Canada Since Confederation. The Northwest Rebellion


The Northwest rebellion of 1885 was of great importance to Canada development despite the fact that it lasted for three only months.

We will write a
custom essay
specifically for you

for only $16.05 $11/page
308 certified writers online
Learn More


The 1885 Northwest Rebellion was a three months uprising by the Métis people led by Louis Riel protesting against the Canadian Authority failure to deal with their concerns for survival.

Causes of Northwest Rebellion

The 1869 to 1870 Red River Rebellion resulted in the movement of Métis people to Saskatchewan in the Northwest Territories, settling in Batoche. Soon after settling, white settlers began to arrive from Ontario. They took over most of the land, while other, through Canadian companies started massive hunting for buffalos, the main source of food for Métis, killing them to near extinction. The Métis were reduced to near starvation.


The Métis needed a leader to lead them in fighting for their rights. Arrangement were made to bring Louis Riel back home from United States, where he went for exile after successfully leading the 1869-1870 Red River Resistance. He arrived on July, 1884 in Prairie, his homeland.

On his return, it was very hard for Louis Riel and his associates to influence the Canadian authority through political means. He lacked the support of the white settlers and because of the Notion he was a prophet sent by God back to Canada, the Catholic church distanced itself from him, withdrawing all their support.

Eruption of Rebellion

The battle between the Canadian Federal Authority and Métis forces and allied forces, started on 26th march 1885, at Duke Lake. The Métis won this battle, in retaliation the Federal Authority sent over 3000 troops to boost the Northwest police and government volunteers.

Another battle known as Frog Lake Massacre followed shortly on 2nd April, 1885, near Frog Lake in Alberta. The battle was led by Big Bear. The battle left nine people dead, most white settlers, and a few taken hostages. The government retaliated, ending this battle and hanging one of the Leaders, Wandering Spirit.

Get your
100% original paper
on any topic

done in as little as
3 hours
Learn More

On 24th April 1885, the battle of Fish Creek took place. The Métis emerged winner having repulsed the government forces from advancing to Batoche. They also won another battle in Battleford; this battle was known as the Battle of cut knife. Despite being equipped with Guns, the Government forces were defeated.

9th May 1985, show the Government forces attack Batoche. The Métis were forced to retreat, as they run out of ammunition. Their leader Louis Riel was captured on the 15th of that month. Other participant ran away to the border of the United States.

By now most of the Métis forces had run out ammunitions. Most of the Cree decided to surrender, their leaders, Pound maker and big bear, followed suit by surrendering.

Short time consequences

  • Most of Métis leader were killed and other sent to prison.
  • The Government recognized the need for the Métis people, sending them food supplies and other amenities.

Longtime Consequences

  • The creation of Riel’s Legacy in Canada Symbolizing the continued struggle to reconcile people in religious, racial and linguistic differences.
  • The successive quelling of the Northern rebellion gave the government the much needed support from political leaders for the funding to finish the Northwest rail line. This opened up the region increasing trade and agriculture.
  • The Northwest rebellion acted as the climax for the Federal Authority efforts to have full control of the Native and settlers in the West.


Margaret Conrad, Alvin Finkel (1993) History of Canadian Peoples, Wesley Longman Publishers, Toronto Canada.

Print Сite this

Cite this paper

Select style


StudyCorgi. (2021, August 27). Canada Since Confederation. The Northwest Rebellion. Retrieved from

Work Cited

"Canada Since Confederation. The Northwest Rebellion." StudyCorgi, 27 Aug. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Canada Since Confederation. The Northwest Rebellion." August 27, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Canada Since Confederation. The Northwest Rebellion." August 27, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Canada Since Confederation. The Northwest Rebellion." August 27, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Canada Since Confederation. The Northwest Rebellion'. 27 August.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.