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Red River Rebellion

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               In 1867 The British colonies united and became provinces of the new country of Canada. The new country's leaders plan to take over the Hudson’s Bay Company lands west of Ontario immediately.

               But the Red River Métis discovers that the government of Canada was not going to let the Métis keep their land they organized to fries up and start a Canadian takeover. In 1869 a group of Métis met in their church in St. Norbert. They elected a national Métis committee with Louis Riel as its leader.

              Riel led a band of 500 Métis militia soldiers into battle to invade the Hudson Bay Company's Upper Fort Garry in Winnipeg. The Métis declared themselves a provisional government of the territory. While Riel guarded the fort with non-Métis people prisoner, St. Norbert's parish priest went to Ottawa to stop the entry of Manitoba into Confederation - with a guarantee of Métis property and language rights.

              The negotiations ended with the passage because of the Manitoba Act in 1870. The Manitoba Act recognized and respected Métis rights. But, before the news could reach Manitoba, Riel ordered the execution of an unruly English-speaking prisoner from Ontario. This decision would be Riel's biggest mistake.

              After the death of Thomas Scott the man executive, Ottawa sent soldiers to take control from Riel. A Public outrage was spread through out Ontario over the execution of the prisoner because it meant that the government would not agree to the Métis request for an amnesty from prosecution. As the Canadian troops got closer, Riel fled into the United States.

              His Métis supporters elected Riel to the new Canadian parliament three times. But, because he was wanted for Scott's murder, he did not return to Canada to take his place. If he didn’t kill that one man, Riel might have become a respected statesmen, able to defend the rights his people fought and had won in the Manitoba Act.

              But those rights were ignored instead. Métis claims to land were refused. The official status of their French language was taken away. The Métis lost power and many of them moved westward to search for a better freedom.

               In 1884 Riel finally returned to Canada to take charge of another Métis uprising in Saskatchewan. But he was captured and hung. Because of his execution he was claimed a hero for many French-speaking Canadians across the country.

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