Having served as a clerk in the Indian Department of the Canadian Civil Service since 1861, Lawrence Vankoughnet (born 1836), assumes the role of Deputy Superintendent General in the Indian Department. Vankoughnet is a long-term acquaintance of John A. Macdonald and heavily supports his policies when he becomes Prime Minister in 1878. Vankoughnet holds virtually all the decision-making power within the Indian Department as it is one of the least prioritized and least funded governmental ministries, mostly employed with unskilled workers. In his career, Vankoughnet introduces measures to make the Indian Department more economically efficient, which reduces its sensitivity to the situations of local Indigenous nations and sets the stage for twentieth century Indian Affairs.
Leighton, Douglas, and Antoine S. Lussier. "A Victorian Civil Servant at Work: Lawrence Vankoughnet and the Canadian Indian Department, 1874-1893." In As Long As the Sun Shines and River Flows: A Reader in Canadian Studies, edited by Ian A.L. Getty. Nakoda Institute Occasional Paper no. 1, (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1983), 105-114.