Manitoba and Confederation
Manitoba became Canada's fifth province when it entered Confederation in 1870, after a massive land transfer, a violent rebellion and a famous execution.
Hudson's Bay Company
When Confederation took place in 1867, the new country of
Beginning in 1670, the
Transfer of Rupert's Land
The United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867, prompting fears in the Canadian and British governments that an expansionist US would try to take control of all the territory west and north of the Dominion of Canada — including Rupert's Land.
Determined that Rupert's Land should be Canadian, the government of Prime Minister John A. Macdonald, with help from
Red River Resistance
Although many Aboriginal people opposed the transfer, the stiffest resistance came from the Métis of the Red River Colony, who feared the loss of their land, their Roman Catholic religion, and their culture under Canadian control. In 1869, under Louis Riel, the Métis declared their own provisional government, which announced that it would negotiate the colony's terms of entry into Confederation. A group of Protestants from Ontario, including Thomas Scott, disagreed with Riel’s group. Scott was court-martialed by Riel and executed by firing squad.
After a long standoff and lengthy negotiations in Ottawa, the resistance came to an end and the
Canada carved off most of modern-day Manitoba into the North-West Territories, leaving only a “postage stamp-sized” province around the Red River Valley. Riel fled as British and Canadian troops arrived in the area.
Some 40,000 migrants from
Fathers of Confederation
The “Fathers of Confederation" are the men who attended one or more of the conferences at Charlottetown, Québec and London. For Manitoba, that means William McDougall, an Ontario journalist and politician who Canada named the first lieutenant-governor of the Northwest Territories. Although considered a founder of Manitoba, Louis Riel is not officially recognized as a Father of Confederation, however a debate exists today about whether he should be.