U of M Logo



Click here for a definition of the Metis people

Tensions grew as all of the different forces at work in the Red River Settlement increased. Below are listed some important dates of that year detailing significant activities1:


October 11 Metis block Canadian surveyors at André Nault's river lot.

October 16 Metis elect National Committee of the Metis at meeting in St. Norbert.

October 21 Riel orders erection of "La Barrière" at St. Norbert to control who enters and leaves the Red River Settlement. Metis cavalry patrol the trails.

November 2 Governor-designate McDougall from Ontario is prevented from entering Red River at Pembina. The Metis led by Riel, Lepine and Nault seize Upper Fort Garry.

November 6 Riel invites election of English-speaking delegates to meet with the French Metis, the National Committee of the Metis, a.k.a. the French Party.

November 16 The first meeting of the Council.2

December 1 Riel refused to negotiate with McDougall, so the English Party withdrew from the Council although there was consensus on the list of rights.3 McDougall crosses the border on December 1, reads his proclamation making himself Governor and returns to the American side.4

December 8 Riel arrests 47 prisoners at John Schultz' store as they threaten the peace of the settlement. Riel proclaims the Provisional Government to negotiate terms for the new province to enter Confederation. McDougall returns to Ontario.



January 9 24 prisoners escape from Riel's control at Upper Fort Garry, including Charles Mair and Thomas Scott.

January 19 Donald A. Smith of the Hudson's Bay Company addresses the people of Red River; recognizes the Provisional Government. New election: 24 French and 24 English members.

January 23 Schultz escapes from the fort. Metis cavalry searches for him in English parishes.

Click here for the story of Schultz's escape

January 26 New list of rights. Executive Council to rule until Canada takes over.

February 15 Several hundred men meet at Kildonan School house to plan attack on the fort to free the remaining prisoners. They capture Norbert Parisien who Riel says is a Schultz supporter because the men think he is a spy for Riel. Parisien escapes and shoots John Hugh Sutherland. Parisien is believed to be mentally handicapped. The English group lynch Parisien and drag him over the ice tied to the back of a sleigh. Sutherland dies of his wounds.6

February 16 Bannatyne and Miss McVicar persuade prisoners to take an oath to keep the peace and the laws of the country to avoid bloodshed. They sign and Riel agrees to release them.

Begg: "A letter was sent to Governor McTavish by the London [England] authorities of the HBC telling him at any cost to prevent bloodshed between the settlers..."7

February 17 Riel frees prisoners, but then recaptures the Portage party returning home, so he has 41 new prisoners including Thomas Scott and Major Boulton.8

February 20 Begg: "An expedition of over 50 men on horseback was started down the settlement under charge of Le Pine [Lepine] and Isiore Goulait [Elzéar Goulet] to search for Dr. Schultz."9

February 21 "The French in Fort Garry are bound to have Dr. Schultz dead or alive if he is in the country - nothing else will now satisfy them"10

March 4 Thomas Scott, Irish Protestant from Ontario, executed by Metis firing squad.

April 25-May 2 Metis delegates negotiate Manitoba Act with Federal Government.11

August 23 Wolseley Expedition reaches Lower Fort Garry.12