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A Lackluster Victory

Type: Document

The Canadian government's military campaign against the North West Rebellion exposed the weaknesses of the mobilization system and the logistics needed to support a contingent in the field.

Site: National Defence

The Growth of an Empire

Type: Document

Post-confederation, Canadians came to see themselves both as part of, and distinct from, the British Empire culture.

Site: National Defence

Volunteer, Victoria Voltigeurs, 1851-1858

Type: Image

The Victoria Voltigeurs were members of a volunteer unit of Métis raised on Vancouver Island in 1851. Their clothing and weapons were provided by the Hudson's Bay Company. The Voltigeurs acted as a combination of military unit and police force until 1858. Reconstruction by Ron Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

First Prairie-Recruited Militia Corps

Type: Document

In 1835, responding to a growing population in the area south of Lake Winnipeg, the Hudson's Bay Company created the Red River Volunteers. This was a combination of militia and police force. It was the first European military unit recruited on the Canadian Prairies.

Site: National Defence

Private, Nova Scotia Rangers, circa 1750

Type: Image

The Nova Scotia Rangers were the very first British regular corps raised in North America. Also known as Goreham's Rangers, after their commanding officer, the men were mostly Amerindians and Métis. Reconstruction by Gerald A. Embleton. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Trouble On the Red River

Type: Document

In 1869, Canada acquired the North West Territories. The province of Manitoba was created in 1870. The local Métis population objected, and set up a provisional government led by Louis Riel. When Riel ordered the death of an Anglophone opponent, there was outrage in English Canada.

Site: National Defence

Gabriel Dumont, military commander of the Métis during 1885

Type: Image

Gabriel Dumont (1837-1906) was a brilliant tactician. Historians generally concede that had Dumont fully controlled Métis operations in 1885, the Canadian volunteers would have faced a much tougher campaign. This photograph probably dates from Dumont's time travelling with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show after the Rebellion. (Library and Archives Canada, PA-178147)

Site: National Defence

Regular British Troops Arrive

Type: Document

The Oregon Crisis of 1845 made it important to send British regular troops to Rupert's Land. A detachment of the 6th Regiment of Foot arrived in 1846, becoming the first British unit stationed on the prairies. The threat of an American attack from the south was an ongoing worry.

Site: National Defence

The Advance to Batoche

Type: Document

After refresher training, the main column under General Middleton moved towards Batoche from Qu'Appelle. Middleton's moves were cautious as he had little faith in the expertise of the militia under him, and the lessons of the massacre of Custer in 1876 and the recent Indian massacres at Duck Lake and Frog Lake. He divided his column on either side of the South Saskatchewan River and was ambushed at Fish Creek, resulting in a retreat and a two week rest while he retrained his troops.

Site: National Defence

Bloody Rivalry for the Fur Trade

Type: Document

In the early 19th century, the Red River region was the site of a bloody rivalry between the long-established Hudson's Bay Company and the upstart North West Company. 1819 saw the massacre at Seven Oaks of a group of Scottish colonists sponsored by the Earl of Selkirk.

Site: National Defence