Today, Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs released the following statement on Louis Riel Day:
“On this day in 1885, Louis Riel, an elected Métis leader and founder of Manitoba, was executed for treason.
Looking back, we now recognize him as a highly skilled and visionary politician, a capable negotiator, and a committed advocate for the Métis Nation. Notably, he also served as an elected member of the House of Commons, contributing significantly to the political landscape of his era.
Riel is now seen as a defender of rights and a champion of Indigenous language and culture. Métis communities across Canada celebrate Louis Riel for preserving their identity, political contributions, and history.
As the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) marks its 30th anniversary, we celebrate the significant contributions of Métis people, including Louis Riel, to the fabric of this country.
To honor Louis Riel Day, representatives from the Métis Nation of Ontario will be raising the Métis flag used by MNO at Queen’s Park today. I encourage all Ontarians to take the opportunity to learn more about Riel and the Métis Nation, exploring their history, culture, and valuable contributions.”
According to the Canadian Encyclopedia: “Louis Riel was a Métis leader, and founder of Manitoba, he was a central figure in the Red River and North-West resistances. Riel led two popular Métis governments and was central in bringing Manitoba into Confederation. He was executed for high treason for his role in the 1885 resistance to Canadian encroachment on Métis lands.”