Urgent Petition Sent to the Federal Government by the Metis


In December 1884 or January 1885 Louis Riel and his supporters drafted a new petition to send to the Canadian government. This petition had demands similar to previous documents the Métis had sent the federal government—most notably the request to have their river lots recognized by the federal government. This petition, however, contained a more urgent tone. The government responded that they did not want to negotiate with Riel, dismissing the Metis demands. After hearing about the government’s response in February 1885 the Metis leaders—Dumont, Lépine, Ouellette, Nolin and Riel—became committed to defending their rights by armed conflict if necessary.

The Crown's refusal to recognize the rights of the Métis would eventually lead to the North-West Resistance in which the Canadian Government and Métis would clash as the government would un-rightfully impose settlement and Canadian law without meeting the Provisional government's demands. For more information on the North-West Resistance and the effects thereafter, please see related event and resource entries.

LAC, RG15, vol. 335, file 83808, T-13055.