The SaskatCHewan Rebellion
Written and Directed by Michael Hollingsworth
The History of the Village of the Small Huts, 1864 - 1885
The Saskatchewan Rebellion was a newly devised chapter of The History of the Village of the Small Huts, written by Michael as the Company re-worked worked their way through the Cycle during the 2000’s. The Saskatchewan Rebellion premiered at the Cameron House in 2007.
The year is 1884 and Prime Minister John A. Macdonald’s vision of turning the West into one big Ontario is right on track – a 3,000 mile railway track. Donald Smith and Canada’s corporate empire-builders are set to capture rich Western resources – the destruction of priceless indigenous cultures is just the cost of doing business. Louis Riel returns from exile to join Saskatchewan Metis leader Gabriel Dumont, and Cree Chief Big Bear, to fight for what we now call ‘land claims’, ‘provincial rights’, ‘local government’. The conflict is escalated by a government willing to win by any means, from violent military action to mass starvation.
“You can call me Hungry Bear.” Chief Big Bear
As Macdonald and Smith struggle to pay for the money-burning CPR, fierce resistance builds in the west. A fateful meeting at Duck Lake between Gabriel Dumont and the North West Mounted Police creates a ‘crisis’ that John A. exploits, forcing Parliament to finance the railway in order to send troops to quell the insurgents. As Big Bear is relentlessly pursued by the Mounties, Colonel Williams of the Canadian Militia and General Middleton of the British Army engage the Metis at Fish Creek, and finally prevail at Batoche, where Louis Riel surrenders.
In November 1885, the Last Spike is hammered, Riel is hanged and the West is open for business. MacDonald’s decision to execute Riel enrages Quebec and sends the Conservative Party to the penalty box for decades.