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North-West Rebellion Gabriel Dumont The Return of Riel Battle of Duck Lake Battle of Batoche Execution of Riel.

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Presentation on theme: "North-West Rebellion Gabriel Dumont The Return of Riel Battle of Duck Lake Battle of Batoche Execution of Riel."— Presentation transcript:

1 North-West Rebellion Gabriel Dumont The Return of Riel Battle of Duck Lake Battle of Batoche Execution of Riel

2 The North-West Rebellion ► The promise of a French-Canadian home in Manitoba was already at an end ► New settlers had arrived pushing the Metis out ► The Metis had gone to Saskatchewan as the buffalo were disappearing ► The Metis had no clear title to the land they settled and the surveyors had moved in ► The Plains People were also suffering the Cree, Blackfoot and the Sioux

3 The Return of Louis Riel ► The other settlers were angry ► The harvest was poor and the prices low ► Most settlers had taken land along the northern rail route ► The railway had taken the southern route ► By 1884 the North-West was ripe for rebellion ► “Only one man can help us now Riel!” ► Gabriel Dumont was sent to get Riel

4 Riel is in Montana ► Gabriel Dumont legendary hunter and master sharpshooter led the Metis to find Riel ► Dumont was an expert horseman who spoke 6 different native languages as well as French and some English ► With the buffalo gone Dumont had settled in Batoche he operated a ferry and ran a general store ► It was Dumont who asked Riel to return

5 Why not have Dumont lead? ► Dumont was an excellent military leader and well- respected hunter but he was not the educated, fiery representative that the Metis needed

6 Lead his People to Freedom ► Louis Riel - teaching in Montana ► 15 years since the Red River Rebellion but the Metis remember ► Riel - not the same person, had suffered a series of emotional breakdowns and had spent several years in asylums ► Louis Riel was convinced he was the “prophet of the grasslands” ► Riel returned to the North-West with hope of a peaceful resolution ► To others – his return signalled that another rebellion was possible

7 What did the people want? ► The Metis:  A voice in government  Recognition of ownership of land ► Aboriginals:  Money and food in exchange for their land ► Settlers:  Higher price for wheat, lower cost for rail and stronger voice in government

8 Louis and John ► Riel sent Macdonald a petition on behalf of the residents of the region asking for provincial status ► An elected government and control of natural resources ► Macdonald delayed ► Riel and the Metis grew impatient ► Louis Riel declared a provisional government in the village of Batoch ► On March 19, 1885 the North-West Rebellion began

9 Changes ► Many changes since the Red River Rebellion ► North West Mounted Police were well established ► Railway was in place – allowed for the quick movement of troops ► Once Riel took up arms, he lost the support of the settlers and the Catholic church

10 Battle of Duck Lake – March 26 th, 1885 ► At Duck Lake the NWMP and the Metis under command of Dumont clashed ► Dumont won battle sending the Mounties into retreat - 12 officers and men died ► Dumont wanted to pursue and kill them all but Riel would not let him ► “If you are going to give them the advantage like that, we cannot win!” Dumont ► By this time Riel’s religious delusions had resurfaced

11 Poundmaker Poundmaker ► 2 breakaway bands of Cree warriors along with some Sioux and Assiniboine did join the rebellion ► Big Bear - had earlier resisted the call to the reserves and Poundmaker lead the revolt ► Big Bear’s warriors attacked the settlement at Frog Lake and killed 9 settlers ► Poundmaker attacked Battleford, the settlers fled

12 Big Bear ► With the buffalo gone, the nomadic Cree were starving ► The Cree warriors and the Metis did not co-ordinate their attacks ► In effect there were 2 rebellions: 1 Metis and 1 Cree ► Big Bear wanted no part of the violence, but with his people starving he could not stop events

13 CPR to the Rescue! ► The reaction to the rebellion was quick ► In 1870 it had taken the army 3 months to get to Manitoba ► In 1885 the CPR had reached the plains ► Within 10 days the first troops had arrived. Within the month, more than 5000 soldiers were in place ► The army Mounties and militia were under the command of General Frederick Middleton ► Louis Riel saved John A’s CPR

14 General Middleton ► Before the rebellion the railway had been next to bankruptcy ► With the outbreak of the rebellion parliament gave the extra money and the troops moved westward ► General Middleton divided his forces into 3 columns and used the main line of the CPR as their base ► Column 1 under Major-General Thomas Strange moved north from Calgary against Big Bear ► Column 3 under General Middleton left Qu’Appelle and headed for Batoche

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16 Battle of Batoche ► Column 2 under Colonel William Otter moved north from Swift Current to relieve Battleford and capture Poundermaker ► The Metis and the Cree were now on the defensive ► At Fish Creek south of Batoche General Middleton marched his troops into an ambush (April 24) ► A small force of Metis under Gabriel Dumont fought Middleton to a standstill ► However, the odds were against the Metis

17 ► Middleton had more men and supplies and the latest in warfare technology, an American Gatling gun ► Middleton and his men attacked the village of Batoche on May 9, 1885 ► The fighting lasted for 4 days ► When the army finally stormed the defenses Gabriel Dumont almost single-handedly held them off for an hour so the others could escape ► 21 Metis died at Batoche

18 Death of a Rebellion ► Dumont and Riel became separated in the escape ► On May 15, 1885 Louis Riel the “prophet of the grasslands” surrendered to the Canadian Army ► 11 days later Poundermaker also surrendered ► Big Bear held out for another month and a half before he too surrendered ► Gabriel Dumont escaped to the United States were he joined “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show”as “the Hero of the Half- Breed Rebellion”

19 The Trial of the Century ► Poundermaker and Big Bear were sent to prison ► 8 Cree warriors were sentenced to public hangings ► Riel refused to plead insanity ► He was tried in Regina and found guilty of treason ► The jury recommended mercy, Quebec warned that if Riel was executed it was “a declaration of war against Quebec” ► John A. MacDonald refused to intervene

20 Riel Must Die! ► John A. refused to pardon Riel as he did lead an armed rebellion against the government that caused the death of more than 200 people ► At this time the penalty for such crimes was death ► Macdonald had built his political career on an alliance between English and French-Canadians

21 ► Like Macdonald, Louis Riel has become all things to all people, “a prophet, a traitor, a madman, a hero” ► Nov 7, 1885 Donald Smith drove home the last spike for the CPR ► Nov 17, 1885 Louis Riel climbed the steps to the gallows ► Macdonald fought his last campaign and won ► June 6, 1891 Macdonald died

22 ► Riel’s hanging caused political problems for MacDonald and the Conservatives in Quebec ► Sparked controversy between English and French Canadians ► Government attitudes towards the Metis and Aboriginals became less sympathetic ► Government attempted to systemically destroy Aboriginal culture


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