James Stanghetta Loius Riel and the Metis Struggle

Essay by jimmy clementeUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, December 2002

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Canada was built under the ideals of expansion. The territory that came to be known as Canada stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific. What was the cost of this expansion? For most native people in these areas it meant the extermination of a way of life and culture, in the name of Canada. For the metis people of Manitoba this expansion had many implications. Not only was the metis land threatened but also their culture was in grave danger of extinction. For the government of Canada expansion was vital so the United Sates would not consume what today are the Prairie Provinces. The Red River Rebellion was a justified uprising. The treatment of the metis before the Red River Rebellion was unfair but some of the actions the metis leaders preformed have also come into question. The Canadian government could have dealt with this situation with less severity and fair justice for all.

The metis people were a proud nation of people. They were a relatively new nation formed when the "very first French explorers and fur traders had made their way to the Great Lakes and beyond, they had mated with Indian women, and their offspring came to be called as metis." Although the metis were mix of both French and Native

The metis eventually settled in Canada's west. Over the next century

Their children would form a distinct cultural group, connected with the St. Lawrence-based fur trade. When French fur trade was reorganized under Anglo

management, British traders formed liaisons with metis...not only were the metis hunters of buffalo and trappers of fur, but they were natural entrepreneurs, serving as guides, interpreters, ferrymen, mail carriers.

The metis people had adapted to a certain way of life and respecting their native background was a key part of the...