As Canadian settlement pushed west, Métis and First Peoples began to fear for their lands. In 1885, Métis leader Louis Riel set up a provisional government in Batoche, Saskatchewan. Skirmishes between Riel’s supporters and federal forces grew into all-out rebellion, and troops were sent west by Ottawa on the newly built railway. The North-West Rebellion was crushed; Riel was tried for treason and hanged. Also executed were eight Nehiyaw (Plains Cree) men, in the largest public hanging in Canadian history.
Each day for 150 days leading up to the opening of the Canadian History Hall, we’re presenting one moment among the many that have shaped our country. Discover more of Canada’s significant historical events in the new Canadian History Hall, opening July 1, 2017.