Stamp marks 150th anniversary of the historic Red River Resistance
Asserting Métis rights led to negotiations that made Manitoba a province
WINNIPEG – Canada Post today issued a stamp marking the 150th anniversary of the Red River Resistance of 1869-70. It was a turbulent time when Métis rights were asserted, leading to negotiations that shaped the creation of Manitoba as a province.
In 1869, the Canadian government acquired a vast tract of western and northern lands that included present-day Manitoba. Alarmed at not being consulted and fearing the loss of their land and cultural rights, the Métis of the Red River Settlement stopped federal surveyors who arrived on their land without their consent.
In November that same year, the Métis, led by Louis Riel, seized Upper Fort Garry – in the heart of today’s Winnipeg. In cooperation with local Anglophone leaders, they set up a provisional government to negotiate the territory’s entry into Confederation. The provisional government drafted its terms in a List of Rights and continued to occupy Upper Fort Garry as a strategic defensive position from which to advance their cause.
Political and armed efforts to resolve the standoff continued over the winter. In the spring, a delegation travelled to Ottawa to negotiate, insisting that the federal government recognize the Métis people and their land and cultural rights. This “Bill of Rights” formed the basis of the resulting Manitoba Act, which brought the first western province into Confederation on July 15, 1870.
The stamp image, designed by Paprika and illustrated by Gérard DuBois, is based on two historical sources: an 1848 lithograph of Fort Garry and a photograph of Louis Riel and his provisional government taken in 1870. Throughout the development of this stamp, Canada Post worked closely with the Métis National Council. The stamp is available in a booklet of 10 and affixed to an Official First Day Cover cancelled in Winnipeg. Find them at your local post office and online at canadapost.ca/shop.
Follow these links for high-resolution images and for additional information in Details magazine.
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