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Riel House National Historic Site of Canada: Historic Themes

Type: Document

Louis Riel was born in Saint Boniface in 1844 and was educated in Montréal. When he returned to the Red River Settlement in 1868, he found the community anxious and divided over its political future.

Site: Parks Canada

Riel House National Historic Site of Canada

Type: Document

This national historic site of Canada has close ties with Métis leader and a founder of Manitoba, Louis Riel. Occupying river lot 51 along the Red River, Riel House National Historic Site was Riel's family home, where his descendants continued to live until 1969.

Site: Parks Canada

Private, 65th Battalion (Mount Royal Rifles), circa 1880-1885

Type: Image

This Montreal battalion wore a dark-green uniform inspired by that of a British rifle regiment. During the early 1880s, the 65th retained the French-style shako abandoned by British rifles during the 1870s. The 65th Battalion (Mount Royal Rifles) would not be able to obtain a French title until 1902, when it was renamed the 65th Regiment Carabiniers Mont-Royal. Rifle battalions wore black equipment (instead of the white of other infantry). This man carries a Mark II Snider-Enfield short rifle with a sword bayonet fixed. The shorter 'two band' Snider was issued to rifle units and infantry sergeants. In 1885, the 65th fought with Major-General Strange's Alberta Field Force against the Cree at Frenchmen's Butte. Reconstruction by Ronald B. Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Otter’s Column

Type: Document

Colonel William Otter led a column of militia from Swift Current to Battleford, seeking to punish local Cree Indians under Poundmaker. Otter was ambushed at Cut Knife Hill and retreated to Battleford. The defeat of the Metis resulted in the Cree scattering in the face of Otter’s pursuit and Poundmaker later surrendered.

Site: National Defence

9 pounder RML gun during the Battle of Fish Creek, 24 April 1885

Type: Image

This photograph of a gun from A Battery, Regiment of Canadian Artillery was taken during the fighting at Fish Creek on 24 April 1885. Captain James Peters of A Battery was an amateur photographer who took his camera to the North-West and took what are possibly the first photographs in history of a battle in progress. (Library and Archives Canada, C-003461)

Site: National Defence

Batoche National Historic Site of Canada - Battle of Batoche

Type: Document

Documents those fateful days in May of 1885. The forces, the strategy, and the casualties involved in the Battle of Batoche are all covered.

Site: Parks Canada

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

Battle of Cut Knife Hill, 2 May 1885

Type: Image

Three hundred and fifty Canadian militia led by Lieutenant-Colonel Otter attacked a Plains Cree war camp at dawn on 2 May 1885. The Cree, although surprised, put up a stiff fight under war chief Fine Day. When the Canadians retreated late in the day, it was the persuasive influence of chief Poundmaker that stopped the Cree warriors from pursuing their foes. Some historians believe that this saved Otter's inexperienced men from being massacred. This rather idealized view of the battle is one of a series from the 'The Canadian Pictorial and Illustrated War News.'

Site: National Defence

Rebellion on the Plains - North West Rebellion

Type: DocumentFilm and Video

A description of the Métis and Indian involvement in the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. The settlers' reaction to the threat of Indian uprising and the military backlash to actions taken by the rebels are also discussed. From the television series "Canada: A People's History." Includes links to educational resources, bibliography, games, puzzles, and video clips.

Site: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

The March and Pursuit of Big Bear

Type: Document

A third column of militia commanded by General Thomas Strange left Calgary en route to Battleford. His column surprised the Cree under Big Bear at Frenchman’s Butte, but a stalemate ensued and he retreated. Strange returned to Frenchman’s Butte in June 1885, but the Cree had dispersed. He later lead a pursuit of Big Bear who fought the last battle of the rebellion with Colonel Sam Steele at Duck Lake.

Site: National Defence