Canada: A History of Resistance?

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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:

Watch 1812 Long Tease on PBS. See more from The War of 1812.

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.


16 thoughts on “Canada: A History of Resistance?

  1. Throughout Canadian history, there has always been resistance to the government even until today where we see First Nations finally standing up for their rights in the Idle No More movement. We can even go back to 1661 with the French Iroquois War where we find the Iroquois tribes resisting the French who attempted to make this land theirs. Later on, the English arrive in 1629 and take over North America. The few French speaking natives however refuse to quit even after they have lost the war and this leaded to the 1774 Quebec Act granting them many rights. This act of resistance affected Canada tremendously because if the French didn’t resist and just fled the country, Canada may not be a bilingual country with English AND French speaking citizens.Following 1763 (Royal Proclamation), we see companies forming and fighting for land. In 1812, we find this clash of various backgrounds including Metis, Hudson Bay Company members, Selkirk Settlers and North West Company members at the Red River area. Following the merger in 1821 and the formation of Canada in 1869, Metis are faced with the similar challenge as the French. They can either rebel or fight for their right to govern themselves or succumb to the powerful British government and eventually be pushed out of the land. However, with the leadership of Louis Riel, he encourages the Metis Nation to resist the overtaking force of John A. Macdonald and Louis forms a provisional government at Fort Garry in 1869. Following bloodshed and negotiations, the Metis Bill of Rights and Manitoba Act was drafted in 1870 and this granted Metis people to their own rights and could govern them. This is a primary source of resistance by a minority group where they rebelled against a ruling government in order to have rights and it is because of their resistance that today the Metis population continues to grow. As a nation we resisted much opposition with the 1812 War being the most evident example where our existence today is primarily due to our resistance of the oppressing American Government who sought to overtake Rupert’s Land. Finally, our government system may have been completely different if it were not for the 1837-1838 Upper and Lower Canada Rebellions. This rebellion is what changed our previously flawed government system because of parties such as the Patriots Party who demanded Responsible government and fought for insurrection. With the help of many such as Mackenzie, Papineau and Lord Durham, Upper and Lower Canada were unionized in 1840 and the British Government granted responsible government to the citizens in 1848. This act of rebellion is why today Canada’s values today are “peace, order and good government”. In my opinion, Canada has received these values by the rebellions that have formed the nation we are today. Peace between rebellions and governments have been formed starting with what today seem as unimportant treaties such as the Quebec Act. It is peaceful treaties like this between Rebellions that have given us the title of a “peaceful” nation (although there is debate about whether we still are today). Order and good government is seen during the Upper and Lower Canada Rebellions where the citizens were demanding for a responsible government and the right to govern themselves. Without this resistance, there may have been no change to the oppressive and unfair government system that was run during the 1800’s. This and all the previous forms of rebellions have caused Canada to become so diverse with all these various histories of different ethnic groups and the resistance of different groups with different beliefs has showed Canada a new form of government where rather than rebelling, we can voice our opinions and be heard just as the First Nations today are fighting for their rights with the Idle No More Movement. This form of government formed by our history of successful resistance is better known as Democracy.

  2. Canada is a very new nation. Confederation only happened just over a century and a half ago, and even then, French and English colonists only started settling here four centuries ago. Before European settlement, the nation we now call Canada was very different, in terms of culture, government, and so much more. As such, I think it’s a very interesting notion to try and decipher whether we are distinctly ‘Canadian’ at all, let alone what that would mean, given such a lack of history. That being said, Canada’s history is very unique from almost every other country around the world. Unlike the United States, we didn’t wage war for our independence; neither has our history evolved through eras of time like nearly every other country or region of the world, with a story so far reaching it can only be discussed through broad concepts. However, one thing that makes us distinctly our own in my opinion is the fact that we’ve never had a civil war. Now, that’s not to say we haven’t had conflict. There are ample examples of issues we’ve argued fiercely, even fought boldly for. I think Ramy did a fantastic job of analyzing these, and I would agree that nearly every conflict we’ve ever had was a resistance. Especially with internal conflicts, Canadians tend towards relatively peaceful demonstrations, and even when we do dig in our heels and decide to use weapons to prove a point, it’s just that; to prove a point. I think the notion of Peace, Order and Good Governance is definitely worth a mention in relation to these types of struggles. For example, I’d like to use the rebellions of 1837-38. Though they were violent, the majority of the people involved weren’t extremists who wanted a radical change in style of government; they were farmers who just wanted their executives to be accountable to the people they represented. Again, let’s consider Quebecois nationalism. The FLQ crisis was violent, to be sure; but for the vast majority of Quebecois nationalists, they have argued, they have protested, but they have also been level headed and nonviolent while doing so. Clearly, we’ve developed a way of getting across what we want to our government without violence, but with our words, which is exactly what POG stands for. For that reason, I think it has very much shaped our democracy, because for a democracy to work, it fundamentally needs that dialogue to be there.I think Ramy had an excellent point at the end of his post, that it was a result of so many different opinions and ethnic groups coming together and sharing the land that created the country as we know it. Though our history has been short, I would argue that this is exactly the case, and that our continued culture of resistance has shaped Canadians just as much as the land we live on.Stephanie

  3. Rebellions narrate the history of Canada, but doesn't define everything Canada represents. When you type in "List of Conflict in Canada" in Wikipedia, the over 200 conflicts that were resolved using violent means may seem excessive, but Canada has always initially searched for peaceful ways of resolving issues before turning to violence. Stephanie mentions in the specific example of rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada, the majority of the people consisted of moderates who wanted to politically reform the system in which they governed to create responsible government. Most didn't want to use violence, but it had to be used for the British Empire to send help in the form of Lord Durham who deemed assimilation as the solution. With the most recent resistance called the Idle No More movement, Aboriginals (a minority in terms of political voice) are protesting peacefully. If governments continue to be unresponsive, violence may be necessary to gain the approval that they need.

  4. Canada is a nation of resistance. Throughout history Canadians have revolted whenever they felt their rights were violated. If we don’t agree with something the government has done, we protest through demonstrations and sometimes violence. Canadian events such as the seven years war, the rebellions of 1837/1838, the Red River Resistance and the idle no more movement are all examples of Canadian resistance that have benefited Canada. We can look at history and present day to conclude that Canada is a nation of resistance The aftermath of the seven years war has led to crucial Canadian events. Following the end of the war in 1763, Britain obtained Canada. They made everyone in Canada British citizens. This angered many Roman Catholic and french speaking Canadians so they refused to become British subjects. The fear of rebellion forced Britain to introduce the Quebec act in 1774. This act allowed Roman Catholics the right to practice their religion and allowed French people to live in and be apart of Canada. Without the influence of Canadian resistance after the seven years war, Canada may never have been a bilingual country because there would only be English speaking British citizens.The rebellions of 1837-1838 were key in structuring Canada’s government. These rebellions occurred in Upper and Lower Canada and forced the Canadian government to change. Louis-Joseph Papineau of the Patriot party, politician William Lyon Mackenzie, and diplomat Lord Durham all pushed for a responsible government. In this type of government, the leaders of the cabinet are also members of the legislature. The cabinet must also have the support of the majority of the legislature to stay in power. With the help of these politicians, Upper and Lower Canada merged in 1840 and responsible government was introduced in 1848. The rebellions are the source of values that we associate with Canada today: Peace, Order, and Good Government. The Red River Rebellion of 1869 was another resistance that played a crucial part in the making of Canada. After purchasing Ruperts Land in 1868, John A Macdonald sent a survey party to the Red River Colony. The Metis people were angered, that Macdonald did not offer to let them join confederation and that he purchased land which they felt belonged to them. The Metis prevented governor McDougall entering the territory and Louis Riel set up a provisional government in Fort Garry. Riel’s actions eventually led to the legalisation of the Manitoba act of 1870 which made Manitoba a Province. Without the resistance of Louis Riel and the Metis Peoples Manitoba would never have been created. The Idle No More movement is a resistance that further illustrates Canada as a nation of resistance. Idle No More is an ongoing protest movement by Indigenous peoples and non-indigenous supporters of the movement. Political actions worldwide for this movement have occurred. The introduction of the Bill C-45 in 2011 by the Canadian federal government is the main issue of the movement. The bill allegedly abuses indigenous treaty rights and sovereignty. The fact that people are currently resisting against the government proves Canada still functions as a nation of resistance. We do not like this bill so we rally against the Canadian government because we want to see change. The Idle No More movement shows that Canada is a nation of resistance; if we do not like something we revolt against it to get what we want. In my opinion, Canada is a nation of resistance. From three hundred years ago to present day we still function the same. Our rebellious nature is what brought democracy to Canada. The fact that Canadians have been able to express their opinions is the reason Canada is a democracy. These rebellions and revolts forced Canada to become a democracy to ensure that these kinds of things would stop. They ensured that the Canadian government adopted proper values. The Idle No More movement proves we still resist as a nation. Canada is a nation of resistance that has been shaped by the revolts of its citizens throughout history.

  5. I think Canada has a history of both rebellion and resistance; it all depends on how you define the two. In my opinion resistance is the refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument. Rebellion on the other hand is the action or process of refusing authority, and control. In order to answer the question whether or not Canada has a history of resistance or rebellion we have to look at the causes of our ancestor’s actions. If we look at the war of 1812 and its causes we can see that as a nation we resisted against the American government who tried to take over Rupert’s Land. In this situation if we had not resisted, we would probably be living as American citizens. Another example is the Louis Riel rebellion as some would call it. As we all know, the law is not always correct, and we should stand up for what we believe in, even if we are standing alone. Considering the fact that Sir John A. sent over his people to take land which was not theirs concludes that Riel really did resist John A’s people as they were considered authority. In this situation, Riel resisted at first but then he had to rebel as he took over Fort Garry and formed his own provisional government under Métis terms. For this very reason, Riel is considered the father of Manitoba. Canada really has both a rebellious and resistance history, but in my opinion without these rebellions/resistances Canada would not have such a great history compared to that of other countries. We can see that resistances/rebellions still happen today with Idle No More. I think Idle No More is more of a resistance than a rebellion as there is no violence at this very point. In my opinion, what differs a resistance from a rebellion is violence in a rebellion. In addition, I do not agree on how one of the chiefs was starving herself to get the attention of both the Prime Minister and Governor because if their attention is caught by this chief it will show others that the Government is weak and it will encourage others to resist and protest. Finally, I agree with Ramy’s point on how all the previous forms of rebellions/resistances have caused Canada to become so diverse with different beliefs because without these events in our history I do not think Canada would have formed a democracy government.

  6. Resistance and rebellion are the basis for a functioning democracy. Resistances and rebellions keep our government honest. Without a continuous push from minorities in our country and in any democracy, these minorities can be pushed aside and easily forgotten about which would defeat the purpose of having a democracy which is for everyone to have a say. The main goals of our democracy are peace, order and good government. The Idle No More movement is a peaceful protest. So far, there hasn't been a lot of response from the government and the general public has not received it well. As a country, we should accept and appreciate peaceful protests and movements. They encompass all the values we deem important in our democracy. They are peaceful, they maintain order, and they strive for good government. That is exactly what we have been taught to expect from our government yet many people criticize the movement.I would agree that we are a nation of resistance and rebellion. When one envisions resistance and rebellions, you get a picture of violent riots, aggression and threats. That is not the type of resistance and rebellion that has built our country. When you think about it, a large part of our countries rebellions were peaceful. Forms of peaceful rebellions include peaceful protests, strikes and things such as petitions etc. The resistance of the Metis led by Louis Riel began as a quiet resistance. It begun with them seizing a fort without any violence. They simply walked in and declared a provisional government. Although some violence ensued, it was conducted with no intent of harm and resulted in the creation of Manitoba as a province along with further agreements. These agreements were decided upon without violence. They simply talked and came to an agreement that suited both sides. This is a great example of how important it is to have peaceful protests. Without them, the government could potentially feel free to do what they wish. These principals can be applied to any level of leadership not only on the scale of government.Nowadays, this is much easier through television, radio, and social media. People can put anything on the internet and anyone can see what they write and have an opinion on it. Previous to these technologies, things were put in newspapers but these were not very difficult to shut down. Now, once something is on the internet, it can spread very quickly and there isn't much anyone that opposes it can do. That is how the Idle No More movement begun and could very well be the future of resistance and rebellion. The resistance and rebellion are also responsible for the diversity that we are so proud of in our country. One reason for us having so many different races in our country and that they can practice their customs and religions freely is resistance. If they had let the government do what they wanted, they may very well have been assimilated. It is because of this that everyone has the right to practice their religion if they wish. To conclude, I feel that rebellion and resistance are the platform on which our government is built and that peaceful protests on new technologies such as television and the internet will be the avenue of resistance and rebellion in the future.Gavin

  7. I believe that Rebellions tell the story about the history of Canada, but they do not exactly describe everything that Canada represents. There were a lot of conflicts that were 'solved' by using violence which is a bit over the top, but Canada is one of those countries that always looks for a non violent/peaceful way to do things. Like Ramy specifically mentioned about rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada, most of the people were simply moderates who wanted to politically re-form the government that they were responsible for to create an even more responsible government. The majority of people didn't want to do this in a violent way, but it must have been used for the British Empire to give help in the form of Lord Durham. In the 'Idle No More' movement today, Aboriginals are protesting without violence. If governments keep being unresponsive, violence might be their last option.-Avery

  8. I agree that Canada is a country of resistance and/or rebellion and of conflict but this is true of any country especially one with a democracy. As Gavin has said, “Resistances and Rebellions keep our government honest.” And isn’t that kind of the point of a responsible government. People should be able to protest and rebellion or resist. Rebellions are just really big protests that usually involve violence. These conflicts between the government and groups of people are what make a good democracy and a good democracy adapts to the people that they are making decisions about. This is what we see in Canada’s history and in other countries’ history.There is always some kind of conflict occur in a country or colony. The first conflict in Canada’s history was between the different first nations even before the first Europeans arrived. They probably had resistance and rebellions. Then a group of Europeans come and we start to see what will become a large part of Canada’s identity, the French. There is then conflict between the French and First Nations over who controls what land. This hardship the French face causes them to gain their own identity which they don’t even lose when the British take over New France in the 7 Years War. The war may have even strengthened it. There are then the conflicts between the Metis and the Selkirk Settlers in doing so creates a new group of people around the Red River and this new group shows its face when it rebels (or resists) the new Canadian government’s plan to take the Red River area. This rebellion leads to the creation of Manitoba. The conflicts in Upper and Lower Canada in 1837-1838 lead to a better government. I think that it would be wrong to say that Canada isn’t built on conflict but it would be wrong to say that about any country. Just look at the USA, they’ve had 3 major “rebellions” (in my opinion). They rebelled against the British to get their independence in their War of Independence, they rebelled against each other in the Civil War and then rebelled against themselves in the Civil Rights movement. These conflicts show their democracy at work. At the very least every democracy has a history and is built on conflicts of rebellions and resistances and Canada is no different.-Bryce Dunn

  9. Canada has without a doubt had many rebellions/resistance's. While there are always two sides to every story Canada's history of rebellion may be considered rebellious to some, but to others it is just righting a wrong. I, obviously not being an expert in Canadian history, consider that the rebellions/ resistances have maybe shaped Canada to what it is now, and what it is continuing to change into. One thing can never be perfect so changes will constantly be made, whether its through peaceful protest or a violent act. History is filled with instances like this so I believe in some ways Canada is a history of resistance. I can agree with Avery as well, in saying that Canada can't (and in my opinion) isn't solely represented by rebellions however. There are many other factors which shape Canada's history.- Maria

  10. PART ONEI asked when Mr. Henderson first asked all of us this question in class. My initial answer was no, only because I knew that Canada was a peacekeeping country. I replied my answer but then Mr. Henderson replied, “What if peacekeeping is a rebellion is against itself?”. This caused me to think about what peacekeeping is actually. Canada claims that they do not want to go to war because they believe wars are not the way to resolve problems. If Canada does not want to go to wars, wouldn’t that mean that Canada is resisting? Essentially, Canada is rebelling against wars?This caused me to think deeper into the matter and look back in history to when the French came to Canada. In 1661, the French had a war against the Iroquois. Ramy gave a good explaination about the French wanted to get the lands in North America. He stated that the Iroquois did not want them to have the land. It was the Indigenous people’s land not theirs’. Then all of a sudden the British heard about this new land, and wanted a piece of it as well. The French were not very happy about letting the British take the land that they have rightfully earned from the Indigineous people. The British were stubborn and did not listen. There was a lot of tension between the British and the French even later on.After the Americans had their civil war, all Americans could really think about is grabbing as much land as possible. John A. Macdonald was worried that the Americans would take over Canada and essentially ruin all of his plans for this country. Macdonald made a very rash decision and bought a lot of the land from Rupert’s Land, including the land that the Metis were standing on. Louis Riel heard about what Macdonald and was really worried. He was worried that the government would strip the Metis with all their rights and privileges that they have rightfully owned by being their first. Louis Riel rebelled against the government just to get his thoughts about allowing the Metis to have the privileges that they want. The Metis rebelling, in the end, caused the Metis to have their own rights, and also to make their own provisional government.It was not the Metis who resisted, women also rebelled. In 1914, Nellie McClung wanted women to have the right to vote. Back then, they didn’t allow women to vote because they seemed to naive, fragile, and too nice to know anything about politics. Men were just superior over women at everything, except housework and childbirth. Nellie McClung that this was just absolutely absurd, and staged a mock parliament. Women then pretended to debate about allowing men to vote. Nellie McClung wanted to prove that it was ridiculous how the government didn’t let women to vote, but only allowing men. This in itself is a rebellion that ended very well for women of Manitoba. Women of Manitoba were the first to be allowed to vote in Canada. Go Nellie!Moving on to a rebellion that is quite current is the idle no more campaign. This rebellion is between the indigenous people and the government. We have previously established that the French and the British took the land from the Iroquois, and since then, he government has treated indigenous people like they are living in a third country. Canada is a first world country on the rise of being one of the best countries out there, so why are they treating their own people like that? There are a few explanations.

  11. PART TWOFirstly, idle no more is a campaign about getting equal share of money and resources. It has been quite evident that the government is not treating indigenous people with the same kind of respect that they need. This has caused the media to turn their heads to Harper and asked him about idle no more. He has told the media that Harper has given Chief Spence’s band 100 million dollars in the last 6 years, it even said that he did in the books. Chief Spence is a woman who is sitting on parliament hill, and on a hunger strike was questioned about the 100 million dollars. The media was asking if that was in case true. Chief Spence did not say what she did and did not do with the money she just kept silent. If we really think about it. 100 million dollars is quite a fair share of money, if Chief Spence was to distribute the money throughout the band, I would believe the community would be able to live a fairly decent life. So where did all the money go? It seems to me like idle no more is lacking appeal in their cause. Louis Riel fought for a good cause, idle no more does not have anything to back up in what they are trying to accomplish. In my opinion idle no more is a joke. I realize that joke is a very strong word, but this is how I really feel about idle no more, this ‘rebellion’.Rebellion is inevitable. We would not be here without rebellion. I believe that rebellions has shaped the way Canada has functioned and has really shined in Peace, Order, and Good Government. Plenty of things has happened to this country, some that are good and some that are bad. I could very much agree that rebellion has made Canada what it is today. But the thing that I don’t agree on is that we could consider idle no more a rebellion. When I think of rebellion, I think about going against something because you agree on something else, and you have a really good base to support your thoughts and arguments. Idle no more doesn’t really have that base that I can see. This is only my opinion is different than yours.

  12. Throughout Canada’s history, it is evident that we are a nation of resistance. All through history, Aboriginals have resisted oppression and have had an active participation in establishing their rights. The Red River Rebellion and the rebellions of 1837/1838 are examples of when the Aboriginal and French community stood up and acted against what they knew was not right.In the Red River Rebellion, Aboriginals and Métis rights were not being recognized when John A. McDonald was trying to make Canada a country without consulting with the First Nations groups. The Métis were just expected to join Canada, which angered the Métis and they resisted the governments control over their land and their home. They made a provisional government, led by Louis Riel, and demanded John A. McDonald for their rights or they would not join confederation. These actions let to the Manitoba Act, which made Manitoba a province. If the Métis had not resisted the governments’ control, Manitoba might not have been a province today. The 1837/1838 Rebellions are what shaped Canada’s government today. In that time, the government was a representative, not responsible government. The executive and legislative council was filled with wealthy people that could veto anything the assembly of the people passed. This was not a very fair and responsible government to the people so that is how the reformers first came to rebel. The reformers such as William Lyon Mackenzie wanted a change in the government. They spoke out of this injustice and demanded a responsible government. If people of Canada had not resisted the unjust government, we might not have the democratic responsible government we have today. In my opinion, we are a nation of resistance. This resistance is not just in our past, but it still happens to this day like the Idle No More Movement. When people are aware of unfair behaviour in the government, they are not afraid to speak out about it. Especially nowadays, since we have the technology to get our message heard all over the world we are able to make changes or at least bring attention to important messages and concerns. The people of Canada have always spoken their mind and that is what shapes us as a country today because we do not sit back and watch things crumble to the ground; we get involved.

  13. In my opinion, I don't really see how Canada is a nation of resistance. Certain cultural groups and radicals in Canada have over the years rebelled or "resisted" against the Canadian government, but it has always been a small group of Canadians. If we look at the rebellions of 1837/38, like Stephanie said it was only a small group of radical farmers that wanted an extreme change of government in order for it to be responsive. But the majority of people in Upper Canada were moderate and were neutral about the governments power. There were about 430,000 people living in Upper Canada in 1837 and only a few hundred took part in the rebellion. However in Lower Canada the case was different but that is because of the cultural barrier. The French in Lower Canada were more upset about their unresponsive government because it was basically ran by the British. In my opinion Quebec has always had some anger bottled up against the British which is of course understandable because they fought a war against them in the 18th century for the possession of the continent, which is of course known as the Seven Years War. It seems that it is the most vulnerable people in Canada that have always "resisted" against the more powerful and influential people in Canada. For the case of the War of 1812, I believe that Canada was simply just defending itself against America. Just like the Russians defended themselves against Nazi Germany in WW2, or like the Confederates defended themselves against the Union in the American Civil War. Some think that the Red River and Northwest rebellions were examples of resistance in Canada but I would disagree. Firstly, the Red River rebellion took place in a time when Manitoba was not a province therefore not a part of Canada. It would be a year until Manitoba entered confederation. Then in 1885, the Metis under Riel rebelled against the Canadian government. A full out conflict broke out and now that the railway had been completed, Canadian troops were sent out to the front. Saskatchewan was a district of the Government of Canada and the Metis felt that their culture was threatened, and took up arms against the Canadian Government. Again, does not reflect Canada. In the case of Idle No More, some people in the Aboriginal community are not necessarily resisting the Canadian government, but want to let the government know that they are there and they want to form a healthy relationship with it and the rest of Canada. The First Nations just want to feel like they are at home. They want to be part of Canadian society, not resist Canadian society. But the problem is the people who don't want them to be included into society, the people who won't hire an Indigenous person just because they are a "lazy Indian." In the modern day Quebec situation I believe that yes, they are resisting Canada and that a lot of people in Quebec want to separate from Canada and form a nation of their own. Quebec doesn't represent all of Canada though, and just because one province wants to separate, certainly does not reflect the rest of Canada. Let's not forget, the Government is apart of us. The government is made up of thousands of Canadians just like you and me, and there will always be anger towards the government, because it is impossible to please every single Canadian. I believe that Canada is certainly not a nation of resistance, but a nation where it's most vulnerable just want to be recognized.

  14. I believe, like many of my classmates that rebellions have shaped much of Canada’s history but I don’t think that it necessarily defines who we are. I do think though that rebellions definitely can define certain times in this countries history. We can take the examples of the Upper and Lower Canada rebellions of the 1830’s; they certainly defined that time, the time shortly before Confederation. Next we can take the example of the FLQ in the 70’s; those rebellions certainly defined the 70’s. An example that is more relevant to current events is the Oka Crisis, on July 11th 1990 several different bands of Aboriginal people dug in around a graveyard of their ancestors. The local police was sent in and an officer was killed in the ensuing firefight. This protest did not end in a bloodbath though, the two sides peacefully negotiated a truce and I think that that is what is going to happen with Idle No More.Owen C.

  15. By taking a look at the history of Canada it is obvious that this country has a long history of resistance and rebellion. We must remember however that it is not only Canada that has this history. A quick look at the numerous and impressive list of European rebellion or resistance's, such as the French Revolution from 1787 to 1789, the Spanish Civil War from 1936-1939, the English Civil War from 1642-1651, the Finnish Forest Guerrillas in 1920 and many many more, will show us that it's not only Canada or Canadians who demonstrate a long history with resistance or rebellion. This may show us that it is not necessarily within the nature of Canadians to rebel; perhaps it is simply human nature. Generally when there are multiple people who have a problem with something, or feel that they are being unfairly treated they band together and try to change things by any means possible, peaceful or otherwise. Peace order and good government as well as equal rights are the things that Canadians have, and still continue to fight for through these resistances. The 1837-38 Rebellions fought for a fairer government featuring a greater degree of democracy and independence that would take into account the wishes of the poorer, hardworking people. In the Red River Rebellion, Louis Riel attempted to defend Metis rights and to establish a provisional government which was fair to the Metis people. Feeling threatened by the new government following Canadian confederation, their wish was to establish "peace, order and good government" through maintaining their land rights as well as protection for french language, Metis schools and the practise of Catholicism. Interestingly, within their rebellious provisional government the Metis invited an equal number of Anglophone representatives in an effort to maintain stability of democracy. In a similar fashion, the Canadian suffragette movement staged protests to fight against the power imbalance in Canadian society and to attain equal standing for women with a fair voice to counter an uneven power structure. Their struggle for equal rights served to improve the lot of women in Canadian society and to help re-model the definition of "good government".The existence of democracy is not in itself a guarantee of fairness, and it's not just Canada which has benefited from the remodelling of government through rebellion. The history of rebellion and resistance in Canada and the rest of the world has served as a counterbalance to social wrongs, and has served to help continually develop a stronger and more stable form of government which serves the population in a positive way. Our rebellious nature may not have created democracy, but there's little question that it has strengthened it.

  16. Canada's history has been filled with resistance and rebellion. It has been like this since Canada was just being formed and there are still resistances today. There have been rebellions by the oppressed Aboriginals and French peoples living on the land when the English try to take away their rights and land. This is shown in rebellions like the Red River Rebellion and the rebellions of 1837-1838. The Aboriginal and French community rose up and in their eyes, resisted against an unfair power. The Red River Rebellion was caused when John A. McDonald bought the land where the Metis had been living on for many years and tried to make it a part of Canada without consulting with the First Nations and Metis living there first. The Metis were angered at the fact that John A. McDonald did not ask before sending in surveyors onto the land. The Metis resisted the government from taking their land and homes. With the leadership of Louis Riel, they took over Fort Garry and formed a provisional government. They made a list of demands that would allow them to keep their rights in order for them to join confederation. This led to the Manitoba Act, creating the province of Manitoba. If the Metis had not resisted against the government, Manitoba might not have been a province, instead it could have been a territory controlled by the government. The rebellions of 1837-1838 help shape Canada’s government today. The government at the time was not responsible to the people. The assembly was made up of representatives of the people while the executive and legislative council was filled with the rich white people. This cause an imbalance in power because when the assembly would try to pass bill, it would be vetoed by the council. The people found this extremely unfair and wanted a change in the governmental system. These people were the reformers. They wanted a government that was responsible to the people. William Lyon Mackenzie wanted change in the government. The people rebelled and this had a major affect on the way Canada’s government is set up today. If they did not rebel and resist against the corrupt style of government, Canada might not have the type of democratic and responsible government that we have today.Resistance and rebellion are things that shaped Canada into what it is today. Canada has always had a history of this but it is not the only thing that defines Canada. People want to stand up for what they believe in and rise up against an unfair power and that is what keeps the country fair. If everyone just let the government do whatever they wanted then it would not be a democracy. With the Idle No More movement today, the First Nations feel like they should have more power and so they started a peaceful protest to get the attention of the government. Not all resistances and rebellions have to be violent and this is shown with Idle No More. Having changes made in the government is part of an ongoing process to help build a good country and keeping the government honest to the people.

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