Contrary to Euro-Canadian belief system that the Indigenous people of Canada and North America not having rules and regulations and laws that applied to daily life. Is completely false, the first peoples of this land known as Turtle Island had a very sophisticated way of life that involved all aspects of interactions with different situations that may be encountered in day-to-day life. There were laws and traditions that involved a way a life from birth to death. If there had not been such dispute mechanisms in place the populations of the peoples of North America would not have survived the harsh conditions that the hunter, gatherers of the northern plains lived with.
There were laws of trading, marriage and death, birth and dealing with the other tribes that lived nearby and with whom he may have had alliances or differences. They lived one with nature for mother Earth and consider all living being with his spirit. Hence was the respect and homage that was given from the killing of a buffalo that may be used to help a family survive through the winter for the simple plucking stage to be used in a smudging ceremony. An offering was given in a prayer rendered as a way of thanks from the life that was taken. Always respected and all was considered sacred.
The definition of an outlaw, is to live outside the law, however if that law is nonexistent or abusing the very law that put in place, then there is a problem. In the circumstances of the Métis in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, none of the concerns were being acknowledge, this is the Canadian Government absence of law, so they were the outlaws! So the Métis had no recourse under the leadership of Louis Riel but put order in the vacuum of the Hudson Bay Company leaving and the Canadian Government not responding. The Manitoba Act made by the Metis which formed the Province of Manitoba the Métis were given 1,4000,000 acres of land where they could live. But this law was not abided by and it has been over 130 years of dealing with the government of Canada that this has just been recognized. The Métis were abused and persecuted in the newly formed Province of Manitoba and left further west where they could maintain their way of life. But it was only for a short while and the Canadian Government was knocking again. This time in 1885
Louis Riel was asked on several occasions to join the United States of America which he could have done. But chose to try and work with Government of Newly forming Canada, which would give him the title of being a father of Confederation. The same can be said for all the Chiefs that signed treaty to allow settlement of the west. Without the signing of Treaty with the First Nations this Canada boundary would end in Ontario. It is just a lease that can be terminated when Canada is not fulfilling its duties and signatory of Treaty.
All the petitions that were sent to Ottawa were subsequently ignored, the Métis had no choice but to form a Provisional Government and take matters into their own hands for their own survival and the survival of the other people in Western Canada. There has to be Law where there is none so the Métis were taking reasonably for the manner in which the lives of people in the Saskatchewan wanted to be looked after. That included the First Nations and some white settlers here already. John A. McDonald who is the Prime Minister at that time saw this as an act of treason and sent out his Canadian military to suppress the uprising. So in the spring of 1885 we saw some exchanges of gunfire and battle between the Métis, First Nations and the Canadian government. All of these event culminating resulting in the Battle of Batoche, which saw an end to a way of life that many Métis had lived for hundreds of years in an end to the First Nation’s hope bartering a better deal from the Canadian Government.
Riel was an upstanding man that only carried a bible into Battle and followed their laws of war which go back to Biblical times. He stopped the use of guerilla tactics, such as starting a prairie fire surely would have decimated the Canadian militia and also the sabotage of the railway tracks that would have had catastrophic outcomes.