B.C. Lands Ordinance Act passed the Legislative Council. It stated that, “any Male person being a British Subject, of the age of eighteen years or over, may acquire the right to pre-empt any tract of unoccupied, UDsurveyed, and unreserved Crown Lands (not being an Indian Settlement) not exceeding Three Hundred and Twenty Acres in extent in that portion of the Colony situated to the Northward and Eastward of the Cascade or Coast Range of Mountains, and One Hundred and Sixty Acres in extent in the rest of the Colony. Provided that such right of pre-emption shall not be held to extend to any of the Aborigines of this Continent, except to such as shall have obtained the Governor’s special permission in writing to that effect.”
In plain terms, men were able to acquire the rights to or claim any tract of unoccupied, un-surveyed, and unreserved Crown lands, not exceeding 320 acres in the majority of the province and 160 acres in southwestern B.C.,as long as the pre-emption did not extend to First Nations. Lands were surveyed at 10 acres per Aboriginal family.