North West Rebellion Timeline

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North West Rebellion Timeline

In 1874, some American fur trading merchants would give the Indians alcohol in exchange for buffalo robes and furs. 30 natives were murdered by such traders. The alcohol caused dissputes, alchoholism and alchohol related diseases like mal nutrition, and dissrupted the social structure of the native communities. The NWMP were sent to protect the indians from these illicit trades. The whisky traders were driven out. This would be the begining of many more hardships that would compell the Indians and the Metis to an upprising.

TIMELINE North West Rebellion






April 2nd

July 28

June 3

On March 25 Louis Riel, a gathering of Indians and Dumont raided stores and stole all of the contents. The NWMP and Prince Albert Volunteers threatened the rebells. The following day the two groups intersected on the road and a battle errupted. Louis Riel and the Indians won with 12 of the enemy dead and 11 injured. The battle only lasted 30 minutes but Louis Riel took this as a sign from God that he was to continue to fight against the government.

In 1884 Louis Riel returns after the Metis sent 18 men to bring him back as their leader from Montana. Riel is urged to press the concerns to the Federal Government. Sir John .A. refuses what is his last chance to a peaceful resolve, however this would prove advantagious for his railway. Lousi Riel now would lead the Metis into his last war.

In 1880 the Metis moved into the North West to find land to farm. Métis and “Indians” around Lake Nipigon jointly petition Canada for education and land related issues. They weren't thinking of rebellion they just had issues that the Government promised to deal with. The Government had fallen short on promises to provide land, education, money and farm equipment.The Government was short on cash and didn't want the CPR to fail so they ignored the petitioning of the Metis and Indians. This broke the delicate ballence of trust and angered the Metis.

On June 3 the war was nearing an end the Battle at Loon Lake would be the last rebellion waged with guns. It was lead by Major Sam Steele and a group of NWMP and Prince Albert Volunteers. In the end, the rebells ran out of ammunition and were heavily defeated by the artillerary. In the end Wandering Spirit, the Cree war leader, surrendered at Fort Pitt. His Cheif, Big Bear, managed to escape capture until July 2nd.

The Federal Government refused the judge's call for mercy. Loius Riel was hung on the gallows as an example against high treason and murder. The Metis not wanting the same fate nor wanting their heritage to be known due to shame, sunk queitly into the prairies .


November 16

(Frog Lake Massacre) On April 2 in 1885 the Cree warriors attacked The Frog Lake settlement in Saskatchewan, as part of the rebellion. It was lead by Wandering Spirit who after hearing about the 2 victories in Duck Lake and Battleford began preparing for war. This angry massacre was directed at Indian Agent Quinn who was responsible for the rations that kept the Cree clan in a state of poverty and starvation with bad rations.

At the begining of Louis Riels trial, his three lawyers begged him to plead innocent due to insanity but he refused. Riel was determined to show the deprivation of his people. He represented himself to a jury of 6 protestants and a judge. He was convicted of treason but the jury wanted to grant him mercy because he was insane. The 5 witnesses chosen all made him seem mentally ill. Riel was also convicted of murder and though he did a successful job of portraying the needs of his people, this could not excuse the murder of Thomas Scott.

The Indian Act was put in place by the Canadian Government in 1876. It's main goal was to assimilate the Indians into English culture, and to civilize their savage ways so that they could fit right in with the new settlers. This act was intended to strip them of their culture and gave them no self governing rights. All Indian citizens had to remain on their reserves, their children sent to residential schools, and it even dictated what happened to their land after they died.

St. Laurent ​​laws, due to the low number of buffalo in 1873 the Metis could only hunt bison occasionally. The laws that protect the buffalo at risk also make it illegal to hunt buffalo. Before that,the United States tried to destroy the buffalo, because they can not co-exist on adjacent farms. In 1884-1885they were almost completely eliminated causing great suffering for the Metis winter, because they can't make pemmican. Pemmican is an important source of food during the winter. Their hunger caused them to hunt buffalo, breaking the law, despite the possible consequences. Because of their actions eventually that rule was abolished. That was one of the first acts of rebellion in the Northwest Rebellion.

Grace.M S.S. 10 7/30/14


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