|Photo from Histori.ca|
With recent events in Canada related to the Idle No More campaign and an often nasty national dialogue related to First Nations struggles in this country, I have started to wonder if resistance and rebellion, depending on your loyalties, are a part of our narrative and who we are. The 19th century, with two Métis resistances, one war against an oppressive empire to the south, two major rebellions in the Canadas, nationalist revolutionary movements in Quebec in the 20th century, and now an indigenous resistance based on a general angst, speaks to an uneasiness we have with oppressive and unresponsive governments. In nearly all cases, governments have taken for granted the legitimate concerns of minority and vulnerable groups of people who are about to be displaced our lose their culture. Right or wrong, these movements are a consistent feature on our historical landscape (this is my opinion, not a truth).
Recently we have explored the history of Red River since 1738. We understand the relationship between First Nations and Europeans, the treaty signed between Selkirk and Peguis, and how people tried to share space. We also learned what happened when Canada did not talk to the Métis when looking to engulf the Northwest into Confederation. We are able to answer the question: Why is Louis Riel the father of Manitoba?
But things were also happening in other parts of British North America. The United States at some point tried to march through Upper and Lower Canada – see the PBS film below:
By the 1830s, there were rumblings of rebellions and these hit a feverish point in 1837 and ’38. Here is a great resource on the Rebellions of 1837/38. We know that there were rebellions in the maritime colonies, the Parliament building was burned down in 1849,there were two Metis rebellions in the Northwest, a massacre in Montreal, an FLQ crisis in Quebec, several First Nations protests and now the Idle No More movement (I will supply articles on these in class, but do not want to post them as they are copyrighted. I don’t want my friends at Canada’s History to beat me up). Are we a nation of resistance and/or rebellions? What does this mean in terms of the development of Peace, Order, and Good Government? Has this rebellious nature created our democracy? Please respond initially via this blog and then we will do some formal writing next week.