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North-West Rebellion Gabriel Dumont The Return of Riel

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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 26th, 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 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


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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