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Copy of The Red River Rebellion
Transcript of Copy of The Red River Rebellion
By Roaa, Arshi, Ussay, and Kenwar
Canada buys the Hudson’s Bay Company
The Hudson's Bay Company withdraws its rule from Rupert's Land
Louis Riel establishes the Provisional Goverenment
In late August, Riel denounced the survey in a speech, and on 11 October 1869, the survey's work was disrupted by a group of Métis that included Riel. This group organized itself as the "Métis National Committee" on 16 October, with Riel as secretary and John Bruce as president. When summoned by the HBC-controlled Council of Assiniboia to explain his actions, Riel declared that any attempt by Canada to assume authority would be contested unless Ottawa had first negotiated terms with the Métis. Nevertheless, the non-bilingual McDougall was appointed the lieutenant governor-designate, and attempted to enter the settlement on 2 November.
On 6 November, Riel invited Anglophones to attend a convention alongside Métis representatives to discuss a course of action, and on 1 December he proposed to this convention a list of rights to be demanded as a condition of union. Loosely constituted as the Canadian Party, this group was led by John Christian Schultz, Charles Mair, Colonel John Stoughton Dennis, and a more reticent Major Charles Boulton. McDougall attempted to assert his authority by authorizing Dennis to raise a contingent of armed men, but the Anglophone settlers largely ignored this call to arms. Schultz, however, attracted approximately fifty recruits and fortified his house and store. Riel ordered Schultz's home surrounded, and the outnumbered Canadians soon surrendered and were imprisoned in Upper Fort Garry.
The Hudson's Bay Company withdrew from Rupert’s Land in January 1869, and months after the deal, the whole region’s responsibility was transferred to Canada on December 1st, 1869, and called the North-West Territories. In addition, HBC was given 2.8 million hectares of prairie farmland, and also the right to keep trading. For almost 10 months, the people of the territory had no legal government.
Louis Riel establishes the National Committee of the Metis
Canada sends survey crews to the West
The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) was founded on May 2nd 1670 by Pierre Radisson and Medart de Groseilliers by their successful journey through the Northwest, and who ultimately discovered the North West by venturing outside New France. Upon returning to London, England along with their rich furs from their newly found land, Radisson and Medart appealed to King Charles the Second, to assist them in backing their business with fur trading for the French. King Charles agreed and claimed an area surrounding the Hudson’s Bay called Rupert’s Land (named after the King’s cousin, Rupert).The Royal Charter was signed, and the Hudson’s Bay Company was born.
Rupert’s Land was a prime area that surrounded the Hudson Bay, and included all the land that had rivers that drained into the Bay. The HBC built trading posts all around the mouths of every major river that led to the Bay, like the Fort Albany post in 1674, and soon grew into many posts which attracted many traders. The HBC became a powerful and successful business through their strict and dictatorial standard of trade. Some hundred years later, a new company, the French-Canadian North West Company emerges in the fur-trade business, working in the shadow of The HBC and trying to compete with its rival. This rivalry became fierce and the Battle of Seven Oaks broke out to become a full-scale conflict in 1816 to get control over land. Eventually, HBC and NWC merged when they decided that the only way the companies are going to carry through is if they join together.
The HBC business was declining and it was becoming increasingly difficult to take control over it’s vast land. HBC was preparing to sell the Rupert’s land to the United States who were willing to pay top dollar to expand it’s land. However, Canada was very interested in creating a dominion of Canada, and thought of the land as a natural extension to Canada. So, under much pressure and negotiation, they have reached an agreement and the HBC sold Rupert’s Land to the Government of Canada on March 20th, 1869 for $1.5 million dollars. The HBC withdrew from Rupert’s Land in January 1869, and months after the deal, the whole region’s responsibility was transferred to Canada on December 1st, 1869, and called the North-West Territories. In addition, HBC was given 2.8 million hectares of prairie farmland, and also the right to keep trading.
Metis Bill of Rights is drawn up
After the Metis evicted the surveyors, they set up a national committee to decide how to protect their lands from a foreign government. In December 1869, they took control of Fort Garry and set up their own provisional, or temporary, government and Louis riel was elected president. The government of Canada thought that this was a rebellion against lawful authority. But the Metis did not see it the way the government of Canada did. The Metis did not necessarily want to become a part of Canada. The government of Canada did not include them in any discussions. All they wanted is to have a say in the government. The Metis Bill of Rights and major request were:
1. The rights to enter confederation as a province
2. The right to elect and send four members of parliament to Ottawa
3. Control over their own local affairs
4. The right to use both French and English languages equally in schools and court of laws
5. The right to keep their customs, traditions and metis way of life
6. The right of the first nations negotiate treaties with the federal government
Thomas Scott is executed
Thomas Scott, a 28 year old laborer was born in Northern Ireland. He was an immigrant to Ontario. He was the most belligerent member of the Canadian party. The Canadian party was a small group of settlers from Ontario, who live in Fort Garry. Thomas Scott was put on trial and sent to prison because he was accused of treason. He had tried to kill Louis Riel. In prison, he spread his anti-metis ways. At this point, Louis Riel had no choice but to execute him.
He was executed by a firing squad. When they took the shots, he didn’t die right away, so the captain took out his pistol and shot him in the head.
Thomas Scott's execution causes uproar in Ontario
Many people regretted the execution of Thomas Scott, but Louis Riel did not. Ontario was especially upset at the fact that Francois Guillemette shot Thomas Scott in the head after he was shot by the firing squad. Schultz had publicized his view on the Metis and Thomas Scott’s execution. This created the orange order mythology around Thomas Scott. He was made into a Protestant, who had been cruelly murdered by the Metis. People were ignoring the fact that Thomas Scott tried to murder the Metis leader. This caused the prime minister of Canada (John A. Macdonald) to become very upset and start the hunt for Louis Riel. All of these events lead to the execution of Louis Riel.
The Manitoba act
In 1869 , the Metis leader Louis Riel led most of the resident of Red River in establishing a provisional government. The Metis were demanding recognition as a provisional government as there was no official government at the time. The Prime Minister John A. Macdonald was trying to find a solution to the crisis at Red River. He had meetings with people who represented the metis and agreed to many parts of their Bill of Rights. The Metis were very successful in putting pressure on the Macdonald government to meet their demands. On July 15, 1870, the government of Ottawa passed the Manitoba Act, which created the province of Manitoba. This Act was a victory for the Metis. The Manitoba Act was also known as ‘’the postage stamp province’’ because of it’s size. It occupied only a small area of Rupert’s Land. The surrounding territory was known as the North-West Territories.
Louis flees to the United States
All the while the process of selling Canada Rupert’s Land was taking place, the Native peoples and the Metis living in the Red River Settlement were not consulted with about the land purchase. Rumors of the said sale was spread across the settlement which caused anger towards the HBC and Canadian Government.
In June of 1868 before negotiations were done, a crew of surveyor flooded into the Red River Settlement farmlands to lay out grids of township, assuming the Northwest didn’t own their properties, and failed to notice the seigneurial style of townships of the Settlement. The Metis were not told about any surveyors arriving, and it caused worry.
The peoples of the Red River Settlement had concerns of if their way of life and heritage were going to be endangered, if they were to have the rights of the land, and would there be a role for them in the new government. They did not have papers to show that this is their land, and all they knew is that the Red River is their land.
The result of all this anger and frustration by the Natives and Metis, the Red River Rebellion was started started and Louis Riel (who later became the Metis leader) was brought in to the Rebellion, and became one of the most controversial individual in Canadian History.
The Provisional Government of Saskatchewan was the name given by Louis Riel to the independent state he declared during the Northwest Rebellion of 1885 in what is today the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Although Riel initially hoped to rally the Country born, Cree and European settlers of the Saskatchewan Valley to his banner, this did not occur. The government, with a few exceptions, had an entirely French-speaking and Métis leadership. Gabriel Dumont was proclaimed Adjutant General in which he became supreme military commander, although Riel could, and did, override his tactical decisions. The Provisional Government was declared Riel March 19, 1885. It ceased to exist following the defeat of the Métis during the Battle of Batoche which concluded on May 20, 1885. During its existence the government only exercised authority over the settlements along the South Saskatchewan River. Other major cities in the area such as Prince Albert, Saskatoon, and most First Nations reserves remained outside of its control.
Louis Riel was content with the Manitoba Act when it passed on July 15th, 1870, and he believed it was a great start for a new province. However, when Riel discovered that Macdonald was to send a troop of 1200 soldiers from Ontario to show solidarity of the Thomas Scott execution, he wisely fled to the United States in fear of his life. Canada had punished Louis Riel with banning him from entering Canada for a period of five years. He noiselessly left Canada for the next fifteen years.