Title and statement of responsibility area
Lands Grant Files series
General material designation
- Textual record
- Graphic material
- Cartographic material
- Architectural drawing
- Technical drawing
Title statements of responsibility
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
ca. 1880 to 1995 (Creation)
- Canada. Dept of the Interior
ca. 1880 to 1995 (Creation)
- Saskatchewan. Dept. of Natural Resources
ca. 1880 to 1995 (Creation)
- Saskatchewan. Dept. of Natural Resources and Industrial Development
ca. 1880 to 1995 (Creation)
- Saskatchewan. Dept. of Agriculture
ca. 1880 to 1995 (Creation)
- Saskatchewan. Dept. of Rural Development
ca. 1880 to 1995 (Creation)
- Saskatchewan. Dept. of Agriculture and Food
ca. 1880 to 1995 (Creation)
- Canada. Lands Patent Branch
ca. 1880 to 1995 (Creation)
- Saskatchewan. Lands Branch
Physical description area
ca. 155.042m of textual records
ca. 46 maps
ca. 23 architectural drawings
ca. 13 photographs : prints, negatives
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
Name of creator
In 1869, the Government of Canada finalized an agreement with the Hudsons Bay Company to acquire Ruperts Land from the Hudsons Bay Company, an area that incorporates all of the present-day provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, part of British Columbia and all of Nunavut, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. To centralize the administration and promote the settlement and development of this newly-acquired territory, the Department of the Interior was established by the federal government in 1873. During its 63 years of existence, the Department established a multitude of branches and sub-agencies, with most focused on its core areas of operation related to land sales and survey, First Nations and Métis relations, natural resource development and immigration in western Canada. For periods of time, the Department also administered functions of government that involved operations in all areas of the country, such as immigration, museums, national parks, tourism and geological surveys. Several branches operated within the Department of the Interior evolved into separate agencies or departments of the federal government, including Indian Affairs, Immigration, the Geological Survey of Canada, Parks Canada, and the North-West Mounted Police.
In 1930, the federal government transferred all responsibility for crown land and natural resource administration to the provinces. In Saskatchewan, these functions were assumed by the Department of Natural Resources. The Department of the Interior ceased to exist on December 1, 1936. Its remaining functions were amalgamated with those of the Departments of Mines, Immigration and Indian Affairs to create the Department of Mines and Resources.
Name of creator
The Department of Natural Resources was established in 1930, when responsibility for natural resources was transferred from the federal Department of the Interior to the provincial government under The Natural Resources Transfer Agreement dated May 20, 1930.
The Department was originally administered by a Minister and Deputy Minister and consisted of four branches: Lands; Mines; Fisheries; and Forestry. The head office for the Department was in Regina, with a main Northern District office in Prince Albert and sub-district offices in Hudson Bay Junction and Spruce Lake.
The Lands Branch was overseen by a director. Between May 1, 1943, and April 30, 1944, four divisions were established within the branch: Sales; Cultivated Lease; Grazing; Patents and Homesteads. The Mines Branch, Fisheries Branch and Forestry Branch for the most part retained their administrative structure.
A Water Rights Branch was established between May 1931 and April 1932. In 1933 responsibility for provincial parks was transferred from the Forestry Branch, resulting in the establishment of the Water Rights and Parks Branch. Between May 1, 1936, and April 1937, the branch was split into the Water Rights Branch and Parks Branch.
A Surveys Division was established between May 1, 1932, and April 30, 1933. It became the Surveys Branch for a period between May 1, 1936, and April 1, 1937.
The Game Branch was established May 1, 1932, and operated until April 30, 1933, when the function was transferred to the department from the Bureau of Labour and Public Welfare. During 1938-1939, the Game and Fur Branch was established within the department.
Responsibility for the Provincial Museum was transferred to the department for the period from May 1, 1934, to April 30, 1935.
The poor economic performance and drought of the 1930s resulted in less forest and mineral revenue for the Department and an active role in the provision of relief measures. These included the cancellation of debt owed on School lands and the distribution of coal, timber, hay and grazing areas to farmers.
The Coal Administration Branch was established in 1935 to centralize the control, regulation and administration of coal mining. Administration of The Coal Mines Safety and Welfare Act was transferred from the Bureau of Labour and Public Welfare while the coal regulations under The Mineral Resources Act formerly administered by Mines Branch moved to the new branch.
By 1940, the initial four branches had expanded to ten: Forestry, Mines, Fisheries, Game and Fur, Water Rights, Surveys, Museum, Coal, Lands, and Parks.
During the Second World War, the Department assisted federal initiatives such as the Dominion Wartime Price and Trade Board in monitoring the price and distribution of basic commodities and resources to ensure use in both the domestic market and the war effort.
On November 10, 1944, the Department of Natural Resources was reorganized into the Department of Natural Resources and Industrial Development.
Name of creator
On November 10, 1944 the Department of Natural Resources was expanded to include an Industrial Development Branch, resulting in the creation of the Department of Natural Resources and Industrial Development.
The department originally consisted of 10 branches, as follows: Forestry, Lands, Mines, Coal Administrator, Fisheries, Game and Fur, Water Rights, Surveys, Parks and Industrial Development.
The Industrial Development Branch was established to promote the general economic utilization of Saskatchewan's natural resources. Provincially-owned and operated industries developed by the Department included: a shoe factory, a tannery, fish filleting plants, a box factory and a fur marketing service.
The Lands Branch at this time was comprised of the Land Patents Division, Cultivated Lands Division, Land Sales Division, and Grazing Lands Division. On May 1, 1945, the Land Utilization Division was established when the function was transferred from the Department of Agriculture.
The following changes occurred in departmental structure between 1947 and 1949:
In the 1946-1947 fiscal year, the Office Administration and Personnel Branch was established within the department. As well, the Construction and Equipment Branch was formed to build roads and fireguards in northern areas. On January 1, 1949 the divisions within this branch became separate branches, the Equipment Branch and the Construction Branch.
Also in 1946-1947, the Parks and Lands Branch was set up to manage provincial parks and lands unsuitable for agricultural or pastoral purposes, including wasteland, forests and lands in the northern mineral belt. In 1948, the administration of agricultural and pastoral lands governed by The Provincial Lands Act and The Land Utilization Act was transferred to the Department of Agriculture.
During the 1947-1948 fiscal year, the Mines Branch reorganized into Mineral Resources Branch with the Coal, Metals, Minerals and Petroleum divisions. These divisions merged in 1950.
Following the creation of Local Improvement District "A" as a vast northern municipal district, the Northern Administration Branch was established in June 1947. While the Department of Health administered health issues, the Branch held responsibility for social aid, old age pensions and child allowances.
A Radio Branch was also formed in 1947.
During 1948-1949 an Office of the Executive Assistant was set up in Prince Albert to provide assistance to the Deputy Minister and Assistant Deputy Minister.
In March 1950, Order-in-Council 503/50 established the Industrial Development Office to promote the development of new industries in Saskatchewan, assist already established industries and publicize the province's resources, opportunities and industrial progress. The old Industrial Development Branch was renamed the Resources Utilization Branch and administered the utilization of industrial minerals.
In 1950, the Department of Natural Resources and Industrial Development reverted to its previous designation as the Department of Natural Resources.
Name of creator
The Department of Agriculture was one of the original departments created upon the formation of the Executive Council of the North-West Territories in 1897. The department was headed by a Commissioner and a Deputy Commissioner. With the transfer to a provincial government in 1905, the department (still under a Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner) was organized into: the Fairs and Institutes Branch; Weeds and Seeds Branch; Dairying; Bacteriologist; Public Health Officer; and Brand Recorder. A Bureau of Information and Statistics was also added.
The Department of Agriculture's original responsibilities included dealing with brands, stray animals, pounds, stock and hide inspection, control of predatory animals, noxious weeds, prairie fires and protection of game, as well as encouraging development and providing assistance to farmers. The department also compiled production statistics and meteorological data. In addition, under the 1906 Department of Agriculture Act, the department was responsible for matters relating to immigration, vital statistics and public health, including hospitals.
The titles of Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner were superseded by Minister and Deputy Minister respectively, in 1909.
Other functions held by the Department of Agriculture in its early years included: a Bureau of Labour to look after the inspection of factories, ensure fair wages and work safety, and coordinate harvest help; responsibility for museums; and responsibility for debt assistance.
During its existence, the Department of Agriculture experienced numerous re-organizations and continual name changes to its branches and divisions. However, with a few important additions and deletions of responsibilities, most of the department's functions continued throughout its life span.
In 1910, the public health and hospitals function was transferred out of the Department of Agriculture. Also in 1910, members from the Department of Agriculture were appointed to the newly-organized Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan. The function of the Fairs and Institute Branch was transferred to the university level, under the supervision of the Department of (Agricultural) Extension. The Director of Agricultural Extension, appointed to the College of Agriculture, reported to the Deputy Minister on the work of agricultural societies.
A major function was added to the department with the creation of the Co-operative Organization Branch in 1913. The branch, developed out of the Office of the Registrar of Co-operative Associations, was established to assist farmers with marketing. It was renamed Co-operation and Markets Branch in 1920 and eventually formed as a separate Department of Co-operation and Co-operative Development in 1945.
The Vital Statistics function was transferred out of the department in 1914. However, added that year was the appointment of Agricultural Representatives. These Representatives provided advice and assistance to producers in various districts within the province. Initially, the Representatives acted as administrative support for the College of Agriculture, but later carried out their own programming. The Agricultural Representative Service became a branch in 1945 and was renamed Agricultural Extension Branch in 1969 to better reflect its function.
Another change to the department in 1914 was the inclusion of a Debtors Relief organization. This function was complemented in 1923 by the addition of the Debt Adjustment Bureau. This function of debt management was removed in 1935. The responsibility for museums was added in 1915, but was transferred to the Department of Railways, Labour and Industries in early 1928.
Early in its existence, the Department of Agriculture included a Bureau of Labour to look after the inspection of factories, ensure fair wages and work safety, and coordinate harvest help. This function continued until 1920 when the Bureau, then named the Bureau of Labour and Industries, no longer reported through the department.
By 1930, the department consisted of: the Debt Adjustment Bureau; Statistics Branch; Field Crop Branch; Dairy Branch; Livestock Branch; Bee Division (added in 1928 and later known as Apiary Branch); Co-operation and Markets Branch; and the Agricultural Representative Service.
As a result of drought and soil drifting in the early 1930s, the Land Utilization Branch was established in 1936 to carry out the work of the Land Utilization Board (1936-1964). The Board was responsible for establishing community pastures, irrigable land areas under the federal Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act (PFRA), and for relocation of settlers.
By 1940, the duties of the Department of Agriculture were solely related to agriculture. The department was responsible for: the administration of all acts relating to agriculture; the promotion of agricultural interests in the province; encouraging production and facilitating the marketing of field and garden crops, livestock and livestock products; promoting and encouraging co-operation among agriculturalists; instituting inquiries and collecting facts and statistics relating to agriculture or other interests of Saskatchewan; and, issuing agricultural information through reports, statistics, circulars or other publications.
The Lands Utilization Board was transferred to the Department of Natural Resources and Industrial Development in 1945, but this responsibility came back to the Department of Agriculture in 1947. At this time, the Lands Utilization division was placed under the Lands Branch which was responsible for the administration of Crown lands in the province. Lands Branch had also been transferred from Natural Resources to Agriculture in legislation assented to on March 5, 1947. In 1964, the Land Utilization Board was replaced by the Agricultural Development Advisory Board.
The Conservation and Development Branch was established in 1949 to encourage and assist with better land use practices. The branch consisted of three main divisions: Operations; Water Development; and Water Rights.
A reorganization of the Department of Agriculture into five main branches was completed in 1951: Animal Industry; Agricultural Representative Service; Conservation and Development; Lands; and Plant Industry. The divisions of Statistics, Information and Radio, Records and General Office reported directly to the Deputy Minister and were sometimes referred to as the Administration Branch.
In 1958, the Agricultural Machinery Administration was added to the department to do the work of the Agricultural Machinery Board, established that same year. Its functions included investigation of complaints, testing machinery and publishing reports on farm machinery and test results.
The Family Farm Improvement Branch was created in 1960 to assist with the installation of farm water and sewage systems, and to assist with the relocation of farmsteads through grants.
The year 1973 witnessed another major restructuring of the department. The various branches, boards and agencies were organized under four major divisions: Extension and Rural Development Division; Farm Resources Development Division; Production and Marketing Division; and a Planning and Research Secretariat. This structure remained in place until 1980, when only the Extension and Rural Development Division and a Marketing and Economics Division were maintained.
Beginning in the late 1970's, the number of boards, commissions and agencies reporting through the department increased. The following are the agencies listed on the Department of Agriculture's organizational charts in annual reports for the period 1977 to 1989: Saskatchewan FarmStart Corporation (1973-1984); Saskatchewan Farm Ownership Board (1974-1992); Saskatchewan Land Bank Commission (1972-1981?); Agricultural Implements Board (1973-1984?); Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Board (1960-1984); Milk Control Board (1977?- ); Saskatchewan Hog Marketing Commission (1977?-1982?); Saskatchewan Sheep and Wool Marketing Commission (1973- ); Agricultural Development Corporation (1974-1990); Lands Appeal Board (1978?-1979); Saskatchewan Lands Allocation Appeal Board (1979?- ); Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (1978?- ); Natural Products Marketing Council (1979?- ); Saskatchewan Vegetable Marketing Commission (1981?- ); Agricultural Credit Corporation (1984-1993); Saskatchewan Beef Stabilization Board (1982-1990); Saskatchewan Horse Racing Commission (1983-1994); Saskatchewan Pork Producers' Marketing Board (1983?- ); Farm Land Security Board (1984? - 1987 Transferred to the Dept. of Justice).
Beginning in 1978, the Department of Agriculture began using the name Saskatchewan Agriculture, although both forms of the name appear in the department's annual reports in this period. Lands Branch was transferred to Saskatchewan Rural Development effective August 1, 1988.
In 1989, the Department of Agriculture was renamed the Department of Agriculture and Food to reflect the addition of new functions relating to diversification and value-added opportunities in the agri-foods industry. From March 2002 to May 2004, the department was known as the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Revitalization, after which it reverted to the Department of Agriculture and Food. As part of a government-wide rebranding strategy, the department was renamed the Ministry of Agriculture on November 21, 2007 [The Government Organization Act (S.S. 2007 c.6)]. It continues (2011) to be known as the Ministry of Agriculture.
Name of creator
The Department of Rural Development was established in 1983 by an act which changed the name of the Department from the Department of Rural Affairs. However, there was little change in function. Its responsibilities included: provision of technical and financial assistance for road and bridge construction and maintenance; operation of ferry crossings; rural municipality traffic safety; advisory assistance to rural municipalities on community planning, resource management and development; revenue sharing through annual grants; and review of rural municipalities' financial statements, budgets and accounting procedures. The Department of Rural Development also administered municipal employees' superannuation until 1986 and had representation in the Environmental Impact Assessment review process.
The Department was administered by a Minister and Deputy Minister. Reporting to the Deputy Minister was the Executive Director of Engineering Services, responsible for Ferry Services, Drafting Services, Bridge Services and Road Services, and the Assistant Deputy Minister of General Services, responsible for the Municipal Employees' Superannuation Commission, Municipal Management and Finance, and Community Planning Services in Regina and Saskatoon. The Deputy Minister was also directly responsible for Administrative Services and Planning and Research. A Board of Examiners (Rural) appointed under the Department's act issued certificates of qualification to rural municipality secretary/treasurers, and other qualified individuals.
In 1985 the ferry crossings function was assigned to the Transportation Manager under the Road Services Branch. 1985 was also the last year that the Municipal Employees' Superannuation Commission reported to the Minister of Rural Development, before transferring to the Minister of Finance.
In response to the Task Force on Rural Development 1985 report, a Rural Development Corporation Program was introduced in 1986. To accommodate this expanded mandate, the Department re-organized into three divisions in 1987: Transportation Services; Management Services; and Development Services.
Transportation Services Division included the branches of Transportation Planning, Bridge Services and Road Services. Management Services Division was composed of Administration, Municipal Finance and Advisory Services and Drafting Services. Development Services Division consisted of Program Development Branch and Community Planning and Development Branch.
The new Development Services Division provided a range of social and economic development programs and services to small communities and rural municipalities. This division liaised with newly established community economic development committees and rural development corporations, to encourage enhanced local autonomy, development diversification and job creation.
The year 1988 brought more changes to the Department of Rural Development with an expanded emphasis on economic development and diversification. On August 1, the branches of Extension and Lands were transferred from the Department of Agriculture. Extension Services was responsible for the establishment of Agriculture Development and Diversification District (ADD) Boards, which advised the minister and implemented Rural Development programs on a local basis. These new ADD boards, committees and regional councils replaced the old Agriculture Extension District Board system. Lands Branch was responsible for administering provincial crown agricultural land, and promoting proper land use, and consisted of three major programs: Crown land sales; Provincial Community Pastures; and, Crown land leases.
The Extension and Lands branches formed part of the new Rural Service Network in partnership with the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation. The Network provided information to rural residents on agriculture, economic development and diversification, integrating program delivery through one agency. Three Rural Service Centres opened during 1988-1989 at Leader, Watrous and Wolseley, as an integral part of the network, with more planned for the following year.
This new focus brought changes to the Department. The Development Services Division was renamed the Rural Service Division, and included: the Rural Service Branch (containing Extension Services); the Community Planning and Development Branch; the Lands Branch; and, the Staff and Client Relations Branch. System Services and Communications branches were also added to the Management Services Division.
During the 1990-1991 fiscal year, the Department of Rural Development was re-organized into four divisions shaped by the Department's strategic plan. The divisions were: Transportation Services; Administration, Revenue and Municipal Services; Resource Management Services (later renamed Information and Resource Management Services); and Extension Services (later renamed Agricultural and Community Development Services).
The Transportation Services Division was composed of Bridge, Road, Transportation Planning, Drafting and Ferry services. The Administration, Revenue and Municipal Services Division consisted of Municipal Services, and Finance and Administration branches. The Resource Management Services Division included Resource Management, Client Services, Crown Lands, and Policy and Program Initiatives. The Extension Service Division was made up of Extension and Community Development. The Communication Service provided information, marketing and public relations support to all of the divisions.
In its last year of operation, the Department of Rural Development reduced its divisions to three: maintaining the Transportation Services Division; the Administration, Revenue and Municipal Services Division, and creating a new Crown Lands Division. The other functions of Community Development Services, Communication Services and Client Services continued, but reported directly to the Executive Office.
Effective March 17, 1993, government reorganization resulted in the functions of the Department of Rural Development being assigned to the Department of Municipal Government and the Department of Agriculture and Food.
Name of creator
The Department of Agriculture became the Department of Agriculture and Food on April 1, 1989.
The organizational structure for the department during 1989-1990 consisted of a Minister of Agriculture and Food and an Associate Minister. A Deputy Minister (DM) reported to the Minister. An Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) reported to the Deputy Minister with the various branches and some agencies reporting to the ADM. The balance of the agencies reported through the DM.
The first minister of the department was Grant Devine. He had been the Minister of Agriculture prior to the reorganization. Perhaps due to Devine concurrently serving as premier, Harold Martens was appointed as Associate Minister of Agriculture and Food in October 1989. The associate position disappeared from departmental org charts in the 1991-1992 fiscal year, presumably as a result of Roy Romanow's NDP government replacing Devine's Progressive Conservative administration. Stuart Kramer was the first Deputy Minister.
The administrative structure evident in the annual report issued at end of the first fiscal year under Agriculture and Food comprised:
Administrative Services Branch - provided department support services in budgeting, accounting, space and accommodation, equipment and supplies, mail services, vehicle management, computer management, legislation and administrative analysis.
Agriculture Development and Diversification Secretariat - worked with individuals, companies, industry groups, and various levels of government to facilitate agri-food development and diversification initiatives.
Agricultural Engineering - developed and implemented policies, programs and services, and assists in the development of innovative and practical solutions to agricultural engineering problems.
Communications - disseminated information relating to programs, policies and services provided by Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food to the public through a variety of methods including library, publications production and distribution, audio-visual production and media relations.
Counselling and Assistance for Farmers - provided financial counseling and operating and/or consolidation loan guarantees to eligible farmers who had been declined operating loans from their primary lending institution.
Economics - had as its mission to strengthen the primary agricultural and food processing sectors of the provincial agri-food industry through the provision of economic research, analysis and program delivery.
Human Resources - provided the Department of Agriculture and Food, as well as the Extension Service, Rural Service and Lands branches with staffing, classification, staff relations, benefits administration, training and staff development. The branch also provided policy direction and guidance for administration and management of personnel to the Department and its associated agencies.
Livestock - developed programs and policies and administered regulations to encourage a viable competitive livestock and livestock products industry in the province.
Northern Farms Unit - operated farms at several locations in Northern Saskatchewan including Cumberland House, Ile-la-Crosse, and Silver Lake.
Soils and Crops - provided support to farmers through its Crop Technology and Development Section, Horticulture Section, Apiary Section, Soils Section and a unit responsible for the Agriculture and Food in Northern Saskatchewan program.
Veterinary Branch - provided support services for the veterinary profession in Saskatchewan in respect to issues of animal health and meat safety.
A Number of other agencies had a functional responsibility to the Minister, reporting through the Deputy Minister: Agricultural Credit Corporation; Milk Control Board; Natural Products Marketing Council; Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute; Sask. Beef Stabilization Board; Saskatchewan Grain Car Corporation; Saskatchewan Horse Racing Commission; Saskatchewan Land Allocation Appeal Board; Saskatchewan Pork Producers' Marketing Board; Saskatchewan Sheep and Wool Marketing Commission; Saskatchewan Vegetable Marketing Commission.
By December 1989, all farms operated by the Northern Farms Unit had been either transferred to private operators or local trusts. The unit was included under the Administrative Services Branch in the departmental annual report for 1989-1990.
The Saskatchewan Agricultural Development Fund was created in 1985 to promote market expansion, diversification, biotechnology and value added production but was not reported as a separate agency until 1991-1992.
In 1992-1993, the Livestock, Soils and Crops, Veterinary and Environment and Engineering branches as well as the agencies Counselling and Assistance for Farmers, the Milk Control Board and the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute all began reporting through the Assistant Deputy Minister.
The fiscal year 1993-1994 saw the addition of a second ADM, one responsible for Policy and Planning and the other for Financial Support and Program Management. Lands and Registration Management was transferred to the latter. Lands Branch, formerly falling under the auspices of the Department of Rural Development was moved to Lands and Registration Management as the functions of Rural Development were distributed among other departments.
The next big change came in 1996-1997, when programs were juggled, with the resulting Programs and Services Division and the Development and Finance Division both reporting through their respective ADM and the Central Support Division reporting directly to the Deputy Minister.
In 1997-1998, the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) and the Agricultural Credit Corporation of Saskatchewan (ACS) were spun off as separate Crown corporations reporting directly to the deputy minister.
In 1999-2000, SCIC and ACS began reporting through the Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for the Programs and Services Division. In 1996, a slow phase-out of the ACS had been originally announced. It finally wound up 2001 and remaining staff were transferred to other positions within the department.
In the 2001-2002 fiscal year, the departmental functions split into four divisions from three - Programs and Services Division, Central Support Division, a new Policy and Financial Services Division which drew some functions from Central Support Division, and the Agricultural Development Division.
Note: While the name change was adopted for all purposes in 1989, the name of the department does not seem to have changed through legislation until the passage of The Department of Agriculture Amendment Act (S.S. 2000, c.40). The act was assented to June 27, 2000.
On March 26, 2002, the department merged with the Rural Revitalization Office and became the Dept. of Agriculture, Food and Rural Revitalization. [The Department of Agriculture and Food Amendment Act, (S.S. 2002, c.17)] Several functions were transferred to other areas of government. On May 6, 2004, the department's name reverted back to the Department of Agriculture and Food, and was such until November 21, 2007 when it was named the Ministry of Agriculture [The Government Organization Act (S.S. 2007 c.6)]. It continues (2010) to be known as the Ministry of Agriculture.
Name of creator
The Lands Patent Branch was originally established in 1881 to maintain the records produced in the land patenting process and to process land applications from institutions. It was originally administered from a central office in Ottawa, but an office was later opened in Winnipeg and local field staff assumed many of the lands patent duties. In 1883, the Lands Patent Branch took over the full functions of a land registry office in relation to federally-controlled western lands. Previously, many of these duties had been administered by the Office of the Registrar General of Canada, part of the Department of the Secretary of State of Canada. In 1928, the name of the agency was changed to Lands Patent Division. In 1930, the Lands Patent Division was dissolved when the provinces took over the responsibility for all unconveyed lands.
Name of creator
From 1930 to 1947 the Lands Branch, and grant and lease functions, were part of the Department of Natural Resources (later the Department of Natural Resources and Industrial Development.) The initial legislation (The Provincial Lands Act, 1931 and The Land Utilization Act, 1935) and the legacy of the Federal Department of the Interior, which previously held jurisdiction over these responsibilities, provided the framework for Crown Land lease and sale accounting and administration. While the Lands Branch was part of the Department of Natural Resources, the Provincial Lands Division and then (in 1932) the Lands Patent Division carried out the grants and transfer of land. This included handling enquiries, application forms, payments, agreements and recording the disposition of land.
In 1948, control of the Lands Branch was transferred to the Department of Agriculture, which subsequently changed the responsibility for many of the functions from the Land Utilization Division to the Inspection Services Division. During the 1960s, The Agriculture Rehabilitation and Development Act resulted in many of the grants and leases only being permitted for projects related to the development and conservation of water supplies, soil improvement, and /or agricultural efficiency.
In 1975, the Lands Disposition and Records Division of the Lands Branch became responsible for land grants and transfers - by advertising land for lease/sale, by preparing land transfers, and by maintaining the records of lands. In 1984-1985, a reorganization of the Lands Branch saw many of these functions split between the Field Operations and Support Services divisions.
The transfer of the Lands Branch back to the Department of Agriculture and Food in 1993 resulted in another reorganization, splitting the control of leases and sales amongst geographically oriented divisions (i.e. northwest, south). In 1993-1994 the Branch operated under the Financial Support and Program Management Division as part of the Lands and Regulatory Management Branch. This Branch had a broader mandate, including livestock health and operations. With the abolishment of the Crow's Nest Pass annual railways subsidy in February 1995, Lands Branch assumed responsibility for management of the provincial share of the federal payout and amended rental rates on Crown agricultural leases.
In 1996, the splitting of the Lands and Regulatory Management Branch into three branches (Livestock and Veterinary Operations, Pasture, and Lands) resulted in Lands Branch becoming part of the Program and Services Division, where it remained until April 2005. This change marked the first time that the Lands Branch did not hold responsibility for the administration of provincial pastures and the Community Pastures Program. The responsibility was returned to the Branch in 2001 with the amalgamation of Pastures and Lands Branches.
In 2000, the stated mandate of Lands Branch was "to promote the sustainable and integrated use of Crown land while providing opportunities for diversification and economic growth." Between April 2002 and May 2004 the Department operated as the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Revitalization. Currently (2011) Lands Branch resides in the Ministry of Agriculture. While the Branch has experienced changes in its structure and in policy and program development, the basic function regarding the administration, sale and lease of Crown lands has not substantially altered throughout its history.
Scope and content
This series consists records that document the activities related to the issuing of grants on patented land for the North-West Territories and the Province of Saskatchewan. Patented land refers to land for which title has previously been granted; the Crown 'grants' title to the land to the new owner. Activities reflected in the records include the management of enquiries, application forms, payments, agreements, and recording the disposition of lands.
The types of records included are original and copies of correspondence, agreements, survey reports, comparative land reports, announcements of land availability, technical drawings, appraisal and inspection reports, registration abstracts, survey photographs and drawings, tax notices, wills and other documentation.
Records in this series are listed consecutively by grant number within collections. The archival holdings for grant files are incomplete.
Collection R-1235, series 1 consists of an incomplete run of grants numbered from 37140 to 38454.
Collection R-1800, series 2 consists of an incomplete run of grants numbered from 38522 to 39042.
Collection R-1836 consists of an incomplete run of grants numbered from 38791 to 39266.
Collection R-1838 consists of an incomplete run of grants numbered from 38237 to 38790.
Collection Ag. 11, series I, sub-series 6 contains an incomplete run of grants numbered from 21099 to 37806.
No sub-series assignment has been applied to the records in this series.
Records are in good physical condition.
Immediate source of acquisition
The Lands Branch of the Department of Agriculture transferred some of these records to the Saskatoon office, Saskatchewan Archives in 7 accessions between 1954 and 1985: P 142 (1954 and 1957); P 206 (July 22, 1965); P 221 (May 1968); P 252 (June 29, 1973); S81-17 (February 3, 1981); S83-76 (May 26, 1983); S85-141 (July 25, 1985).
The Administrative Manager, Lands Branch, Saskatchewan Rural Development transferred some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 1989: R1989-042 (February 13, 1989).
The Department of Agriculture and Food, Lands and Regulatory Management Branch transferred some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in 4 accessions between 1996 and 2000: R1996-124 (January 30, 1996); R1996-350 (May 8, 1996); R2000-405 (November 29, 2000); and R2000-452 (February 25, 2000).
Records in this series processed prior to 2004, were described as discrete collections base upon the records available in the Archives holdings at that time. As such, some collections overlap in the range of grant numbers they cover and may also contain files with the same grant number.
Records within the collection were arranged numerically (ascending) based upon the grant number applied to the file by the creating agency.
Some of the factors determining the arrangement/sampling the records of earlier acquisitions in this series were not documented during the description process.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
These records are subject to access restrictions. Please consult reference archivist for assistance.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Use, publication, and/or reproduction of records are subject to Crown copyright. Please consult reference archivist for assistance.
To consult the records, visit or contact the Regina office.
- SAFA 14
- SAFA 14 consists of a government series description and file listings of some of the textual records. This guide has incorporated the following old guides: GR 6-1 (Coll. R-1235, series 1; R-1800, series 2; and R-1836); and GS 44 (S-Ag. 11, series I, sub-series 6).
Uploaded finding aid
Related material: Records managed by the Lands Branch related to lands transfers are available in the Regina office, Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan in the Lands Transfer Files series (BS 2). See SAFA 7 for details.
Further accruals are expected.
Location for retrieval: Regina - Henderson; Regina - Hillsdale; Regina - Maxwell.
Some photographs, maps, technical and architectural drawings have been retained in the textual records to preserve context.
Extent of maps represents the number of maps identified in the collection descriptions as retained within the textual records (R-1836, 11; R-1838, 35). The actual number of maps within the series may differ.
Extent of architectural drawings represents the number of architectural identified in the collection descriptions as transferred from the textual records (R-1235, 21) and retained within the textual records (R-1838, 2). The actual number of architectural drawings within the series may differ.
Extent of photographs represents the number of photographs identified in the collection descriptions as being transferred from the textual records (R-1235, 13). The actual number of photographs within the series may differ.
Conservation practices in place at the time of processing were applied to the records in this series.
Textual records: Old guide GR 6-1 (R-1235, series 1; R-1800, series 2; R-1836); Old guide GS 44 (Ag. 11, series I, sub-series 6); R-1838
Standard number area
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Description record identifier
Rules or conventions
Saskatchewan Archives. Archival Description Manual 2004.
Level of detail
Language of description
Script of description
Content of the series.