Honouring Métis Culture, Language and Heritage
McGuinty Government Marks Louis Riel Day
Ontario is honouring the memory of Louis Riel and the lasting contributions he made to the province's Métis community 125 years ago.
A special commemoration ceremony was held today with the Métis Nation of Ontario and the Métis community at the Northwest Rebellion Memorial in Queen's Park to pay tribute to Louis Riel.
The Ontario government and the Métis Nation of Ontario are working together through a historic framework agreement to improve the well-being of Métis children, families and communities while protecting and promoting the distinct culture, identity and heritage of Métis people.
Ontario proclaimed 2010 as the Year of the Métis to recognize the unique history and ways of life of the Métis people, and their contributions to Ontario -- past, present and future.
- This year is the 125th anniversary of the end of the Northwest Rebellion in Saskatchewan and the death of Louis Riel in 1885.
- There are approximately 73,000 Métis people in Ontario, which represents approximately 30 per cent of the total Aboriginal population in Ontario (2006 Census).
“The Métis are one of our founding peoples and they built a unique culture that remains vibrant today. Louis Riel Day is an important opportunity to celebrate and share in this rich history.”
“Today is a solemn day of commemoration for a hero who paid the ultimate price in attempting to secure justice for Métis people and protect their way of life. It is particularly noteworthy because 2010 is the Year of the Métis, a time to reflect on the gains we as Métis continue to make in the area of rights recognition and assertion here in Ontario. Our relationship with the province of Ontario continues to develop in a positive way as we move toward reconciliation by building on the MNO-Ontario Framework Agreement signed two years ago.”