The 200 story nodes created in commemoration of the Sir John A. Macdonald Bicentennial can be searched by more than twenty themes, through the pins on the interactive map and by date on the timeline. 

You're viewing 25 stories about “First Peoples
Execution of Stanislaus Lacroix on March 21, 1902 in Hull, Quebec. Source: Napoleon Belanger, Library and Archives Canada.

The Death Penalty

1759 - July 14, 1976

Like any 19th century lawyer in what is now Ontario and Canada, John A. was well acquainted with the death penalty.

Portrait of Louis Riel circa 1875. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

John A.'s Assessment of First Peoples


Criticism has been directed at John A.'s racist assessment of Canada's First Peoples and the political insensitivity of his authorization of the execution of Louis Riel.

Sir John A Macdonald circa 1842 or 1843. Artist unknown. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

The Brandt Trial


In the autumn of 1839, John A. defended Abraham Brandt, a Mohawk man, against the charge of murder in the brutal beating and death of fellow Mohawk man, John Marrikell. John A.

Peter Jones from his History of the Ojebway Indians with Especial Reference to their Conversion to Christianity; with a Brief Memoir of the Writer.

John A. and the Union Church

February 1, 1841

On what later became the site of the First Congregationalist Church of Kingston, the Union Church served various congregations who had not yet built independent churches in Kingston.

Morley Indian Residential School - McDougall Orphanage, students, Morley, Alberta circa 1885-1890 by David Ewens. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Macdonald and First Peoples


Macdonald has been accused of insensitivity, even hostility, to the First Peoples marked by his policies of cultural assimilation (some would say cultural genocide), a policy of reservations that l

The Gradual Civilization Act

1857 - present day

The Act to Encourage the Gradual Civilization of Indian Tribes in this Province, and to Amend the Laws Relating to Indians was passed by the Province of Canada in 1857 when Macdon

In Hiawatha Council Hall on occasion of federal by-election on October 31, 1960 by Nick Nickels. From left to right: Lawrence Salleby; Chief Ralph Loucks, deputy returning officer; Lucy Muskrat, poll clerk; Eldon Muskrat, poll constable. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Voting Rights for First Peoples


Under the leadership of Sir John A. Macdonald, limited voting rights are extended to some First Peoples men.

Councillors of the Provisional Government of the Métis Nation. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Louis Riel and the Provisional Government


After failing to be consulted on the sale of Rupert's Land where they were living, the Métis, joined by settlers and First Nations peoples, formed a provisional government in 1869.

The execution of Scott. Artist: J. W. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Red River Resistance


Louis Riel led two resistance movements against the government of Canada while Sir John A. was prime minister.

Printed Declaration of the People of Rupert's Land and the North West, by Bruce, John and Louis Riel, opposing the establishment of Canadian authority. December 8, 1869. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

The Sale of Rupert's Land to Canada

March 20, 1869

After significant pressure from Great Britain, the Hudson's Bay Company sold Rupert's Land to Canada.

Councillors of the 1869 Provisional Government of the Métis Nation. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

The Manitoba Act

May 12, 1870

With consideration of the Métis' list of conditions, in 1870 Sir John A. and the Canadian government drafted the Manitoba Act, which created the small province of Manitoba.

One page of the Six Nations Reserve petition protesting the Indian Act of 1876. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

The Indian Act (1876)


In 1876, Sir John A. and his government created the Indian Act to encourage the assimilation of indigenous peoples living in Canada.

Nicholas Flood Davin, M.P. Source: William James Topley, Library and Archives Canada.

Report on Industrial Schools for Indians and Half Breeds


In 1879, Nicolas Flood Davin reported to the Canadian government recommendations on First Peoples education and assimilation.

First Peoples children holding letters that spell "Goodbye" at Fort Simpson Indian Residential School in the North West Territories circa 1922. Source: J.F. Moran / Library and Archives Canada.

Residential Schools

1883 - 1996

In 1883, Macdonald supported the implementation of government-funded residential schools.

Gabriel Dumont (1837-1906), Military Commander of the Métis during the North West Rebellion of 1885 by Harvey J. Strong. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Gabriel Dumont Serves as Louis Riel's Chief Military Officer


In 1885, Gabriel Dumont served as Louis Riel's chief military officer as Riel attempted to seek justice from the Macdonald government – or, depending on your point of view, led a rebellion.

Group photograph of Metis and First Peoples prisoners from the North West Rebellion by O.B. Buell. (L-R): Ignace Poitras, Pierre Parenteau, Baptiste Parenteau, Pierre Gariepy, Ignace Poitras Jr., Albert Monkman, Pierre Vandal, Baptiste Vandal, Joseph Arcand, Maxime Dubois, James Short, Pierre Henry, Baptiste Tourond, Emmanuel Champagne, Kit-a-wa-how (Alex Cagen, ex-chief of the Muskeg Lake Indians). Source: Library and Archives Canada.

The Indian Act (1885)


By 1885, the Canadian government had tried to alter much of the Indian Act and remained unresponsive to the calls by the Métis for negotiations regarding the conditions they had made in 1869.

Councillors of the Provisional Government of the Métis Nation. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

Louis Riel and the Provisional Government (1885)


In 1885, following the emigration of the Métis to Saskatchewan and the ongoing encroachment of settlers, the Métis continued to petition Macdonald's government for their land rights.

The Capture of Batoche by Grundy. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

The Battle of Batoche

May 9, 1885 - May 12, 1885

The Battle of Batoche marked the final battle of the Northwest Resistance. Over the course of three days, 250 Métis battled more than 900 Canadian Forces troops.

Louis Riel addressing the jury during his trial for treason in 1885 by O.B. Buell. Source: Library and Archives Canada.

The Trial of Louis Riel

November 16, 1885

Sir John A. ordered that the trial of Louis Riel be held in Regina, which assured a Protestant jury rather than risk a potentially diverse mixed jury in Winnipeg.

First Nations' children holding letters that spell "Goodbye" at Fort Simpson Indian Residential School in the North West Territories circa 1922. Source: J.F. Moran / Library and Archives Canada.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

June 8, 2008

On June 8, 2008, the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement organized the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

Residential school in Resolution N.W.T. Source: Canada Dept of Mines and Technical Surveys, Library and Archives Canada.

2008 Apology for Residential Schools

June 11, 2008

Although the federal government apologized for their involvement in the development of residential schools in 2008, there remains little ongoing effort from the government in supporting survivors a

Sir John A. statue in Kingston's City Park on January 11, 2013. Photo: Alexander Gabov. Source: City of Kingston.

The Sir John A. Statue: Art and Political Protest

January 11, 2013

For more than a century the monument to Sir John A. Macdonald located in Kingston City Park has been a site for public celebration as well as political protest.

The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper delivering the keynote address at the Sir John A. bicentennial in City Hall, Kingston, ON. Image: City of Kingston. Photo: Tim Forbes.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Sir John A.

January 11, 2015

Stephen Harper is Canada's 22nd Prime Minister. Representing Calgary in the House of Commons, he has held Canada's top political job since 2006.