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Banner: Aboriginal Resources and Services - Frequently Asked QuestionsBanner: Aboriginal Resources and Services

What does LAC have on Louis Riel and/or the Northwest Resistance?

There is a great deal of published and unpublished material on the topic of Louis Riel and the Northwest Resistance. A joint publication by the Louis Riel Institute and the Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research provides a listing. Called "Resources for Métis Researchers" (1999), it was written by Lawrence Barkwell, Leah Dorion and Darren Prefontaine. This book lists over 2000 resources on the subject and may be your first stop for your research on this topic. Another relevant bibliography is "Metis legacy: a Metis historiography and annotated bibliography" (2001), also a joint project between the two institutions. Both of these books are located at many locations across Canada, including Library and Archives Canada. Please consult with your local library for more information concerning the accessibility of these two books.

There are also many other resources at Library and Archives Canada pertaining to this topic. These range from transcripts of the trial of 1885 (in print and microform formats) to government reports to political analyses and theses.

To search the online interface to our National Union Catalogue, known as AMICUS Web, please go to the following URL: http://amicus.collectionscanada.ca/aaweb/aalogine.htm. Once here, click on "Search"; then choose a database (Any AMICUS Database or National Library Collections). Next, choose an index, such as "Subject Keyword" or "Title Keyword" and type in "riel rebellion" ("rebellion" is the cataloguing term for the 1885 and 1870 acts of resistance), but without the quotations. Other search terms could include "northwest rebellion," "red river rebellion," "Gabriel Dumont", "Batoche battle," etc. Please feel free to experiment with other search terms if you are interested in conducting a comprehensive search.

Some relevant items in our collection that are available at only a few libraries (including Library and Archives Canada) are listed below:

  • Canada. Dept. of the Secretary of State. -- Réponse à une adresse de la Chambre des Communes, en date du 23 février 1870, demandant copie des instructions données aux arpenteurs envoyés dans le territoire du Nord-Ouest... -- Ottawa: I. B. Taylor, 1870. -- 21 p. fold. map.
  • Dennis, John Stoughton. -- To all whom it may concern : by certain printed papers of late put in circulation by the French party, communication with the Lieutenant-Governor is indicated with a view to laying before him alledged rights on the part of those now in arms : I think that course very desirable, and that it would lead to good results ... -- [Lower Fort Garry, Man. : s.n., 1869]. -- 1 sheet ([1] p.) ; 19 x 26 cm.
  • [Riel : Collection de coupures de presse sur Riel, sur la Rébellion de la Rivière-Rouge (1869/70) et sur la Rébellion du Nord-Ouest (1885). -- [s.l. : s.n., 1870?-1932?] -- [93] p. ; 25 cm.
  • Toronto's welcome home to her brave defenders, from the North-West Rebellion!, July, 1885. -- Toronto: Imrie & Graham, [c1885]. -- [16] p. : music ; 23 cm.
  • Les Troubles du Nord-Ouest. -- [s.l. : s.n., 1870-1879]. -- 2 v. : portr. ; 25 cm.

Please note, however, that some of these are located in our Reserve collection and are therefore not available for interlibrary loan.

Some miscellaneous sources also include:

  • For reference to the general amnesty that was allowed for Gabriel Dumont and others involved in the resistance, see the Canada Gazette, dated July 17, 1886, page 68. The Canada Gazette is available at full-depository libraries (that is, for many public and university libraries across Canada that are linked to the federal government Depository Services Program). A listing of these libraries is located at: http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Depo/table-e.html.
  • For specific information pertaining to others who were on trial, you may want to consult the Report of the Commissioner of the North-west Mounted Police Force for 1885. The official title of this report is "Settlers and rebels: being the official reports to Parliament of the activities of the Royal North-West Mounted Police force from 1882-1885" and it is available at many locations across Canada, including Library and Archives Canada.

There are also some relevant websites for information on this topic as follows:

  • Correspondence and papers connected with recent occurrences in the North-West Territories [computer file] , PUBLISHER: [Ottawa? : s.n.], 1870 (Ottawa : I.B. Taylor), available at: www.canadiana.org/ECO/mtq?doc=32294

You may also wish to contact Library and Archives Canada regarding unpublished documents pertaining to Louis Riel and the Northwest Resistance. Library and Archives Canada does hold official records relating to the trial of Louis Riel. You can search the collections, using the Online Research Tool: ArchiviaNet, available at the following URL: www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/index-e.html.

As well, you may want to send an inquiry on this topic to Library and Archives Canada using the Reference Inquiry Form. If you are interested, Library and Archives Canada can also put you in touch with researchers who charge a fee for their services in the event that you cannot visit our buildings personally. See: Hiring a Free-lance Researcher.

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