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Canada Celebrates Louis Riel Day, Manitoba’s 1st Premier

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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. Wiki.

“Today, we join Métis and all Canadians to commemorate the legacy of Métis leader Louis Riel. Louis Riel is remembered for his efforts to defend Métis rights, culture and identity. He led several movements, fought for the rights of Métis, and he continues to inspire so many. His leadership led to the creation of Manitoba as Canada’s fifth province on May 12, 1870. His contribution to Canadian Confederation and advocacy for Métis and their rights have made him a renowned and celebrated historical figure.” The Government of Canada

“You simply can’t talk about the history of this country without acknowledging the contributions of Louis Riel,” said Anita Campbell, Spokeswoman for Infinity Women Secretariat and the MMF’s representative at the commemoration ceremony. “We know he was dedicated to supporting the Red River Métis and creating a Manitoba that embodied inclusion, celebrated diversity and offered opportunity for all who lived here. He represented Canadian values before there was a Canada. For these reasons and more, we celebrate his life on the day he sacrificed it for his nation.”

Although Louis Reil has been credited as being the founder of Manitoba, he has still never received the official recognition of being the provinces first Premier. Throughout the years, various Manitoban governments have made symbolic jesters of acknowledging Premier Riel for the role he played but, have all stopped short of giving him the official designation as Premier.

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