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Changes Come to the Prairies

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by

C. Manifold

on 7 March 2015

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Transcript of Changes Come to the Prairies

Changes Come to the Prairies
What do you think about Canada?
Complete the statement "Canada Is..."

How would you describe Canadian history?
Use only one phrase or sentence!

There are no "right" answers!
Be ready to share thoughts with the class
The Manitoba Act
Manitoba Act, 1870: Made all lands surrounding the Red River the new province of Manitoba
Huge achievement for Riel and his provisional government
Based on the Métis List of Rights

Seemed great: protect Métis rights, French and English official languages, two education systems (1 Protestant, 1 Roman Catholic), land put aside for the "children of the Métis"
The Manitoba Act
Optimism proved to be unfounded:

Manitoba under control of Ottawa, provisional government over

Macdonald sent troops to "keep the peace"
militia and members of the Orange Order
Less "keeping the peace", more revenge for Thomas Scott

"These impulsive Métis have got spoilt by the emeute (uprising) and must be kept down by a strong hand until they are swamped by the influx of settles"
- Macdonald
Land: Always an issue
Land ownership in the Northwest had never been conducted in any official way

Métis assumed they would be confirmed "official" owners of their land

Métis needed to have a scrip
Scrip: A piece of paper that could be used to certify possession of land or exchanged for money

1875, land survey complete. Adult Métis received a scrip valued at $160, children $240
Land Issues
However, the children's land grant was not what was expected
Land was up to 6km away from the rivers
Distributed by lottery
No control over where their land grant was located

In addition, to claim land they were already living on, Métis had to prove occupation.
Had to have "adequate" housing
2 hectares under cultivation
Conclusion
While the Manitoba Act looked great on paper, it did not live up to Métis expectations


Land Speculation
Land speculation in the Red River was very popular, but the new scrip system and environmental factors made it a major problem

The presence of the militia, the slow process of the land distribution and the depletion of the bison led many Métis to sell their land entitlements
Sometimes for only $30 or $40
Speculators who purchased the entitlements could then convert them to a scrip

With life in the Red River no longer desirable, many Métis began to move west
Discussion
With a partner discuss and write down points to the following questions:
Why did the Métis move west?
Why do people move west now?
Compare reasons for moving west in the 1870s with today
Are there any similarities?

Be ready to discuss as a class!
Extension
In what ways was the treatment of the Métis representative of Canadian policy in the 1870s?
Shape of the Day
In what ways was the treatment of the Métis representative of Canadian policy in the 1870s?
1. Recap previous mini-unit
2. Understand the Manitoba Act
3. Be aware of the many land issues
4. Understand reasons the Métis went West

Chapter 5
How did government action and people’s reaction influence the development of the West and affect the people living there 1870-1890?
Full transcript