Duck Lake's location played an important role in the Resistance, as it was the home of Hillyard Mitchell’s store - a mercantile that provided food and arms to both the Metis and the NWMP. On May 24, the Metis voted to move their army to Duck Lake. The Battle of Duck Lake was the first skirmish of the North-West/Riel Resistance. The Canadian Government responded to this event by mobilizing a force to combat the Metis. At four o’clock in the morning on March 26, a party of police and volunteers were getting ready to leave Fort Carlton to seize the supplies at Mitchell’s store. A force of police and volunteers met the Metis led by Gabriel Dumont in Duck Lake. The battle began with Joe McKay shooting Gabriel's brother Isidore as Isidore prepared to fire. McKay’s shot was followed by NWMP Superintendent Leif Crozier giving his men the order to open fire. Casualties were high in a short period of fighting. As a result, the volunteers and police began to retreat. The battle lasted about 30 minutes. In total nine volunteers, three police and five rebels perished in the battle. Gabriel Dumont was also badly wounded.
Battle of Duck Lake