MARCH 26, 1885


Uncertainty over land rights due to Canadian expansion and encroaching settlement led Métis leader Louis Riel to proclaim the Provisional Government of Saskatchewan.  The Canadian government, in response, sought greater control of the region.  At Hillyard Mitchell’s store, North-West Mounted Police and civilians ran into a large group of Métis seeking supplies.  After a shot was fired, the police and civilians retreated.  Superintendent Leif N.F. Crozier then led nearly 100 North-West Mounted Police and civilians toward Duck Lake.  However, Riel arrived with nearly 300 Métis and Cree.  The battle began when a police interpreter, fearing ambush during a parlay, killed Isadore Dumont and Cree chief Assiwyn.  After 30 minutes of fighting, with casualties on both sides, Crozier ordered a retreat.  Riel’s forces did not to shoot as they left.  The battle at Duck Lake was a minor victory for the Métis who followed their victory by destroying Fort Carlton.    

Source: “Battle of Duck Lake National Historic Site of Canada,” Canada’s Historic Places, 7/8/2009.  Retrieved 6/25/2019,
Illustration:  Believed to be from The Canadian Pictorial & Illustrated War News, a souvenir number published on 1885-07-04, or The Illustrated War News, published 1885-04-04.  Public Domain in the U.S.  Pre 1/1/1925; Public Domain in Canada as first published more than 50 years ago and was created before 1/1/1949.  

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