Today in World History: March 19th

Tensions between the newly founded Canadian government and the Métis population reached a boiling point on this day in 1885 as Louis Riel declared a provisional government in what is now Saskatchewan. Starting the brief North West Rebellion, or the Second Riel Rebellion, Riel, of both European and Native heritage, believed that the new government was not meeting the needs of the native population of the lands, and once again demanding equality, he and several native tribes, including the Cree and Assiniboine, they declared the land of Saskatchewan their own. However, the Canadian government had just completed work on the new Pacific Railway, and they quickly mobilized their troops. The rebellion was put down, and Riel, who had previously led a rebellion in the now Canadian province of Manitoba, was convicted of high treason and hanged. His work later inspired future Native rights activists, who fought for freedom and equality in Canada.

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