The 1885 Northwest Resistance was a defining event for all Metis families. The repercussions spread across the country and would affect Metis families for decades. This was true for all Metis whether they fought on the Canadian side or whether they were on the Metis side of the Resistance.
In 1885, Canada was administering the Northwest Territory while ignoring petitions and entreaties from the local population for effective political representation. At the time Metis Aboriginal rights had not been recognized and no negotiations were planned. The Metis of the region sought to negotiate their rights for a land base just as they had done to bring Manitoba into Confederation in 1870. The Metis had sent many petitions to Ottawa to outline their grievances and no answers had been forthcoming. After the government imposed taxes on Metis woodlots and began giving away Metis lands to the Prince Albert Colonization Company, the Metis began to take up arms Their subsequent resistance was met with the mobilization of the North West Mounted Police and a Militia under the command of General Middleton. The Metis were defeated at Batoche in the spring of 1885. This was the first war fought by the Dominion of Canada. The Metis participating in the Resistance included fighting men, women who were nurses, boys who were messengers and foragers for ammunition and other community members who provided food, clothing, carts and horses. Hundreds men and women are included on the list that follows. The French, Scottish, English and First Nations friends of the Metis who participated in the Resistance are also documented.