Louis Riel Day

On November 16, reflect on Louis Riel, and his important role for the advocacy of the Métis Nation and his help in building the Canada we know today.

Message from Minister Dan Vandal, Minister Carolyn Bennett and Minister Marc Miller for Louis Riel Day

Message from Minister Dan Vandal, Minister Carolyn Bennett and Minister Marc Miller for Louis Riel Day


Hon. Dan Vandal: Tansi, bonjour, greetings!

Today, we commemorate the legacy of Louis Riel and his profound sacrifice and enduring influence. On this day, the 135th anniversary of his execution, we pay our respects and remember a man who was a great Métis leader by recognizing his advocacy for the protection of the rights and culture of the Métis Nation. It is because of him that the Métis will never again be ignored or forgotten and we celebrate that across the Homeland.

As the Father of Manitoba, Riel stood out for his passion, his respect for difference, his acute sense of social justice and his unwavering defence of Métis and francophone rights. Riel had a vision of what the Métis nation could be and by setting the stage for Manitoba's entry into confederation, made us more determined to keep it alive.

As a proud Métis, I am inspired by this great Canadian hero, this man of vision and consensus building. Riel's legacy is still felt today in Manitoba and across the country. As we proceed on our shared journey to reconciliation, we will continue to celebrate the progress that Métis people are making in fulfilling Riel's dream of Métis taking their rightful place within Canada.

This day is part of Canada's heritage. It is part of my heritage.

Hon. Carolyn Bennett: By working together in partnership, the Government of Canada and the Métis Nation are building a renewed relationship; a relationship based on affirmation of rights, respect, cooperation and collaboration. A relationship previously denied to the Métis who stood with Riel over a century ago.

Today, we know him as an activist, a politician, and a father of confederation bringing Manitoba into Canada 150 years ago. He was a champion for equal rights, social justice and bilingualism.

These values define us as Canadians. Today, we are proud of the hard work we are doing together to realize the vision of Louis Riel as the Métis Nation celebrates the spirit of their Nation.

Activist. Leader. Nation-building. Louis Riel helped to shape the country we now know as Canada. And his voice continues to inspire the Métis Nation and all Canadians.

Hon. Marc Miller: His legacy is one of profound sacrifice and enduring influence: not only a watershed moment in the development of a country, but a key turning point in the struggle for recognition by a people, as well as a permanent scar on the psyche of a nation.

He stood up for rights. He stood up for inclusion. He stood up for a seat at the table.

His government set the stage for Manitoba's entry into confederation.

I encourage all Canadians to learn more about Louis Riel and the history of the Métis Nation. As we proceed on our shared journey to reconciliation, we will hold dear the history and struggle of the Métis Nation, and the contributions made by a great leader.

Merci, thank you, marsi.

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