22 of January 2014 HIST 261
The Canadian Pacific Railway and its Attendant Problems
The CPR Deal, 1881
They were to build a transcontinental railway from the Georgian Bay to the Pacific entirely within
CND territory within ten years. In exchange they would get 25$Million and 25 million acres of
land along either side of the railway. They would be tax exempt, and have duty-free status for
the import of construction materials. They also got a Monopoly Clause, for 10 years after the
transcontinental railway was built, no other railways would be built in the NWT.
The initial route was to go through Selkirk to Prince Albert and then to Edmonton (the
Yellowhead Route), but this was changed to Winnipeg to Regina to Calgary (the Kicking Horse
Route) due to the huge seams of coal that was found in southern Alberta.
The CPR also wanted, and got, what was called the ‘Fair Discrimination Clause’ which enabled
them to insist on government subsidies when necessary, and because ½ of the new line
crosses a zone with no local traffic (settlers would not move en masse to the west until after
1896), they ere allowed to charge more in the NWT to make up for the competition they faced in
Price to move wheat (cents per Departure and arrival locations
15 Thunder Bay to Atlantic
Winnipeg to Thunder Bay
Moose jaw to Thunder Bay
The Northwest Rebellion
Participants: Aboriginal peoples, Métis (French Catholic, from now on always assume this) and
Louis Riel, vs. the CND Federal Gov.
The Métis had moved to mid Saskatchewan area, feeling that their old homeland, the Red River
Region was no longer welcoming.
The aboriginal people are upset with the federal government because they are dragging their
heels on fulfilling the treaty promises, and so aboriginal people have become more dependent
on the federal government. Conversely, the feds don’t really want to help the aboriginal people
because they believe that they are going extinct and hope to be released from the treaties sooner rather than later. In addition, the Great Bison Herds are becoming less and less ‘Great’
and scarcer, thus diminishing the autonomy of the aboriginal people.
Having moved west into Saskatchewan area they settled in region of Batoche, Cut Knife, Duck
Lake, Fish Creek, etc., to crave out a new homeland, using their traditional river lot system. The
Métis are anxious about their new land because of having lost the title in Red River and
because of the incoming European settlers. A Leader, Gabriel Dumont who had been part of the
Provisional Government of Red River, emerges in 1885 and locates Riel in Montana and asks
him to come back. At this time Riel is not that same man as he was before, he has now adopted