Canadian History 11 (A Block)
December 7th 2014
Louis Riel, the founder of Manitoba also the leader of the Métis was born on October 22nd 1844 in Saint-Boniface died November 16th 1885 in Regina. He was known as a traitor, criminal, Father of Confederation and a rebel. He brought Manitoba into the Confederation, he then got executed because people thought he betrayed his country in his role in the 1885 resistance to Canadian encroachment on Métis lands. Canadian Historians saw Riel as a Rebel. Now people see him as a fighter who fought to defend his people from the Canadian government.
“Riel was a standout student. When he was 13 he was identified as a strong candidate for the priesthood by the Catholic clergy in the Red River. He was given a scholarship to study at a Sulpician school in Montreal. Riel was very successful and finished top of his class. Later in his life he was elected to be a secretary and then he was later elected to be the president of Métis.” (Canadian Encyclopedia reworded)
“The Métis National Committee was consolidated as a provisional government in early December 1869. Canada’s authority to govern the northwest was rejected and proposed a negotiated settlement between Canada and the provisional government. McDougall was rejected from the Red River, so the Canadian government sent three special commissioners to the settlement. Riel was persuaded by Smith to hold a general meeting at which other local leader and Riel will propose a convention of 40 representatives of the settlement, and they would be equally divided between the English and French speakers to discuss the possibility of union with Canada.” (Canadian Encyclopedia reworded)
“The meetings went good but the Provisional government sent three delegates to Ottawa. Their task was to negotiate with Cartier to join Assiniboia and Red River into the Confederation.
Small forces of Canadians were hoping to enlist support in the Scottish parishes and disband the provisional government. The Métis were alarmed by the appearance of the armed Canadians, so the Métis imprisoned them at Upper Fort Garry. A young Orangeman, known as Thomas Scott was sentenced to death by firing squad. On March 4th 1870 Scott was executed. The execution did radicalize protestant Ontario, who from that point on wanted retribution from Riel because of Scott’s death. “ (Canadian Encyclopedia reworded)
In Ontario, Riel was known as Thomas Scott’s murderer. A reward of $5,000 was set to his arrest. However in Quebec he was a hero, he defended the Roman Catholic faith and French culture in Manitoba. Riel’s decision in executing Thomas Scott made the anti-Catholic and anti-French sentiment in Ontario furious. He was chosen for a seat in the House of Commons on three occasions, because of his act he was unable to take his seat in the house anymore. Riel was to leave Canada and never come back, he was exiled.
Around nine years had passed since Riel was exiled from Canada, he was asked by a delegation from the community of Métis from the south branch of the Saskatchewan river to present their grievances to the Canadian government. The deferral government ignored Métis concerns. Soon, Métis patience was tired and they couldn’t take it any more so a provisional government was declared.
Louis Riel was given a death penalty by the Governor General to two years imprisonment. Alexander Mackenzie’s Liberal government grants a pardon for Riel and Lepine, but they both have to remain exiled for at least five years. After Riel was