The Northwest in the 1800's (The Red River Rebellion (One of the…
The Northwest in the 1800's
CHANGES: The Red River Settlement Between 1860 and 1870
Most of the Canadian settlers were Protestant and members of the Orange Order, a violently anti-French, anti Catholic movement.
Dr. John Christian Schultz was one of the first immigrants to arrive in 1860. He opened up a general store and took over the NorWester, the only newspaper the settlement.
In the decade of the 1860s, many things happened. More people immigrated to the area. Canada became a dominion and the HBC began to decline. The biggest change is that Canadians started moving west into the Red River Valley. Most of the agriculture had been settled and cleared.
Dr. John Christian Schultz created a group called the Canadian Party, which he hoped would get control of the settlement.
HBC employees could take up farmland and live on it for three years, seeing as though the Métis had never made a legal claim to the Territory. The Métis were okay with this, but it caused problems in the late 1860s.
The Orange Order were against the Métis because they were French-speaking and Catholic
Dr. John Christian Schultz used the NorWester as a platform for his anti-Métis views
Canada Purchase's Rupert's Land
John A. McDonald and D'Acry McGee were extremely interested in creating a dominion of Canada which would stretch from sea to sea.
The HBC wanted to relinquish control of Rupert's Land because in the 1860s they found it difficult to maintain control over such a vast territory.
The Canadian government and the HBC began negotiating about the transfer of Rupert's Land. The HBC did not tell the people who lived in the Red River settlement. Everyone fell ill at ease and angry, especially the Métis.
The HBC realised that if they wanted their business to survive they would have to focus on and diversify it's commercial operations to the territory.
In 1869 the Canadian Government received title to Rupert's Land and they joined it with the North-Western Territory and renamed it to the North-West Territories. Canada doubled in size.
The HBC received a cash payment of 300,000($1.5 million), 2.8 million hectares of prairie farmland and the right to continue the Fur Trade.
In 1868, Dominion of Canada surveyors arrived in the Red River area to begin laying out the grids of townships.
Louis Riel returned to Red River, he was the son of Louis Riel Sr., the leader of the Métis until he died in 1864. When he returned, he soon assumed the role of the leader of his people.
The Red River Rebellion
In 1869, the actions of the surveyors, caused tension within the Red River Settlement.
The settlers were angry at the HBC for selling Rupert's Land to the Canadian Government without consulting them.
In that summer in an effort to try and preserve the rights of his people Riel organized bands of Métis to observe and confront the surveyors.
The settler were also angry that the surveyors were laying squares townships and not caring for the traditional strip lots. They wondered if the government was trying to take away their land.
Riel also organized the Métis National Committee to fight for Métis concerns about their land. Firstly they confronted, the new governor of NWT William McDougall, they told him to go back to Ottawa. Secondly, under Riel's command they occupied Fort Garry and seized its munitions.
Riel never wanted to rebel against Canada, all he wanted to do was ensure that the people of the Red River would retain their rights and traditions.
Riel made an agreement that the land around the Red River Settlement could enter confederation as the province of Manitoba.
Riel feared that the Métis could lose all their rights because if McDougall were allowed to take charge of this area he would let the Canadian Party have all the power and ignore the Métis.
Riel was determined to the rights of every group in the settlement, but he feared civil war because the Canadian Party was already armed and prepared to attack the Métis.
Riel led a party to Schultz's house and surrounded him. Riel declared that he was prepared negotiate with the Canadian Government. John A. Macdonald refused to recgonize Riel.
The provisional government met to draft a proposal for the creation of the province of Manitoba, which Métis representatives could take to Ottawa.
Schultz escaped from Fort Garry and had plotted to try and free the rest of the prisoners, but he got caught along with many others.
One of the prisoners with Schultz was Thomas Scott, he loudly publicized his ant-Métis views, verbally and physically abused his guards and threatened the life of Louis Riel. He was executed.
Many people regretted Scott's execution, but later Riel said that the trouble had subsided
The Ottawa delegation departed in an optimistic mood, and they were also on their way to negotiate the creation of the province of Manitoba.
Unfortunately for Riel Schultz left the Northwest for Ontario.
The Orange Order created a mythology around Thomas Scott, he was created into a protestant who was murdered by the Métis.
The firing squad director, Francois Guillemette, had to step forward and deliver one more bullet to Scott's head.
After some time MacDonald finally agreed to the terms for Manitoba's admission to confederation. He refused to allow provincial control of public lands, but he did give 200 000 hectares of land to the Métis.
Macdonald wanted do show his support to the calls demanding justice from Ontario.
MacDonald dispatched a force of 1200 to Winnipeg. The instructions they had were to keep peace until the transfer of power to a new provincial government cold be made.
When the force of 1200 had arrived Riel had wisely fled the area, fearing that his life was in danger.
Soon all of the members of the provisional government were granted amnesty.
The Canadian government had banished Riel from Canada for 5 years. He spent the next 15 years in exile in the united States.