red river rebellion

so i am finally Inspired enough and have enough time (haha who knows) to start writing (read: batting around ideas for) a Dominion Day Sequel about Western Canada and I’m debating about how to frame it. Unlike DD there is no one single date to focus on here nor is there one single event that results in union, and I’m struggling to figure out how exactly to divide up this story and what to focus on- keeping in mind DD only really touched upon the Founding Four and did not resolve PEI and NFLD’s end of the story.

Western Canadian history for me begins with the pivotal Red River Resistance/Rebellion (which I tend to refer to as RRR for shortness and ambiguity lol), but that history is also dependent on the history of Rupert’s Land in a similar way as DD was dependent (subtly) on the War of 1812 and the American Civil War as “prologues”. The way I have chosen to understand the characters and the way they have been outlined by Sherry means that an understanding of NWT  (as roughly equivalent to Rupert’s Land, in my mind,  for simplicity in storytelling’s sake) is that Starting Point and that central character that ties the story together in the way Canada/Matthew was the central character for DD. 

That begs the question as to How to Deal with the story of NWT. That story does not include BC in a similar way that Confederation did not include Newfoundland; I intend to feature BC as a character, but she is ‘unique’ and ‘separate’ (as usual, the special snowflake of the west). It also begs the question: is this the story of the prairies and/or the territories? The history of the West and Confederation, again, means that the RRR and the following North West Resistance/Rebellion is pivotal. Is this the story of Manitoba’s entrance into confederation, is it the story of the prairies, or is it the story of NWT? I don’t know if this makes any sense but I hope you see what I’m getting at. I’m trying to decide between a chronological telling or a geographical telling.

When I was writing Dominion Day, Confederation was the theme: a union out of convenience rather than trust, a dissatisfaction on all sides, and a type of selfishness from the pov of Matthew to Keep Existing at the expense of the others. For Western Canada, the themes are similar, but with an intense focus on the extremely different treatment of former Rupert’s Land territories compared to literally every other province in Canada.

I guess the natural beginning and end for this story would be 1870s, 1880s, and 1890s with a prologue beginning at Confederation, where we left off, and hinting at the centuries prior that established Rupert’s Land, and an epilogue at the turn of the century. The natural division of the focus from these decades would follow settlement east to west: Manitoba and the RRR, Saskatchewan and the NWR, and Alberta and the Opening of the West alongside Yukon and the Gold Rush. The epilogue, in order to address all of western Canada as I addressed all of Eastern Canada in DD, would need to look towards the late 20th century to Nunavut- whose early beginnings were not until the 70s and who didn’t become a territory until /my/ lifetime, ridiculously young compared to the others (aka i still like to think of myself as a Young Person lmao and it makes me feel old that i remember where i was and what i was doing when the territory was created). I don’t know how comfortable I am with representing the Inuit as a personification- because I am unconstrained by a video medium this time around, it’s more feasible, but idk because it might just be easier to represent the Inuit with one or more human characters interacting primarily with NWT, who would remain the central character with a direct involvement in all of the younger ps/ts lives and would travel a vast amount of distance as exploration was done, contacts were made, and the capital moved. 

Anywho this information is stuff i’d like to get Out There and if anyone has an interest in these characters or Western Canadian history and wants to contribute some ideas or even artwork, you can give me and @lilcutiebear a shout. If there’s someway I can address PEI/NFLD/BC and their entrance into Confederation along the way, it would be a bonus, but in this episode I wouldn’t be able to go much into depth on them without a sort of dedicated ‘mini episode’ for each one. That might be interesting, actually, in order to explore those little dynamics between them and their neighbours more etc etc but that’s… for another time (and like bc alone i could just talk forever about because What a Rollercoaster and I really want to swing an internship at the Royal BC Museum if I can for my program…….. aaaaaaaaaaa… but i have a membership anyway so i can visit whenever im in the province hohoho). 


4.  Louis Riel and Leonard Peltier

Louis David Riel (22 October 1844 – 16 November 1885) was a Canadian politician, a founder of the province of Manitoba, and a political and spiritual leader of the Métis people of the Canadian prairies.[1] He led two resistance movements against the Canadian government and its first post-Confederation Prime MinisterSir John A. Macdonald. Riel sought to preserve Métis rights and culture as their homelands in the Northwest came progressively under the Canadian sphere of influence. He is regarded by many as a Canadian folk hero today.[2]

The first resistance was the Red River Rebellion of 1869–1870.[3] The provisional government established by Riel ultimately negotiated the terms under which the modern province of Manitoba entered the Canadian Confederation.[4] Riel was forced into exile in the United States as a result of the controversial execution of Thomas Scott during the rebellion.[5] Despite this, he is frequently referred to as the “Father of Manitoba”.[6] While a fugitive, he was elected three times to the Canadian House of Commons, although he never assumed his seat. During these years, he was frustrated by having to remain in exile despite his growing belief that he was a divinely chosen leader and prophet, a belief which would later resurface and influence his actions. He married in 1881 while in exile in Montana, and fathered three children.

Riel returned to what is now the province of Saskatchewan to represent Métis grievances to the Canadian government. This resistance escalated into a military confrontation known as the North-West Rebellion of 1885. It ended in his arrest, trial, and execution on a charge of high treason. Riel was viewed sympathetically in Francophone regions of Canada, and his execution had a lasting influence on relations between the province of Quebec and English-speaking Canada.[7] Whether seen as a Father of Confederation or a traitor, he remains one of the most complex, controversial, and ultimately tragic figures in the history of Canada.[8]

Leonard Peltier (born September 12, 1944) is a Native American activist and member of the American Indian Movement (AIM). In 1977 he was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment for first degree murder in the shooting of two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents during a 1975 conflict on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Peltier’s indictment and conviction is the subject of the 1992 documentary Incident at Oglala, a film directed by Michael Apted. Peltier has been identified as apolitical prisoner by certain activist groups. Amnesty International placed his case under the “Unfair Trials” category of its Annual Report: USA 2010 [1], citing concerns with the fairness of the proceedings. His murder conviction has survived appeals in various courts[citation needed] over the years.

In 2002 and 2003, Paul DeMain, editor of News From Indian Country, wrote that sources had told him that Peltier had said he killed the FBI agents; DeMain withdrew his support for clemency. At the trials in 2004 and 2010 of two men indicted for the murder of Anna Mae Aquash in December 1975 at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, prosecution witnesses testified that Peltier had told them and a small group of fugitive activists, including Aquash, that he had shot the two FBI agents[2]. Peltier issued a statement in 2004 accusing one witness of perjury for her testimony and being a sellout. The two men charged in the murder of Aquash were convicted.

Peltier is incarcerated at the Coleman Federal Correctional ComplexFlorida. His projected release date is October 11, 2040.[3] His last parole hearing was in July 2009; his request for parole was denied. Peltier’s next scheduled hearing will be in July 2024.[4]