Northwest Rebellion


The Manitoba Act


The federal government promised to set aside land for 7000 descendants of the Red River Métis. At this time Manitoba's Métis population was 83%.

Louis Riel executes someone.

March 4, 1870

On March 4 Louis Riel had Thomas Scott.He was an orangeman who hated Francophones and Roman Catholics.He had killed him and the created a huge controversy/problem because there was a huge number of people who did not support Riel's decision of killing Thomas Scott.This put him in huge danger and his safety was at a huge risk.

Louis Riel flees.

August 24, 1870

After killing Thomas Scott Louis Riel was in huge danger and his life was at risk.He knew that any minute anyone would try to kill him.On August 24 he fled to the United States because he thought that he would be more safe there.

Still Waiting


The Métis were still waiting for the federal government to issue their land grants. Which they promised they would do 14 years ago.

Louis Riel returns

May 1884

A group of 4 Métis men including Gabriel Dumont,a Métis leader from Saskatchewan had travelled to Montana to meet Louis Riel.They wanted Louis Riel to lead their protest against the federal government.At this time Louis Riel had become more religious and he was convinced that this chance to lead the Métis again was a part of God's plan for him.

Riel petitions the government.

December 1884

Louis Riel and his followers petitioned the federal government to settle both Métis and new settler land claims.

The government responds

February 1885

The federal government responded to Riel's petition,promising to form a committee to investigate the land claim issue.

Creating a new provisional government

March 19 1885

On March 19 Riel created a provisional government similar to the one he had made in Manitoba in 1870.At that time Louis Riel was appointed president. Dumont was chosen to lead the militia.On march 22 the federal government alerted government troops to prepare for a possible battle in the Northwest.

Battle of Duck Lake

March 25, 1885

Dumont and his men raided a store in Duck Lake Saskatchewan for supplies.The next day a group of 100 Northwest mountain police tried to track down Dumont and his men to get the supplies back.To avoid violence Dumont told his men to to hide while his brother Isidore and Assiwiyin a Cree elder spoke to the police.But a fight had still broke out and gunshots were fired signalling the start of the first battle.Many men on both sides were killed including Isidore and Assiwiyin. The Northwest mountain police were forced to retreat.

Before the second battle

April 1885

After the duck lake battle there were several battles throughout April.Towards the end of the month Middleton and his troops headed towards Louis Riel's headquarters in Batoche. Dumont led his militia to Fish Creek where they ambushed Middleton's troops forcing them to retreat.The retreat only lasted a few weeks.In early May Middleton and some of his troops headed for Batoche again.The Métis and First Nations militia of less than 300 men faced a government force of over 800 men.Seeing there were way too many people on the governments side Dumont wanted to use surprise attacks in the countryside because of his knowledge of the land.But Riel refused.He said that he believed that God was on their side and wanted them to fight their enemy at Batoche.

Battle of Batoche

May 9, 1885

The battle of Batoche begins with a three day standoff.After many failed attacks a group of government troops decided to charge the Métis front line.The Métis militia numbered only 50-60 men at this point.They soon ran out of ammunition and had to retreat.

Riel surrenders

May 15, 1885

Louis Riel has surrendered.He thought that a public trial may bring attention to the Métis struggle against the government. Dumont and others had escaped to the United States.With the defeat at Batoche and Riel's surrender the Northwest Resistance was over.

Louis Riel's trial

July 20, 1885

After his arrest Riel was placed in a Regina jail for 8 weeks.Now his trial has begun.He pleaded not guilty to a charge of treason.Originally the trial was supposed to be held at Winnipeg but it was moved to Regina.At that time Winnipeg had a larger Métis population than Regina.The government was worried that a Winnipeg jury would be full of people that would support Riel. In Regina the jury was English speaking Protestants.Riel's lawyers had planned to tell everyone that Riel was insane so that he would not die.Riel refused to do this because he thought if he said he was insane then the Métis would not be recognized properly.

Louis Riel's sentence

July 24, 1885

After a four day trial the jury found Louis Riel guilty of treason,but he recommended mercy, which surprised many people.Only the federal government could reverse his sentence.French Catholic Canada saw Riel as a hero/defender of French and Catholic rights.If Prime Minister McDonald freed Riel,he would offend English Canada.If he punished Riel harshly he would loose Québec's support.

Louis Riel's execution

November 16, 1885

On November 16,1885 Mcdonald and his cabinet decided to hang Riel and he was executed.

The aftermath

December 1885

For weeks after Riel's trial the Canadian public debated Louis Riel's death sentence.In Québec the French and Catholic politicians were very angry over Riel's sentence.After he was hanged huge crowds gathered to protest the federal government's actions.In Québec Riel was thought of as a hero and a defender of Catholic Francophones. The French Canadians anger was so fierce that the actions they took were reported internationally.Till this day people still debate on whether Louis Riel should've been hanged or let go.

People left


The Métis people were tired and frustrated of waiting for the government to respond.Many Métis had moved to the Direct of Saskatchewan and others had left to the United States.At this time Manitoba's Métis population had dropped from 83% to 7%