The Canadian North West Rebellion 1885: a case study in counterinsurgency

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


University of New Brunswick


From 2001 until 2012, the Canadian Army was actively involved in combat operations in Afghanistan. These were widely referred to within the Canadian Forces, the media and academia as counterinsurgency operations. In order to support this effort, for the first time in its history, the Canadian Army drafted a doctrinal manual on counterinsurgency operations in 2008. One example cited as a successful counterinsurgency campaign being ended by a decisive military victory is the NorthWest Rebellion, where on 12 May 1885, Métis and First Nations insurgents were defeated by Canadian government forces after three days of battle at Batoche. This study will examine the North-West Rebellion through the lens of the theories and principles of counterinsurgency in order to more fully understand its significance to the Canadian experience in the conduct of these operations.