Kenneth Hayes fonds- Northwest Rebellion Photograph Collection,
18 photographs and other material
In 1885, Louis Riel, the exiled Metis leader, returned north
from Montana and rallied support among his former supporters
in the mixed-blood community in what is now Saskatchewan.
Riel hoped to unite the area's 20,000 Indians with its 4800
Metis in an uprising against Canadian authorities. On 19 March
1885, the Metis of the village of Batoche arrested the local
Indian Agent, seized control of the town, and declared the
existence of a new provisional government. In the following
weeks, hundreds of Aboriginals, led largely by frustrated
young warriors from Big Bear's and Little Pine's bands, joined
in the rebellion against the Canadian authorities. The leaders
remained aloof and, consequently, large-scale Cree support
for the Metis never materialized. Federal officials were aware
of the minimal Aboriginal involvement in the rebellion and
seized upon this opportunity to prevent a general Aboriginal
revolt. Troops were sent by rail to Alberta with orders to
consider any Aboriginal off his or her reserve a rebel. The
army retook Batoche in mid-May and set-off to capture the
resistance leaders. Big Bear's family escaped into Montana,
as did hundreds of Metis, but the chief and his colleague
Poundmaker surrendered to Canadian officials in July. By then,
the fighting was over. Trials ensued - as did continued migrations
into Montana - and on 16 November, Louis Riel was hanged.
The eight other men who received capital punishment for participating
in the rebellion were all Aborginal. These executions marked
the end of the government's suppression of the Riel uprising.
The material was acquired by the University of Manitoba Archives
& Special Collections from Ken Hayes in 1998
The collection consists of eighteen black and white photographs
of which fifteen are originals (1869-1890) and three are photographs
of photographs. Also included are four negatives of death
certificates, the Charles Pelham Mulhavey book entitled The
History of the North-West Rebellion of 1885, a telegram,
a letter, and a photocopy
There are no restrictions on this material
No further accruals are expected
No finding aid available.
of the photographs in this collection are available on-line.