Northwest rebellion

Report
Métis and FN in the Northwest, Riel Returns, Métis Bill of
Rights
Métis in the Northwest territories

1884 losing patience
with Canadian
Government
-
Unclear status under
the Indian Act
Not part of the treaty
process
Increasing immigration
of settlers
-
-
Feared loss of rights
First Nations Starving
-
-
-
FN signed treaties
gave up their land
and moved to
reserves.
government broke
promises about
providing food after
the buffalo were all
but killed off.
Government refused
to feed “difficult
people”
“They made us many promises,
more than I can remember, but
they kept only one; they
promised to take our land, and
they did.”
Chief Red Cloud
First Nations in need of help

First Nations came to
the Métis and settlers
for help and aid

The Métis and settlers
angry
felt they had to pay for
the government’s
broken promises.
-
Sent to the government to try to make
sure Métis rights are recognized
Métis Petitions
Canadian Government Agenda



Surveys told the
government that 6. 4
million hectares of
land
= 71 million dollars
in government
revenue
NO Métis petition
was going to stand
in the way
Here we go, the start of the Northwest rebellion
Métis take action!
Where is riel?

After Red River
Sent into exile 5
years, lasted 15
- Turned to religion
- Convinced he is a
profit
- Time in a asylum
- Settled in Montana
- Married, 2 kids,
teacher (like me!)
-
1884 Métis needed a strong and iconic leader
Gabriel Dumont asked Riel to return as the Métis
Leader
Return of the king!
Métis Bill of rights
Addressed Métis grievances
 Written by Riel and William Henry
Jackson (local farmer representative)
 Included concerns of Métis and nonMétis people (FN, European farmers) living in
the Northwest Territories
 Sent to Ottawa Dec 1884 and
acknowledged by gov., but rights
ignored!

Rebellion would prove:
-the Métis were violent and unruly
Did the government want a rebellion?
Crushing the Rebellion would:
-Prove the value of and need for the CPR
-Free up Métis land for settlement
-Ensure Métis did not gain land rights
-Did
HBC Factor Clarke promote a rebellion?
Government prepares for rebellion
The government passed a law making it illegal to sell
bullets to the Métis living in the Northwest Territories.
AGAIN Riel sends another Petition
-Riel
knew the government was in possession of the Métis Bill
of Rights
-This petition demanded responsible government for the
Northwest Territories
Government prepares for the
rebellion

HBC Chief Factor and
Magistrate Lawrence
Clarke became the
government’s informant

Wants the Métis gone
Made a ton of cash in
land speculation
Feared lose everything if
Métis granted land rights
-
Riel and Clarke- the final straw!

Riel picked Clarke as
their representative
-
Political connections
Riel assumed
sympathetic

Clarke went to Ottawa
-
The only answer the
Métis will receive for
their petition was bullets
500 NWMP sent to
arrest Riel
-
Justice Commands us!

-
-
March 19 Riel at
Batoche
Peaceful solution
impossible
Canadian
government
determined to make
war
“justice commands
us to take up arms”
Battle of Duck Lake May 26
1885

Métis moved on Fort
Carlton to seize
supplies
NWMP
Superintendent Lief
Crozier confronted
Métis army at Duck
Lake
- Negotiations failed- 2
Métis shot!
- Both sides open fire
-
Métis Victory at Duck Lake



the Métis were better
marksmen, and, they
knew the land
better…they were
victorious at Duck
Lake.
12 NWMP dead, 25
wounded
Fort Carlton evacuated
Empire STRIKES BACK!



Canadian
government
mobilized 5000
troops
Troops arrive in just
5 days! Entire force
in 10 days!- Thanks
CPR
General Middleton in
charge
Battle of fish creek

Dumont knew to
ambush Canadian
troops before they
reached Batoche
-
Ambushed at Fish
Creek
300 Métis stopped
1600 militia soldiers
-
Canadian Army has Gatling Gun
Riel’s mental state?


Said God himself was
talking to him and
telling him he was
“the chosen leader of
the Métis people”.
During battles, he
would find a hill and
climb to the top, hold
a crucifix over his
head to bless the Métis
soldiers.
Battle of Batoche May 9

-
Métis strongholdBatoche attacked by
Canadian troops
Had canons and
Gatling Gun
Métis short on
bullets and used
rocks
Battle of Batoche

Métis defeated- surrender or flee
Dumont fled to the US
- Riel surrendered May 15- thought trial
could bring his cause to attention
-

Death toll
53 Canadian soldiers and volunteers
- 35 Métis and First Nations
-
Chief Poundmaker

-
-
Refused to join the
NW Rebellion
Believed resistance
was futile
His people attacked
by Canadian troops
at Cut Knife Hill
Arrested for treason,
sentenced to 3
years
Chief Big Bear

Refused to join the
NW Rebellion
-
1885 his people
refused supplies at
Frog Lake
Wandering Spirit took
9 hostages- killed
Big Bear convicted of
treason- 3 years
Wandering Spirit
executed
-
Chief Crowfoot
Refused to join NW
Rebellion
 Railway dispute
- Railway building on
his reserve
- Peaceful negotiations
- Got compensated with
extra land
- Willaim Van Horne
awarded him CPR
lifetime pass

Trial of Riel July 28 1885





Taken to Regina and
charged with
treason
Lawyers wanted
Insane defense
Riel wanted to argue
Métis forced to fight
Not allowed to testify
or question
witnesses
6 man jury
Found Guilty of treason August 1




Found guilty after 1
hour- jury
recommended
mercy
Law required death
penalty
Quebec petitions
demanded mercy
Hanged November
16 1885
Métis and First Nations



No land titles, forced to
squat on public land
reserved for roads
Half-breed became an
insult
Moved into cities to hide
ancestry
Métis




81 charged with murder
or treason- 44 convicted
No translation in court
8 hanged for murder in
Battleford November 17
At the mercy of the
government
First Nations
Hero or villain?

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