Title: Declaration of the People of Rupert's Land and the North West
Source: Archives of Manitoba, MG3 A1 - 6
Page 1 of 1


Of the People of Rupert’s Land and the North
It is admitted by all men, as a fundamental principle that the public authority com-
mands the obedience and respect of its subjects. It is also admitted that a people when it
has no Government is free to adopt one form of Government in preference to another to give
or to refuse aliegance [allegiance]to that which is proposed. In accordance with the the [duplication] first principle the people of this Country had obeyed and respected that authority to which the circumstan-
ces surrounding its infancy compelled it to be subject.
A company of adventurers known as the “Hudson’s Bay Company” and invested with
certain powers granted by His Majesty (Charles 2nd) established itself in Rupert’s Land.
AND IN THE NORTH-WEST TERRITORY for trading purposes only. This Company, consisting of
many persons, required a certain constitution. But as there was a question of commerce
only, their constitution was framed in reference thereto. Yet since there was at that time
no government to see to the interests of a people already existing in the country, it became
necessary for judicial affairs to have recourse to the officer of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
This inaugurated that species of government, which, slightly modified by subsequent cir-
cumstances, ruled this country up to a recent date.
This government thus accepted was far from answering the wants of the people, and
became more and more so as the people increased in numbers, and as the country was de-
veloped, and commerce extended, until the present day, when it commands a place
amongst the Colonies.
Ever actuated by the above mentioned principles, this people generously supported the
aforesaid government, and gave to it a faithful allegiance: when, contrary to the law of
nations, in March 1869, that said Government surrendered and transferred to Canada all
the rights which it had or pretended to have in this territory, by transactions with which the
people were considered unworthy to be made acquainted.
It is also generally admitted that a people is at liberty to establish any form of govern-
ment it may consider suitable to its wants, as soon as the power to which it was subject
abandons it, or attempts to subjugate it without its consent, to a foreign power; and main-
tain that no right can be transferred to the foreign power.
1st. We, the Representatives of the people in Council assembled at Upper Fort Garry,
after having invoked the God of nations, relying on these fundamental moral principles, sol-
emnly declare in the name of our constituents and in our own names before God and man,
that from the day on which the Government we had always respected abandoned us by
transferring to a strange power the sacred authority confided to it, the people of Rupert’s
Land and the North West became free and exempt from all allegiance to the said Gov-
2. That we refuse to recognize the authority of Canada, which pretends to have a right
to coerce us and impose upon us a despotic form of government still more contrary to our
rights and interests as British subjects than was that Government to which we had subjected
ourselves through necessity up to recent date.
3rd. That by sending an expedition on the 1st of November charged to drive back
Mr. William McDougall and his companions coming in the name of Canada to rule us with
the rod of despotism without a previous notification to that effect, we have but acted con-
formably to that sacred right which commands every citizen to offer energetic opposition to
prevent his country being enslaved.
4th. That we continue and shall continue to oppose with all our strength the establish-
ing of the Canadian authority in our country under the announced form. And in case of
persistence on the part of the Canadian Government to enforce its obnoxious policy upon
us, by force of arms, we protest beforehand against such an unjust and unlawful course, and
we declare the said Canadian Government responsible before God and men for the innumer-
able evils which may be caused by so unwarrantable course.
Be it known, therefore, to the Canadian Government, that, before seeing our country
coerced into slavery, we shall employ every means of defence that Divine Providence has
placed at our disposal. And that it is not to see our country which we have so often de-
fended at the price of our best blood against hordes of barbarians (who have since become
our friends and allies) invaded by the stranger.
That meanwhile we hold ourselves in readiness to enter into negotiations with the Can-
adian Government, which may be favorable [favourable] to its aggrandisement and our good government
and prosperity.
In support of this declaration relying on the protection of Divine Providence on oath we mutually pledge ourselves, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor [honour]to each other.

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