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 Jamie Pettit
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From: Thursday, November 15, 2018 11:55 AM -0500
Subject:Louis Riel Day on November 16
To:
The hanging of Louis Riel on November 16, 1885, created a controversy that has lasted over 100 years. Viewed by some as a saviour, and by some as a traitor, Riel nevertheless became the voice of the Métis people during a turbulent time in Canadian history, and was largely responsible for the entrance of the province of Manitoba into Confederation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - source: Library and Archives Canada website, www.collectionscanada.gc.ca 

November 16 marks Louis Riel Day in Ontario.  Bluewater District School Board joins others across the province to honour our Métis citizens, their history and culture. While November 16 signifies the tragic day in 1885 that Louis Riel was executed by the Canadian government, it is also an opportunity for Canadians to demonstrate their commitment to reconciliation.    

Black and white image of Louis Riel (source: Métis Nation of Ontario)About Louis Riel:

Born in St. Boniface in 1844, the French-speaking Métis boy was sent to Montreal to be educated and subsequently became an apprentice to a Quebec based lawyer. Shortly after, Louis left the city to return to the Red River settlement and his destiny. After the Hudson’s Bay Company surrendered Rupert’s Land to the Government of Canada, the Métis were left without representation. Louis Riel stepped in and co-founded the Provisional Government of Red River, which was used as a guiding body to usher the west into the Dominion peacefully and to assure that the concerns of the Métis were heard. Through his leadership, the province of Manitoba was founded. In 1884, answering a desperate call sent out from his people, Riel returned to Canada and, once again, demanded equal treatment for the Métis. His plea was answered with a military response and the Northwest Resistance ensued. Riel surrendered on May 15, 1885 and was condemned to death and hung for High Treason by the very country he helped to build. Every year on November 16th, the anniversary of the death of their most honoured leader, Métis people from across the homeland band together to remember the man, his cause and his legacy.
                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                   – source: Métis Nation of Ontario

Further information on Louis Riel Day along with resources on the many ways that schools and individuals can recognize this important occasion can be found at www.metisnation.org/louis-riel-day-new.