Students will look at the concepts of rebellion, revolution, and resistance and use these parameters to look at the conflict in Red River and other conflicts within Canada, including the “Idle No More” and the “Occupy” movements.

Essential Questions:

2.2: How did the fur trade, European settlement, and the rise of the Métis Nation transform life for the peoples of the Northwest?

3.1: Why did the Métis resist the westward expansion of Canada and what were the consequences?

3.3: How did Canada’s relationship with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples change after Confederation?

Historical Thinking Concepts:

1.  Establish historical significance

2.  Use primary source evidence

3.  Identify continuity and change

4.  Analyze cause and consequence

5.  Take historical perspectives

6.  Understand the ethical dimensions of history


Find a video or article about commonly held stereotypes about Canadians, such as Rick Mercer’s “Talking to Americans”.

What are the differences between a rebellion, a revolution, and a resistance movement?

Ask your students whether or not they feel the events at Red River in Assiniboia in 1869–70 were a rebellion, revolution, or resistance. What are the differences?


A conceptual analysis of each might be needed, whereby students could break up into groups, identify what is not a revolution (or resistance, rebellion) and what is, and provide examples. Students can look at contemporary and historical examples in Canada and beyond.

Once they have defined what each of these concepts are, ask them to explain how the actions of the Métis constituted a resistance movement.


Have students go out into the community in pairs and ask people for their thoughts on whether the events surrounding the creation of the LAA constituted a rebellion, a revolution, or a resistance movement. Students should anticipate that many people would not know what the LAA, Red River Settlement, or the provisional government were, so they will have to explain the context, in their own words. Why would people have different perspectives? How do you develop different perspectives?


Students can then create a five-minute video similar to the Rick Mercer Report, asking people about what happened during the Red River resistance and to consider why people would have different perspectives.

Be sure to assess critical thinking and historical skills, as well as content knowledge.