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Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont Essay

Louis Riel was a Metis leader and he was the “founder of Manitoba”. “Red River Settlement, Manitoba” was his birth place. It is found in the books that his “one eighth” blood was Indian. This is said because his “maternal grandmother” was a “Franco-Chipewyan Metis”. “St. Boniface, Manitoba” was the place where he did his studies. After this he studied at “College de Montreal” for priesthood. During this time “Bishop Alexandre-Antonin Tache” noticed Louis Riel and he told Riel to become a priest. But his father died at that time and he refused this idea of becoming a priest. Because of his family he became a “law-office clerk”.

He worked in “Chicago, Ill, and St Paul, Minn”. He came back to Red River from Montreal. After this he made an entry in politics. (Canadian Confederation, 2005) A friend of Lieutenant-Governor McDougall, Charles Mair was sent to Red River. He was sent to start “surveying for the construction of a road”. This road was a link between “Upper Fort Garry and Lake of the Woods. ” Charles published many articles for “criticizing the Metis”. After these articles Riel also published some articles in support of Metis. The Metis organized a “National Committee”. Riel was selected as a secretary of this committee. (Canadian Confederation, 2005)

This survey of the road created tensions between “the Metis and the federal authorities”. Then the Metis realized that there is a need of organizing themselves. Riel was made the leader of this operation. Riel in August 1869, in front of “St. Boniface Cathedral”, declared that this surveying is a threat to its existence. “The political organization of the Metis continued as a convention of representatives from the Metis and Anglophone population was set up. ” Four “Lists of Rights” were made by Riel. These laws made up the basis of the negotiations of the entrance of Manitoba into Canadian confederation.

A “Provisional government” is established by Riel on the day of Dec. 8, 1869. The main aim of this provisional government was handle the lives of settlers and defend their material goods. A friendly delegation was sent by the “Conservative government of John A. Macdonald”. “Father Jean-Baptiste Thibault and Charles-Rene-Leonidas d’Irumberry” were present in that delegation. The goal of this delegation was to clarify the reasons behind the actions of the federal government. This delegation wanted to reassure the Metis population. But this mission became unsuccessful.

That’s why a “special representative Donald A. Smith” was sent at the Red River Settlement at December 1869. Smith provided speed to this event. A 2nd list of rights was drafted by a “group of 40 Metis and Anglophone representatives” at January 1870. The list was discussed by the convention on Feb. 7, 1870 with the “support of Smith, Thibault and Salaberry”. Riel did not provide any real authority to these three men. After this Smith announced that delegation, sent by the provisional government, are welcome in the Ottawa. Delegation was motivated to evaluate the “List of Rights” and draft a third version.

The final version or the fourth “List of Rights” was made by “the trio of Ritchot, Black and Alfred H. Scott”. It was sent to Ottawa on 22 March, 1870. “The trio of Ritchot, Black and Alfred H. Scott”, all were chosen by the Riel as representatives to represent the provisional government. (Canadian Confederation, 2005) Riel was playing an important role at that time, in the “events that were taking place in Ottawa”. Riel was very serious for all the “affairs of the Red River Settlement”. To allow trading, Riel “put the focus on the governance of the Hudson’s Bay Company”.

It was very important for maintaining peace in the settlement. “When Ritchot returned to the settlement to report on the negotiations with Ottawa, he met Riel who seemed very satisfied with the results and who henceforth believed he was protected by an indemnity promised to the participants in the “rebellion. ” The provisional government ratified the agreement leading to the Manitoba Act on June 24, 1870. The future seemed promising for Riel. ” (Canadian Confederation, 2005) Provisional government implemented Thomas Scott. There was a pressure on Ottawa the Orangemen in Ontario. A military expedition was sent to Red River.

Mission of this military was peaceful. But it created a fear in the mind of Riel. The reason behind this was the influence of young Orangemen on the crowd. One thing was in the mind of Riel that soldiers are planning for his murder. That’s why he left “Upper Fort Garry”. Because he thought that federal government would not provide him any security. He went into “exile in Dakota”. It was in the south of Canadian border. (Canadian Confederation, 2005) The new lieutenant-governor of Manitoba, Adams George Archibald, created an army in 1871, to protect against the Fenian attack from the United States.

Riel registered himself and after this he was made the leader of a cavalry company. Archibald came back to St. Boniface for the inspection of his troops. Then he had to shake the hands with every leader. He also had to shake the hands with Louis Riel. The Prime Minister Macdonald wanted to avoid all conflicts between French and English Canada during the election year. Riel went into exile in the U. S. because of the fear of his death. He was elected without any competition in a by-election in October 1873 and in the February 1874 election. This election became because of the resignation of the Macdonald government.

But Riel never went to Ottawa because of the fear of his life. (Canadian Confederation, 2005) Because of the nonstop stress Riel became a patient of “mental exhaustion”. He admitted in “a psychiatric hospital in Montreal and then in Beauport”, because of this mental stress. He was in the United States from 1877 to 1884. He obtained American citizenship in 1883. When he returned to Saskatchewan in 1884, he there were many grievances about “the Metis and the First Nations in southern Saskatchewan”. Mixing of political ideals with a theology made a distance between Riel and the Catholic clergy.

The Catholic clergy was his supporter in past. The activities of Riel against the federal government angered English Canada. Canadian militia was sent to “Batoche, Calgary and Battleford, Saskatchewan”. The Indian and Metis could not survive against Canadian militia. “Riel gave himself up to the North West Mounted Police on May 12, 1885. He was sentenced to death because of the treason. He was hanged on November 16, 1885 in Regina. (Canadian Confederation, 2005) Gabriel Dumont was another Metis leader. He was born in “St. Boniface (Red River) in 1837”.

There were eleven children in his family. He was the sixth. Isidore Dumont was his father and he was a farmer at the time of his birth. When he was 2 year old, his family moved to “the Fort Pitt area in Saskatchewan”. His father did business with the Indians. He hunted buffalo for trading them to the “Hudson’s Bay Company”. (Gabriel Dumont … resistance fighter) He is known as a man “who led the small Metis military forces during the Northwest Resistance of 1885”. He was “unable to read or write”, but he could speak six languages. “Horseback riding and marksmanship” was his other skills.

Because of these abilities he became a leader in the “large annual Buffalo hunts”. That “large annual Buffalo hunts” were an “important part of Metis culture”. When he was fourteen years old, he took part in a “Metis skirmish with a large group of Sioux at the Grand Coteau of the Missouri River”. From here Gabriel got the starting. (Gabriel Dumont) his accuracy of shooting with bow was very good. He started buffalo hunting with his father. Because of this he became an “expert on knowledge of the land and became an excellent guide”. (Gabriel Dumont … resistance fighter)

Family of Gabriel moved back to “Fort Garry (Red River)” in 1848. During the trip a gun was given to him because his bravery. He told his father that a “Blackfoot party” is planning for the attack and it is moving towards the Metis camp. He asked for a gun to his father for helping the Metis by participating in oncoming fight. His father was very proud of his son because of his bravery. He gave him his first gun. The name “le Petit” or “The Little One” was given to the gun by Gabriel. This name of the gun became as famous as the name of Gabriel. (Gabriel Dumont … resistance fighter)

At the age of 14, “Gabriel fought in his first battle”. During the great buffalo hunt of 1851 a battle arises between the Metis and their traditional rival, the Teton Sioux. This battle is known as “the Battle of the Grand Coteau”. It was his first experience. Then he came back to Saskatchewan and then he became a famous buffalo hunter. Gabriel was elected Leader of the Hunt at the age of 25. He visited a Blackfoot camp and he negotiated a lasting peace with the tribe. (Gabriel Dumont … resistance fighter) Gabriel became married in 1858. He married a Scottish Metis woman.

Her name was Madeleine Wilkie. Gabriel’s relations with Madeleine were very close. They fought often because “Madeleine was a strong stubborn woman”. Gabriel had no child; he adopted a girl named Annie. Cousin of Gabriel lived with them. The main sources of income for Gabriel were “trading with the Hudson’s Bay Company, trapping, and fishing”. He also worked as a guide occasionally because he has a good knowledge of that area. But after some time he started farming on “a site ten miles south of Batoche, where the trail from Humboldt and Fort Carleton crossed the Saskatchewan River”.

(Gabriel Dumont … resistance fighter) Dumont was a valued leader of the group of hunters which lived in the Fort Carleton area. Dumont got benefit of the rising traffic on the Carleton trail. He opened “a ferry across the South Saskatchewan River and a small trading store upstream from Batoche”. It was the only “home in the Northwest that could boast a billiard table” the name of this Ferry crossing was Gabriel’s Crossing. He was a leader of the Metis community. He was selected as a leader many times for buffalo hunts. He generally resolved the disputes of the community.

He many times led the local issues. (Gabriel Dumont … resistance fighter) Dumont was elected as “President of the Council of St. Laurent” in 1873. The Council of St. Laurent was a local government which was generated by the Metis which lived in the “south branch of the Saskatchewan”. In 1877 and 1878, some meetings were chaired by the Dumont. On the basis of these meetings petitions were drew up “to the federal government asking for representation on the Territorial Council, farming assistance, schools, land grants, and title to already occupied lands. ” (Gabriel Dumont … resistance fighter)

It was asked from Dumont to lead a delegation into Montana. This delegation was made to convince Louis Riel to come back to Canada and appeal for the Metis case to the federal government. Dumont was “Adjutant General of the Metis people” in the provisional government, made by the Louis Riel in 1885. He was a good commander and he got success in some battles against “government forces at Duck Lake and Fish Creek”. In the battle of Batoche, Dumont’s army was collapsed by the Canadian militia because the Canadian militia was too large. (Gabriel Dumont …

resistance fighter) Canadian militia could not capture Dumont. He ran away into the woods near the Batoche because he had a great knowledge of that area. He had a great knowledge of “the people whom he led into battle and of the battlegrounds where he fought”. His lifestyle “embodied the lifestyle of the Metis more than the lifestyle of Riel”. Gabriel did not surrender and “left Madeleine with his Father at St. Laurent”. Then he went with his friend Michel Dumas to Montana. His home and store were destroyed by the army. (Gabriel Dumont … resistance fighter)

Dumont was arrested in Montana and put in “the barracks of Fort Assiniboine”. He was released after the order of the President Cleveland. Then he went to Spring Creek. When he heard that Riel had been taken to Regina to the NWMP cells, he planned to break the jail for releasing his former leader. (Gabriel Dumont … resistance fighter) Dumont showed his marksmanship by performing in “Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show”. He did not surrender in United States. After the visit of the Quebec Dumont came back to his old homestead near Batoche and he lived there until his death in 1906.

(Gabriel Dumont) Works Cited Canadian Confederation. Louis Riel. 02 May 2005, 18 December 2008 <http://www. collectionscanada. gc. ca/confederation/023001-2390-e. html> The Canadian Encyclopedia. Riel, Louis. 2008. 18 December 2008 <http://www. thecanadianencyclopedia. com/index. cfm? PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0006837> Gabriel Dumont … resistance fighter, General of the Metis Nation at Batoche, and hero of the Metis Nation. 18 December 2008 <http://www. geocities. com/SoHo/Atrium/4832/dumont. html> Gabriel Dumont. 18 December 2008 <http://library2. usask. ca/northwest/background/dumont. htm>


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