwest of Portage la Prairie, Map of Land Divisions, 1875

Figure 19.11: Land Dispute on the Banks of the Assiniboine River, Southwest of Portage la Prairie, Map of Land Divisions, 1875

Figure: 19.11

Map: Manitoba Archives


19.12: Land Dispute on the Banks of the Assiniboine River, Southwest of Portage la Prairie, 1959 Photograph

Figure 19.12 is an air photo that shows the situation in 1959, before the Portage Dam was built. Meander scrolls 9 are visible south of the river. Over the years the farmer brought land accreted in this area into cultivation. However, in connection with the building of the Portage Floodway, the Province of Manitoba expropriated part of his land because it was expected that it would be flooded by backwater behind the dam.

Figure 19.12: Land Dispute on the Banks of the Assiniboine River, Southwest of Portage la Prairie, 1959 Photograph

Figure 19.12: Land Dispute on the Banks of the Assiniboine River, Southwest of Portage la Prairie, 1959 Photograph

Figure 19.12

Vertical air photograph: A16548-37

Flight height: 8,800 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.34 mm

Scale: 1:15,840 (approx.)

Date: June 15, 1959

Location: Township 11, Range 7WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon

1:50,000 62G/16 Portage La Prairie


19.13: Land Dispute on the Banks of the Assiniboine River, Southwest of Portage la Prairie, 1988 Photograph

Figure 19.13 is a 1988 air photo of the area and it can be seen that flooding did indeed occur. Dark-toned areas 10 south of the main river channel are inundated. The land expropriated by the Province included 59 acres of the accreted land, but the farmer was awarded compensation for the land shown on the original title (the shaded area on figure 19.11), that is, excluding the accreted land.[i]

Figure 19.13: Land Dispute on the Banks of the Assiniboine River, Southwest of Portage la Prairie, 1988 Photograph

Figure 19.13: Land Dispute on the Banks of the Assiniboine River, Southwest of Portage la Prairie, 1988 Photograph

Figure 19.13

Vertical air photograph: MB88003-6-240

Flight height: 15,900 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 152.670 mm

Scale: 1:30,000 (approx.)

Date: April 18, 1988

Location: as for 19.10 and 19.12

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62G Brandon

1:50,000 62G/16 Portage La Prairie

Notes

[i] For details of this case see “Chuckry v H. M. the Queen (Manitoba Court of Appeal), 1972”, and “Chuckry v H. M. the Queen (Supreme Court of Canada), 1973” in Province of Manitoba, Riparian Rights. Winnipeg: Province of Manitoba, Department of Renewable Resources and Transportation Services, 1976, C-163-176.

[ii] Welsted, J. op. cit. 180-190.



19.14: Headingley Gaol

Headingley Correctional Institute 1, opened in 1930, is the oldest of seven provincial correctional institutes in Manitoba. Its capacity is 485 minimum, medium, and maximum-security inmates, but that number is often exceeded. Following serious rioting in 1996, when the buildings were virtually destroyed, two new wings were constructed; possibly the two star-shaped buildings in the north 2. The jail is located near the western edge of the RM of Headingley on the north side of the eastward-flowing Assiniboine River 3. The approach road 4 leads to the Trans-Canada Highway just off the image to the north. The car park for employees and visitors is located in the northeast 5. Minimum-security inmates probably work dark-toned fields 6—fallow at the time the image was obtained.

Figure 19.14: Headingley Gaol

Figure 19.14: Headingley Gaol

Figure 19.14

Google Earth 2006 Digital Globe

Scale 1:5,000 (approx.)

Location: 49º 52'N: 97º 26' W

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62H Winnipeg

                    1:50,000 62H/14 Winnipeg


19.15: Stony Mountain Penitentiary

Stony Mountain Penitentiary is a federal medium-security prison. It was opened in 1876, and two of its earliest inmates were Pound Maker and Big Bear who had fought against theft of their land. It is located about 10 kilometres southeast of Stonewall and 25 kilometres north of Winnipeg by PTH 7 1. It is built on a limestone ridge, the western edge of which can be seen on this image 2. It is rumored that the gaol was built on the ridge to make it difficult for inmates to tunnel out. Whatever the case, the west block of the gaol 3, with its central dome, towers above the land to the west. This view will be familiar to many people as it was used in the film “Capote.” A wall 4 surrounds the main part of the gaol with turrets at each corner 5. The wall and turrets are probably the original structure of the gaol. Recent additions to north 6 and south 7 are also enclosed by a wall or fence 8. Near the northeast turrets is a water tower 9 identified by its shadow. West of it is an outdoor hockey rink 10.

On the low land west of the gaol are two large ponds 11, and outside the enclosed areas are houses both on the northeast 12 and southeast 13 which might house workers at the gaol. The CP railway line 14 runs parallel to PTH 7.

Figure 19.15: Stony Mountain Penitentiary

Figure 19.15: Stony Mountain Penitentiary

Figure 19.15

Google Earth 2006 Digital Globe

Scale: 1:5,400 (approx.)

Location: Township 13; Range 2 E

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62I Selkirk

1:50,000 62I/3 Stonewall