Red River Settlement

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The Red River Settlement was founded by the Fifth Earl of Selkirk, Thomas Douglas, In the year 1812. He called his settlement Aissinidoia. Aissinidoia was a close knit community whose economy was built around the Hudson Bay Company. The settlement was split into two major groupings: The French speaking and predominate Roman Catholic Metis and the English speaking and predominate Protestant “country born”. The Earl of Selkirk, Thomas Douglas, bought the Hudson Bay Company in 1811 and was able to get a grant of land for 300 000km2. The Earl called this settlement Aissinidoia. The Earl hoped his settlement would attract some former Hudson Bay Company employees. He hoped the settlement would produce enough food for his company. The Metis were half-breed French/Natives. They were extremely helpful to the settlers when the first moved to the red river area. Some historians believe that if it was not for the Metis that the settlement would not have survived. Eventually the Metis allied with the North West Company who were highly opposed to the Hudson Bay Company moving in. The Nor’westers were worried that they could lose their fur supply and pemmican. In 1815 the Nor’westers tempted people to move to Upper Canada with offers of better land. The Earl of Selkirk quickly resettled the colony. Some tension between the nor’westers, with their allies the Metis, and the settlers led to violence. North West Company men and half-breeds now resorted to violence on a large scale, killing 22 in the massacre of Seven Oaks (June 19, 1816). Upon hearing of the violence the earl went to the fighting with a group of Swiss soldiers. Not only did they win the battle but also captured the Nor’westers trading post of Fort William. Other attacks followed. The result of these moves was a series of court charges and counter charges that ruined Selkirk. When Lord Selkirk's legal

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