OCTOBER 11, 1869

RIEL AND MÉTIS CONFRONT SURVEYORS—RED RIVER RESISTANCE BEGINS

In March 1869, Canada bought the vast Rupert’s Land tract–northern Quebec & Ontario (ON) and most of the prairie provinces–from Hudson’s Bay Company. When English-speaking ON Protestant settlers poured onto the prairies, the Métis, French-Cree & Catholic, were wary. The “Red River Resistance” started as government surveyors outlined a township grid on the land of Métis farmer André Nault. His cousin, Louis Riel, and a dozen Métis forced them to leave. On November 2, Riel’s forces took unguarded Fort Garry announcing that the Métis would accept annexation for protection of their property, religion & language.  He also formed a provisional government. Canada began negotiations when nationalists threatened Fort Garry. When nationalist Thomas Scott threatened to kill Riel, he was tried by a military court in March 1870, convicted & executed. Despite resulting tensions, by May negotiations led to the birth of Manitoba. Fearing arrest, however, Riel fled to the U.S. and remained in exile until 1885.

Sources:
  J.M. Bumsted, “Red River Rebellion,” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2/7/2006.  Retrieved 3/6/2021, Red River Rebellion | The Canadian Encyclopedia
 Le Canada, CBC Learning.  Retrieved, 3/6/2021, Manitoba is Created (cbc.ca)
Photo:  Author unknown, 1870.  Provisional Government of the Métis Nation.  Public Domain. Source: Source: Library and Archives Canada under the reproduction reference number PA-012854 and under the MIKAN ID number 3194586.

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