Library and Archives Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional links

ARCHIVED - By Executive Decree

Archived Content

This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.

The Red River Rebellion

Photograph of councillors of the provisional government of the Métis Nation, Manitoba, 1870

Photograph of councillors of the provisional government of the Métis Nation, Manitoba, 1870
Source

 

Map entitled MAP ILLUSTRATING THE RELATION OF THE PROPOSED RED RIVER VALLEY RAILWAY TO THE MANITOBA RAILWAY SYSTEM AND TO THE RED RIVER, published in 1887

"Map Illustrating the Relation of the Proposed Red River Valley Railway to the Manitoba Railway System and to the Red River," 1887
Source

In this section:

The region in the vicinity of the Red River in the Northwest Territories was the object of numerous orders-in-council following the Canadian government's acquisition of this land from the Hudson's Bay Company. That agreement in late 1869 provoked a militant response from the resident Métis peoples, who were not consulted on the transaction. Led by Louis Riel (1844-1885), the Métis prevented the new lieutenant-governor from entering the territory, and then occupied Upper Fort Garry (later Winnipeg) where they established a provisional government. The ensuing negotiations led to the establishment of Manitoba as a province of Canada. Orders-in-council from the period, which euphemistically refer to the Red River "disturbances" or "difficulties," record the efforts of the Canadian government to develop the commercial and civil infrastructure in the Red River settlements, as well as the many details involved in the military response to Riel's uprising. The question of clemency for Riel and his associates remained at issue for many years after the rebellion.