Kenneth Hayes Collection (North-West Rebellion)
Call Number: Pc 255 (A.98-15)

Title: Kenneth Hayes Collection (North-West Rebellion).

Dates: 1869-1890, 1935-1936.

Extent: 18 photographs and other material.

Historical note: In 1885, Louis Riel, the exiled Métis leader, returned north from Montana and rallied support among his former supporters in the Métis community in what is now Saskatchewan. Riel hoped to unite the area's 20,000 Aboriginals with its 4800 Métis in an uprising against Canadian authorities. On March 19, 1885, the Métis of the village of Batoche arrested the local Indian Agent, seized control of the town, and declared the existence of a new provisional government. In the following weeks, hundreds of Aboriginals, led largely by frustrated young warriors from Big Bear's and Little Pine's bands, joined in the rebellion against the Canadian authorities. The leaders remained aloof and, consequently, large-scale Cree support for the Métis never materialized. Federal officials were aware of the minimal Aboriginal involvement in the rebellion and seized upon this opportunity to prevent a general Aboriginal revolt. Troops were sent by rail to Alberta with orders to consider any Aboriginal off his or her reserve a rebel. The army retook Batoche in mid-May and set-off to capture the resistance leaders. Big Bear's family escaped into Montana, as did hundreds of Métis, but the chief and his colleague, Poundmaker, surrendered to Canadian officials in July. By then, the fighting was over. Trials ensued - as did continued migrations into Montana - and on November 16, Louis Riel was hanged. The eight other men who received capital punishment for participating in the rebellion were all Aborginal. These executions marked the end of the government's suppression of the Riel uprising.

Custodial history: The collection was acquired by University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections from Ken Hayes in 1998.

Scope and content: The collection consists of eighteen black and white photographs of which fifteen are originals (1869-1890) and three are photographs of photographs. Also included are four negatives of death certificates, the Charles Pelham Mulhavey book entitled The History of the North-West Rebellion of 1885, a telegram, a letter, and a photocopy.

Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this material.

Accruals: No further accruals are expected.

Finding aid: There is currently no finding aid for this collection available.


Digitized Material

North-West Rebellion Photograph Gallery