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Gabriel Dumont was the Metis president of the St. Laurent. Dumont justly arrested several Metis for hunting illegally, but was unfairly imprisoned by the local magistrate. He fought alongside Louis Riel in the Northwest Rebellion. The Nwmp

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Social Studies 10


Chapter 5 Review



Important People, Groups, and Events

Lawrence Clarke was appointed the chief factor at Fort Carlton, one of the main HBC posts in the Northwest. He hired Metis carriers on temporary contracts and paid them as little as possible. He was also magistrate of the Fort Carlton area, and had the power to imprison Metis who objected to the low pay, or who attempted to strike for better wages.
Gabriel Dumont was the Metis president of the St. Laurent. Dumont justly arrested several Metis for hunting illegally, but was unfairly imprisoned by the local magistrate. He fought alongside Louis Riel in the Northwest Rebellion.
The NWMP was both a police force and a paramilitary organization. It was established because the government feared that the presence of whiskey traders could lead to the loss of territory to the Americans.
Sir Hugh Allan was a wealthy industrialist. Allan and some American backers created the Canadian Pacific Railway. He offered John A. Macdonald $25,000 for his election campaign in return for a guaranteed railway contract. This "bribe" led to the Pacific Scandal.
Alexander Mackenzie was the leader of the Liberal party, and came into power as North America was experiencing a depression. He thought that railway construction was too expensive, but he still allowed the Canadian Pacific Survey to continue. His "do nothing" attitude led to protest in British Columbia.
Sanford Fleming directed the Canadian Pacific Survey, which investigated all possible routes for a Trans Canada railway. He also created Standard Time by dividing the globe into 24 time zones to make railway scheduling easier.
The CPR Syndicate was made up of three private investors-George Stephen of the Bank of Montreal, Donald Smith of the HBC, and James Hill, who had bought the floundering St. Paul and Pacific railways. In exchange for $25 million, a land grant, a monopoly on rail traffic, and an exemption from tax on land they sold, this syndicate agreed to build the transcontinental railway for the government.
William Van Horne was put in charge of railway construction for the CPR. He was an intelligent and dedicated man who drove himself and his men until the CPR was completed. The task took four years.
Chief Crowfoot was the leader of the Blackfoot Nation. Although the CPR was encroaching upon his people's land, he did not rise in arms like the Cree, and negotiated for additional land. Crowfoot was a pragmatist who realized that change would happen; he saw no reason to put his people through more difficulty.

Main Ideas and Concepts

1. Why did the Metis leave the Red River Valley region in the early l870s?

Look for some of the following points:

Troops sent into the Red River Valley to "keep the peace" brutalized the Metis.

To gain title to their land, the Metis had to have scrip. They did not understand this new economy, and sold it to land speculators for far less than it was worth.

2. a) Why did the government want to establish treaties with the First Peoples?

The Canadian government wanted to open the prairies to Canadian and European settlement. This could not be done until the question of Aboriginal title had been settled. The government ordered Indian commissioners to negotiate treaties that would terminate First Peoples' title to the land.

b) What impact did these treaties and the Indian Act have on the First Peoples?

Treaties affected First Peoples in the following ways: Lands set aside for their sole use were tiny. First Peoples were forced to adapt a farming lifestyle. Because this was not a traditional occupation, the change was difficult. The government also never gave them promised tools, supplies, and animals.

  • Because the farms failed, First Peoples became dependent on the government for survival.

  • They had to live on reserves. Children were forced to attend residential schools.

3. What was the National Policy? What three issues did it cover?

The National Policy was the basis of John A. Macdonald's platform during the 1878 election. It was a formula for nation building, and dealt with the following three issues: A system of protective tariffs-The economy had been damaged by American companies that sold cheap goods on the Canadian market. Tariffs increased the costs of goods exported from the US, and helped protect Canadian manufacturing, mining, and agriculture. Western settlement-Because the prairies were well-suited for agriculture, the government encouraged the settlement of the West by farmers. They would produce crops for export and would also develop a market for the industrial east. The CPR-A railway would be required to transport goods to and from the West.
4. Develop a time line showing major events in the development of the CPR from 1880 to 1885.
Major events could include some of the following:

1880-private investors (the CPR Syndicate) found to back the project;

1881-railway contract approved by Parliament;

1882-William Van Horne hired as the new general manager of the CPR;

1883-CPR spanned the entire Prairie;

1884-CPR crossed the Rocky Mountains; and

1885-CPR "saved the nation" by transporting troops to put down the North West Rebellion.
5. What circumstances led the Metis to rebel in 1885?
Look for some of the following points:

  • The government had not yet given First Peoples the title on their land.

  • The government was not giving First Peoples enough food. Groups faced starvation; the Metis were concerned for the survival of their relatives.

1. What was scrip? How did it pose a problem for the Metis?

1. Scrip was a piece of paper given to the Metis. Money scrip had a value of $160. Land scrip entitled a person to 160 acres of land. The Metis were used to a traditional economy without money, and did not understand the value of scrip. They sold scrip to land speculators for less than it was worth. This incident proved to the Metis that they had no power.

2. In what ways were the Metis settlements in the Northwest different from the old Red River Settlement?

Look for the following points:

  • The decline of bison forced the Metis Peoples to adopt strict hunting rules to conserve the animals; they had little to eat.

  • HBC Chief Factor Lawrence Clarke paid the Metis as little as possible; they had a reduced standard of living.

  • Clarke imprisoned Metis who protested or attempted to strike; they lost their freedom.

3. What were the Laws of St. Laurent? List the highlights of this document.

The Laws of St. Laurent were an extension of the Metis List of Rights, and formed the constitution of the community. These laws governed all aspects of life, including the bison hunt, and were intended to conserve bison.
Highlights include:

The community would elect a president and council.

The council had final authority over disputes.

The captain of the bison hunt regulated the hunt.

The Laws of St. Laurent did not usurp the authority of the Canadian government.
4. How did the events of the bison hunt signify the end of Metis political independence?
Gabriel Dumont, the president of the Metis, arrested several people who broke the law by hunting before the official hunt had begun. These people appealed to Chief Factor Clarke, who in turn arrested, tried, and punished Dumont. This incident proved to the Metis that they had no power.
5. What problems did the American whisky traders bring to the North West?
Look for some of the following points:

  • The liquor trade led to widespread alcoholism among the First Peoples, resulting in malnutrition, disease, and death.

  • The government feared losing territory to the Americans. There was a state of lawlessness, which included attacks upon First Peoples.

6. In what ways did the government betray its promises to the First Peoples?

The government did not give the First Peoples the promised tools, supplies, and animals necessary for farming. The government refused to provide machinery because it did not want the First Peoples to prosper or profit from farming.
7. How did the Canadian government control behaviour among the First Peoples?
Since the First Peoples depended on the government for food, the government could use handouts as a form of social control. The government made it clear that troublemakers would receive no food. The choice was to behave or starve.
8. List the events surrounding the Pacific Scandal, and its result.

A list might include the following points:

The Conservatives did not have enough money to pay electors to vote for the construction of the CPR. Macdonald asked George-Etienne Cartier to see if Hugh Allan would finance the election in return for a guaranteed railway contract. This bribery became public, and led to the resignation of Macdonald's government.
9. What major change did the CPR Syndicate make with respect to the location of the CPR? What was the effect of this change of route?
The CPR Syndicate suggested that the railroad be moved 300 kms south of the proposed route. The new route would pass through an area that was still not occupied by homesteaders or speculators. The CPR would then have more control over the location of new towns and railway stations. The information collected by the CPR became irrelevant, and the syndicate still had to find a pass through the Rocky Mountains.
10. Why was William Van Horne crucial to the successful completion of the CPR?
Van Horne was crucial because he was intelligent, dedicated, and efficient. He did not tolerate laziness or labour organization within his company. He realized that he was on a strict budget, and cut corners as best he could.
11. Describe the working and living conditions of CPR employees.

Living and working conditions were terrible, and included the following problems: dust from the dynamite blasts, insects, over-crowding and filth in the bunk houses, leaky roofs, and no plumbing; a boring and often unhealthy diet; dangerous work; no medical facilities; and no compensation for injuries on the job (injured employees were simply dismissed).

12. Why did Louis Riel return to Canada in l884?
Louis Riel returned to Canada because he was moved by the plight of the Metis, and agreed to fight for justice on their behalf.
13. What was the Metis Bill of Rights? How did it differ from the Metis List of Rights?
The Metis Bill of Rights was a document that addressed the grievances of the Metis and outlined a basis for a new province in the Northwest. It was far more detailed than the List of Rights, and it looked more like a declaration of independence.
14. Outline the main events of the North West Rebellion of 1885.

Look for some of the following points: Late 1884-the government dismissed the Metis Bill of Rights; Spring, 1885-the Manitoba militia started moving into the Northwest; March,1885-at Duck Lake, a negotiation between the Metis and the NWMP turned sour, and both sides opened fire; April, 1885-at Fish Creek, 1600 troops clashed with Dumont and fewer than 60 Metis, who held off the NWMP for a day, before reinforcements arrived; May, 1885-at Batoche, 725 militia attacked 175 Metis, who held off the NWMP for 3 days before being beaten; Dumont fled to the US; Riel surrendered; First Peoples leaders were arrested.

15. What was Louis Riel's defence at his trial?
Riel told the jury that the Metis had been mistreated and forced into rebellion. He spoke of the suffering of the First Peoples and Metis. He blamed the government for the rebellion. Had it been responsible and listened to the Metis grievances, the rebellion would not have occurred.
16. Why did the government execute Riel?
16. Even though the jury recommended clemency, the government refused to consider mercy. Treason was punishable by death, and the Canadian government wanted to make an example of Riel.

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