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1885 Riel Rebellion


             The Northwest Rebellion of 1885 was a time of discontent among the Metis and Indian people with the Federal Government. Land titles were not respected, treaties weren't being fulfilled, and the CPR fiasco are just some of the trigger factors that sparked this revolt. Led by Louis Riel, the revolt was a desperate reaction by the Metis against the government's treatment of their people. This paper is set out to illustrate the events that caused the Northwest Rebellion of 1885 and its results.
             The acquisition of the Northwest or Rupert's Land' by the Federal government led to a chain of events which triggered the uprising from the Metis in the Red River Settlement of Manitoba. The government of John A. Macdonald needed to acquire Rupert's Land because the Americans were keen on annexing the land. Negotiations started in 1868 in London between Canada and the Hudson Bay Company (HBC). In 1869-70, one of the largest real-estate deals in history took place, Canada paid the HBC a cash amount of £300,000 and gave the HBC one-twentieth of the land to maintain its trading posts. The establishment of a temporary colonial government in the area was the next goal in mind of the Macdonald government. There is a problem when Macdonald sends his appointed governor, William McDougall to Rupert's Land. McDougall is sent out with a survey crew which are surveying the land to build a road from Fort Garry to Lake of the Woods when they are cut off by the Metis of the Red River Settlement led by Louis Riel. An uprising is slowly starting to emerge from this point onward. The French Metis are upset because they were not consulted about the sale of their homeland, they had no idea. The stage is now set for the resistance of the Red River Settlement and starts to take form. The Metis, with Louis Riel as their leader, sets up a provisional government in Upper Fort Garry where they had full control of the Red River.


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