Chronology of Events

In the early 1880s almost everyone living in the Northwest Territories had grievances against the Government of Canada. The native people had signed treaties which were supposed to compensate them for giving up claim to the whole of the territory and agreeing to settle on reserves and learn white-style agriculture. But the Government was reluctant to live up to its side of the bargain and tried to evade its responsibilities. Thus, people who were already unhappy at having to give up much of their traditional way of life were made more angry and desperate as the promised new way of life failed to materialise.

Although their actions at Red River in 1869/70 had won some major concessions from Ottawa, many of the Métis had moved farther west and settled in the Saskatchewan Territories. By the 1880s, settlers from Europe and Eastern North America were moving into the Saskatchewan and the Métis saw their traditional lifestyle threatened again.

The white settlers in the Territory were also angry and aggrieved. They accused the Canadian Government of operating the Territory solely for the benefit of Eastern Canadian business to the detriment of local interests.

By the middle of the decade all parties in the west were holding meetings, sending petitions and discussing political tactics for redress of their grievances against a government which seemed as uninterested as it was remote.

Many of the documents listed in the Bibliography reflect this general dissatisfaction. A search using the term "grievances" will retrieve material on all parties.

24 March 1884 South Branch Métis hold a meeting in Batoche to discuss grievances. The thirty representatives vote to invite Louis Riel back to act as political advisor and leader.
6 May 1884 At a joint meeting, the South Branch Métis and English half-breeds pass several resolutions specifying grievances and adopt a motion to seek Louis Riel's assistance.
18 May 1884 Métis delegation leaves Batoche for Montana to solicit Louis Riel's aid.
4-5 June 1884 Métis delegation arrives in St. Peter's Mission, Montana. Riel agrees to return to Saskatchewan.
5 July 1884 Riel arrives at Tourond's Coulee (Fish Creek), North-West Territories.
28 July 1884 William H. Jackson issues a manifesto of the grievances and objectives of the Settlers' Union
16 December 1884 Louis Riel sends a petition to the Secretary of State outlining Métis grievances and demands.
28 January 1885 John A. Macdonald's cabinet authorizes the creation of a three-person commission to review and settle Métis and Half-breed claims in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories.
5 March 1885 Louis Riel and a group of prominent Métis hold a secret meeting. They sign an oath to "save our country from a wicked government by taking up arms if necessary."
18 March 1885 Métis seize control of St. Anthony's Church: they take hostages and cut the telegraph lines at Clarke's Crossing.
19 March 1885 Métis form the ministry and the army of the Provisional Government of Saskatchewan.
21 March 1885 The Provisional Government demands the North-West Mounted Police surrender Fort Carlton.
22 March 1885 English Half-Breeds of St.Catherine's and the Ridge vote to remain neutral in the event of armed conflict.
22 March 1885 The Winnipeg Militia is ordered to a state of readiness and Major-General Frederick Dobson Middleton is given command of the troops.
26 March 1885 Métis force under Gabriel Dumont engage in an unplanned skirmish with Superintendent L.F. Crozier's Mounted Police and volunteers at Duck Lake. The Police are routed.
27 March 1885 The North-West Mounted Police abandon Fort Carlton (accidentally burning it as they leave) and retreat to Prince Albert.
28 March 1885 News of Duck Lake hits eastern Canada. The Federal Government raises a Canadian Militia Force. Within two weeks, three columns of the Northwest Field Force are in motion.
29 March 1885 Itka kills farm instructor Payne on the Mosquito reserve.
30 March 1885 The 'Seige of Battleford' begins. Pitikwahanapiwiyin (Poundmaker) arrives at Fort Battleford. The Indian Agent refuses to meet with him. The combined Battleford bands loot the town.
31 March 1885 Council of the Provisional Government of Saskatchewan move the Métis force to Batoche. They construct a defensive system of trenches and rifle pits around Batoche.
2 April 1885 The Frog Lake Massacre. Members of Mistahimaskwa's Cree Nation led by Ayimisis and Kapapamahchakwew (Wandering Spirit) kill Indian Agent Quinn and eight other whites.
3 April 1885 Cree of the Little Hunter and Blue Quill bands raid government store house at Saddle Lake (130 km northeast of Edmonton)
17 April 1885 Fort Pitt is taken by warriors of Mistahimaskwa's band. Mistahimaskwa negotiates the evacuation of the fort by the North West Mounted Police.
24 April 1885 Gabriel Dumont ambushes Middleton's column at Fish Creek.
24 April 1885 Lieutenant-Colonel William Otter relieves the 'siege' of the Fort Battleford without a battle. The Battleford bands have left the area and established a camp at Cutknife Hill.
26 April 1885 Indians raid HBC post at Lac La Biche, Alberta..
2 May 1885 Colonel Otter's column attacks Pitikwahahnapiwiyin's camp at Cut Knife Hill. Otter is forced to retreat to Battleford. Pitikwahahnapiwiyin prevents Indians from attacking retreating troops.
9 - 12 May 1885 Battle of Batoche. Middleton decisively defeats the Métis force in a three day battle.
14 May 1885 At Eagle Hills, Battleford Indian bands capture wagon train carrying supplies for Colonel Otter's column. Twenty-one teamsters are taken prisoner.
15 May 1885 Louis Riel surrenders and is transported to Regina for trial.
26 May 1885 Pitikwahanapiwiyn surrenders to General Middleton at Fort Battleford.
28 May 1885 Mistahimaskwa's band and Major General T.B. Strange clash at Frenchman's Butte.
3 June 1885 Steele's and Mistahimaskwa's forces engage in a skirmish at Loon Lake.
2 July 1885 Mistahimaskwa surrenders to North-West Mounted Police at Fort Pitt.
6 July 1885 Riel is formally charged with high treason
20 July - 1 August 1885 Riel is tried and found guilty of treason. Judge Hugh Richardson sentences Riel to hang 18 September.
24 July 1885 William Henry Jackson is found not guilty by reason of insanity. Jackson is sent to a lunatic asylum in Manitoba..
5 August 1885 Sir John A. McDonald requests that murder charges be laid against the Indians involved at Frog Lake and in the killing of Payne.
13 August 1885 Kapeyakwaskonam (One Arrow) tried on the charge of treason-felony, found guilty and sentenced to three years imprisonment .
14 August 1885 A number of Métis involved in the rebellion plead guilty to treason-felony and receive prison sentences ranging from one to seven years.
17-19 August 1885 Pitikwahanapiwiyin is tried on the charge of treason-felony, found guilty and sentenced to three years imprisonment .
9 September The Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench rejects Riel's appeal.
11 September 1885 Mistahimaskwa is tried on the charge of treason-felony, found guilty and sentenced to three years imprisonment .
25 September 1885 Kapapamahchakwew (Wandering Spirit) is tried at Battleford and sentenced to hang.
5 October 1885 Itka and Man Without Blood are tried, found guilty and sentenced to hang for killing Payne.
10 October 1885 Five Indians are tried in Battleford for involvement at Frog Lake, are found guilty and sentenced to hang.
22 October Judicial Committee of the Privy Council rules against Riel's appeal.
9 November The Medical commission, created to examine Riel's mental condition, submits its report to the Prime Minister. The Commission is divided on question of Riel's sanity. Cabinet decides to proceed with death penalty.
16 November 1885 Riel is hanged Regina
27 November 1885 Kapapamahchakwew and seven other Indians are hanged at Battleford.

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