The North West Rebellion

Events

The North West Rebellion

1870 - 1885

The Manitoba Act

1870

Following the Red River Rebellion, The Manitoba Act was created. The act was a promise of land to 7000 descendants of the Red River Metis from the federal government. Though many years passed by and the federal government failed to issue the land. This left the Metis frustrated and many left to Saskatchewan where pre-existing Metis communities were.

Creation of Manitoba

1879

Province of Manitoba was created.

Riels's Return

1884

The Metis developed concerns about their rights and safety, they wanted to protest against the federal government who was causing all of this. Though they needed a leader to help them and Louis Riel was the person they looked to. Riel was in exile so Gabriel Dumont (a Metis leader from Saskatchewan) lead a group with three other Metis men to Montana to find and meet with Louis. During his exile Louis became very religious, so when proposed to the idea of this opportunity to lead he saw it as God's plan for him. Riel returned from his exile and now began to lead his people once again.

May 9th: The Batoche Battle

1885

Middleton returned with his troops to Riel's headquarters in early May following their retreat in April. The Metis were now outnumbered, they had less than 300 men while Middleton had a troop of over 800 men. Though this didn't stop the battle held on May 9th. After many failed attacks the federal government force finally beat the Metis militia which had now gone down to 50-60 men. The Metis now had to retreat.

March 19th: Porvisional Government

1885

The federal government continued to ignore the Metis, First Nations, and other settlers in the Northwest. Riel and Dumont noticed this and decided they needed to take more action. They built an army of 300 men who signed a secret oath. Louis then created a provisional government, he was president and referred to himself as "Prophet of the New World". In this provisional government they had a militia which was lead by Gabriel Dumont. The federal government became concerned of another resistance act so they warned their troops to be prepared for a possible fight.

March 25th-26th: Battle of Duck Lake

1885

On March 25th In the need for supplies, Dumont and his men raided the local store in Duck Lake, Saskatchewan. The following day 100 North-West Mounted Police went to catch Dumont and his 300 men and take back all the supplies they stole. Dumont wanted to avoid violence but a fight broke out anyways, this was the first battle of the resistance. Men on both sides were killed but the North-West Mounted Police were forced to retreat.

July 2Oth; Riel's Trial

Approx. 1885

Today Louis Riel's trial began where he pleaded not guilty to treason. This trial was supposed to take place in Winnipeg but the government decided to move it to Regina. Why? Well Winnipeg had a larger Metis population than Regina, so the trial being held in Regina gave Louis less supporters. During his trial Riel's lawyers wanted to say that Louis had gone insane so that he wouldn't be held responsible, though Riel refused saying it wouldn't recognize the Metis cause properly.

November 16th 1885: Louis Riel's Execution

1885

In the end it was up to Prime Minister Macdonald on weather or not Louis would be punished. If he did punish him he would lose support from Quebec, but if he didn't punish Riel he would upset English Canada. Ultimately the Prime Minister and his cabinet chose to punish him and on this day Louis Riel was executed.

May 15th: Louis Riel Surrenders

1885

On this day Louis Riel surrendered. He believed that his public trial would bring awareness to the struggles the Metis face because of the government. He was placed in Regina jail for eight weeks before his trial. As for Dumont and the other men, they escaped to the U.S. This is when the Northwest Resistance was officially over.

The April Attacks

1885

During the month of April after Duck Lake, many battles took place. At the end of the month Major-General Fredrick Middleton (the newly appointed leader of the federal government troop) took his troops to Riel's headquarters in Batoche. Though Dumont was quick enough to ambush Middleton's troops having them retreat for a few weeks.