Assignment This class is ECO321, The Economic History of Canada. Description: The story of long-run economic growth and welfare in the Canadian economy,

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This class is ECO321, The Economic History of Canada. 

 Description: The story of long-run economic growth and welfare in the Canadian economy, with the aid of economic analysis, quantitative data, and other historical materials. Emphasis on the development of the Canadian economy from a resource-based economy to a developed industrial economy within an international setting. 

There are all have three questions. The 321 report of 1a needs to be written in the document named “321template v2”. The answers to other questions are written in the file named “Assignment”.



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Table of Contents
Question 1: (Reading) Nutrition and Residential Schools 3
1.a (3-2-1 report) 3
Question 2: (Regular) Aid and Starvation 4
2.a Adjusting for inflation using a CPI 5
2.b Buying the relief bundle at Walmart in 2022 7
2.c Counting calories 8
2.d Which measure is best? 9
Question 3: (Challenge) Tracking down Hong Yuen 11
Appendix: Government correspondence on the Moisie affair 14
A. J. Smith to D. Laird, Minister of the Interior (April 30, 1874) 14
Memo by L. Vankoughnet (May 4, 1874) 14
Letter from ‘G’ to Alex Fraser & Co. (May 5, 1874) 15
Letter from ‘G.’ to John Holliday (May 5, 1874) 16
Letter from Chief Bartholomew to E. A. Meredith (May 25, 1874) 16
Letter from John Holliday to E. A. Meredith (May 28, 1874) 17
Letter from E. A. Meredith to John Holliday (March 3, 1875) 17
Letter from E. A. Meredith to A. Fraser & Co. (March 3, 1875) 18
Letter from A. Fraser & Co. to E. A. Meredith (March 11, 1875) 18
Letter from John Holliday to E. A. Meredith (March 11, 1875) 18
Letter from E. A. Meredith to John Holliday (March 19, 1875) 19
Letter from John Holliday to E. A. Meredith (May 5, 1875) 19
Unsigned Memorandum (Probably May 6-9, 1875) 19
Letter from E. A. Meredith to John Holliday (May 10, 1875) 19
Letter from John Holliday to E. A. Meredith (June 30, 1875) 20
Letter from E. A. Meredith to John Holliday (August 16, 1875) 20
Letter from John Holliday to E. A. Meredith (October 1, 1875) 21
List of Provisions distributed to Moisie & Seven Islands Indians 22

Question 1: (Reading) Nutrition and Residential Schools

Read the following paper:

Mosby, I. (2013). Administering Colonial Science: Nutrition Research and Human Biomedical Experimentation in Aboriginal Communities and Residential Schools, 1942–1952. Histoire sociale / Social History 46(1), 145-172.

1.a (3-2-1 report)

Write a 3-2-1 report on the above paper in the usual fashion.

Question 2: (Regular) Aid and Starvation

In 1874, it was brought to the attention[footnoteRef:1] of Canada’s Ministry of the Interior that Indians in the Moisie and Sept-Îles (Seven Islands) regions of Quebec were in danger of starving. As relief, the government sent 8 barrels of flour, 1 barrel of pork, 1 barrel of dried peas, 2 kegs of lard (pork fat), 4 bags of biscuit, one bale of stroud cloth, and one bale of old stock blankets. These were allocated by a non-Indigenous trader, John Holliday, who had done similar work for the government before. He had strict instructions to give relief only to “to those among them who, from old age, sickness, or the number of children in their families may be real objects for Charity […] – as of course where Indians can support themselves by their own labor, it is desirable that they should do so.” [1: All of the background information and quotes in this question are taken from MINGAN RESERVE – SUPPLIES SENT TO STARVING INDIANS OF THE MOISIE, SEPT ILES AREA. (1874 – 1877). Library and Archives Canada: RG10, Volume number: 1929, Microfilm reel number: C-11113, C-11113, File number: 3297. ]

In 1875, Indigenous people at Moisie, Sept-Îles and Mingan were again in danger of starving. This time, the government had John Holliday buy the supplies for the Indians on the government’s behalf. He was instructed to “procure such supplies as you believe to be absolutely necessary for the Indians, not on any account, however, to exceed in amount the sum of $250, and as much below that sum as the circumstances will justify. These supplies the Supt. Genl. wishes you to distribute in the same judicious manner as has been done by you on previous occasions, always remembering that only Indians in actual want and who are unable to procure subsistence by the work of their hands should receive assistance.”

John Holliday originally missed the inclusion of Mingan, which was 70 miles away from him, and spent $115.07 on supplies for the Moisie and Sept-Îles Indians. He spent this on 19 barrels of flour and 100 lbs. of lard. Assistance was given to 28 individuals, many of whom received 2 lbs. lard and 1 barrel of flour (196 lb.)[footnoteRef:2] to get them through the winter. [2: “Wheat flour: 1 barrel equals 196 pounds”. Statistics Canada. (2008). Symbols. ]

In this question, you will examine how generous (or not) this relief was, in three different ways: adjusting per capita expenditure for inflation using a consumer price index, calculating the cost of buying 2 lbs. of lard and 196 lbs. of flour in 2022, and calculating the calories and implied days of food provided.

2.a Adjusting for inflation using a CPI

In 1875, John Holliday, on behalf of the government, spent $115.07 to provide relief for 28 Indigenous people at risk of starving. This means that per capita spending on relief was $115.07/28 = $4.11 (approximately).

This number does not tell us much on its own, because in terms of purchasing power, $1 meant something very different in 1875 than it does in 2022.

When economists (and others) come across this problem, it’s common to adjust for inflation using a price index. Unfortunately, Canada’s go-to price index, the Consumer Price Index or CPI, only goes back to 1914.

While the official CPI for the United States only goes back to 1913, the Minneapolis Federal Reserve has put together an estimate[footnoteRef:3] of the U.S. CPI from 1800[footnoteRef:4] onward. [3: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. (n.d.). Consumer Price Index, 1800-. ] [4: Crucially, their prices for 1851-1890 are based on Hoover, E. D. (1960). Retail Prices after 1850. In The Conference on Research in Income and Wealth (ed.), Trends in the American Economy in the Nineteenth Century, pp. 141-190. Princeton University Press. ]

If you assume that the inflation experience of the U.S. and Canada from 1875 to 2022 are similar enough so that adjusting for U.S. inflation will return a figure that reasonably close to the ‘true’ value we’d get by adjusting for Canadian inflation, then one way to understand how ‘generous’ the relief was, would be to adjust per capita spending for U.S. inflation.

According to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve and the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics[footnoteRef:5], the U.S. CPI was 33 in 1875 and 843.87 in 2022. This means that a basket of consumer goods that cost $33 in 1875 should cost $843.87 in 2022, and by extension that $1 in 1875 bought as much as ($843.87/33 =) $25.69 in 2022. [5: The Minneapolist Fed’s CPI series only goes to 2020 (and includes an estimate for 2021). I used Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) data to adjust the Minneapolis Fed’s 2020 CPI (777.7) for U.S. inflation from July, 2020 (the midpoint of the year) to January, 2022 (the latest estimate available). You can try this yourself using the BLS’s inflation calculator: ]

i. If $33 in 1875 is the same as $843.87 in 2022, how much is the $4.11 per capita expenditure in 1875, in 2022 dollars? Show your work[footnoteRef:6]. [6: You should only need high school math for this: 33 is to 843.87 as 4.11 is to what?]

Answer: $ _____________________


ii. Do you think the number you calculated does a good job of letting someone in 2022 understand how generous or not generous the government spending on starvation relief was in 1875? Briefly explain your reasoning. For full marks, you should be specific.

(Hint: What do I mean by ‘be specific’? One obvious issue to ‘go after’ would be that the U.S. and Canada don’t have identical inflation histories, so that adjusting for U.S. inflation won’t be the same as adjusting for Canadian inflation. Pointing that out is not enough for full marks. Instead, you should find some evidence that inflation between 1875 and 2022 is different enough in the U.S. and Canada that using U.S. inflation would be misleading, perhaps by comparing both countries’ CPIs for 1914 – 2022, when both countries have well-defined official CPIs. There are other things you could talk about, too. We’re treating the $4.11 as if it were spent on general consumer goods, but the spending in 1875 was on very specific items…)

[Write your answer here, in 5 to 500 words]

2.b Buying the relief bundle at Walmart in 2022

Another way to determine how generous or not generous the government’s starvation release spending was, is to calculate how much it would cost to buy the relief ‘bundle’ in 2022.

John Holliday reported[footnoteRef:7] giving relief to 28 Indigenous people. Of these 28, 14 were given 2 lbs. lard and 1 barrel (196 lb.) of flour, 11 were given 2 lbs. lard and no flour, 1 was given 2 lbs. lard and 2 barrels flour, 1 was given 7 lbs. lard and 1 barrel flour, and 1 was given no lard and 1 barrel flour. [7: See the very last page of this assignment for a transcription of Holliday’s account.]

The modal ‘bundle’ was therefore 2 lbs. of lard and 196 lb. (1 barrel) of flour.

At, as of February 13, 2022, 1 lb. (454 g.) of Tenderflake pure lard costs $2.97, and 10 kg. of Great Value Original All-Purpose Flour costs $8.47.

i. If 1 lb. of lard costs $2.97 and 10 kg of flour cost $8.47, what is the total cost of 2 lb. of lard and 196 lb. of flour? Show your work. Hint: Note that there are 1000 g. in a kg. and (about) 454 g. in a lb.

Answer: $____________


ii. Do you think the number you calculated does a good job of letting someone in 2022 understand how generous or not generous the government spending on starvation relief was in 1875? Briefly explain your reasoning. For full marks, you should be specific.

(Hint: Do you think lard (pig fat) ‘means’ the same thing, culturally and in terms of cooking, now as in 2022? Are there things you could do to prevent starvation with the amount of money calculated above, that you couldn’t do if you were just given the flour and lard?)

[Write your answer here, in 5 to 500 words]

2.c Counting calories

Another way to see how generous (or not) the government relief of flour and lard was, is to try to figure out how long someone could live on the calories provided. It’s commonly reported[footnoteRef:8] that a healthy adult needs at least 2,000 calories a day. [8: See, for example, this quote from a government of Ontario site: “Adults and youth (ages 13 and older) need an average of 2,000 calories a day”. Ontario Ministry of Health. (2021). Calories on menus. ]

i. If 1 lb. of lard has 4,091 calories, 1 lb. of flour has 1,651 calories, and an adult needs about 2,000 calories/day, how many days eating could be ‘funded’ using just the 2 lb. of lard and 1 barrel (196 lb.) of flour provided by the government? Show your work, and make your answer correct to 2 decimal places. (e.g. ‘1.23 days’.)

Days of semi-starvation diet possible: _______________________


ii. Do you think the number you calculated does a good job of letting someone in 2022 understand how generous or not generous the government spending on starvation relief was in 1875? Briefly explain your reasoning.

[Write your answer here, in 5 to 500 words]

2.d Which measure is best?

In your opinion, which of the three numbers you calculated above gives the best idea of how generous (or un-generous) government starvation relief was? Briefly explain your reasoning, and be specific if possible.

A few things you may wish to keep in mind:

· This relief was specifically only for people who could not earn a living in absolutely any other way (or who had a large number of young children).

· Like the Beothuk, the Indigenous people in the affected region migrated between the Interior and the Coast. In Autumn, they would leave for the woods of the Interior, to hunt. They’d come back to the Coast in the spring and summer.

· The winter hunts had failed in 1873 and 1874, and were expected to fail in 1875.

· In 1874, able-bodied Indigenous people affected by the failure of the hunt had found employment chopping wood for the Moisie Iron Company. According to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, who first drew attention to the issue, this work only allowed for a “scanty subsistence”.

· A letter survives from an Indigenous leader (chief) named Bartholomy or Barthelemy to the Minister of the Interior, regarding assistance. It reads in part:

“Our hunting grounds these many years past, do not as formerly yield us a sufficiency for to live comfortably on, and I do not know what would become of us, unless, for your great care of us. As Mr. Holliday is very well acquainted with those who are most in need, I will from time to time let him know when they require assistance, and he will distribute to us, as is most necessary.

As we leave the coast about the beginning of August to pass the winter in the Interior, we would earnestly entreat of you to extend again your goodness towards us by sending us a small supply of flour about the end of July, to enable us to pass the winter without dread of starvation; it would be great relief with our own endeavours to reach the Coast with safety in Spring.”

i. Of the three numbers you calculated, which one is best at communicating to readers in 2022 how generous or not generous the government’s supplies were? Briefly explain your reasoning.

[Write your answer here, in 5 to 500 words.]

ii. Based on what you’ve learned, do you think the assistance provided by the government in 1875 was enough, and appropriate? Briefly explain your reasoning. For full marks, be specific. (e.g. Don’t just say, ‘No, because it wasn’t a lot of food.’ Instead, say something along the lines of, ‘If the goal was to —–, then the supplies would not have been enough, because — and —, which would require —, and this was not provided for.)

Hint: I’ve transcribed much of the formerly secret government correspondence on the issue as an Appendix. How much of a say did Indigenous people get in how much relief was provided, or of what kind, or in how it was distributed? How much effort was put into making sure it was appropriate?

[Write your answer here, in 5 to 500 words.]

Question 3: (Challenge) Tracking down Hong Yuen

This question will show you how you may combine information from a variety of sources to create a picture of an individual or organization. We will be looking at Hong Yuen & Co. General Vegetable[footnoteRef:9] Dealers. This company was founded in Victoria by Hong Yuen, and is not mentioned after the 1920s. [9: Hong Yuen & Co. did try to start a piggery in 1909, but the neighbours complained.]

We’ll focus on the years 1891 and 1911, because these are years that are unusually rich in information. Both of them are census years, and UVic has online copies of fire insurance maps for both years.






What year was Hong Yuen born in?


Where was Hong Yuen’s daughter born?


# of live-in servants (Domestics) (1891)



Original business partners (1875)



Business Partner (1891)


Suspected of Smuggling (2 items)



Address of Hong Yuen Co. (1891)


Across the street from


a. Search the 1891 census[footnoteRef:10] for Hong Yuen, who lives in British Columbia in the District of ‘Victoria’. Once you find the relevant census record, click and the image and read it to find the following information: [10: Library and Archives Canada. (2016). Search: 1891 Census of Canada [Web Page]. Retrieved from]

What year was Hong Yuen born in? (Write answer in table provided)

Where was Hong Yuen’s daughter[footnoteRef:11] born?
(Write answer in table provided)

How many live-in servants (Domestics[footnoteRef:12]) did Hong Yuen have in 1891?
(Write answer in table provided) [11: The daughter’s family name is listed as ‘Ah’, suggesting Hong Yuen (红袁?) spoke Cantonese. Victoria’s census takers did not know ‘Ah’ (阿) is used in front of one-syllable Cantonese names to make a nickname, and would often write down ‘Ah’ as a first name or family name. “The prefix ‘Ah’ […] is equivalent to the English Mr. or Mrs. An American named John Smith, for instance, if asked his name; would reply, if he answered [in the Chinese style], ‘Ah John.’ If further asked, ‘What Ah John?’ he would say, ‘Smith Ah John;’ so with Chinesse, ‘What Ah Sing?’ ‘Why[,] Ho Ah Sing.’” Gordon, F.L. (1887, November 17). CHINESE TRAITS. The Abilene Journal, p. 2. Also, note that Hong Yuen’s wife has a different family name. The census taker at first assumed it was ‘Yuen’, but had to cross it out and correct it to ‘Mon’ (张?). Traditionally, in much of China, a wife would keep her family name, since she was still considered part of her father’s family.] [12: Listed as ‘Dom’ in the census.]

b. Who was Hong Yuen’s business partner in 1891, and what was he suspected of smuggling? To answer these question, use the British Colonist ‘Advanced Search’[footnoteRef:13] to find instances of ‘Hong Yuen’ in 1891. [13: The British Colonist Advanced Search [Web Page]. (n.d.). Retrieved from ]

Business Partners in 1875: (Write answer in table provided.) There should be two of them. In October of 1875, Hong Yuen announced the dissolution of the partnership through an ad in the newspaper. The ad should be a small ad on the second page of the relevant newspaper, just above the ad at the bottom right saying ‘PIANO FOR SALE’.

Business Partner in 1891: (Write answer in table provided)

Suspected of smuggling[footnoteRef:14] (he was suspected of smuggling two types of item – make a note of both): (Write answer in table provided) [14: This was not Hong Yuen’s only run-in with the law. In 1885, there was some confusion as to whether he could testify, as this required swearing on the Bible and he was Confucian. From the Colonist for November 27: “Hong Yuen took the stand and had just been sworn on the Bible, when the court asked if the witness was bound by that course more than the usual one of burning a piece of paper. The interpreter said the last operation was not more binding than the other, as the only oath taken in China was when in the case of two or more disputants they each cut off a chicken’s head.” In 1928, the City of Victoria would actually require Chinese witnesses in an attempted murder trial to swear over two sacrificed roosters (see ‘Chicken Oath Administered’).]

d. What was Hong Yuen Co.’s address in 1891, and what major Victoria landmark was it across the street from (NOT next-door to)?

To answer the first part of this question, you will need to look up Hong Yuen & Co. in a BC Directory[footnoteRef:15] for 1891. For that year, there are two choices – Henderson’s or Williams’s. [15: Vancouver Public Libraries. (n.d.). British Columbia City Directories 1860 – 1955 [Web Page]. Retrieved from ]

To answer the second question, you will need to look up the address in the Fire Insurance Plans for 1891[footnoteRef:16]. The first few pages of the Plans are an index that tells you on which pages you will find maps of particular streets. For example, Bay Street is on pages 19 and 21. [16: Goad, C. E. (1895). Insurance Plan of Victoria, British Columbia [Map]. Retrieved from Revised to 1895, which is why it gives ‘1895’ as the date. Note that all the image files names start with ‘1891’.]

Address of Hong Yuen Co. in 1891[footnoteRef:17]: (Write answer in table provided)
[17: In 1912, Hong Yuen & Co. would move to the corner of Fisguard & Quadra. ]

Famous Landmark across the street (NOT next door): (Write answer in table provided)

Appendix: Government correspondence on the Moisie affair

A. J. Smith to D. Laird, Minister of the Interior (April 30, 1874)

Sir, I take the earliest opportunity to acquaint you of information received at this Department concerning the necessitous condition of the Indians frequenting the interior of the Moise District. The winter hunt has been a failure, and the tardy spring season threatens to bear with unusual severity on these poor people who are at present depending for a scanty subsistence on the proceeds of wood-cutting for the Moisie Iron Company.

Should the opening of navigation on the St. Lawrence permit, a fishing schooner will proceed from Quebec about the 7th proximo. If any relief could be afforded on her arrival at Seven Islands or Moisie, it might serve the interests of humanity.

I have the honor to be, Sir, Your Obt. Servant,

A. J. Smith[footnoteRef:18] [18: Sir Albert James Smith (1822 – 1883).]

Minister of Marine and Fisheries.

Memo by L. Vankoughnet (May 4, 1874)

Memo on an application made through the Department of Marine + Fisheries for assistance to be sent to the Indians in the vicinity of the Moise P.Q., owing to the failure of their Winter’s hunt.

The Indians of the Moisie and neighbourhood number about 140 Souls.

Of these there are doubtless many who can earn their own subsistence by the work of their hands; and to whom it would not be an advantage to extend gratuitous aid.

But of course there are others who from old age, sickness, or owing to their having many small helpless children, would require such assistance. For the relief of such cases it is proposed to ship per Schooner leaving Quebec this week, a limited quantity of supplies consigned to Mr. John Holliday, of the Moisie (who has on previous occasions kindly undertaken + discharged to the entire satisfaction of the Department, services of a similar character for those Indians) to be distributed among them, as their need may require, and at such times + in such proportions as Mr. Holliday may think will best meet the object in view.

It is respectfully suggested that supplies to consist of
















be ordered from Messrs. Alex Fraser + Co. of Quebec, with which Firm Mr. Holliday is connected, and to whom the Schooner, by which the supplies are to be shipped, belongs; also that some stroud (coarse cloth suitable for coats + trousers) and old Blankets (if not too much fretted by moth) in store in this office be provided to Messrs. Fraser + Co’s care to be shipped along with the other supplies to Mr. Holliday and to whom a letter of introductions, will at the same time be transmitted by the same vessel [?] directing him as to the proper distribution of the supplies.

L. Vankoughnet[footnoteRef:19] [19: Lawrence Vankoughnet worked in various positions in the Indian department, from clerk to Deputy Superintendent General.]

Acting D.S.G.I.A.

[Acting Deputy Superintendent General of Indian Affairs]

Letter from ‘G’ to Alex Fraser & Co. (May 5, 1874)

Gentlemen, I have to request that you will forward by the first Schooner leaving your port for the

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