Unit 2- The Development of
Western Canada
After Confederation the country
expanded west at an astonishing rate.
The changes disrupted the lives of
Metis and Aboriginal peoples in the
Two uprisings occurred, one in 186970 and one in 1885.
The North-West Mounted Police (later
the RCMP) were created to help keep
By 1885 the Canadian Pacific Railway
ran from the Atlantic ocean to the
And 2 new provinces were created,
Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Sir John A. Macdonald
Trouble at Red River
In 1869 the Hudson’s Bay Company
sells Rupert’s Land to Canada.
The largest group of people in the Red
River colony were Metis.
The Metis were people of mixed
heritage, Aboriginal and European.
Their ways were not entirely
Aboriginal, nor were they European.
Many earned their livings as farmers,
while others earned their living
hauling goods in carts for the trading
companies or as agents of the fur
When Rupert’s Land was sold, the
Canadian government wasn’t allowed to
establish rule until December.
For almost a year, the colony had no
legal government to protect their rights.
But before taking control the Canadian
government sent out surveyors to the
Red River settlement.
The Metis were worried because they
had no documents that proved the land
was theirs.
They were worried of other settlers
coming in and taking their land, plus they
had heard a rumour the government was
planning to create a railway through their
The Metis of Red River turned for
leadership to Louis Riel
Resistance at Red River 1869-70
William McDougall
National Committee of the Metis
created to decide how to protect Metis
William McDougall is appointed
Lieutenant-Govenor for the North-West
Territories. He heads to the colony to
establish a Canadian government for
the territory.
When McDougall arrives at the
settlement he is not allowed to enter
and is told their will be no governor
without Metis consultation.
Louis Riel takes over Fort Garry. From
this position the Metis can control the
Resistance at Red River 1869-70
The Metis set up a Provisional
government to replace the Hudson’s
Bay Company rule.
Sir John A. Macdonald sends a
messenger to find out what the people
of Red River want. The colony does
not belong to Canada until December
1st, 1869.
The Metis draw up a Bill of Rights with
their requests and send it to Ottawa.
Settlers from Ontario protest and are
jailed by Riel.
Riel and the Provisional Government
Resistance at Red River 1869-70
Thomas Scott threatens to escape and
kill Riel. Riel orders Scott brought to
The Metis Bill of Rights
Major requests;
1) the right to enter Canada’s
confederation as a province.
Scott is found guilty of disobedience
to the lawful government and within 24
hours if brought before a firing squad.
Riel’s Provisional government works
out an agreement with Ottawa called
the Manitoba Act.
On July 15th, 1870 Manitoba becomes
the fifth province.
Fearing for his life, Riel flees to the
United States.
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 especially in
schools and law courts.
5) the right to keep their customs,
tradition, and Metis way of life.
Depictions of the Execution of
Thomas Scott
Painting of
Fort Garry
Fort Garry
Chapter 9 The North-West Mounted Police
For years people in the North-West were without a real police force to enforce any of
the laws.
There were numerous outlaws and whiskey traders in the area. Without a police force
to stop them, they could do pretty much whatever they wanted.
Parliament decided to form the North-West Mounted Police.
The duties of the force were to keep peace, prevent crime and catch criminals. It
would be a mounted force.
A chain of posts would be build from Manitoba to the Rocky Mountains. The troops
would wear bright red scarlet jackets.
Red was chosen to it was to represent the British empire and also to distinguish the
Mounties from the US Calvary which wore the more traditional police blue.
Treaties with Aboriginal Peoples
A treaty is an agreement between
peoples or nations, often for
friendship, peace, or the purchase of
lands and property.
After Confederation the Canadian
government wanted to open the
western lands form settlement.
To make this happen the government
had to approach the Aboriginal
peoples to give up their lands.
The government wanted them to move
onto reserves. Reserves were pieces
of land set aside for Aboriginal
peoples. Other people could not
settle, hunt or fish in these areas.
North-West Mounted Police
Treaties with Aboriginal Peoples
The Government’s View
Aboriginal Nations’ View
The government thought the people of
the plains should farm the land.
The Aboriginal peoples did not want to
be treated like children.
In the government’s view, farming was
a good alternative way of life for the
plains people.
They had little experience of farming
and did not want to be farmers.
For centuries they had established
their own governments and lived by
their own laws.
They felt they had the right to choose
their way of life and to preserve their
culture and languages.
By teaching the plains people how to
farm and by giving them land, the
government thought it was doing what
was best for the Aboriginal peoples
Why did Aboriginal Peoples Sign Treaties?
1) The Disappearance of the Buffalo
by the 1870’s Buffalo hunting had
become a sport.
Farmers and ranchers complained
they destroyed pastures and trampled
Because of the railway, many Buffalo
refused to cross the tracks.
By 1879 the Buffalo was almost
The Buffalo Hunt
The Buffalo Hunt
Why did Aboriginal Peoples Sign Treaties?
2) Increasing Settlement
Now that the North-West police were
around it was much safer to settle
The railway also made the west much
easier to reach for more settlers.
The Aboriginal peoples were worried
about losing more land. Maybe the
treaties offered a better solution to
their problems.
Historical Aboriginal Treaties
Why did Aboriginal Peoples Sign Treaties?
3) Sickness and Disease
Europeans brought with them
measles, tuberculosis and smallpox.
Aboriginal people had not developed
immunity to them.
The diseases severely lowered the
numbers and spirits of the Aboriginal
More Pictures
Gabriel Dumont
-famous Metis buffalo
hunter. He was an
important player in the
1885 rebellion.
North-West Police meet with
-he worked for Buffalo
Bill’s travelling wild west
show as a sharpshooter.

Unit 2- The Development of Western Canada