What are we referring to when we talk about the Métis uprisings?
Explanation from Alloprof
This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.
The Métis uprisings took place in two stages and were linked to the colonization of Western Canada.
Consequences of the colonization of Western Canada :
The policies of colonization of the West favored the massive arrival of immigrants on the territory of the Natives. Moreover, newcomers didn’t travel alone! With them, they unknowingly brought diseases to which the Natives were not immuned. Therefore, there were epidemics that were decimating the native population of the West. In addition, these immigrants massively and excessively hunted bison herds, which led to their disappearance. The Natives suffered from episodes of famine, because they no longer had enough meat to eat well. For all these reasons, the indigenous populations of the West were pushed to rebel against this massive arrival of immigrants on their ancestral territories.
The Red River Rebellion (1869-1870) :
This is the first Métis uprising. They took up arms to block the advance of Canadian surveyors who came to assess the land around the Red River for new immigrants. They also set up a provisional government headed by Louis Riel. This political group made several requests to the Canadian government so that the colonization of the West would be carried out with respect for the territorial and cultural rights of the Native people. Negotiations took place and a new province was born : Manitoba. Initially, English Canadians and Métis lived jointly there. However, the English population was growing at a dizzying pace. English Canadians, therefore more numerous than the Métis, gradually passed laws restricting the rights of the Métis in this province. Not feeling accommodated and respected in Manitoba, several Métis then left the province towards the northwest, in the region of Batoche.
The North West Rebellion (1885) :
The Canadian population of Manitoba continued to grow and English Canadians were therefore also moving northwest in search of new land. Little by little, they joined the Natives who had settled Batoche. The Native people have had enough and decided to be heard. They took up arms again and contested the presence of Canadian settlers on their new territory. The federal government in place, John A. Macdonald sent the army to suppress this second uprising. Louis Riel and several others were arrested and imprisoned. Riel was also hanged after being charged with high treason against the Canadian nation.
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