After Manitoba entered Confederation by signing the Manitoba act in July 15 1870, many thought life for the Metis would of gotten better. However things only got worse. New settlers came into Manitoba, and without the government immediately protecting or giving metis land rights like they promised to do, many of the new residents took there own claim leaving the Metis with less. This would make anyone mad, and it resulted in a lot of people, who originally lived on the land, moving west. Eventually more settlers went west to, which again resulted with the same metis moving even farther west. This happened again, and with the metis outraged they decided to fight against the government, an event know as as the North West or Red River rebellion.
There were also several other reasons for the rebellion, like extreme racism against the Metis. The rebellion also consisted of Aboriginal people, mad at their treatment as well, and the decedents of former HBC workers known as the country born. But when you think of the red river rebellion you think of Metis, and thats the group I want to focus on.
The Metis had never been treated fairly even though they had contributed so much to the fur trade, an important event in Canada's history. They were left out of all government deals, which enraged the whole Metis community every time it happened.
If you know anything bout Manitoba's confederation you should think of one man, Louis Riel. A hero to the Metis, but a traitor to the government. Why? Well first he lead Manitoba into confederation, but then he lead the Metis rebellion. The rebellion resulted in lives lost on both sides, and a huge headache for Canada's government. in the end, he was tried and hung for highest treason. But was it so?
Louis Riel had only stood up for what he believed in. He had not tried to overthrown the government, only made them aware of the issues facing the Metis. The government of course disagreed and had him killed. They failed to realize that they were mistreating the Metis, and how hard life would of been for them.
Louis Riel, through the eyes of the government, was a evil traitor to the nation. He had never wanted to harm anyone though, he just happened to walk the path he did because that was the one he believed lead to better results. Did it? We will never know for sure, but i think the rebellion was a better choice. If they didn't fight and walked a peaceful path, I don't think the government would of cared as much and the Metis would of ended up with less.
Another view we often fail to see these event through is that of the first natives. The first natives were also receiving horrible treatment from the government. Their people were starving because of the poor rations they received from the government. They had treaties and land from the government, but life was hard on the first Nations. The Red River rebellion is a fight thought of being between the Metis and the Government, but lots of people don't know that the first Nations were involved too. Angry for there poor treatment, once they heard that the Metis were rebelling they joined in. They robbed stores for food and supplies and fought against police, and thing would of been way bloodier if it weren't for First Native leaders who interfered because they believed in a peaceful rebellion.