- Riel Rebellion, 1885
- The land question, which had given rise to the Red River Rebellion of 1869-1870, was also responsible for the Saskatchewan Rebellion of 1885. The government had neglected to issue patents to the half-breeds on the Saskatchewan, and they became convinced that their lands would be taken from them. Riel was sent for, and an agitation worked up, at first along peaceful lines, but rapidly moving towards violence. Riel finally threw discretion to the winds, and deliberately inflamed not only the half-breeds, but also the western tribes. A small detachment of Mounted Police and volunteers was attacked at Duck Lake, and the government at Ottawa, hitherto indifferent, awoke to the seriousness of the situation. A force was organized, and sent west under General Middleton. Middleton divided his force into three columns; one under General Strange, to operate against Big Bear in the neighbourhood of Edmonton; the second under Colonel Otter, to relieve Battleford, which was threatened by Poundmaker; and the third, of which he himself took command, to relieve Prince Albert. Middleton met the rebels at Fish Creek, and experienced a stubborn resistance, but drove them back to Batoche. Here Riel and his men held the troops at bay for three days, but were finally routed and scattered. Meanwhile Otter had encountered Poundmaker at Cut Knife Creek, and after a desperate fight had been forced to retreat. In the far west, Strange had a similar experience with Big Bear, but finally drove him to the north. Big Bear gave himself up; Poundmaker and Riel were captured, and the latter paid the penalty of his crimes on the scaffold.Index: See also Riel.Bib.: Boulton, Reminiscences of the North-West Rebellions; Report upon the Suppression of the Rebellion in the North-West; Denison, Soldiering in Canada.
The makers of Canada. 2014.