Last Stand: Nations at War (Season 1)This title is a part of the series Nations at War (Season 1)
Catalogue Number: CP0005EN
Producer: Chasing Pictures Inc.
Subject: Indigenous Peoples
Grade Level: 6 - 8, 9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Copyright Year: 2019
Running Time: 22:00
The Cree and their allies once dominated the fur trade in Rupert’s Land, the Hudson’s Bay area and its Canadian Shield waterways. They were middlemen, guides and suppliers of pemmican for the Hudson’s Bay Company. But their success bred enemies. The tribes of the Blackfoot Confederacy in the foothills and the plains Iron Confederacy (Assiniboine, Saulteaux and Nakoda) relied on buffalo for sustenance and trade.
By 1871 the Dominion of Canada had big plans for the west, and the indigenous people who were in the way were weakened through foreign disease epidemics and the declining buffalo. Canada used numbered treaties and the Northwest Mounted Police to overcome them. Cree Chief Big Bear attempted to negotiate better terms, but desperation eventually led him to sign Treaty Six in 1882. As conditions worsened for the plains people Ottawa ignored the crisis, leading to the North-West Rebellion in 1885. While they lost the battle, First Nations showed Ottawa that they could not be ignored and would not simply disappear.