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Red River Settlement and Confederation

Manitoba Pageant, Winter 1965, Volume 10, Number 2

This article was published originally in Manitoba Pageant by the Manitoba Historical Society on the above date. We make this online version available as a free, public service. As an historical document, the article may contain language and views that are no longer in common use and may be culturally sensitive in nature.

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An excerpt from The Nor' Wester newspaper, 13 July 1867:

Every mail which brings us news of the working of Confederation in the different Provinces, and of the growing hope and faith of the Canadian People in their great political scheme, adds to our regret at being compelled to remain inactive, while these great changes are taking place. We are conscious of no great crime, which we as a people have committed; no good reason why the curse of an inactive, incompetent Government, should continue to afflict us, and yet notwithstanding our remonstrances little, if any notice, seems to be taken of us by the Home Government. It is true that compared with the millions that speak the English tongue, and acknowledge the sway of Britain, a community of twelve thousand is but very small, yet still small as we are, we have the same hopes and wishes, the same desire for political freedom, which larger communities possess. We have been patient till that virtue in us has ceased to be admirable, we try hard to be loyal, but that feeling is fast becoming a thing of the past. Everything now is absorbed in the desire for a change, a change we must have, and that too before this year is out.

From some extracts which we publish from a Memorandum which accompanied our late Memorial and from a leading journal, the view which intelligent people abroad take of the matter which is of such vital importance to us, may be seen. The Canadian claim to this country is a just one, and any evidence which they lack to prove the fact of the occupancy of this country by the French when Canada was ceded by them, could be easily obtained here. We can see no advantage likely to result from the recognition of the Company's claim at all. The land must be bought when it is really acquired, from the Indians themselves, and the Company's people are not numerous enough to make a purchase politic even. They are fast losing the confidence of the Indians, as they have lost the confidence of the settlers, and besieged Forts and plundered trains show the real state of their boasted sway over the Indian Tribes. If Canada owns the country, let Canada assume it, before American influences shall have completed the change which is now being so rapidly wrought in the minds of our people.

Page revised: 18 July 2009

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