Chronology of Canadian Military History Canadian Military History, Colonial Period, New France, First Peoples, Seven Years War, French Indian War Canadian Military History, British North America, American Invasion, War of 1812, Dominion of Canada, Riel Rebellion, South African War Canadian Military History, World War 1 History, 1914-1918, Canadian Armed Forces, conscription Canadian Military History, World War 2, 1939-1945, Battle of the Atlantic, conscription, invasion, Dday, Normandy, Germany, axis, allies, Hong Kong, Dieppe 1946-today
Canada within the Empire
NAC/ANC C-18,737
British North America
The War of 1812: Invasion Repelled
The War of 1812: Canada Saved
Fortifying Canada
Rebellions in the Canadas
The Fenian Raids
Confederation and Expansion
Creating a Standing Army
Developing the Canadian Nation
The Northwest Campaign
Canada and Imperialism
The South African War
Military Reform



In March 1885, Métis and Native grievances led to insurrection in the Northwest led by Louis Riel.

In the 15 years following the creation of Manitoba, most of the Métis people moved into the Northwest, settling in present-day Saskatchewan. Ottawa had denied the mainly French-speaking Métis land tenure and political rights, while the Cree and Assiniboine peoples suffered as a result of unfulfilled treaty obligations. Under the leadership of Louis Riel, who in 1884 returned from exile in the United States, the Métis and some of their Native allies took up arms.

Ottawa responded by rushing 8000 regular and militia troops - mainly by rail. After several inconclusive engagements, this force defeated Riel at Batoche on the South Saskatchewan River in May 1885. Over 100 people died during the crisis. Riel was hanged for treason, an act which severely damaged linguistic relations in Canada. Riel’s execution, following a trial of questionable validity, remains highly controversial to this day.

NAC-c- 1876

The Northwest Campaign, Métis, Louis Riel, Saskatchewan
Canadian War Museum
1 Vimy Place
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0M8