Metis Petition to the Conservative Government


Metis at Batoche drafted a petition that they sent to the Conservative Government in 1889. In the petition, they requested aid programs to alleviate poverty and land grants among various other demands. Most notably, they requested a redrawing of electoral regions that divided the Métis and French-Catholic populations. At the time, these ridings were drawn in such a way that Metis/French-Catholic populations constituted a minority in each of them, despite the fact that they represented a majority in the region. This resulted in a negligible impact on the outcome of elections.

Many of the Metis requests were implemented. A NWMP post was established at Batoche, permanent telegraph services were set up and the electoral ridings in the constituency of Batoche were altered in a more equitable manner. In doing so, the political representation of the Metis and French-Catholic populations in the region increased, potentially allowing for their views to be better represented in elections. Instances like this one were a rarity, as the concerns and requests of Indigenous peoples were often diminished or ignored. However, this event shows that in certain situations the Canadian Government would listen an implement community changes as directed by Indigenous peoples.