THE section of country chosen by Riel for his second rising against the Canadian Government has been selected with a very adequate idea of the kind of warfare he intended to wage. Duck Lake is situated between the North and South Saskatchewan, about six miles from the south branch and twelve miles from the north branch. A trail runs from the south end of Duck Lake, where the rebel quarters now are, to Carlton on the north branch of the Saskatchewan. The country all around is half bush and poplar and half prairie. Prince Albert Settlement begins twenty miles east of Duck Lake, and the town of Prince Albert, containing from 4,000 to 5,000 people, mostly whites and English Half-breeds, lies twenty miles further east still. The whole section is filled with bad Indians and worse Half-breeds. For a guerilla warfare, no part of the territories is equally favourable, and this is what makes it so probable that it will tax the full capabilities of the Dominion to stamp out the revolt.
I here quote an interview with Major Walker, of Calgary, which has been published in the Calgary Herald, a paper which seems especially well-informed on everything relating to the present troubles. Major Walker was for four years in charge of the present scene of the rebellion, as an officer of the North-West Mounted Police, three years of which time he was acting Indian Agent to the Indians who are now fighting on the Half-breed side:
The Half-breeds of Duck Lake and St. Laurent first occasioned trouble in 1875. In that year, in June, one of the unfortunate men just killed in the fight at Duck Lake -- Alex Fisher -- started from Carlton on a buffalo hunt, before the Indians and Half-breeds were ready. This was contrary to an established custom amongst the plain-hunters, by which no individual or small party should start in advance of the main body lest the buffalo should be scattered and driven back. A captain used to be appointed, who had power to make laws and impose penalties, and a day fixed for the whole settlement to start for the plains and hunt. The penalty for infraction of these rules was confiscation of property. This penalty was imposed on Fisher. Fisher laid information before Hon. Lawrence Clarke, J.P., who reported the matter to Ottawa as a little rebellion, and asked for police protection. Colonel French went up and Gabriel Dumont, the captain of the hunters, who is now one of Riel's leaders was arrested. This Dumont never forgave. Five years later, when the Sioux went north, Dumont was heard to say that he would help the Crees to drive out the Sioux, or help the Crees and Sioux to drive out the whites. Strangely enough, Major Crozier, who was driven back the other day, was the officer who arrested Dumont in 1875.
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