Metis 1875 - 1885


1875 - 1885

"John A MacDonald breaks the law of the time by
inducing rebellion" so says Sir Wilfred Laurier

The Dominion of Canada passed the North West Territories Act,
effectively excluding Indian and Metis as Canadians.

The Metis are basically abandoned by the infamous John A. MacDonald.

War breaks out on The Saskatchewan.

John A MacDonald would utter his infamous quote:

"Riel should hang... though every dog in Quebec bark in his favor".


Æoeas Poitras Senior is homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year.

Elzear Parisien, Metis, is homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year.

The Trail Creek des Metis settlement on the north side of the Red Deer River, west of present Stettler, Alberta, contained some 2,000 people in 400 houses. This is the largest settlement west of Red River. It is now the governing body of the Metis Nation, having replaced Red River. The fall buffalo hunt is organized and directed from this Metis capital. Law and order has been maintained by this organized group for the past five years or more.

The Wood Mountain Metis settlement relocated to Cyprus Hills.

The United States abolished the Indian Assimilation Act, but Canada would follow this policy for the next one hundred years. The Dominion of Canada, however, would pass the North West Territories Act which would effectively exclude Indian and Metis as Canadians. If the Lieutenant-Governor is satisfied that any part of the Territories, not more than a thousand square miles, contained a thousand adult white persons entitled to the franchise, they could elect a member to council. The ability to change the rules to the English advantage is systematized. The white minority would use this to their advantage, coupled with their bag of dirty tricks, to gain economic advantage over the Natives of western Canada.

The North West Mounted Police construct Fort Walsh in the Cypress Hills of Southwest Saskatchewan. The Fort was built by James Walsh and abandoned in 1883.

Norman Welsh is trading Cypress Hills at Four Mile Coulee. He obtained 120 buffalo robes, 3,000 lbs of pemmican, and 1,000 lbs of dry meat.

The Sarcee relocated to the Calgary reserve following the signing of treaty #7. Sarcee are of the Athapaskan or Dene nation but call themselves Tsuutina, which means many people or everyone. The name Sarcee is believed to have originated from the Blackfoot, and the word means boldness and hardiness. They believe the Tsuutina likely split from the Beaver and moved south to the plains. Their culture valued bravery for the men and chastity for the women. Marriages were usually arranged by the families.

This year 235 Icelanders settled on the west shore of Lake Winnipeg, in the North West Territories, to create New Iceland. By 1876, 1,200 others would join this community.

Floods and smallpox depopulated the area, and the exodus to Winnipeg and North Dakota reduced the population to 250 by 1881.

Some of the Metis from Red River established themselves on Spring Creek (Lewistown, Montana), creating one of the oldest continuously occupied Metis settlements in Montana. They are sometimes referred to as the Lewistown Metis or Spring Creek Band. Some other related Metis settled Milk River, Montana at St. Peter's Mission.

February 12: Louis Riel, (1844-1885), Metis, and other Provisional Metis Government leaders are to be granted amnesty provided Riel and Ambroise Lepine serve a five year banishment order. Louis Riel brooded over those years of persecution by the Canadian Government, which some believe would contribute to his eventual mental breakdown.

May: The Manitoba Free Press reports that there is a new Metis settlement near Fort MacLeod.

October 21: A party of Icelanders arrived on Steamer International to take up land on the west shore of Lake Winnipeg. One thousand more are expected to arrive next year.

Some believe the Viking descendants are again returning to Manitoba.

November 10: The S.S. Pacific, an American ship on route from Victoria to San Francisco, sank with 300 people, mostly Victoria residents. It was struck by the ship Orpheus. Only two people survived; a Henry Jelly and Neil Henley. The American ship was not seaworthy but by Canadian law, it is only required to perform foreign ship inspection if it carried mail. People were not considered as important.


Philip Garnot, a French Canadian, is homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year, but he purchased the land from another settler, which was illegal according to the Land Commission.

Jean Baptiste Vandalle, Metis, is homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year.

Louis Riel, confined to a mental hospital until 1878, claimed he had divine guidance; according to the authorities. Others suggest his disappointment with Canada's reaction to the creation of Manitoba sent him into a deep depression.

A famous Metis guide, Pierre Bottineau, brought 119 families of French Canadian settlers to found the towns of Red Lake Falls and Gentilly, Minnesota. These are considered as some of the first settlers in this area. This presumptuous claim disregards the Metis who have lived here since the 1790's

December: The Dakota refugees at Wood Mountain numbered 500 men, 1,000 women, 1,400 children and 3,500 horses.


Daniel Garripie, Metis, and George Ness, Metis, are homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year. Emmanuel Champagne, a Metis classified as a North West Half-Breed vs. a Manitoba Half-Breed, is homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year.

The Canadian Pacific Railway's Number one Countess of Dufferin is the first locomotive in Western Canada, having arrived in St. Boniface carried on a barge down the Red River by steamboat. Gabriel Dumont, the Metis, operated a ferry known as Gabriel's Crossing, farmed, ran a store and acted as a general contractor, organizing Metis labor. It is known that Henry Kelly, Metis, Alexander Hamlyn, Metis and Raphael Paranteau, Metis were settled at Duck Lake, South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier.

Alexander Hamlyn moved to Lac La Biche about or before 1885. Raphael Paranteau is considered a North West Half-Breed vs. a Manitoba Half-Breed by the Government.

George Browne (1852-1919) at Fort Benton, Montana, killed a celebrated hunter named Louis Ell. He as acquitted by his peers then he, with his Metis wife, settled at Waterton Lakes as a trader, guide and packer.

Alexander Wills, Metis b-1877 Cyprus Hills is the son of John Wills Jr. and Rosalie McKay, Metis.

Alexis Labombarde, Metis is working with Farwell and associates, including James Marshall, Andrew Peterson, Kerr, Gary Bourke and Philander Vogle, out of Fort Benson into Canada.

Father Jules de Corby said the majority of Metis who wintered at Cypress Hills for the past three winters have moved to Wood Mountain, Milk River, Whitemud River and Porcupine Creek. These Metis only see a priest but once a year.

March: The Teton Dakota Sioux refugees arrived in Canada with 57 lodges. Sitting Bull, a.k.a. Tatanka Yotanka (1834?-1890) , with 135 lodges, crossed into Canada.


Gabriel Lafournais, Metis, and Guillaume Lafournais, Metis, are homesteading at Duck Lake, South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier. The are both considered North West Half-Breeds vs. Manitoba Half-Breeds by the Government. Cuthbert Jervais, Metis, is homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year.

Napoleon Nault, Metis, and William Vandalie, Metis, are homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year.

Hayter Reed, Metis, is homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year, but he purchased his land from Philip Garripe. This sale would be considered illegal by the government and may have resulted in his not qualifying for land permit? It is noteworthy that Moses Puellette, Metis (date of settlement not known), refused to appear before the inquisition, so likely also did not qualify for land permit.

Charles Nolin, Metis, one time Minister of Agriculture, settled in Touchwood Hills in 1878 or 1879.

The great Fort William closed down this year; the end of an era. Prince Albert's population was eight hundred and thirty one inhabitants. (I)-John MacDonald (1815-1891) returned to power in September with a clear mandate to deal with the west, the Metis and the Indian situation. He was to implement tariffs to ensure the rapid growth of central Canadian industry and higher prices of manufactured goods to the west, a railway to settle the land and provide food for central Canada and it would also provide a rapid strike force against the natives should they resist the advancement of English civilization. The western people are growing in apprehension of MacDonald and his crew as they are assuming the same policy as the Hudson Bay Company. This year the Americans prevented the buffalo from returning to Canada by setting prairie fires north of the migrating herds. Once confined, the last great slaughter took place. The implications on the Canadian Natives this winter would be significant.

John Norquay, a Metis, became premier of Manitoba until 1887 but was still not free of racial slurs, as the opposition, during heated debate, said: It's the Indian in you.

January: The winter was so mild this year that a sports day was called for on January 1, at Winnipeg. There was horseracing and a lacrosse game, and the players were in short sleeves with bare knees. Mild weather lasted from October to Spring at Winnipeg, and was unusually mild all across Canada and the United States. Rivers and lakes, normally frozen are all open and running. Manitoba farmers are plowing off and on throughout December. They even held a plowing match for Christmas day. Global warming was far from the minds of the citizens.

December 7: A regular train service is established to St. Boniface, Manitoba, running along the east side of the Red River of the North to a connecting service to St. Paul Minnesota. The final spike was driven home by 18 year old Mary Sullivan.


Metis are still coming forward for their land allotments but no lands are available. The Dominion Land Act was amended this year to allow the Governor in Council to satisfy the land claims of the half-breeds. However, no action was taken until March 1885 after fighting broke out at Duck Lake. Some suggest that the Government deliberately delayed any action in order to provoke a war. It is noteworthy that Oregon, in 1850, granted the Half-Breeds land title.

Ambroise Dubois, Metis, Elien Racette, Metis, Maxime Poitras, Metis, Jean Belanger, Metis, and Jean Baptiste Paranteau, Metis, are homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year.

The buffalo is essentially extinct this year in Canada as a direct result of the American actions over the last number of years. The first official provincial jail, established at Emerson, Manitoba, is to accommodate illegal whiskey traders from the United States. Some reports contend that Louis Riel (1844-1885) had attempted to organize the Dakota Sioux, Cree and Blackfoot to create an uprising, and they were to meet at Tiger Hills, Montana. The American troops were sent to the area at the request of the Canadian Government to stop the meeting and the plan fizzled. Others suggest he was involved, in 1879-80, in organizing the Milk River Metis to obtain the right to remain and to hunt on United States soil.

Four Metis boys: Allan McLean (1855-1881), Charlie McLean (1862-1881), Archie McLean (1864-1881) and Alex Hare, (1862-1881) killed John Tannat Ussher; a Kamloops policeman, and James Kelly; a shepherd, who were trying to arrest them for horse stealing. They were executed in New Westminister on January 31, 1881.

Fort Battleford (Saskatchewan) is established by the North West Mounted Police.

The Indian agent at Fort Belknap wrote the Half-Breeds are in force on the Milk River. Milk River was a traditional wintering ground of the Indian and Metis.

Lewistown, Montana is settled by Metis this year.


Louis Marion, Metis (later jailed Prince Albert), homesteaded Duck Lake, South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier.

Pierre Falcon, Metis and Alex Carrinal homesteaded Duck Lake South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier. The Government classified them as North West Half-Breeds vs. Manitoba Half-Breeds.

The Hudson Bay Company had approximately one hundred and fifty posts in different parts of the Dominion of Canada. The country doctors of Ontario began to criticize the policy of indenturing poor English children into Canada. Their criticism had no moral basis but was against this undesirable addition to the nations population. The doctors contended that these children represented the worst characteristic of the Old World: urban degeneracy, immorality, criminality and syphilitic tendencies. Many of these children were taken away from their parents against their will and deported.

The Hudson Bay Company owns 7,000,000 acres in Manitoba and offered 500,000 acres up for sale, including town lots.

During this decade about two hundred prospectors per year are working the Yukon Gold Fields.

During the reign of terror, 1860-1880, in and around San Francisco, vigilantes murdered at least 7,300 people; an average of one a night.

In the spring: The American Government drove the Milk River Metis north across the Canadian boundary or south to the Judith Basin of central Montana. In Musselshall and the Judith River drainages, the Indians and Metis gathered from all over Montana to hunt some of the last herds of buffalo.

August: Louis Riel was south of the Missouri River, traveling with the Spring Creek Band (Lewistown Metis). Louis Riel (1844-1885) would remain a spokesman for the Montana Metis until 1884.


The Province of Manitoba expanded to include the northern half of present day Manitoba. Only fifty percent of the population of Canada are engaged in agriculture.

This year and next saw a great influx of men and women of every sort into Winnipeg, attracted by the building of the transcontinental railway. These are followed later by the swarms of mule skinners, navies (sailors?), lumberjacks and others; like houses of ill fame.

W. P. Beaudre, Metis and John Smith (both later jailed Prince Albert), homesteaded Duck Lake, South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier.

Louis Schmidt, Metis, homesteaded Duck Lake, South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier.

Fred Dupree captured five buffalo calves north of Cheyenne River, to use as breeding stock.

Fort Walsh had 100 R.C.M.P., and 30 were reported to have venereal disease.


Gabrial Dumont, Metis, is considered a North West Half-Breed vs. a Manitoba Half-Breed by the Government and is homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year.

Turtle Mountain's Star Chippewa Reserve, near Rolla, North Dakota, is created this year. The treaty called the "Ten Cent Treaty" and many Mixed-Blood Chippewa are eliminated from Tribal Rolls.

(6)-John W. Monroe was born August 23, 1884 at Rolla, North Dakota.

(II)-Johaunes Salzl, his wife (II)-Maria Leurer, and brother (II)-Karl Salzl arrive at Miller, Hand County, South Dakota from Wallern, Austria. Tradition suggests that (I)-Paul Salzl and his wife (I)-Maria Weinzetl also arrived with a cousin (I)-Charles Salzl born 1859. (II)-John Salzl worked as a hired hand for the first year. It would appear that a number of Austrians arrived as a group on the Chicago, Northwestern Railway that is completed from Tracy, Minnesota to Pierre, South Dakota across Hand County in 1880.

Advertisements began appearing in American newspapers, offering Canadian land free to pioneers.

The N.W.M.P. reported from Fort Walsh that they know of no case where men or officers in the Force keep concubines, though some are married to Half-Breed women.

Another report admitted that, this year, 15 percent of the men at Fort Worth had been treated for venereal disease in less than two months.

John Ware (Nigger John) (1845-1905), a freed Texas Black Slave, found his way from Fort Worth to Calgary, Alberta, driving a herd of 3,000 head of cattle for the North West Cattle Company. He established his own homestead in 1890. His untimely death was east of Brooks, and the large turnout for his funeral attested to the high respect he was held in as one of the best frontier pioneers. It is noteworthy that this is one of the few times that the term 'Nigger' was used as a positive reference rather than as a demeanor.

June 30: Lieutenant Governor Dewdney (1835-1916), an Englishman, posted notice that Ooskunna Kahstakee or Pile O' Bones Creek (Regina) was the new Capital of the North West Territories. Earlier in the year Dewdney and several friends had purchased 28 sections of land along Wascana Creek, very close to Pile O'Bones (Regina.) The Toronto Globe reported: It is intolerable that the high official, whose prerogative it is to locate a capital city, should have the privilege of buying up the site in order to speculate on the price of corner lots. Dewdney should have spent time in jail, but Prime Minister John A. McDonald came to his friends aid, absolving him of any wrong doing. At the time there was about six people near what the Indians called the Old Crossing. Pile O' Bones had little going for it. On every side the plain stretched as flat and expressionless as deal boards, not a boulder or stone for twenty miles, nor a tree nor hill to break the monotony, and Mr. Dewdney had overlooked the water situation when he made his choice. Regina was a grim and dismal place.


Norbert Sauve, Metis, homesteaded Duck Lake, South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier. He had a second claim listed in 1884: a change of location giving up the first.

Albert Monkman, Metis (later in penitentiary), homesteaded Duck Lake, South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier.

Jno William Toogood, Metis, Andre Letenore, Metis (moved before actual homestead date determined) and George A. McLeod, Metis are homesteading in the parish of St. Louis de Langevin, South Saskatchewan River this year, and both men are in jail at Prince Albert in 1885. William Bruce, an English Half-Breed from Kildonan, homesteaded in the parish of St. Louis de Langevin, South Saskatchewan River and was involved with Riel. He claimed to be a turncoat who joined Middleton against Riel.

Jean Baptiste Deschamps, Metis, Isidore Dumont (Ecapo), Metis, and Isidore Dumont Jr., Metis, all considered North West Half-Breeds vs. Manitoba Half-Breeds by the Government, are homesteading in the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River this year. Margaret Smith is classed the same as this group but no date of homesteading is recorded.

The following Metis are classified by the government as North West Half-Breeds vs. Manitoba Half-Breeds: Chas Garriple and Louis Garriple, homesteaded Duck Lake, South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier, but refused to appear before the inquisition; so likely didn't qualify for land patents.

Morrisette, and Julian Ouilette, both classified as North West Half-Breeds, did not provide their homestead date nor appear before the inquisition and therefore, likely did not qualify for land patents. It is assumed that they homesteaded some time prior to this date.

Louis Bourassa, Metis and classed as a North West Half-Breed vs. Manitoba Half-Breed, (also an old HBC man), homesteaded Duck Lake, South Saskatchewan River this year or earlier and was involved in the Riel rebellion, but claimed he was led astray by Albert Monkman who was sent to penitentiary.

The North West Mounted Police recorded that 25 men deserted and many more clamored to buy their way out of the service. One Mountie who left the force to become an Indian Agent, was fired for falsifying scales. Some are accused of making rather free with Native women. The Mounties were a disparate, if not a desperate lot, including broken down gentlemen, Canadian bucilics and desperadoes, old soldiers, cowboys, sailors, and hell rake adventurers- wrote another. In 1884 another 11 deserted in one month from Fort Macleod. It is noteworthy that the N.W.M.P. did not protect the rights and interests of the indigenous population but, rather, collaborated closely with eastern business interests who paid their salaries.

Eight buffalo is sighted near Souris, being the largest number for many years.

Louis Riel (1844-1885) paid a visit to Winnipeg to learn first hand of the discontent of the Metis and their suppression at the hands of the Government. The Mounted Police forcibly prevented Chief Poundmaker (1842-1886), the Cree, from holding council about Government discontent. Big Bear, Mistahimaskwa (1825-1888) would comment: "They talked with a forked tongue. . . as I see they are not going to be honest, I am afraid to take a reserve. . . it is good that the young men have not resorted to violent measures . . . it is almost too hard for them to bear the treatment at the hands of the Government after its sweet promises".

Saint Mary's Catholic Church is established in Zell, Faulk county, South Dakota, and would encourage Austrian, German Catholic immigrants to settle in that poor agricultural region.

March 12: (III)-Rudolph Salzl is born at Miller, Hand county, South Dakota son (II)-John Salzl and (II)-Maria Leurer. This winter (II)-John Salzl applies for land near Zell, Faulk county and they winter in a cave cut from a hill. (II)-Maria Leurer recalled that she had to put the table cloth over the baby to keep the rain off during a storm. In later years, they tied a rope from the house to the barn so that they wouldn't get lost during the severe winter blizzards. They are still in residence in the Dakotas for the first census in June 1885, and (I)-Paul Salzl is claimed to have died 1995 near Mornville, Alberta.

August: W. M. Pearce, Superintendent, to determine who qualifies for land patients, considers the Half-Breeds of the South Saskatchewan River as an ignorant people. This was prejudice for the advancement of their own selfish ends according to the report sent to Thomas White, Minister of the Interior, recorded 1883 and published 1885. It is not surprising that only 10 of 250 Half-Breed claimants in the parish of St. Laurent on the South Saskatchewan River, qualified for land patents in 1884. If this happened to British settlers, there would have been an immediate armed uprising.


Of the Touround Metis settlement near Fish Creek, (Calgary) South Saskatchewan, 26% failed to record their land claims; likely because of the failure rate at St Laurent. It is noteworthy that 20 listed claimants were homesteading prior to 1880.

The Duck Lake Metis settlement recorded 21 homesteaders who settled prior to 1880. The Commission believed they identified 95% of those associated with Riel. Six did not appear before the inquisition; 5 were in jail at Prince Albert or penitentiary.

The St. Louis de Langevin, South Saskatchewan River hosted 3 in jail at Prince Albert.

It is noteworthy that any sale of land prior to survey is considered illegal and therefore doesn't qualify for patents unless you are white.

Some inhabitants of Fort Pitt, Saskatchewan this year are: Francis Jeffery Dickens (1844-1886) RCMP, Thomas Quinn, Indian Agent, James Simpson H.B.C., Frederick Simpson and Agnus McKay H.B.C.

Seventeen families are settled outside the parish of St. Laurent, South Saskatchewan River, and they extended along 60 miles of river bank (counting both sides).

John (Jack) W. Monroe is born August 23, 1884 Rolla, North Dakota. He would marry in 1905 an Olive McClellan of Waterton. John Monroe is claimed by the family to be a direct descendant of President Monroe of the United States. This, however, is likely not true as he had no sons.

The Manitoba and North West Farmer's Union is created to pressure the Government to reform. (I)-John A. MacDonald (1815-1891), however, had little sympathy for those Westerners who had no political clout. Along the south branch, the surveyors were measuring the land into great squares, again disregarding the traditional French river front lots. One land promotion company had a grant for land that included the Metis settlements of Gabriel's Crossing, Batoche and St. Laurent, with no consideration for homes, stables or hard tilled fields. The Hudson Bay Company and the Church had encouraged these people to settle here in 1871 after having been driven out of Red River in 1870.

One English speaking group complained that they had sent five petitions to the Federal Government without result.

March 6: Less than 4% (10) of the 258 claimants for homesteads, in the parish of St. Laurent on the South Saskatchewan River, are entitled to land patents according to the W. M. Pearce; a racialist. It is noteworthy that many squatters, as they are called, did not register or apply for patents, not trusting the government or their priests. Their fears were justified when, in 1885, the application process attempted to identify any person involved in the resistance movement. The class system established is:

24 are North West Half-Breeds (assumed to be born North West of Manitoba)

178 are Manitoba Half-Breeds (assumed to be born Red River), and therefore don't qualify as North West Half-Breeds.

18 are doubtful or unknown Half-Breeds of which 16 refused to appear before the inquisition.

39 are American Treaty taking Half-Breeds or others who are not Half-Breeds, 8 of who refused to appear before the Half-Breed Commission to swore they were not associated with Riel and therefore are assumed to not qualify.

23 of those listed above were homesteading prior to 1880.

June 4: Louis Riel (1844-1885) is at Sun River, Montana teaching at a Jesuit Mission School when Gabriel Dumont (1837-1906), Michael Dumas, Moise Ouellette and James Isbister arrive with an invitation to return to the North West to lead another protest movement against the Federal Government. The Red River Metis had been forced from their lands by eastern land speculators and Government Agents, or forced to sell at very low value. They created new settlements on the Saskatchewan, St. Laurent, St. Louis, St. Antoine (Batoche) and still, they had no proof of land ownership. (I)-John A. MacDonald's own ministry starved the Indian services and failed to allay the fears and suspicions of the Metis and Indians that they would lose their rights as the original holders of the lands. The white settlers, beggared by early frost, poor crops and low prices for grain, are therefore encouraging the Metis to action. The major surprise is the violent opposition by the clergy to the Metis request for attention to their grievances. The Prince Albert Times formally expressed their sympathies and condemned Riel's leadership. Bishop Bourget of Montreal had fed Riel's obsessive nature by writing that Riel had a mission: God will not abandon him as God has given him a mission that he will have to accomplish in all points. The problem is that Riel had talked extensively with the Oblate priests and Father Pierre Andre who, in their opinion, is spying and keeping Ottawa informed of the Indian and Metis actions. To make things worse, Father Andre believed Riel could be bought off for three to five thousand dollars and so advised D. H. MacDowall of the Territorial Council. When Father Andre realized he could not control Louis Riel (1844-1885), he called him a traitor to his mission and to the true religion.

July 19: In Prince Albert, five hundred turned out to hear Louis Riel.

December 16: Louis Riel, Henry Jackson, a Liberal from Ontario, and many Natives and recent white settlers petitioned Ottawa: Indians, deprived of the buffalo hunt, were often near starvation, Metis in the Saskatchewan district, had not received their land grants, Square survey threatened their river front lots on the Saskatchewan River, Early settlement land claims of white settlers were not being recognized, Railway and tariff policies were roundly condemned, Responsible self-government with control of its own resources and just representation in Federal Parliament and Cabinet.

The Indians had found themselves in an even more desperate condition than the Metis and are in an ugly mood due to the indifference displayed by the Government towards their appeal for help. They are on the verge of an Indian uprising and turned to Riel for advice and leadership. Louis Riel (1844-1885) restrained them, hoping for action from Ottawa to their petition. (I)-John A. MacDonald (1815-1891) and his boys, frankly, really didn't give a dam, as they hadn't responded to the flood of petitions from Church, Committees or individuals over the past four years. The official response to the petition through their ambassador was: "The Government will answer you with bullets".

Captain Dogle of the SS Marquis (steamship) wintered in a shack on the north shore of the north branch, at the mouth of the Sturgeon (Shell River). The Marquis would be pressed into service during the Metis Resistance Movement. Lance-Corporal, William Donkin of the N.W.M.P,. is quoted as saying they were a splendid body of men with a fine contempt for civilians.


Peter F. Garson, Metis, is homesteading in the parish of St. Louis de Langevin, South Saskatchewan River this year and is jailed at Prince Albert.

One of the more colorful English Metis of the North West is (II)-James (Jimmy Jock) Bird (1785-1892). The Edmonton Bulletin summed his life as follows: Thomas Bird of Macleod and his father, James Bird, arrived from Egg Lake, east of Saddle Lake, last week on a visit to William Bird of Edmonton. James Bird is better known as Jimmy Jock, a native of Red River, who has lived nearly all his life with the Blackfoot Indians and is now nearly 100 years of age. His father was an officer of the HBC and Dr. Bird of Winnipeg, now deceased, was his half brother. He is a man of good education and address and was interpreter for the Hudson Bay Company for many years, but afterwards lived not only amongst the Indians but became as one of them. He was interpreter for Lieutenant Governor Laird at the making of the treaty with the Blackfoot in 1877. He has been stone blind for many years. Jimmy Jock had traded from Oregon and Vancouver to Red River, working for the American Fur Companies, the Hudson Bay Company and the Indians, most of the time at the same time. The honored Indian pastime of horse stealing was not neglected, and Jimmy invited the H.B.C to attempt to steal them back if they were smart enough.

January: (I)-John A. MacDonald (1815-1891) announced that a commission would be appointed to investigate and report on western problems. Police, Government officials and private individuals appealed unceasingly to Ottawa, but MacDonald's delays are notorious and a mere promise of a commission of inquiry seemed to hold out but small hope of redress.

February: Louis Riel, due to pressure from the Roman Catholic Church and the press, proposed that- should his supporters desire it- he would turn the leadership over to someone else.

February 20: (II)-Johaunes Salzl records his land claim as NE 1/4 section 35, township 117N range 66w for a value of $200.00 or $1.25 per acre. (II)-Karl Salzl claimed SW 1/4 35-117N 66W. Both claims are within a mile of Saint Mary's Church, Zell, South Dakota. (III)-Mathias Salzl is born March 26, 1885 Zell, South Dakota son (II)-Johaunes Salzl born 1847 and (II)-Mary Leir born 1852. The June 1885 census of Faulk county South Dakota listed (I)-Paul Salzl born 1823 and his wife (I)-Maria Weinzetl born 1823.

March 19: In Batoche, Louis Riel (1844-1885) established a Provisional Government. Gabriel Dumont (1837-1906), who ran a ferry service, became military commander.

Pierre Parenteau is elected president. The local Church is the proclaimed head quarters, over the objections of the local Priest. Louis Riel proclaimed "Rome had fallen" which represented his great disappointment with the Church. Others in the Metis community would support this opinion in future years.

March 23: News of the Metis uprising hit the Ontario papers.

March 26: At Duck Lake, General Gabriel Dumont, with about one hundred soldiers, attacked the North West Mounted Police detachment at Fort Carlton. The police lost twelve men and the locals lost six.

March 30: At Battleford, residents flee to the Fort, and the Cree from the Poundmaker (1842-1886) and Little Pine Reserves help themselves to provisions at the Hudson Bay Store and other buildings, as they are hungry. They had no intentions of harming the inhabitants. Word arrived that the Stony Indians had killed their farm instructor and a white settler, and are joining the Cree to set up a soldier lodge. In a feeble attempt to protect his credibility, (I)-John A. MacDonald (1815-1891) named the members to the commission of inquiry to western grievances while mobilizing a force of eight thousand men under command of General Frederick Middleton.

April 1: The Canadian Pacific Railway had run out of funds and, at Beavermouth, from the end of the tracks, the railway crew went on strike over lack of pay. Samuel Steele, formally of Fort Edmonton, is the Mounted Police on site. The strike was developing into an uprising, and Fort Calgary sent a telegram to Steele pleading for help: "For God's sake come. There is danger of an attack by the Blackfoot". Steele and eight police managed to put down the uprising and left for Calgary.

April 2: Commander Chief Big Bear, Mistahimaskwa (1825-1888) and his army took Frog Lake, killing nine people including the Indian Agent and two missionaries, and capturing one Company man and two women who were unharmed. They then went on to take Fort Pitt without a fight.

April 20: The first contingent of Major General Thomas Bland Strange (1831-1925) headed for Fort Edmonton before moving down river to Fort Pitt. Colonel William Otter (1843-1929) continued to Battleford. Poundmaker (1842-1886) is holding council to decide for neutrality or war when he is ambushed by the cowardly Otter and Strange at Cut Knife Hill. The Indians fought back in self defense, and the incompetent Otter and Strange ran for their lives to Battleford, having been soundly routed. Poundmaker (1842-1886) held back his warriors and, thereby, prevented them from cutting the retreating army column to pieces.

April 24: Fighting began at Fish Creek, about twenty nine kilometers south of Batoche, where General Middleton, with a force of four hundred, engaged the Provisional Army. Middleton lost six and fifty were wounded. The Provisional Army lost five and a small number were wounded.

April 23: The Saskatchewan Herald said: This gives weight to the old adage that the only good Indians are the dead ones. McKee, a cantankerous wicked old bastard of Ontario, followed the mounting madness and ventured west with the army. McKee dismissed the Metis people as stinking heathens and dirty papists. He would boast of killing many Metis. Following the rebellion, he took a homestead claim near Bienfait, Saskatchewan. He discovered a Metis family squatting on his land and shot them all. He buried the family where they fell, and no justice was meted out according to his grandson Andy McKee.

May 9: Major General Frederick Dobson Middleton (1825-1892), with an eight hundred and fifty man army attacks the defending General Dumont (1837-1906) with his three hundred and fifty man army at Batoche, and he is repelled. Middleton is astonished, as he had expected an easy victory. The defending army was in a position of strength and had taken great care in the construction of their rifle pits. General Dumont's troops held out for three days, exhausting their ammunition before retreating.

Meanwhile, Steele - of the so called Steel's Scouts formed in Calgary, engaged in two months of skirmishing, culminating in the battle of Loon Lake.

May 15: Louis Riel surrenders at Battleford. Dumont and several others flee to the United States.

May 26: Poundmaker surrendered at Battleford.

May 28: General Strange at Frenchman's Butte met Big Bear, and the heavy guns took the edge off the Indian's enthusiasm. General Strange did not follow his retreating foe, saying he had no intention of "committing Custer".

July 2: Big Bear and his eight year old son surrendered to a surprised policeman at Fort Carlton.

June 9: Big Bear released his prisoners of war and broke his army up into small bands.

Provisional Government

The Metis Provisional Government held in irons. They would later be released except for Louis Riel.

August 1: Louis Riel was sentenced to death by an Anglo-Saxon and Protestant jury in one hour and twenty minutes. Henry Jackson, President of the Provisional Government, expressed his desire to share the same fate as Riel. His acquittal came within minutes because, some say, he is from Ontario. One Juror stated later: "We tried Louis Riel for treason but he was hanged for the murder of Scott". This is one of the most infamous necktie socials in the history of Canada, debated even to the present time.

November 7: As a result of the Riel incident, the linkage of the Canadian Pacific Railway to Winnipeg was finished earlier than planned.

November 16: Every Orangeman in Ontario is crying for Riel's blood. Louis Riel, founding father of Manitoba, was hung in Regina (Pile of Bones) despite Wilfred Laurier's declaration: "Had I been born on the banks of the Saskatchewan (River), I would, myself, have shouldered a musket to fight against the neglect of Government and shameless greed of speculators".

This is the official photo issued by the Government of Louis Riel; the Father of Manitoba. "Deeds are not accomplished in a few days or in a few hours. A century is only a spoke in the wheel of everlasting time" Louis Riel.

(I)-John A. MacDonald (1815-1891), true to his nature, stated: "Riel should hang... though every dog in Quebec bark in his favor". The infamy of the Snake people would infect, not only government and business, but also the Church over the next one hundred years. The shameless greed of land speculators would hide behind land companies and use Government and Church to continue their war on the Native peoples of Canada well into the next century.

November 27: Eight Indians hung at Battleford as a result of the Rebellion. The sequel to the uprising is a bitter one: the Metis homes were burned and their property looted or destroyed. This was like the fate of the Ontario Loyalists from the United States. Those in the Provisional Government are sentenced to terms of imprisonment. Some are forced to enter Indian reservations and some are sent to northern regions. They gradually sank further and further in the social scale, their life, society and spirit crushed and destroyed; for they didn't have anyone to champion their cause, as the Ontario Loyalists had in earlier times. The term half-breed, which replaces the term Metis, is a demeaning term and a social stigma which became entrenched into Government, school and Church programs. Father Lacombe, however, still held an idealistic Christian Metis vision not shared by his fellow Oblates. The Canadian Government belatedly attempted to pacify the Half-Breeds by distributing land scripts to those who didn't participate in the uprising. The script entitled the holder to two hundred and forty acres of land. Business, however, refused to loan money to Half-Breeds or Indians to start them in farming, and ninety percent lost their claims. Father Albert Lacombe, along with conservatives D'Alton McCarthy, James Ross and W. C. Van Horne, petitioned to have Steele promoted to assistant commissioner of the Police.

December 10: The newspaper, Minberal Argus of Maiden, Montana, described the Lewistown (Spring Creek Colony) as the largest Half-Breed settlement in the Territory of Montana.

December 14: The Half-Breed, North West Territories Script Application was designed to identify those who were involved in the Riel Rebellion and to know what that involvement might be. If involvement was verified, script was not allowed to be given to the individual, nor to the children of such an individual. It is noteworthy that many Metis refused to participate in the process that began in 1879, not trusting the British Ontario Government. Many refused to participate in the 'Inquisition' type hearings of 1885, thereby disqualifying themselves from script or homestead land patients. The Government believed that they identified 95% of Half-Breeds who were involved in the rebellion that took part in the application process. Only about 4% of Metis homesteaders who made application received script or land patients. Many were forced further to the west and north west.