The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) honoured the life and the legacy of Louis Riel this week on the 136th anniversary of his execution.
An event and ceremony at the MMF headquarters in Winnipeg on Tuesday saw representatives including Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson and MMF Ministers Anita Campbell and Will Goodon all pay tribute to Riel.
“You simply can’t talk about the history of this country without acknowledging the contributions of Louis Riel,” Campbell said in a press release.
“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 live 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.”
Riel, who is known as the founder of the province of Manitoba, and who fought for the rights of the Métis people in in Canada, was just 41 years old when he was tried and subsequently hanged by the government of Canada on a charge of treason.
Riel led two resistance movements against the Government of Canada and its first Prime Minister John A. Macdonald before his trial and subsequent execution.
He was executed by hanging on Nov. 16, 1885 in Regina, and his body now lies in the Sainte-Boniface Cathedral Cemetery, just across from the Red River in Winnipeg.
, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun