home page for alittlehistory.com1874 The Mounted Police Tame the Wild Westthe Metis half of the 1885 Northwest Rebellionthe Native half of the 1885 Northwest Rebellion1900-05 Diary of a student and young teacher1908-1920 homesteading experiences and lifestyle1920's farm and community lifestyle1954-56 diary of a boy, before the effects of televisionthe future: extending human limitations through technology (eg. computers and inline skating), presenting history with applets, a new family recreation program, etc.




1. Barnholden, Michael . Gabriel Dumont Speaks. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1994.

2. Beal, Bob, and Rod Macleod. Prairie Fire. Edmonton: Hurtig Publishers Ltd., 1984.

3. Charlebois, Peter. The Life Of Louis Riel. Toronto: NC Press, 1975.

4. Flanagan, Thomas, ed. The Diaries of Louis Riel. Edmonton: Hurtig Publishers Ltd., 1976.

5. Flanagan, Thomas. Louis ‘David’ Riel. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1979.

6. Flanagan, Thomas and Claude Rocan. Rebellion In The North-West. Toronto: Grolier Limited, 1984.

7. Flanagan, Thomas. Riel And The Rebellion 1885 Reconsidered. Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books, 1983.

8. Mika, Nich and Helma, eds. The Riel Rebellion 1885. Belleville: Mika Silk Screening Limited, 1972.

9. Morton, Desmond. The Last War Drum. Toronto: A.M. Hakkert Ltd., 1972

10. Morton, Desmond, ed. The Queen V Louis Riel. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974.

11. Morton, Desmond. Rebellions In Canada. Toronto: Grolier Limited, 1979.

12. Neering, Rosemary. Louis Riel. Don Mills: Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited, 1977.

13. Siggins, Maggie. Riel: A Life of Revolution. Toronto: HarperCollins Publishers LTD., 1994.

14. Stanley, G. F. G. The Birth Of Western Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1961.

15. Stanley, G. F. G. "Gabriel Dumont’s Account Of The North West Rebellion, 1885." The Canadian Historical Review. (1949). Vol. 30, pp. 249-269.p

16. Stanley, G. F. G. Louis Riel. Toroonto: Ryerson Press, 1963.

17. Wiebe, Ruby, and Bob Beal, compiled and edited by. War In The West. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1985.

18. Woodcock, George. Gabriel Dumont. Don Mills: Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited, 1978.




The notes in this file correspond to the numbered references which have been added to the full account.


In order to avoid excessive wording and to make the story easier to read and understand, the quotations that were shortened do not use the three dot ellipses.
Also, a few times the order of the sentences was reversed.



Two Leaders:

1. Bob Beal and Rob Macleod, Prairie Fire (Edmonton, 1984), pp. 37-42.

2. Stanley, Louis Riel, p. 19. As an adult, Riel wrote a letter which described his childhood. He wrote, "Family prayers were always in my eyes and ears. And they are as much a part of my nature as the air I breathe." More on Riel's life is detailed on pp. 194, 201, 202, 208, 224-228, 238, and 248.

3. Ibid., pp. 21 and 33.


Riel Works To Create a New Province:

1. Within the western wilderness, there was one main settlement, the Red River settlement. The settlement contained a number of small communities and included Winnipeg which was only a village at that time.

The population within the settlement, according to the 1871 census, was made up of roughly 560 Indians, 1,600 White settlers, and 10,000 Metis. The Metis included 5,700 who were French and 4,080 English Metis.
Stanley, Louis Riel, pp. 164-165.

2. George F. G. Stanley, Louis Riel (Toronto, 1963), pp. 35-37. Most of the people in these communities were involved in agriculture, although some of the French Metis did freighting and some still went on buffalo hunts.

3. Ibid., pp. 75-76.

4. George F. G. Stanley, The Birth of Western Canada (Toronto, 1961 (first published 1936)), pp. 112-113.

Examples from the twenty point List of Rights:

2. That we have two Representatives in the Senate, and four in the House of Commons of Canada.
4. That the sum of $80,000 be paid annually by the Dominion Government to the Local Legislature.
5. That farmers be able to own the land they live on.
[This was only one part of this point. The actual wording was: "That all properties, rights and privileges enjoyed by the people be respected, and that the arranagement and confirmation of all customs, usages and privileges be left exclusively to the Local Legislature."]
9. That male adults have the right to vote.
15. That all public buildings, bridges, and roads be at the cost of the Dominion Treasury.
16. That both the English-speaking and French-speaking people be able to use their own language when dealing with their government and courts.

When the Canadian government accepted the List of Rights they also offered a land grant (known as scrip) to every Metis, allowed the French Metis to have separate schools, and created a new, relatively small (refered to as postage stamp sized) province.

5. Stanley, Louis Riel, pp. 112-113.

6. Peter Charlebois, The Life of Louis Riel (Toronto, 1975), p. 68.
    Flanagan, Rebellion In The North-West, p. 28.
    Stanley, Louis Riel, p. 114.

7. Stanley, Louis Riel, pp. 136-138.

8. Ibid., p. 138.

9 Stanley, Birth of W. Canada, p. 119.

10 Stanley, Louis Riel, pp. 155-157.

11. Ibid., pp. 160-161.

12. Charlebois, Life of Louis Riel, pp. 89 and 92.

13. Flanagan, Rebellion In The North-West, pp. 34-37.


Finding A Leader:

1. Beal, Prairie Fire, pp. 37 and 103.   Sometimes, the letters and petitions lacked impact due to factual errors and requests for things that the government could not provide.

2. Stanley, Louis Riel, pp. 194, 201, 202, and 208.
Siggins, Riel: A Life of Revolution (Toronto, 1994), p. 210, 243.

3. Ibid., pp. 224-228, 238, and 248.

4. Ibid., p. 259.
Stanley writes that the Metis "had never forgotten the thrill of their successful resistance fifteen years earlier, the beatings they had received from Ontarians, the broken promises, and the pressures exerted by the incoming settlers.

Thomas Flanagan, Riel and the Rebellion 1885 Reconsidered (Saskatoon, 1983)
[Hereafter cited as 1885 Reconsidered.], pp. 4-5.
Dumont showed Riel a list of seven demands that had been prepared. They were similar to the problems Riel had dealt with before in Manitoba.

At the bottom of the list, it stated that Riel was needed "to bring all the matters refered to in the above in a proper shape and form before the government of Canada." It was Riel who had the experience and ability to do this effectively.

5. Flanagan, 1885 Reconsidered, p. 33.

6. Ibid., pp. 38, 45, and 28.

7. Charlebois, Life of Louis Riel, p. 119.

8. George Woodcock, Gabriel Dumont (Don Mills, 1978), p. 37.

9. Stanley, Louis Riel, p. 275.

10. Ibid., p. 276.

11. Beal, Prairie Fire, p. 112.

12. Ibid.


The Events That Led To War:

1. Ibid., p. 124.

2. Ibid., p. 139.
    Stanley, Louis Riel, p. 222.
Riel maintained the secret belief that he was a prophet with a devine mission. Nine years before, Riel had received a letter from a Montreal bishop, Bishop Bourget. It stated, "God, who has always led you and assisted you until the present hour, will not abandon you in the dark hours of your life, for He has given you a mission which you must fulfull in all respects." Riel carried this letter with him for the rest of his life.

3. Stanley, Louis Riel, p. 294.

4. Thomas Flanagan, ed., The Diaries of Louis Riel (Edmonton, 1976), p. 35.

5. Beal, Prairie Fire, p. 131.

6. Stanley, Louis Riel, p. 264. Sometimes, the letters and petitions lacked impact due to factual errors and requests for things that the government could not provide. (Flanagan, 1885 Reconisdered, pp. 38 and 40.)

7. Beal, Prairie Fire, pp. 139 and 141.

8. Thomas Flanagan, Louis 'David' Riel (Toronto, 1979), pp. 135-136.

9. Ibid., p. 135.

10. Wiebe, War In The West, p. 22.

11. Flanagan, The Diaries of Louis Riel, p. 60.

12. Beal, Prairie Fire, p. 145.

13. Ibid.

14. Ibid.

15. Ibid., p. 148.

16. Desmond Morton, ed., The Queen V Louis Riel (Toronto, 1974), p. 92.
In Riel's trial, a Thomas McKay described what happened when they were harassed by the Metis. He said, "A party of perhaps 30 or 40 of them, very excited, came upon us. They were yelling and flourishing their rifles. . . .   Dumont talked very wildly; he wanted us to surrender. I told him that we could not surrender. Some of them jumped off their horses and went into the sleighs. They made one or two attempts to snatch the lines. Finally he fired his rifle over our heads. They all stepped off the road and we went on."


The Battle of Duck Lake:

1. Beal, Prairie Fire, pp. 155-157.

2. G. F. G. Stanley, trans., "Gabriel Dumont's Account Of The North West Rebellion, 1885," Canadian Historical Review, XXX, 3, September 1949, pp. 254-255.

3. Ibid., pp. 255-256.

4. Stanley, "Dumont Account," p. 256.

5. Beal, Prairie Fire, pp. 198 and 201.

6. Stanley, Birth of W. Canada, p. 352.


The Metis Compared to the White People:

1. 67. Charlebois, Life of Louis Riel, p. 159.

2. Beal, Prairie Fire, pp. 43-44.

3. Desmond Morton, Rebellions In Canada (Toronto, 1979), p. 80.

The Metis had a way of looking at things, and of doing things that was much different from the way of many White people. A good example of this is the method the Metis used to measure the length of their farms. They measured the 2 miles (3.2 km) by sighting the horizon from under the belley of their horse. Although this was a quick and easy way to measure, it was not that accurate. The actual size of their farms would depend on the size of their horse.
Flanagan, 1885 Reconsidered, p. 24.

In contrast, the White people maintained a more exacting standard. This standard is evident when we examine the work of the trained and professional surveyors. They did a lot of planning, organizing, calculating, and recording as they undertook the massive project of surveying the entire North-West. We can sense the magnitude of their task when we realize that, in 1883 alone, they surveyed over 168,000 quarter mile squares.
Flanagan, 1885 Reconsidered, p. 16.

4. Charlebois, Life of Louis Riel, p. 159.

5. Desmond Morton, The Last War Drum (Toronto, 1972), pp. 29, 33, and 51.

6. Charlebois, Life of Louis Riel, p. 159.
      Morton, The Last War Drum, p. 24.

7. Charlebois, Life of Louis Riel, p. 155.
      Morton, The Last War Drum, pp. 76 and 78.

8. Ibid., pp. 26-28.


The Troops Journey to the North-West:

1. Stanley, Birth of W. Canada, pp. 351-352.

2. Wiebe, War In The West, p. 11.

3. Morton, Rebellions In Canada, p. 79.

4. Beal, Prairie Fire, pp. 175-176.
    Morton, The Last War Drum, pp. 41-43.

5. Beal, Prairie Fire, p. 176.

6. Ibid.

7. Wiebe, War In The West, p. 58.

8. Stanley, "Dumont Account," pp. 256-257.

9. Ibid., p. 172.


The Battle of Fish Creek:

1. Beal, Prairie Fire, p. 231.

2. Wiebe, War In The West, p. 89.
      When the soldiers moved closer, they were almost able to completely surround the Metis. Then the Metis could hear the English officers shouting "God-damn" at the soldiers who were refusing to march forward.

3. Beal, Prairie Fire, p. 231.

4. Stanley, "Dumont Account," p. 261.
When Dumont found out that many were leaving, he jumped on his horse and rode back to stop them.

Dumont later related, "I halted about fifteen of the fugities, the rest escaped. I said to the young men, 'Don't be afraid,' and I showed them how to shoot and hit their mark. I kept firing hard, and so that I could do so more quickly, the young fellows about me kept supplying me with cartridges.

Dumont was able to get upwind from the soldiers and light a grass fire. He hoped that the flames would sweep across the prairie and panic the soldiers. But, when Dumont lit the fire, it burnt slowly since the grass was wet due to the light rain. His plans failed.
Beal, Prairie Fire, p. 231.

5. Ibid., p. 232.

6. Stanley, Louis Riel, p. 333.

7. Ibid.

8. Ibid.

9. Beal, Prairie Fire, p. 234.

10. Morton, The Last War Drum, p. 68.

11. Ibid.

12. Ibid., p. 69.

13. Flanagan, The Diaries of Louis Riel, p. 77.

14. Flanagan, Louis 'David' Riel, p. 143.

15. Ibid., pp. 143 and 145.

16. Ibid., p. 140.

17. Stanley, Louis Riel, p. 335.
    Morton, The Last War Drum, p. 78.


The Battle of Batoche:

1. Morton, The Last War Drum, p. 80.

2. Ibid., p. 77.
Wiebe, War In The West, p. 109.

3. Stanley, Birth of W. Canada, p. 368.

4. Morton, The Last War Drum, p. 81.

5. Beal, Prairie Fire, p. 265.

6. Morton, The Last War Drum, pp. 82-84.

7. Wiebe, War In The West, p. 118.
One soldier wrote, "when the morning opened up we were in precisely the same position, not one inch had we gained in four days."

8. Beal, Prairie Fire, pp. 268 and 271.

9. Charlebois, Life of Louis Riel, p. 198.

10. Beal, Prairie Fire, p. 274.
    Morton, The Last War Drum, p. 90.

11. Flanagan, Louis 'David' Riel, p. 141.

12. Stanley, "Dumont Account," p. 266.
As the rest were retreating, Dumont fought beside a ninty-three year old Metis. He relates that "What kept me at my post, I must admit, was the courage of old Ouellet. Several times I said to him, 'Father, we must retreat.' And the oldfellow replied, 'Wait a minute! I want to kill another Englishman.' Then I said, 'All right, let us die here.' When he was hit, I thanked him for his courage, but I could not stay there any longer, and I withdrew.

13. Beal, Prairie Fire, p. 275.

14. Stanley, "Dumont Account," pp. 266-268.



1. Ibid., p. 266.

2. Ibid., pp. 268-269.

3. Ibid.

4. Charlebois, Life of Louis Riel, p. 204.

5. Beal, Prairie Fire, p. 338.

6. Morton, Queen V Louis Riel, pp. 312, 323-324, and 324.

This is an edited version of a few small parts of that speech:

When I came into the North-West, I found the Indians suffering. I found the half-breeds eating the rotten pork of the Hudson Bay Company and getting sick and weak every day. I paid attention to the suffering Indians and half-breeds.

Petition after petition had been sent to the Federal Government. In the course of several years, besides doing nothing to satisfy the people of this great land, it has even hardly been able to answer once or give a single response.

The government made up their minds to answer my petitions by surrounding me slyly and by attempting to jump upon me suddenly and upon my people. Happily when they appeared and showed their teeth to devour, I was ready: that is what is called my crime of high treason. I have acted reasonably and in self-defence.

7. Ibid., p. 342.

8. Ibid., p. 349.

9. Ibid., p. 355.

10. Wiebe, War In The West, p. 183.
    Flanagan, Rebellion In The North-West, p. 85.

11. Beal, Prairie Fire, pp. 334 and 343.

12. Ibid., pp. 309 and 338.
Eleven Metis were given seven year jail terms, three got three years, and four got one year.

13. Beal, Prairie Fire, p. 340.
"The Beaver" Summer 1985, "The Bremner Furs," p. 36.

14. Flanagan, 1885 Reconsidered, pp. 73 and 51.

15. book on scrip or Reconsidered ?

16. Flanagan, 1885 Reconsidered, pp. 51 and 1.
  Beal, Prairie Fire, p. 172.


Opinions of the British and Foreign Press:

1. Nick and Helma Mika, eds., The Riel Rebellion 1885 (Belleville, 1972), pp. 308-314.


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