Riel, Dumont, and the Rebellion (full story)
Gabriel Dumont (December – May ) was a Canadian political figure best known for After his time leading the Métis people alongside Louis Riel, Dumont spent time travelling throughout the In addition to this distinction, they held a long-vaunted relationship with the Saskatchewan area as leaders of a brigade. Gabriel Dumont. These questions can help to guide a student's viewing of the Gabriel Dumont biography. What was Gabriel's relationship with Louis Riel? 5. Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont has ratings and 36 reviews. I needed to focus on the Epilogue to help bring it into focus. .. and a reflection on how the events of influence modern-day Indigenous-Canada relations, Joseph Boyden.
Dumont, Riel and the Provisional Government of Saskatchewan Dumont and his council sent several petitions to Ottawa in the early s, insisting that Parliament recognize their land holdings and include river lots in the Dominion survey of the West.
Laurent felt compelled to protect their land on their own terms. A delegation was dispatched two months later to request that Riel travel to Saskatchewan to advise the people there on how to protect their lands and their freedoms. Dumont travelled with three others to St. Riel and Dumont would develop a close friendship from that point on. Dumont offered to lead the St.
Laurent defence if the people were committed to it. While Riel was officially the president of the provisional government, Dumont remained a central leader in the community and responsible for many political and military decisions.
Dumont was shot in the head during the battle, the bullet glancing off his skull. He nursed this injury during the rest of the North-West Resistancebut it did not prevent him from leading his soldiers. Aware that more Canadian troops, organized by General Frederick Middletonwere heading towards them, Dumont proposed a clandestine guerilla campaign that would target railroads and Canadian soldiers. The Provisional Government decided against the campaign.
Riel preferred a peaceful resolution to hostilities, choosing to confront Canadian soldiers only when no other options were available. At Batoche, Dumont led a spirited four-day defence of the community between 9 and 12 May Despite facing a superior force, he incapacitated a military river steamer and repelled several infantry pushes. Batoche was sacked, and Dumont was forced into hiding. He also searched for Riel, who had surrendered before Dumont could find him. Upon learning that Riel was in custody, Dumont left for the United States.
Later Life Dumont was still a wanted man in Canada and had developed a popular mystique in the Saskatchewan territory. Naturally, they chose a school teacher.
Since Riel had fled to the United States from the newly created province of Manitoba, he had had a difficult 15 years.
- Gabriel Dumont forced Canada to care about Metis culture
- Louis Riel & Gabriel Dumont, by Joseph Boyden
- Gabriel Dumont
Riel had been elected three times to be a member of the Canadian government in Eastern Canada. Then, a few years later, the Canadian government banished Riel from Canada for five years.
When he was released, he went to the western United States to live. This is where Riel met and married a young Metis woman and was hired to teach school. Dumont discussed things with Riel. They were farming on long and narrow river lots perpendicular to the river, and for some unknown reason, the White surveyors had ignored this.
They had surveyed the Metis land into their usual one-mile squares. The government did not want to do another survey because a river-lot survey cost about nine times as much as an ordinary one. He finished teaching school and was soon off on the trail to Canada. Riel made the trip with his wife, a one-year-old daughter, and a two-year-old son.
The horsemen shouted their welcomes and sang songs about battles in the past that they had fought and won. He went to a number of English and French Metis communities and made speeches in which he asked for peace. He got their support. Then, the leading priest in that part of the country, Father Andre, wrote to him.
Father Andre lived in Prince Albert, a town of mainly White people. Father Andre's letter said: I have only to say to you: After this, Father Andre reported: Next, Riel prepared a carefully worded petition that complained about the treatment of everyone, including the Indians and the White people.
Riel soon started to lose support. He got into arguments with the local priests over his religious beliefs. Riel yelled at the priests that he was getting his directions from God. He also stated that some time in the future, he would make changes in the church. Many people were disturbed by this.
He gave himself advice by recording in his personal diary, "You eat a third too much. Do not eat heavily before you go to bed. Never go out without a hat, whether it's hot or cold.
Soon after this, Riel wrote that he was feeling much better. The Metis were upset. They had received replies like this before, and very little had been done.
The Metis talked of war and began gathering supplies in case one started. About a month later, the Metis were told that police were coming to arrest Riel.
The Metis believed the story and decided that now was the time to act. Riel led a group of Metis who cut some telegraph lines. They took control of two local stores and removed supplies, bullets, and guns. As they did this, they took a number of prisoners.
When the priest tried to stop them, he was brushed aside. Riel declared, "Rome is fallen" and then told the Metis that instead of having the pope in Rome as head of the church, they would have a new pope, a Bishop in Montreal. In an emotionally charged meeting they formed their army and elected their own government. He wrote, "Good sense shone in me; it shone, it sparkled in my face.
One time, he became enraged and shouted at an English Metis, "You don't know what we are after - it is blood, blood, we want blood; it is a war of extermination. He was hoping that he could still avoid a war.
He hoped to succeed without any serious fighting, in the same way he had succeeded fifteen years before when the Canadian government had agreed to create the new province of Manitoba. In his letter, Riel threatened to begin "a war of extermination," and explained that a war could be avoided if the police would simply give up their fort and surrender. Both Riel and the police used messengers to deliver the letters. As emotions were running high, neither side was ready to give in.
Gabriel Dumont (Métis leader)
They did not get together to discuss their differences. The French Metis and some Indians from the nearby reserves would have to act alone. The Battle of Duck Lake: When the police returned, there were fifty-six police officers and forty-three volunteers. They faced a similar number of Metis and Indians. As both sides sent two men forward to talk, more Metis and Indians were arriving. There was a struggle over a gun, and a shot was fired.
The battle had begun. At that time, Dumont gave the following description of the Battle of Duck Lake: As soon as the shooting started, we fired as much as we could. A shot came and gashed the top of my head. I fell down on the ground. While we were fighting, Riel was on horseback, exposed to the gunfire, and with no weapon but the crucifix which he held in his hand. The enemy was then beginning to retire, and my brother, who had taken command after my fall, shouted to our men to follow.
Riel then asked, in the name of God, not to kill any more, saying that there had already been too much bloodshed. Now they had to deal with the dead bodies. The number killed on the police side was twelve, and on the Metis side there were five.
Dumont talked about the bodies: The next day, we spent the whole day in prayer for our dead whose bodies we laid out in a house. They were buried the next day.
Louis Riel & Gabriel Dumont, by Joseph Boyden - The Globe and Mail
I told Riel that it was a shame to leave exposed to the dogs the bodies of our dead enemies who, perhaps bore no more ill will against us than we against them. I suggested that we send a prisoner to [Fort] Carleton to tell the English to come and get their dead.
But when the prisoner went to the police and talked to them, the police did not believe his story. They thought he was a spy and put him in jail. It took them three days to decide that, rather than being a spy, he was a man with an important message. Meanwhile, the Metis had two of their prisoners move the bodies into a house for safekeeping. Finally, the English sent three men with their wagons to get the dead bodies. They got the bodies out of the house, placed them in their wagons, and took them home.
The Canadian government had been cutting back on the food that they had been giving to the Indians. In one hungry, poorly-treated tribe, a number of braves became angry. They went to the settlement of Frog Lake where they shot nine White people, including two priests. A total of White soldiers left Eastern Canada in the hopes of bringing peace back to the West.
Meanwhile, troops in Western Canada prepared to join in. The battles between the Metis and the White soldiers were going to be between two very different types of people. The Metis enjoyed the outdoors and were used to bad weather and other hardships of living outside in the wilderness.
Some of what they used was homemade, but other items such as guns and bullets were bought in stores. Many of them had spent their lives living in towns and cities where they had been working in offices and factories. When we compare the Metis men with the White soldiers, we can see a number of important differences. The Metis had done lots of hunting, and this helped them become excellent sharpshooters. Also, many of the older Metis had gained experience and skills while fighting against the Indians.
The volunteers from the cities had received only twelve days of training each year. The rural volunteers had received their training at summer camps which were only held every second year.
Some of them had not received any shooting practice. Obviously, a modern army can be far more destructive; however, the weapons used by the Metis and White soldiers still resulted in a lot of human suffering.
Most of the Metis used shot guns which had a short range, and a few owned old buffalo rifles.
Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont
A few others, including Dumont, had bought long range repeating rifles. For traveling, the Metis made use of the Red River cart, the wagon, and the canoe. In comparison, the machines of the White people were impressive. They could travel by train, carriage, wagon, stagecoach, or steamship. To help them fight wars, the White people had created long range rifles, repeating rifles, field guns that used a large and powerful shell, and the Gatling gun which could fire ten bullets per second.
The leader of the Canadian army, Major-General Middleton, was a fifty-nine-year-old British commander who had graduated from a military college and spent most of his life in the British army. Large crowds gathered and cheered the volunteer soldiers as they left their home towns in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, and Western Canada, and headed for the trouble spots in the North-West.
They were going to fight a war for their country, for the British Empire, and for progress.
The soldiers from Eastern Canada were about to face the hardships of an exhausting journey, and they would soon understand that war is destructive and brutally painful. Their journey to the North-West was difficult because the railway had not yet been completed. In Northern Ontario, there were four large gaps in the track which the troops had to cross. Two of the gaps required long, tough marches in the cold.
In another gap, the soldiers made their way across twenty-four kilometers of barren ice. They struggled for six hours in the freezing cold and bright sun. For days, the soldiers were hungry, sleepless, wet, and cold. Sometimes it was raining, sometimes it snowed, and sometimes the temperature got as low as degrees Celsius.
During one ten hour ride, many of the troops experienced severe frostbite, and some became so cold that at the end of the ride they could not move. They had to be lifted off the train. Since it was freezing, many chose to sleep in the open where they could build fires to keep warm. Most lay with their feet toward the fire.
I slept very little. Some slept soundly only to be awakened when their feet inside of their boots became so hot the soles of their boots started to smoke.
They would jump up more asleep than awake, tear open their laces and get the boots off. I proposed we go ahead of the troops, harass them by night to make them lose heart. But Riel did not agree. I would have done so without scruple, and I would even willingly have blown up the railway. I had confidence in his prayers, and that God would listen to him.
Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont
The Battle of Fish Creek: The Metis chose to face Middleton's troops at a place where the trail crossed Fish Creek. They hid themselves and their horses in the bushes of the Fish Creek coulee. When the soldiers attacked, the soldiers fought from the open at the top of the coulee where they were easy targets. Many of them were killed. From there they were hidden and protected by thick willow bushes. These Metis feared an attack, so they remained hidden in the bushes and spent a lot of their time praying.
When his arms grew tired, two Metis helped to hold them up. Most Metis would agree with the one who is recorded as saying, "I believe that prayer did more than bullets.
Now Middleton had fresh troops, but he saw that too many of his men had been killed and wounded. He refused to allow another attack. Altogether, ten soldiers died and forty-five were wounded; on Dumont's side, five died and one was wounded. Also, fifty-five Metis and Indian horses had been killed. Soon it became bitterly cold, and the sleet turned to snow. The worn out troops lay in the cold listening to the groans of the wounded and dying. The soldiers who had crossed the river suffered the most because they had come without their overcoats and blankets.
One officer wrote, "None of us are ever likely to forget the dark night of the 24th. We thought we had come out for a picnic. War's hardships are doubly cruel to the civilian soldier. His poorly trained soldiers had performed poorly. On that day, the camp was quiet, there was very little movement, and very little was done. Throughout the camp there was a sense of gloom. Middleton felt sorry for the young soldiers who had finally experienced the realities of war.
He wrote in his personal diary: Guide me, help me in war, that I may have the good fortune to conclude a peace, an honorable peace before God and Men. Middleton camped for two weeks before he felt that his army was ready to march towards another battle.
During this time, the Metis' provisional government held regular meetings. Their government decided that Riel's position was that of a prophet. A series of rifle pits were dug around the village. Dumont sent messengers to ask all the Indians in the North-West to join the Metis.
But, most of the Indians chose to stay home.