Louis Riel was championed Metis rights and freedom
Louis David Riel 22 October 1844 – 16 November 1885) was a Canadian politician, a founder of the province of Manitoba, and a political leader of the Métis people of the Canadian Prairies. He led two rebellions against the government of Canada and its first post-Confederation prime minister, John A. Macdonald.
Riel sought to preserve Métis rights and culture as their homelands in the Northwest came progressively under the Canadian sphere of influence. Over the decades, he has been made a folk hero by Francophones, Catholic nationalists, native rights activists, and the New Left student movement. Arguably, Riel has received more scholarly attention than any other figure in Canadian history.
“As we mark the 150th anniversary of the Métis Nation’s entry into Confederation, today we also join the Métis people and all Canadians to honour Louis Riel. The Founder of Manitoba and an elected Member of Parliament, Louis Riel was a great defender of minority rights and the French language. In addition, his struggle to preserve Métis culture paved the way for the Canada we know today. The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau
The first resistance led by Riel became known as the Red River Rebellion of 1869–1870. The provisional government established by Riel ultimately negotiated the terms under which the modern province of Manitoba entered the Canadian Confederation. Riel ordered the execution of Thomas Scott, and fled to the United States to escape prosecution. Despite this, he is frequently referred to as the “Father of Manitoba”.
While a fugitive, he was elected three times to the House of Commons of Canada, although he never assumed his seat. During these years, he was frustrated by having to remain in exile despite his growing belief that he was a divinely chosen leader and prophet, a belief which would later resurface and influence his actions. Because of this new religious conviction, Catholic leaders who had supported him before increasingly repudiated him. He married in 1881 while in exile in Montana in the United States; he fathered three children.
In 1884 Riel was called upon by the Métis leaders in Saskatchewan to articulate their grievances to the Canadian government. Instead he organized a military resistance that escalated into a military confrontation, the North-West Rebellion of 1885.
Ottawa used the new rail lines to send in thousands of combat soldiers. It ended in his arrest and conviction for high treason. Despite protests and popular appeals, Prime Minister Macdonald rejected calls for clemency, and Riel was executed by hanging. Riel was seen as a heroic victim by French Canadians; his execution had a lasting negative impact on Canada, polarizing the new nation along ethno-religious lines.
Although only a few hundred people were directly affected by the Rebellion in Saskatchewan, the long-term result was that the Prairie provinces would be controlled by the Anglophones, not the Francophones. An even more important long-term impact was the bitter alienation Francophones across Canada felt, and anger against the repression by their countrymen.
Riel’s historical reputation has long been polarized between portrayals as a dangerous half-insane religious fanatic and rebel against the Canadian nation, or by contrast a heroic rebel who fought to protect his Francophone people from the unfair encroachments of an Anglophone national government. He is increasingly celebrated as a proponent of multiculturalism, although that downplays his primary commitment to Métis nationalism and political independence. Wiki