Métis Nation History

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Batoche_St_Laurent_Settlement





Gagnon was quite right when he stated later that the main cause of the discontent amongst the half-breeds was the introduction by the Government of the rectangular survey of land on the prairie. Under this system settlers had to hold their farms in square blocks of 160 acres or more, and in consequence such settlers would be necessarily some distance apart. This was not to the mind of the half-breeds, who were more given to social gatherings than to agriculture, and who preferred the old survey that they knew on the Red River and the Assiniboine, where their holdings were in narrow strips fronting on the river and running two miles back. To introduce this on the prairie, the Government contended, would lead to confusion, and so it was easy for the agitator to stir up discontent amongst these inflammable people who had always been accustomed to the freedom of the plains. It was easy for the orator to say that the Government was trying to break up their old social customs, and when such a statement was followed up by saying that their patents giving them title to land were being long delayed, and that possibly they would never be granted at all, a live coal had fallen on material as combustible as the dry grass on the prairie. And once the half-breeds began to consider revolt it was not hard for them to stir up certain bad Indians with the proposal that by combining they could drive out the whites and have the country to themselves again. --Policing the Plains, by R.G. MacBeth (Primary source documents)



Métis Nation History

Commemorating 2010 Year of the Métis Nation Anniversary

Related 1885 Métis Nation Newspaper links

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