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THE NORTHWEST REBELLION. GOVERNMENTS AGENDA Government wants to sell land in North-West Territories for profit Some land already occupied by Métis and.

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Presentation on theme: "THE NORTHWEST REBELLION. GOVERNMENTS AGENDA Government wants to sell land in North-West Territories for profit Some land already occupied by Métis and."— Presentation transcript:


2 GOVERNMENTS AGENDA Government wants to sell land in North-West Territories for profit Some land already occupied by Métis and settlers Government needs money for building of the railway Reduced assistance to those that were “difficult” Slashed Dept. of Indian Affairs budget Métis and First Nations getting upset, desperate

3 NATIVE COMPLAINTS Treaties not respected Sold substandard goods Lands shrinking rapidly Western settlement = plagued by smallpox Resented destruction of buffalo herds and way of life Department of Indian Affairs budget cut back Rations and supplies reduced Many bands were starving and the gov’t showed indifference to their plight Starving Salteaux raid Gov't food storehouse

4 METIS COMPLAINTS Resented government treatment of lands Cheated out of their land titles (scrips) 1881: Métis petition gov't for assistance Want legal ownership of the land Want long river lots, not square townships Farming assistance needed

5 WHITE SETTLER CONCERNS Wanted gov't economic assistance Poor markets for goods Wanted representation in Government

6 LOUIS RIEL RETURNS Within this growing climate of frustration, Louis Riel returned to his prairie homeland in July 1884. The charismatic Métis leader had spent years in exile in the United States for heading the 1869-70 Red River Resistance. The Red River uprising had won many rights for Manitoba residents. Now Métis and white leaders in the North West Territories wanted Riel to work his magic for them.

7 RIEL POLITICAL ROUTE At first Riel took the political route. He sent a petition to Ottawa outlining the grievances of the Métis and white settlers. “Metis Bill of Rights” Riel also tried to entice the prairie natives to join the cause. Faced with continued government indifference, Riel’s tactics became more militant and his mental state became shakier. Riel increasingly believed he was a prophet from God sent to lead his people.

8 PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT In March 1885, Riel formed a provisional government and a small military force. Armed conflict followed as Riel’s followers and government troops clashed mostly in the Saskatchewan territory. Riel lost all the support of the white settler's organization, which had once allied with him. He was never able to gain the firm support of the prairie natives.

9 TENSION BUILDS Riel’s return adds to the tension on the Prairies Government trying to finish railway, deal with Métis, secure the NWT, increase settlement, etc. PM Macdonald Maybe he wanted Riel to cause trouble? Troops would be sent by rail to Prairies, Métis would be defeated, and would garner public support for the railway

10 TENSION CONTINUES TO BUILD HBC official Lawrence Clarke: Wealthy land speculator Wanted gov’t to crush the Métis and prevent them from getting “his” land Became informant for the gov’t Started false rumours, to increase tension and distrust among the Métis

11 TIRED OF STALL TACTICS Métis waiting for gov’tresponse to Bill of Rights petition Send Clarke to Ottawa to get update (thought Clarke was on their side) Clarke returns, says 500 NWMP on their way to arrest Riel (not true) March 19, 1885: Riel speaks to Métis at Batoche Gov’t insists on war, “Justice commands us to take up arms”

12 CONFLICT BEGINS Métis move on Fort Carlton: Location of only NWMP detachment NWMP reinforcements a week away Clarke delays reinforcements, eggs on NWMP into a showdown with Métis Battle of Duck Lake: Métis and NWMP argue, 2 Métis negotiators are shot, fighting begins 12 NWMP dead NWMP abandon Fort Carlton

13 REINFORCEMENTS ARRIVE Gov’t quickly sends troops to the Prairies by rail (CPR) Most arrive within 10 days Gen. Middleton in charge of troops Troops split into several groups to face the Métis and First Nations Middleton’s troops head towards Batoche

14 BATTLE OF FISH CREEK April 1885: Just outside Batoche Gabriel Dumont leads Métis in ambush of Middleton and troops 300 Métis stop 1600 soldiers Métis use cover and sniper fire Riel is initially against attacking the NWMP before Batoche Guerilla tactics, but Dumont changed his mind Battle delays troops by two weeks

15 BATTLE OF BATOCHE May 1885: Batoche Metis are attacked by Canadian troops Troops have cannons and Gatling guns Métis run out of bullets, have to fire rocks and nails from their rifles Métis eventually forced to flee or surrender Dumont escapes to the USA Riel distraught over loss of life, surrenders

16 RESULT Riel will be put on trial for treason He hopes to use the trial to gain attention for the plight of the Métis Northwest Rebellion is defeated Deaths: 53 Canadian troops, 35 Métis and First Nations Support for Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) increases, able to be finished

17 DIVISION BETWEEN ENGLISH AND FRENCH English Canada clamored for the federal government to take tough measures against the Rebellion leader. People had not forgotten Riel's execution of an English Canadian man named Thomas Scott during the Red River uprising. In contrast, French Canada pressed the government to show leniency toward the French Catholic Riel.

18 RIEL TRIAL In the end, the federal government was determined to dispose of the man who had led two uprisings in the young country's history. Riel's trial for high treason was a national spectacle, manipulated by Ottawa. Despite continuing questions about his sanity, Riel was found guilty and hanged. The trial and its aftermath divided the young country along French and English lines. Riel’s legacy persists today and symbolizes a nation’s continuing struggle to reconcile its linguistic, religious and racial differences.

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