The Assini­boine River from La Nor­mandie 1891

Canada's History - - CHRISTOPHER MOORE -

Dixon set­tled in what is now southern Man­i­toba in1880. His idyl­lic paint­ings of the Assini­boine River and of the sur­round­ing land­scape may con­vey a sense of peace­ful pi­o­neer life, but the events of the time were far from peace­ful. By all ac­counts it was a trou­bling time of broken prom­ises, vi­o­lated treaties, starv­ing In­dige­nous peo­ple, and a re­sult­ing bub­bling caul­dron of dis­con­tent. At the depth of this dis­con­tent was a con­tentious strug­gle over land. Dur­ing the 1880s, First Na­tions peo­ples were forced onto re­serves and told to aban­don tra­di­tional no­madic hunt­ing life­styles for farm­ing. Mean­while, the Métis were be­ing cheated out of their land.

As a twenty-nine-year-old jus­tice of the peace, Dixon was more than a ca­sual ob­server.

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