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The Northwest to 1870. The Northwest in 1800. In the 18th century the Northwest was dominated by two rival fur trading companies: Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) North West Company (NWC). The Hudson’s Bay Company.

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the northwest in 1800
The Northwest in 1800
  • In the 18th century the Northwest was dominated by two rival fur trading companies:
    • Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC)
    • North West Company (NWC)
the hudson s bay company
The Hudson’s Bay Company
  • It was founded in 1670 following Pierre Radisson and Medart de Groseilliers’s successful journey to the wilderness beyond New France.
    • It was 1670 when the HBC received its royal charter from the king which gave it exclusive trading rights over Rupert's Land.
      • Approx. 1/3 the size of modern Canada.
      • It included all lands drained by rivers flowing into Hudson Bay.
    • King Charles II wanted to cut into the French fur trade which they had controlled since 1616.
the hudson s bay company4
The Hudson’s Bay Company
  • The company set up trading posts at the mouths of rivers emptying into Hudson Bay.
  • It encouraged the Assiniboin, Cree, and Ojibwa trappers and traders to bring their furs to the posts for trade goods.
    • Followed the “stay by the Bay” policy for the next century.
  • Beaver was the most prized fur.
    • It began to work as a form of currency. All pelts were compared to a beaver pelt, called “made beaver”, and a price for the traders furs was established based on this.
    • Once the value was determined, the trader could then purchase their goods at the company store.
  • The standard of trader was strict and little room for bargaining remained.
the hudson s bay company5
The Hudson’s Bay Company
  • The company was strict in its hierarch.
    • The company directors were from England, local bosses know as factors were British, along with the clerks and labourers at the posts.
    • Everyone working for the HBC was a salaried employee.
    • Only the London partners shared profits.
    • They hired employees with no financial interest in the company.
  • The company shipped all of the furs directly to England, and received its trading goods in return
    • This happened swiftly in the summer because of Hudson Bay being frozen over all but July to mid September.
the hudson s bay company6
The Hudson’s Bay Company
  • In 1783 the North West Company was established creating a rival for the HBC.
  • Soon the stay by the bay policy would be put to the test.
    • NWC post scattered throughout the western and northern interior making it easier for traders to go to them instead of the Bay.
    • 1780’s had the HBC establish a number of inland posts o win back some of the trade they lost to the NWC.
the north west company
The North West Company
  • 1750’s French Canadian fur trade had moved deep inland.
    • They realized the stay by the bay policy would make trading post inaccessible at times.
  • 1763 New France fell and the fur trade was seized by a group of English businessmen called the “Montrealers”.
    • They continued to employ the French Canadians, and expand the fur trade farther into the interior.
  • It was in 1783 several of the companies merged that were in the French fur trade, and formed the NWC.
the north west company8
The North West Company
  • The NWC had different reasons for building posts inland.
    • Geographically it was to there advantage.
    • Furs had to be sent from Montreal and this was too far for the Natives to travel to trade.
      • Most lived west of Lake Winnipeg.
      • A major trade depot was established at Fort William at the head of Lake Superior.
        • This was were all of the trade goods were shipped to every spring from England.
the north west company9
The North West Company
  • Once the goods had reached Fort William they were distributed to the inland posts by employees of the NWC.
  • The process was reversed in the late summer shipping furs out of the inland posts to Fort William, and then to Montreal and on to England.
  • Timing become critical, as it did for the HBC.
  • The NWC was an aggressive operation.
the north west company10
The North West Company
  • The NWC structure was based on partnership, and was less rigid and top-down orientated than the HBC.
    • NWC partners stayed in Montreal and bought the trade goods from England, and arranged for sale and shipment of furs back.
    • Hiveranants remained in the Northwest doing the actual fur trading.
      • They shared in the profit because they were actually partners in the company.
        • This created motive for the employee to have the company prosper.
the north west company11
The North West Company
  • The company employed voyageurs to paddle canoes and carry cargo in the Northwest and on long lake journey’s from Fort William to Montreal.
  • They were continually looking for new trading areas, employing explorers who traveled through the Northwest mapping new territory, and established new posts.
  • They took a more relaxed standard with regards to the trading of furs, and was willing to barter over the price.
    • They also traded alcohol for furs, something the HBC did not do.
  • The continued push of the NWC paid off as they stretched as far as the interior of modern day BC, and up to Great Slave Lake.
the native peoples of the northwest
The Native Peoples of the Northwest
  • The Northwest is dominated by the Canadian shield which is covered in boreal forest.
    • Closer the Hudson Bay the trees are smaller and lichens grow on the ground.
    • Southwest of the shield is the Interior Plain.
  • Before European contact the Northwest was the home of four different aboriginal tribes.
    • Ojibwa, Assiniboin, Cree, and Chipewyan.
    • The Inuit lived along the northern edges of Hudson Bay outside the areas of the fur trade.
the native peoples of the northwest14
The Native Peoples of the Northwest
  • By 1800 the aboriginal peoples had had a history of involvement in the fur trade as trappers, traders, or middlemen.
  • Each aboriginal nation had a particular territory where they controlled.
  • Many native peoples become so involved in the fur trade that it began to disrupt their way of life.
    • The demand for fur become so great between both the HBC and NWC that many trappers abandoned their traditional cycles of trapping, fishing, hunting, and preserving foods to just trap full-time.
the native peoples of the northwest15
The Native Peoples of the Northwest
  • Cultural values clashed between the natives and the Europeans.
    • Natives worked to sustain themselves, and not to work for the sake of working.
      • Guides would stop when they felt they had gone far enough inland, and often would abandon traders.
        • Traders believed this to be irresponsible.
    • The natives did not always retaliate to the HBC and NWC traders when they would steal a canoe, furs, or food.
      • There is accounts of them helping out those who had stolen their goods.
the native peoples of the northwest16
The Native Peoples of the Northwest
  • Contact with the Europeans brought disease to the natives.
    • Small pox and measles toped the list of diseases that killed many natives because they had no immunity built up to them.
      • 1780-82 a small pox outbreak killed off much of the Chipewyan and Cree tribes around Hudson Bay.
the northwest from 1800 to 1860
The Northwest from 1800 to 1860
  • Competition began to increase as the fur trade grew.
  • Fur resources in established posts were becoming depleted, and as a result the HBC and NWC moved farther inland.
    • NWC established posts in BC and north of the 16th parallel.
    • Both began to offer more valuable trade goods, and opened post next to each other to encourage competition.
the m tis
The Métis
  • With the push deeper into the interior, traders began to winter over in the trading areas staying with the native peoples.
  • A number of fur traders married the daughters of the native families.
    • This was encouraged by both the NWC and the native peoples.
    • It was believed this would help ensure trading loyalty, and native leaders thought of it to be advantageous to have more than one daughter marry fur traders.
    • Wives of fur traders enjoyed a good life and their lives and standard of living was generally better and easier than most women.
the m tis19
The Métis
  • Marriages were important social events.
    • The trader would ask for his brides hand in marriage and then pay the father a sum of money.
    • Brides were often dressed in traditional attire by her family, and grooms received a set of traditional garments.
  • By 1800 4000 voyageurs and hiveranants were living in the Northwest, and many had married native women.
the m tis20
The Métis
  • The HBC was the opposite as the NWC, as it forbade its employees to marry.
    • The company was concerned about having to support too many dependants.
    • The tried to enforce a policy of celibacy among the employees.
    • Isolation in areas led to several marriages and cross-cultural marriages.
  • By the early 19th Century a large amount of people living in the Northwest were of European-native decent.
the m tis21
The Métis
  • As generations passed they began to think of themselves as distinct people.
    • They initially called themselves bois brule meaning burnt wood.
    • 1810 they began using the term Métis.
  • The Métis formed the largest group of mixed ancestry because a majority of the Europeans in the Northwest were French Canadian.
  • Those mixed with Scottish or British preferred the term country-born.
the m tis22
The Métis
  • The Métis usually spoke French and Algonkian, or a combination of the two.
  • Most were Roman Catholic.
  • By 1810 a large number of Métis were living near the junction of the Red and Assiniboin Rivers, and the formed communities that combined both Native and European lifestyles.
  • They built farms along the banks of the rivers laid out in a seigneurial pattern.
    • Long lots which was a French custom.
    • They also lived on some of the best prairie soils.
the m tis23
The Métis
  • They hunted bison but where not dependant on it for survival.
    • By 1820’s the bison hunt had become a seasonal event for all Métis.
    • It took place in the early summer and autumn.
    • Its purpose was to provide fresh meat and hide, but also to use the meat and fat to make pemmican to be sold to the fur trading companies.
    • Each hunt had the Métis setting out across the prairies in Red River Carts looking for the right heard.
the m tis24
The Métis
  • They used two types of horses in the hunt; saddle horses and buffalo runners.
    • Saddle horses pulled the carts, and buffalo runners were trained specifically for the hunt as fast responsive horses.
  • The hunt was extremely dangerous as guns could explode, horses could trip on gopher holes, and the pointed horns of the bison could swing unexpectedly.
  • Death and injury were not uncommon.
  • Once they had enough bison they would butcher them to make pemmican and then return to the Red River.
  • The Métis come into conflict with the Plains Indians, but were formidable opponents for them.
    • 1851 64 Métis defended themselves against 1000-2000 Sioux Warriors.
the m tis25
The Métis
  • The bison hunt created a sense of community, pride, and discipline in the Métis which would become important in the later 19th Century.
the colony on the red river
The Colony on the Red River
  • Lord Selkirk had been deeply troubled by the plight of poor tenant farmers in his native Scotland.
    • In the late 18th Century many landowners enclosed their farms.
    • This meant tenant farmers had to be evicted from the land.
    • Wool had become more profitable for the landowners than the rent being paid by tenants.
    • The displaced tenants had two options; first to move to an industrialized town for factory work, or second move to British North America to farm.
the colony on the red river27
The Colony on the Red River
  • Most could not afford to move to British North America, so Selkirk used his fortune to setup agricultural colonies for the tenants.
    • 1810he had established colonies in Upper Canada and the Maritimes.
  • Selkirk also used his pull as a director for the HBC to get the HBC to give him 300,000 square km to create a farming colony that would supply the HBC with food for the employees at less expense than before.
    • It was called Selkirk’s Grant.
    • Selkirk and the HBC overlooked the fact that the people living there might be opposed to the influx of new farmers.
      • He also overlooked the harsher conditions of the territory compared to Scotland.
the colony on the red river28
The Colony on the Red River
  • 36 Scottish and Irish labourers, led by Miles Macdonell, come from Britain in 1811 to prepare the colony for the main group of settlers.
    • They reached York Factory very late, and did not reach the Red River until August 30, 1812.
    • A few months later the rest of the settlers (120 colonists) arrived.
    • Both group had to winter at NWC post Fort Pembina 110 km for the intended colony because nothing was prepared.
    • 1813 they went back to Red River to begin clearing the land.
    • That year the crops failed and they again wintered in. Fort Pembina.
the colony on the red river29
The Colony on the Red River
  • A second group of 83 colonists landed at Fort Churchill and wintered at York factory.
    • 1814 they arrived at the Red River Colony.
  • The second year was more prosperous in that the crops survived.
  • Macdonell feared there would not be enough food for the winter, so he issued the Pemmican Proclamation.
    • It banned the sale and export of pemmican out of the Red River area.
the colony on the red river30
The Colony on the Red River
  • The ban on pemmican caused controversy.
    • The Métis relied on the proceeds fro selling pemmican to the NWC.
    • The proclamation went against Lord Selkirk’s instructions to stay clear of the NWC.
  • Macdonell also ordered all NWC employees to vacate their posts in the Red River area within six months.
  • Spring of 1814 brought about the retaliation that was a result of Macdonell’s actions.
the colony on the red river31
The Colony on the Red River
  • The NWC and Métis retaliated under the direction of Chief Trader Duncan Cameron.
  • They burnt buildings, trampled crops, fired riffles at night.
  • Cameron convinced 133 colonists to leave in early 1815.
  • Cameron later arrested Macdonell and took him to trial at Fort William.
  • The remaining colonists left in June.
the colony on the red river32
The Colony on the Red River
  • Under the command of Colin Robertson the colonists returned to Red River by the end of the summer.
    • He was a HBC trader who had worked to the NWC.
  • He made peace with the Métis and the NWC.
  • Robert Semple was the new governor elect in the fall after arriving with 84 new colonists.
  • Semple was warned about the possibility of attacks, but Semple himself attacked and burned the empty NWC fort at Fort Gibraltar.
    • This convinced the Métis that the Selkirk settlers intended to declare war.
the colony on the red river33
The Colony on the Red River
  • May 1816 a group of Métis raided a brigade of BC boats on the Assiniboine River west of Red River.
  • They seized the supply of pemmican which they viewed as reasonable compensation for Macdonell’s Pemmican Proclamation.
  • One month later a party of Métis approach Red River because they believed they had more claim to the land than the settlers.
  • Semple and 28 men rode out to confront the Métis.
  • The Métis split into two groups, one in front of Semple and his men and one behind, and within 15 minutes they had killed Semple and 20 of his men.
    • The Skirmish become know as the “Battle of Seven Oaks.
    • This turned the dispute between the HBC and the NWC and Métis into a full scale conflict.
the colony on the red river34
The Colony on the Red River
  • The colonists retreated to Jack River House.
  • The colony was once again destroyed.
  • Selkirk began traveling west to the colony from Montreal as the situation deteriorated.
  • Selkirk took 95 Swiss mercenaries with him planning to offer them land to settle.
  • On the way to the colony he come across Macdonell who told Selkirk of the Battle of Seven Oaks.
  • Selkirk moved west capturing the fort at Fort William, and descended on the Red River colony taking military control of the area.
  • Now protected by the Swiss soldiers, the colonist started building the colony for the third time.
the colony on the red river35
The Colony on the Red River
  • Spring 1817, Selkirk made a treaty with the local Ojibwa and Cree nations to gain possession of the Red River area.
    • He paid 100pounds of tobacco a year for what could have been considered a lease.
  • Selkirk believed he had settled the disputes in the Red River area.
  • Selkirk returned to London in 1817 to fight lawsuits against him as a result of the actions of his employees in the Red River.
  • He battled the NWC in the courts for three years before passing away in 1820 just short of 49 years old.
the merger of the hbc and the nwc
The Merger of the HBC and the NWC
  • The conflict between the NWC and HBC over Lord Selkirk's Red River colony was a large part of the struggle for commercial control of the Northwest.
  • 1820 both companies were suffering financial hardships.
    • The Lord Selkirk's lawsuits in Britain dragged on for three years.
    • The resource base was rapidly depleting.
    • Profits were shrinking
the merger of the hbc and the nwc37
The Merger of the HBC and the NWC
  • 1921 the two decided that the only way to survive was a merger.
  • The Hudson’s Bay Company was formed with 100 shares.
    • The NWC controlled 55 shares and the HBC controlled the remaining 45 shares.
    • The British Parliament passed legislation that gave the new company Rupert's Land.
      • It also extended the trading monopoly the old HBC would have had, and the landholdings west to the Rocky Mountains.
        • It was now in control of what is more than ½ of modern Canada.
the merger of the hbc and the nwc38
The Merger of the HBC and the NWC
  • The HBC had no intention of giving up control of the company even though the NWC had a majority of the shares.
    • It was still cheaper to ship fur on the HBC route, and the NWC route via Fort William was rarely used after the merger.
  • By 1825 the old Montreal fur partners had sold their shares back to the HBC.
  • After 1821 the HBC decided to reduce the workforce.
    • Natives become more important in the success of operations.
      • They were relied on as trappers, traders, guides, translators, and map-makers.
      • If the HBC delivery system failed to supply pemmican they turned to the Cree for meat.
      • The native women began to pitch in to help the downsized staff.
      • The contributions were important to the HBC.
the merger of the hbc and the nwc39
The Merger of the HBC and the NWC
  • The HBC was also reorganizing the operations.
    • George Simpson was appointed as the new head of the company.
    • He was a Scottish sugar broker that knew little about furs, but did know how to run a trading company.
    • 1821 he was named Governor of the HBC’s Northern Department – in charge of all HBC operations in North America.
    • He took a hands on approach to management.
      • He traveled through the territory and did not stay behind a desk.
        • Between 1821-1829 he criss-crossed the entire territory.
the merger of the hbc and the nwc40
The Merger of the HBC and the NWC
  • Simpson enjoyed showing up without warning.
    • The staff would be grilled if the posts were not up to standards.
    • He was nicknamed the “Little Emperor.”
    • He used an autocratic manner of control.
    • 1829 he left for England on an extended absence because of his tiredness from his excursions.
the merger of the hbc and the nwc41
The Merger of the HBC and the NWC
  • 1830 Simpson returned to the Red River colony.
    • He brought his new 18 year old bride. Simpson was in his 40’s.
    • Simpson did not want her to meet family he had in Red River.
      • He had married before and had children.
      • They were packed off before his arrival.
    • Simpson's new wife stated she would not socialize with the Métis of the HBC.
      • This move socially isolated the Simpson's.
    • Isolation began to take its toll on Simpson in the winter of 1831-32.
      • He began to note the faults of all the HBC employees.
      • He recorded faults in a “Character Book”.
the merger of the hbc and the nwc42
The Merger of the HBC and the NWC
  • Spring of 1832, Simpson’s infant son died and he and his wife left the colony for England.
  • When returning to British North America he settled in Montreal with his wife where they were able to settle into a society more to their liking.
  • Simpson was knighted in 1841
  • He died in 1860.
the red river settlement 1821 1860
The Red River Settlement, 1821-1860
  • After 1821 the Red River Settlement had peace.
    • For 40 years the Red River Settlement was a stable and close knit community.
    • The settlement included people that were Métis, country-born, Scottish and Swiss colonists, and the HBC employees.
    • The community itself was a isolated place with very little influence from the outside world.
    • The people of the settlement were self-sufficient by nature so they could survive.
    • It had a very close resemblance to that of Upper Canada in the earlier 19th Century.
the red river settlement 1821 186044
The Red River Settlement, 1821-1860
  • 1821 the population was divided between the Métis, country-born, and Europeans evenly.
    • With time the population become more of mixed descent.
  • By 1860 the population was more than 80% mixed.
  • Birth rates were high because the settlement was primarily a farming community.
    • More than 10 children was of the norm.
    • From the 1840’s onward the population grew rapidly.
the red river settlement 1821 186045
The Red River Settlement, 1821-1860
  • The economy was built around the needs of the HBC company.
    • Scottish grew crops to be sold to the HBC as a food supply to the fur trading posts around the Northwest.
    • Métis contributed primarily through the bison hunt, and the supply of pemmican, as well as buffalo robes and other goods.
    • The country-born typically took white collar jobs as clerks, teachers, magistrates, and store owners.
    • Law was upheld by the HBC, and they appointed the Recorder of Rupert’s Land who was the chief justice.
the red river settlement 1821 186046
The Red River Settlement, 1821-1860
  • Things were peaceful for the most part, but a disagreement did arise over the free trade of furs.
    • It was a crime to trade furs and other goods because of the HBC monopoly that had been upheld by the 1821 merger.
    • Métis began to fight for there right to trade furs in the 1840’s.
    • 1849 four Métis fur traders were charged with illegal trading.
      • 300 people surrounded the packed courthouse when the trial began.
      • The four where found guilty but given mercy and given no sentence.
      • This incident broke the HBC monopoly on the fur trade.
a self sufficient community
A Self-Sufficient Community
  • Because of the isolation of the community they had no choice but to be self-sufficient.
  • Crop failures meant that there would be hardships, and ordinary foods would be rare.
    • Things like fruits and vegetables.
  • Little variation was found in the diet of the inhabitants, and pemmican become the staple in the winters.
  • Wind mills provided power for grinding the grains and pumping water.
    • There were 19 windmills a and several water mills in the late 1840’s.
a self sufficient community48
A Self-Sufficient Community
  • Women and men worked together, even though a women’s life was probably harder.
  • Women helped harvest grain by use of a sickle to cut the wheat by hand.
    • They also processed the wool used by the community.
  • Men would rest at the end of a long day when the women would begin to bake the bannock for the next day.
  • Most families were large and consisted of as many as 15 children.
a self sufficient community49
A Self-Sufficient Community
  • With the isolation the residents of the colony began to take on a small town mentality.
    • Secrets were hard to keep, things spread quickly, and gossip was a constant temptation.
    • In some cases gossip ruined peoples lives and they were forced to leave the colony.
changes the red river settlement between 1860 and 1870
Changes: The Red River Settlement Between 1860 and 1870
  • The 1860’s brought change to the Northwest..
  • More immigrants come to the area, Canada become a Dominion, and the HBC began to decline.
  • Most noticeable was the arrival of Canadians into the Red River Valley.
    • Rapid rises in population in the 1850’s in Canada West meant most land suitable for agriculture had been settled or cleared.
    • By 1860 the Red River Valley had become a appealing prospect.
changes the red river settlement between 1860 and 187051
Changes: The Red River Settlement Between 1860 and 1870
  • Most new Canadian settlers were Protestant, and members of the Orange Order.
    • The Orange Order was a violently anti-French, anti-Catholic movement.
      • This made the Métis a prime target.
  • The presence of the Protestant people created tension in the settlement.
changes the red river settlement between 1860 and 187052
Changes: The Red River Settlement Between 1860 and 1870
  • John Schultz.
    • One of the first immigrants to arrive in 1860.
    • He opened a general store, took over the newspaper, and championed Canadian interests by going against the Métis.
    • He organized a group called the Canadian Party which he hoped would gain control of the colony.
    • He used the NorWester as a platform for his anti-Métis views, and often made comments that by today's standards would be regarded as promoting hatred.
changes the red river settlement between 1860 and 187053
Changes: The Red River Settlement Between 1860 and 1870
  • Economic problems like the failure of crops, the lack of bison, and the HBC losing interest in the area contributed to the tension at the settlement.
  • Another issue was that the Métis never fully made legal claim to the land of the settlement even though they had been farming it for years.
    • They believed that if they cleared it and farmed it they could have claim to it.
    • This created problems in the late 1860’s.
canada purchases rupert s land
Canada Purchases Rupert’s Land
  • When the BNA Act was drew up in London in 1866 and 1867, it included the eventual admission of all colonies in British North America and the acquisition of Rupert’s Land.
    • John A. Macdonald and D’Arcy McGee were interested in a dominion that stretched from sea to sea.
    • The HBC was interested in relinquishing control of Rupert’s Land.
      • Control of the territory was tough and the fur trade was declining.
      • They realized that they needed to focus on and diversify their commercial operations to survive.
canada purchases rupert s land55
Canada Purchases Rupert’s Land
  • 1867 and 1868 the HBC and Canadian government began negotiations.
    • The HBC did not consult with the people who lived there.
    • People who lived there, especially the Métis, were angry and felt ill by the decision.
  • The HBC and Canadian government reached an agreement in November 1869.
    • The government gained title to Rupert’s land and combined it with the North-Western Territory, and renamed it the North-West Territories.
    • The HBC received a payment of 300, 000 ($1.5 million), 2.8 million hectors of prairie farmland, and the right to continue the fur trade without monopoly.
canada purchases rupert s land56
Canada Purchases Rupert’s Land
  • Both knew they would come to a deal before negotiations concluded.
    • 1868 surveyors arrived in Red River to begin laying out the grids of townships.
  • 1868 Louis Riel returned to the Red River and assumed the role of leader of his people (the Métis) at the age of 24.
    • His father had been the leader up until his death in 1844.
    • Riel was a well educated, literate lawyer who was fluent in both English and French.
the red river rebellion
The Red River Rebellion
  • The actions of the surveyors and land speculators in 1869 raised the level of tension within the Red River Settlement.
    • Those who lived there were upset with the HBC for proceeding without consulting them on the sale of Rupert’s Land.
    • They were also angered by the surveyors laying out square townships and ignoring the traditional strip lots they had established.
  • That same summer Riel organized bands of Métis to observe and confront the surveyors in an effort to preserve and protect his peoples rights.
  • One week later he formed the Métis National Committee to fight for Métis concerns about their land.
    • It first task was to greet the governor of the North-West Territories, William McDougall, and it was not a welcoming one.
the red river rebellion59
The Red River Rebellion
  • The committee told McDougall to go back to Ottawa because they would govern themselves.
  • The nest actions was several Métis occupied Fort Garry and seized its munitions under the control of Riel.
  • The rebellion had now begun.
  • Riel and his people had no intention of rebelling against Canada, and only wanted to preserve the rights and traditions of the people of the Red River Settlement after the transfer of Rupert’s Land.
the red river rebellion60
The Red River Rebellion
  • Riel set up a provisional government in order to negotiate an agreement for the territory surrounding the Red River Settlement could enter confederation as the province of Manitoba.
    • Riel feared Governor McDougall would give all power to the Canadian Party if he was given control of the area, and this would ignore all the Métis and their rights.
    • The Métis drew up a List of Rights which was adopted at Fort Garry on Wednesday December 1, 1869.
the red river rebellion62
The Red River Rebellion
  • Riel worked to preserve all the rights of all group in the settlement.
    • He feared civil war though because the Canadian Party was already armed and prepared to attack the Métis.
  • Early December, Riel led a party of armed Métis to Schultz’s home which was the headquarters of the Canadian Party.
    • Schultz and 48 of his followers were captured and taken to Fort Garry.
  • Riel now declared he was ready to negotiate with the Canadian government and PM Macdonald.
    • Macdonald refused to recognize Riel, let alone negotiate with him.
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The Red River Rebellion
  • Riel’s provisional government met to draft a proposal for the creation of the province of Manitoba, which Métis representatives could take to Ottawa.
  • Schultz had escaped from Fort Garry and plotted to free other prisoners.
    • Before his attack his raiders were met by Métis, and several were arrested again.
    • The most notable prisoner was Thomas Scott who was the most belligerent member of the Canadian Party.
      • Scott was executed by firing squad by Riel’s provisional government.
        • He made threats to Riel's life, and abused Métis guards.
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The Red River Rebellion
  • Many regretted the execution of Scott, but most believed the crisis had passed.
  • March 9th Rile stated that the trouble had subsided.
  • A few weeks later the Ottawa delegation departed in good spirits to negotiate the creation of Manitoba.
  • Unfortunately for Riel and his delegates, Schultz had reached Ottawa in early April and began publicizing his views of Métis and the execution of Scott.
  • The Orange Order transformed Scott into a Protestant martyr who had been brutally murdered by the Métis.
    • The execution fueled this interpretation because Scott was not killed instantaneously. It took a final shot to Scotts head to kill him.
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The Red River Rebellion
  • The Macdonald government did not give recognition to the Red River delegates in the beginning.
    • In late April the government agreed to the terms of allowing Manitoba to enter Confederation.
    • Macdonald refused to allow provincial control of public lands, but did offer a grant of 200,000 hectares of land to the Métis in recognition of their aboriginal title.
  • May 2nd legislation was passed by the House of Commons confirming the admission of Manitoba to Confederation.
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The Red River Rebellion
  • Macdonald dispatched 1200 to Winnipeg under the command of Colonel Wolseley to maintain peace until the transfer of power to a new provincial government was complete.
    • They were not to treat Riel and his followers as a real government.
    • When the forces arrived, Riel had fled the area with fear for his life.
  • All of the provisional government were granted amnesty with exception to Riel.
    • The Canadian government determined that he be banished from Canada for a period of 5 years.
    • Riel spent the next 15 years in the United States in exile.